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Strung Out - The Element Of Sonic Defiance (Cover Artwork)

Strung Out

Strung Out: The Element Of Sonic DefianceThe Element Of Sonic Defiance (2000)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: Apoc-DayApoc-Day
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Usually when bands release EPs, the general idea behind them is to give the fans something to chew on until their next full-length or are as a place to put some songs that weren't good enough to go on the last album. Strung Out on the other hand, have managed to release an EP that feels more complet.
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Usually when bands release EPs, the general idea behind them is to give the fans something to chew on until their next full-length or are as a place to put some songs that weren't good enough to go on the last album. Strung Out on the other hand, have managed to release an EP that feels more complete and thought out than most full albums. No, this is not your usual "few unreleased tracks, a couple live tracks" half-assed EP, this is a fully realized and thought out punk masterpiece and without a doubt, the most musically adventurous thing Fat Wreck has ever released.

Tracks like "Ice Burn" and "Mind of My Own" off their previous album, Twisted By Design, hinted at the changes to come but could not prepare the listener for the onslaught of opener "Mission To Mars," which is easily the heaviest song Strung Out have ever done. It has nothing you would expect from your average Fat band; Lighting fast double-kick, screams, metallic guitars, lyrics about space travelâ?¦ I think we have the first prog-punk record on our hands.

We are then seamlessly transferred over to the next song "Scarecrow" where the rage and intensity of the first track are tempered and shaped into a more cohesive and melodic package. This song is a fine display of singer Jason Cruz's amazingly unique vocals and lyrical talent with lines like "I spend my days in the fear one day the wind will blow me away/The only thing that keeps me here are these string of mine that hold me down".

"Savant" opens up with a guitar riff the grim-reaper himself could strut to. However, as soon as the listener can get comfortable, the song shifts into overdrive and doesn't let up. This song is particularly interesting, as it deals with the topic of religion, something Strung Out has never really done before.

Then it's on to "Blew" where the listener is finally given an opportunity to relax for a little bit. This song is quite a departure from the light speed tempo of Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues and shows the band trying to lay down more of a groove rather than play as fast as humanly possible.

The album picks up speed again with the soaring "Everyday". This is easily the best song on the album and quite possibly the best song Strung Out has ever written. The same principle as I said about Strung Out making an EP more complete then most LPs applies here too, as the band manages to create the shortest epic of all time at only 2:22.

Next track "Razorblade" picks up where "Blew" left off and shows the guitarists once again, experimenting with textures and effects. The next track "Jackie-O" is a reworking of an older song called "Jacqueline". Although production wise, it fits right in as a nice little lighter song before the end, it really isn't at the technical level of the other songs on this disc. Finally, the album is concluded with riff-fest "Mephisto". This is Strung Out playing with the technicality they are known for except this time with darker edge. It's also further proof that they can easily bite the heads off of younger bands like Thrice and Avenged Sevenfold in terms of musicianship.

With this album, Strung Out has created another genre bending masterpiece that further blurs the line between punk and metal. However, this outing leans slightly more towards the metal side and shows that the band sounds more like Deftones than Descendents now. One thing I've noticed though is that The Element Of Sonic Defiance sits on an awkward neutral that has caused it to become criminally overlooked. Diehard punk fans won't like it because it's too metal and diehard metal fans will never know of its existence because it's on Fat Wreck Chords. Maybe a few years down the road this album will get the legendary status it deserves.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Strung Out - Twisted by DesignStrung Out - Suburban Teenage Wasteland BluesNOFX - The DeclineRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteA Wilhelm Scream - RuinerDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeNOFX - Punk In DrublicAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyLagwagon - Double Plaidinum

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
devianter (November 24, 2010)

so 4.5 stars..

devianter (November 24, 2010)

the music is fantastic.. but the voice.. i dunno.. i don't like it THAT much to give it 5 stars...

Bankythehack (January 6, 2005)

This Ep is Strung Out's finest work, because every track is probably in Strung Out's top 20 best songs...try and find an album more consistant than this one. Plus it has Everyday, which is Strung Out's best song as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, I'm going to see these guys tommorow in Austin...and I think im going to explode. The new album is amazing, and the song Never Speak Again is probably the best think Strung Out has written since Everyday. Anyway...I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve, so I'm ending this and going to sleep with visions of rocking out dancing in my head.

