More than any other decade, the ’90s was an absolute goldmine for Pop Punk. On the highest tier of popularity, you had Green Day's Dookie, Blink-182's Dude Ranch and The Offspring's Smash, but dozens of Warped Tour-ready contenders swam below. Ska Punk hybrids like Goldfinger and The Suicide Machines mixed high-energy hooks with horns, Lookout! Records acts such as The Donnas and Screeching Weasel used a more traditional Ramones-bred palette and Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph Records had rosters stacked with Skate Punk faves like Rancid, Lagwagon, Bouncing Souls and Pennywise.
Strung Out fell into the latter category, releasing Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues ('96) and Twisted By Design ('98) on Fat. The Simi Valley, Calif.-based five-piece's current tour is dedicated to revisiting those solidly melodic, Heavy Metal-influenced albums, as they'll be playing both front to back nightly — a performance that's sure to fill every thirtysomething dude who still wears cargo shorts and oversized Pulley T-shirts with gooey nostalgia.
Strung Out celebrated its 20th anniversary and released Agents of the Underground, its seventh LP, in 2009. In an ’09 Skratch Magazine interview, vocalist Jason Cruz said that he would be surprised if the group was still around in five years, but in a separate conversation soon thereafter, guitarist Jake Kiley vehemently opposed that idea.
“I don't know what he's doing,” Kiley said, “but I know what I'm going to be doing. You're not going to get me to stop playing guitar until you cut my fucking hands off.”
STRUNG OUT performs Friday, Aug. 10 at Newport's Thompson House with The Darlings, Handguns and The Upset Victory. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.