Strung Out - Prototypes and Painkillers (Cover Artwork)

Strung Out

Strung Out: Prototypes and PainkillersPrototypes and Painkillers (2009)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

While they've been busy working on their upcoming eighth studio album and breaking their bones by rocking too hard, the fellas in melodic hardcore outfit Strung Out also found the time to crank out a second rarities compilation, this month's Prototypes and Painkillers. At 25 tracks, it's packed with.
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While they've been busy working on their upcoming eighth studio album and breaking their bones by rocking too hard, the fellas in melodic hardcore outfit Strung Out also found the time to crank out a second rarities compilation, this month's Prototypes and Painkillers. At 25 tracks, it's packed with demos, alternate takes, comp tracks, covers and even a few rarities. The collection proves to be eclectic, going from metal to pop-punk with little notice. And while the sequencing is sometimes jarring -- that cover of Descendents' "I'm Not a Loser" never sounds right sandwiched between the ever-so-slightly harder-edged "Novacain" and "Novella" -- it ultimately just proves just how far Strung Out's grasp extends. If you like pop-punk, metal, hardcore and a fusion of any of the three, you'll find something to love here.

Prototypes and Painkillers ignores chronology in favor of some semblance of a rise-and-fall motion, which applies as much to the audio quality as it does to the playing style. For the most part, though, the songs are unified by thundering drums and crunchy riffs. There are a slew of comp tracks to choose from -- Beyond Cyberpunk's "Betrayal," Short Music for Short People's "Klawsterfobia" and "Lost Motel" from a Fat Club seven-inch. Of particular note is a cover of Ozzy Osbourne's "Bark at the Moon." It starts out pretty straight, but quickly morphs into a punk rock stomper before adding a late-game soft jazz break. It's an abrupt shift that makes the song all the better.

The collection cheats a little by padding itself with demos and early versions of previously released material, though. It seems unlikely that a devoted Strung Out fan would need a rough cut of "Mad Mad World" or "Just Like Me." But, these demos are mostly near the end. They don't interrupt the listening experience whatsoever; think of ‚??em as a bonus greatest hits sneak peak. Newcomers get a peak at other Strung Out albums and Protypes and Painkillers gets to stay relevant after they buy Twisted by Design.

For the devotees, there are some previously unreleased tunes as well. Aside from that Descendents cover, "Pleather," "Sinner or Coward?", "Night of the Necro" and "Forever Is Today," while bootlegged, have never had an official release until now. Throw in the bevy of non-album tracks like "Your Worst Mistake" and that no-seriously-this-rules version of "Bark at the Moon," and Prototypes and Painkillers is another successful release from Strung Out. It gets a bit long at 67 minutes, but that's part of the album's beauty -- it represents so many different styles that it nearly demands you tear it apart and digest it track by track anyway. The new album will come when it does; Prototypes and Painkillers already marks 2009 as a strong year for Strung Out.


People who liked this also liked:
Strung Out - Agents of the UndergroundHeartsounds - Until We SurrenderStrung Out - Suburban Teenage Wasteland BluesStrung Out - Top Contenders: The Best of Strung OutStrung Out - Twisted by DesignStrung Out - Live in a DiveRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessThe Lawrence Arms - Buttsweat and Tears [7 inch]Strung Out - Transmission.Alpha.DeltaNOFX - Cokie the Clown

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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.
Levendus (May 20, 2011)

well I like it.

You_Are_A_Loser (April 17, 2009)

The only thing I don't like about this album is the mastering. It's not quite loud enough.

pabsad (April 17, 2009)

the artwork really is abysmal. okay record.

bathroom_surgery (April 17, 2009)

they forgot every breath you take (the police) cover, and fletcher's recording of betrayal, and a newer version of support your troops.

NUFANwarrior (April 16, 2009)

Nothing amazingly special about this record, except for Novacain, that has to be one of their greatest songs I must say.

davebrave4 (April 15, 2009)

The "Bark at the Moon" cover was on Punk Goes Metal, right? Or was that some other band?