Anonymous (November 16, 2004)

I def. think fat wreck has evolved to stay one of the best labels, if not the best , for the past 10 years. I mean really, for the mid to late 90's, lagwagon, strung out, NUFAN, nofx, good riddance were all so classic, and still classic if you ask me. me first is enjoyable unless you are lame as shit. and the new school of bands, against me! lawrence arms, D4, none more black are all outstanding bands. rise against put out a few great punk albums on the roster. i dont' care for them, but you can't deny avail is pretty good. propaghandi is one of the more educated, outspoken and respected political punk bands. anti flag may suck, but you can't deny their following. mad caddies are one of the few ska bands to maintain cred into the new millenium and survive due to being more versatile and just downright better than most ska punk bands. basically, fuck you if you don't like fat wreck.

Anonymous (November 16, 2004)

"I may not like NoFX, but I'll wholeheartedly admit that Mike knows how to pick the great bands from the average ones."

agreed, fat wreck has been a major source of my music for 9odd years now... survival of the fattest was the best compilation of my life, and hoss and twisted by design rocked my world.

Anonymous (November 15, 2004)

I agree with the comment that Fat is an excellent label. Maybe you underground punk visionaries can inform me of some better bands than those on Fat's roster. But make absolutely sure that those bands are as lyrically impressive as Dillinger Four and the Lawrence Arms, that they can play their instruments as well as Strung Out, that they are as fun to listen to as the Mad Caddies, and that the production on their albums is as good as Avail's and NUFAN's. I seriously doubt you can even come up with one, because so far every single "super punk, super underground" band I've listened to has been absolute crap. (And that's the main reason why Fat Mike wouldn't want them on his label in the first place.)

I may not like NoFX, but I'll wholeheartedly admit that Mike knows how to pick the great bands from the average ones.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (November 15, 2004)

"Okay, time for an update: Its 2004 and

1. The Misfits and Dead Kennedys are still touring without their visionary original lead vocalists.

2. Emo still exists and has adopted a retarded little brother known as screamo

3. Strung out still is putting out albums

4. Bush is still alive (and president to boot)

Yeah, I think this is hell."

I always wonder what people like you that seem to bash EVERYTHING actually do like. So please, enlighten me, what do YOU like?

Anonymous (November 15, 2004)

the dude under me is speaking truth....

Fats Roster:

Against me
Anti Flag
Avail
Bracket
Consumed
Descendents
Dickies
Dillinger Four
88 Fingers Louie
Face To Face
Frenzal Rhomb
Goober Patrol
Good Riddance
Guns n Wankers
Hi Standard
Lagwagon
The Lawrence Arms
Less Than Jake
Mad Caddies
Me First and The Gimme Gimmes
NOFX
None More Black
NUFAN
Only Crime
Propaghandi
Rise Against
Screeching Weasel
Screw 32
Sick Of It All
Snuff
Strung Out
Subhumans
Swingin Utters
Tilt
Wizo
Zero Down

=legendary...

Anonymous (November 15, 2004)

Ok I am so sick and fucking tired of all this Fat band bullshit. All you mutherfuckers going on about if it wasn't Fat and it's ok for Fat and you don't normally hear from a Fat band should shut the fuck up! If it wasn't for Fat the punk scene today would be totally different and not in a good way either haven't you fucks ever heard of bands like Lagwagon,Nufan, Propaghandi, Frenzal Rhomb, Me First, Anti Flag, etc. All this harcore especially for a Fat band shit is lame look at 88 Fingers Louie or Rise Against (members from 88 fingers louie) which is a fucking ripping band, who the fuck brought them on the scene hmmm oh thats right just some dude who should be considered a fucking god in this scene not someone who is turning it into pussy whipped mtv music. And not for nothing but where the fuck would Strung Out be if it wasn't for Fat, hmm lets see maybe making more of that lame ass skinny years before we got FAT bullshit the funny things is most of you fucks running off at your cocksuckers are probably a bunch of fucking teeny bobbing posers. All you fucks can kiss my ass, actually you should be kissing Fat Mike's ass for bringing you good music for like fifteen years now you ungrateful fucks.

