Friday, December 4, 2015
Strung Out : " Transmission. Alpha.Delta"
Never paid much attention to any of the Fat Records bands, NoFx had their moments , but never felt compelled to own any of their records during the 90s when this brand off punk came into prominence. It's almost hard to call what I'm hearing here punk. The guitar playing has plenty metal to it, at times it comes across like fast Nickelback. Sure I can hear the Bad Religion influence , and at one point they might have had a more honest punk sound, but it's pretty slick uptempo hard rock to me . There is a metal bridge to "Rebellion Of Snakes" that gets more intense, before going back to the poppier chorus. By the time we get to "the Animal and the Machine" I am wondering why they was cropping up on my many end of the year lists by people you normally think of as metal writers. I get it in the next review I'm posting after this one you will see I listen to a little of everything as well, but I would almost prefer straight up pop to something pretending to hold onto their punk roots. It's just so middle road the edge is dulled.
The emo like "Modern Drugs" at least has more putting into the song written, leaving things like "Black Maps" which might have more metal influence in the riffing come across as being merely dialed in.There is a more deliberate pace to 'Spanish Days". They touch on some more melodic moments , but nothing jaw dropping, I almost prefer the more cock rock "Tesla" , no...not the band they have a song named that , but it must be referring to the guitar riffs as the lyrics have nothing to do with the scientist. It is actually one of the albums stronger songs. The vocals caress the melodies with more passion to them. "Nowheresville" sounds like a song Bad Religion left off one of their more recent albums. "Magnolia" at least has enough nuance to the melody to carry it.
The vocals are well produced on the more aggressive "Go It Alone", but the drums are rather annoying when the guitars are not compensating for them with a more metallic flare. There is a pretty cool break down of a bridge that is very metal, but too brief to really make this song excel. "No Apologies" is pretty bland and they don't regain my attention until midway into the final song "Westcoasttrendkill" which sounds nothing like a Pantera song. I'll give this one a 6, it's well recorded and performed, but doesn't really resonate with me, but I can hear what fans of this band might like, just to middle of the road for me.