VictorIkpeba24 (April 15, 2009)

I second onegirlarmy, I'm a huge fan of them but this CD is dispensable.

jasoninstereo (April 15, 2009)

just wondering if anyone might have a clue as to why strung out didn't include the cover they did of the police's every breath you take, i heard it on a comp years ago i think i might have been called "before they were punk"

mattp330 (April 14, 2009)

*8 tracks

mattp330 (April 14, 2009)

i was wondering how fat would put all 67 minutes on one LP. the answer? leave off the last 8 and only have them available on the download card

ChokingVictim (April 14, 2009)

like strung out, but didn't really enjoy this much.

onegirlarmy (April 14, 2009)

I'm a Strung Out "superfan", they're my favorite band blah blah, I have three SO related tattoos, blah blah... and overall I found this pretty "meh". The songs I've never heard before left little to be desired and while it's great to have all the really good SO B-Sides in one place, I guess I was just expecting more. The better recording of "Lost Motel" is basically my only pleasant surprise on here.

hayman (April 14, 2009)

Strung out is good times, I agree the track listing is a bit jumpy but good times all the same. Looking forward to whatever they do next. Saw Rise Against in Sydney the other night and they put on a good show.

damo (April 14, 2009)

Dig is a brilliant song

Wonton (April 14, 2009)

Favorite band ETC.

I had most of these songs already, etc

im enjoying every minute of this crap mattramone

KevinJamesSuperFan (April 14, 2009)

Strung Out - The Element Of Sonic Defiance
By Aaron North ‚?Ę December 31, 1969
Filed under: REVIEWS

Another fat band and I have another story relating to a show I put on for a fat band. (when I say ‚??fat‚?Ě band I‚??m referring to the record label this band is on, not the members‚?? weight, even though there are old fat men in this band) So a few years ago I agree to put on a show with these guys cos they have a hole to fill in their tour and they need help blah blah blah so what the hell. I‚??d never heard of the band, I just assumed they were another wack Nofx-ish band since they were on Fat. So I do the show and the bands‚?? guarantee is $1000.
The show had to compete with like 3 other shows and was on a school night in the middle of the week yadda yadda yadda. So anyways, the show ended up doing not so hot. After telling all the opening bands they were getting fist fucked cos of Strung Out‚??s guarantee, asking the club owner to kick me down with some money they made at the snack bar, and including the money I was supposed to reimburse myself with for making flyers, expenses etc., I was able to come up with $900.00. Basically I was losing my ass on the show, especially for a high school kid that worked at Blockbuster.
When I told their dicknose ‚??tour manager‚?Ě I could only pay the band $900.00, I expected the dork to say something like, ‚??Wow! Thank you for helping us out with the show last minute! Thanks so much for doing it even though you and everybody else knows this band sucks toe jam! I can‚??t believe we were able to even do that well on such a fucked up night! Considering that we made your life a living hell tonight by drinking in the parking lot and trying to squeeze all our stripper friends in on the guest list that you tripled for us, that‚??s amazing! And on top of that thank you for having to endure the embarassment you went through having to go to record stores and be seen passing out flyers for a show with a band this wack!‚?Ě
Guess what, he didn‚??t say that. He said they weren‚??t leaving until they got all their money. Then the groups fat hippie bass player asked me where my car was so he could slash my tires in case I wasn‚??t able to pay up. So I had to beg the club owner for even more money and then find an opening band and even take more of their money. Then I had to give them my gas money to get home. I ended up pan handling in front of the gas station later that night. Anywhoo‚?¶ The music on this cd here is a lot less like Nofx than I thought it would be and is actually a lot like modern metal mixed with prog rock. Not that that‚??s good, just different. I still felt like I needed to take a shower after enduring all the cock rock solos on here. There‚??s actually a couple cool little production touches on this thing here and there. I think I can go as far to say that this is probably the most ‚??professional‚?Ě sounding recording I‚??ve heard from the fat camp. (haha, I just said fat camp) I figure the 5 bucks I got back for trading in this cd is just the beginning of the money these dickheads owe me. I haven‚??t figured it out yet, but someday I will settle the score.

mpc (April 14, 2009)

Cool, thanks for confirming that wasn't all in my head. I think I was 16 or 17 when STWB came out and I haven't reallly heard the 7" since. You don't know anywhere to find it on MP3 do you? I tried Soulseek with no luck.

And yeah, Blount was awesome. Good live too.

wallofyouth (April 14, 2009)

that 7" version of somnombulance is indeed different from the STWB version. also, blount was sweet

mattramone (April 14, 2009)

"What's with the negative connotation? That in no way should be an insult; you can love whatever sex organ from whatever gender you want. Get your insensitive, homophobic statements off this website, fag."