Hate
Dam Mad

Anonymous (November 15, 2004)

"MOST people don't give them nearly enough credit. I saw them a while ago w/ poison the well and nobody stayed for strung out. At least half the kids left. I'm not getting into an argument about how "tech" they are, but they are all fairly accomplished musicians and I'm positive that if strung out weren't a "fat" band they'd get much more cred from the fucking scene police. Half of you fucks probably wish you could be in a band as good as strung out is. But that wouldn't be cutting edge. "

this is completely true. and i was at the pittsburgh show, and fortunately, half the retards left after Saosin (who are complete shit by the way. never heard them before, so i gave them a chance, jsut a bunch of pretty boys doing their best thursday/poison the well covers w/ a weak piped singer.).

Anonymous (November 15, 2004)

"Itâ??s also further proof that they can easily bite the heads off of younger bands like Thrice and Avenged Sevenfold in terms of musicianship. "

I like this comment and fully agree, although I think thrice switches up time signatures a little more than strung out.

When I heard the new Sum41 all i could think was "poor bastard kids are going to be rocking out to this and buying it in droves, when little do they know just slightly ealier in the S secion is strung out, who sum41 WISH they were.

Anonymous (November 15, 2004)

Strung Out are one of the most consistently excellent punk bands of the past 10 years, and one of the most consistenlty underrated, right next to hot water music.

Their new album is sick. Suburband Teenage wasteland blues is arguably the most energetic punk album in the 'fat punk' vein ever released. twisted by design is essential, as essential as Hoss, punk in drublic and less talk more rock (in terms of fat releases...nofx counts). american paradox was solid and a bit experimental/slower, but still a great album. and of course, this ep is remarkable for its samples, rediculous overdriven production and showed strung out in an experimental and balls out rockin light. mission to mars is as intense as anything, scarecrow and jackie O have the classic strung out sound w/ more of a somber feel.

i remember getting this around the same time as the decline, or slightly after...talk about some goddamn good ep's, maybe the best in my cd collection.

dazed (November 15, 2004)

This is a good EP. Strung Out is a good band.

Anonymous (November 15, 2004)

i've been following the strung out thing for 7 years and still think STWB and TBD are my fav albums, TBD really changed the way i listened to music. element came out and i wasn't impressed at the time, but it eventually grew on me same w/ american paradox, i will give this new one some time, but i miss the speed, like no band is speed punk anymore... i miss that, what happened to sick shift too?

Anonymous (November 14, 2004)

"Jackie-O" makes me feel like jacking off!

-BSD

Anonymous (November 14, 2004)

after mission to mars is over the album is really good.

Anonymous (November 14, 2004)

this album was the best that strung out gave us, even though it was just an EP, and it's also the last good album they've produced.

Not-To-Regret (November 14, 2004)

Fuck Posion the Well. And to the guy below... if you think Strung Out putting out a new album is "hell" then get the fuck off this website.

Explain to me why Strung Out sucks and maybe i'll stop listening to them and buying their records.

And just to let you know... when reviewing art or music... never try to explain the artist's intention. Only analyze the content itself.

Anonymous (November 14, 2004)

Okay, time for an update: Its 2004 and

1. The Misfits and Dead Kennedys are still touring without their visionary original lead vocalists.

2. Emo still exists and has adopted a retarded little brother known as screamo

3. Strung out still is putting out albums

4. Bush is still alive (and president to boot)

Yeah, I think this is hell.

Anonymous (November 14, 2004)

This album is amazing. Exile is my favorite, but this was my favorite up until now.

Anonymous (November 14, 2004)

A Message from former California Governor Gray Davis:

I, Gray Davis, wholeheartedly endorse Strung Out's "Element.." EP, as it is a great first step for the band to experiment with some harder, more metal-ish sounds--especially on "Savant" & "Mission to Mars"--while at the same time cranking out some killer punk treats such as "Jackie-O" & "Everyday."

I truly can't say enough good things about how much good this EP has done for our California communities.

However, Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association says, "This EP alone will significantly reduce the tax burden of California's working families. It achieves tax savings unparalleled since the days of Proposition 13..."

"I, Gray Davis, approve this message."

Gray Davis

bizzlebrizzle (November 13, 2004)

"I saw them a while ago w/ poison the well and nobody stayed for strung out. "

Wow, that's sad!
-notfeelingcreative

It's typical though...

Half of the kids left when Saosin got done this past wednesday...if they played with better bands they'd getter better turn outs for their shows...well the west coast leg of this tour won't suffer from shitty band syndrome...fucking bastards get Only Crime and A Wilhelm Scream.

OKSoda (November 13, 2004)

I haven't heard much Strung Out, but "Never Speak Again" off of the new CD is absolutely amazing.

Anonymous (November 13, 2004)

"I saw them a while ago w/ poison the well and nobody stayed for strung out. "

Wow, that's sad!
-notfeelingcreative

Anonymous (November 13, 2004)

"I don't think Strung Out is anywhere as good as most people make them out to be."

MOST people don't give them nearly enough credit. I saw them a while ago w/ poison the well and nobody stayed for strung out. At least half the kids left. I'm not getting into an argument about how "tech" they are, but they are all fairly accomplished musicians and I'm positive that if strung out weren't a "fat" band they'd get much more cred from the fucking scene police. Half of you fucks probably wish you could be in a band as good as strung out is. But that wouldn't be cutting edge.

-Justin

P.S. This album is an 11

Big_Guy (November 13, 2004)

"I don't think Strung Out is anywhere as good as most people make them out to be."

I hate to break it to you, but your opinion don't mean shit if you post anonymously.

Anonymous (November 13, 2004)

"First off, Strung out is my fav band. Howver, when I first got into strung out in about 2000 I wasn't a huge fan of this. It lacked the obvious hooks and melodicism of STWB and TBD. However, as time went on, and my tastes diversified into the more harder edged styles of music, this ep grew on me. It is now on an equal par with their other albums. Every song is a highlight! If you liked this, check out Exile... as it is in the same mold

Highly recommended

-Chris-"

...i was the exact same way.

Anonymous (November 13, 2004)

this album is classic a completly masterpiece.

Anonymous (November 13, 2004)

isn't their new lp out yet?

Anonymous (November 13, 2004)

I don't think strung out is anywhere close to being as metal-y as most people make them out to be.

I don't think Strung Out is anywhere as good as most people make them out to be.

Crookedsuperhero (November 13, 2004)

Meh.

Anonymous (November 12, 2004)

The Daily Grind is the "best 23 minutes in music" EP.

-Chinatown

Big_Guy (November 12, 2004)

This is the first review for this? It came out 4 years ago.

I call this the "best 25 minutes in music" ep

bemused (November 12, 2004)

First off, Strung out is my fav band. Howver, when I first got into strung out in about 2000 I wasn't a huge fan of this. It lacked the obvious hooks and melodicism of STWB and TBD. However, as time went on, and my tastes diversified into the more harder edged styles of music, this ep grew on me. It is now on an equal par with their other albums. Every song is a highlight! If you liked this, check out Exile... as it is in the same mold

Highly recommended

-Chris-

Anonymous (November 12, 2004)

I don't think strung out is anywhere close to being as metal-y as most people make them out to be.

i agree. Their newer stuff is more metal influence than say TBD and STWB, but nothing to make a huge deal out of. Element was my favorite Strung Out album...until I heard Exile in Oblivion.

Anonymous (November 12, 2004)

bizzle what uuuuup!

this is one of the most amazing albums i've ever heard. strung out may be my favorite band, but still take my word for it, and the guy who wrote this review's word for it- it's fucking amazing. "Everyday" is one of my favorite songs ever, and it's every bit as good as the reviewer makes it out to be. Do yourself a favor and listen to it. This band commands more respect than many give them.

Anonymous (November 12, 2004)

My Favorite CD Ever.

Anonymous (November 12, 2004)

Not bad. But I like their old shit better.

bizzlebrizzle (November 12, 2004)

I saw quite a few metal heads at their concert...if only more gave them a chance.

Anonymous (November 12, 2004)

true, this is my favorite album by them, and its definitely kinda experimental for a fat wreck band, but still basically fits the mold and i def wouldnt say its more metal than punk

Anonymous (November 12, 2004)

I don't think strung out is anywhere close to being as metal-y as most people make them out to be.

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