That's so gay, dawg.

mpc (April 14, 2009)

I have an old Strung Out / Blount split 7" that had Somnambulance on it. From what I remember, that version sounded way different than the one that ended up on Suburbanteenagewastelandblues, but I haven't had a record player in a while so I can't verify that. Has anyone heard it who can tell me if it's any different? I remember loving that track and not being so impressed when I heard the version on STWB.

mikexdude (April 14, 2009)

Tool is horrible.

paulrulzdood (April 14, 2009)

this is a great b-sides album. like any b-sides album, the sequencing is a bit nonsensical and the quality from track to track drastically varies depending on what era of Strung Out it is from, but there's still a good 12-17 quality songs that any serious Strung Out fan must have.

How they left "novella" off Blackhawks is beyond me, it is better than few of the album tracks...

i guess i have one of the first 10K copies of An American Paradox because my copy includes "don't look back", but this is a sweet, classic sounding Strung out song

Novacain, like all songs from "element of sonic" is fantastic but more along the lines of Twisted By Design material the the rest of "element" was.

great album for any Strung out fan or completionist, even if the demo's and 1992 shit is pretty bad adn pointless to own, the quality album b-sides alone make this worth the purchase.


lostandclowned (April 14, 2009)

Again, stop stealing Tool artwork.

mikexdude (April 14, 2009)

Mattramone loves the cock.

What's with the negative connotation? That in no way should be an insult; you can love whatever sex organ from whatever gender you want. Get your insensitive, homophobic statements off this website, fag.

LinoleumMagazine (April 14, 2009)

Mattramone loves the cock.

wallofyouth (April 14, 2009)

i've never had a love so strong die as fast as my affection for strung out did. not too interested in this but i can still play the shit out of their first three albums

mattramone (April 14, 2009)

Enjoy your crap.

hubitcherkokov (April 14, 2009)

And throw a 7 up there.

hubitcherkokov (April 14, 2009)

I'm happy to finally hear "Novella," the studio version of "Lost Motel" (although I still favor the Live in a Dive version), and just have all of these songs on one release. I like the liner notes, but lyrics would have been nice.

Also, goddamn, "Your Worst Mistake" is such a great song.

inagreendase (April 14, 2009)

i expected to see a Strung Out fan giving this a 10 or a hater giving it a 2, but no. just a surprisingly fair review.

I gave Exile in Oblivion a 6/10 when it came out and the ensuing thread was an absolute shitstorm.

R3vengeTherapy (April 14, 2009)

I'm still a huge Strung Out fan, and it's nice to have all these songs in one place. I had most of the songs on this record a few years back, but then my computer crashed and I lost them. I wish they would have put the extended version of "Razor Sex" on here though, as I loved the intro they had on the first version of the song.

Novocain is still one of the greatest songs they've ever written.

mikexdude (April 14, 2009)

Score's for the review. Band is okay.

LinoleumMagazine (April 14, 2009)

I had most of the b-sides already, but it was worth it just for the unleased stuff.
It's nice to hear SO songs with a different production style (like the two songs produced by the guy that did the T4 project).

thedude (April 14, 2009)

you continually write the best reviews on this site, jelone. hats off to you! i wasn't even really interested in this cd (i like strung out but am not a super fan) and you made the review completely understandable for me. same goes for the ace enders review.

whoostin (April 14, 2009)

Yeah, I was pissed that it didn't come with lyrics, but now I can delete all the scratchy versions of these songs I have on my computer. Night of the Necro rips!

danperrone (April 14, 2009)

found this pretty weak. the songs not commonly found on other comps left a lot to be desired. best song is "novocain".

d_bag (April 14, 2009)

i expected to see a Strung Out fan giving this a 10 or a hater giving it a 2, but no. just a surprisingly fair review. my main complaint with the album, though, is that there are no lyrics, and there is no reliable way to get official lyrics for a lot of the songs.

strizzmatik (April 14, 2009)

Decent record, big big thumbs down to the Tool-aping font and cover art. I'm pretty sure that font is exactly the same as the one from 10,000 Days.

tinner (April 14, 2009)

I thought the alternate versions and demos were a little weak too. Already have most of these tracks on the comps etc. that they came out on. I`d say for really hard core fans only. Good review

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