STRUNG OUT: The Element of Sonic Defiance

Visto che stanno passando dalle nostre parti con il loro tour europeo recensiamo l’ultimo Ep dei Californiani Strung Out, “The Element Of Sonic Defiance”, uscito a metà 2000. Rivelatisi al mondo punk con “Twisted By Design” nel Maggio del ’98,(sebbene esistenti dal 1992) il gruppo è dedito ad una strana variante dell’Hardcore (più o meno melodico) americano. Infatti nelle 8 tracce, alla faccia dell’Ep!, troviamo di tutto, dai sample alla brutalità hardcore, dal punk più tradizionale al pop-rock. La voce di Jason, a volte sofferta e incazzata a volte melodica con ammiccamenti al pop, tratteggia il suono della band che, nel complesso, appare si ispirata ma senza particolari guizzi. Il lavoro infatti è tutto un insieme di alti e bassi; se una canzone come “Everyday” è infatti azzeccata lo stesso non si può dire, ad esempio, per “Blew”, noiosa escursione nei territori non-punk e che nei suoi 4 minuti riesce solo a stancare l’ascoltatore. La tecnica c’è, eccome, e lo dimostrano gli assoli di chitarra e i ritmi mai uguali della batteria, ma manca forse quel pizzico di “mestiere” che rende un disco piacevole ed invoglia all’ascolto. Certo, non è la solita minestra riscaldata, e questo è da lodare in tempi di fotocopie delle fotocopie, però il lavoro appare ancora fuori fuoco. Visti i presupposti, se il gruppo riuscirà a compiere questo salto di qualità, ci saranno delle belle cose da sentire in futuro dal sud california, ma ciò non toglie che per adesso questo lodevole Ep non riesce ad emergere nel mare magnum delle produzioni del genere, e perciò sarà dimenticato in fretta. Il peccato è poi maggiore pensando alle loro esibizioni live, in cui il gruppo dimostra tutto il suo valore proponendo al solito set tiratissimi e veramente convincenti; beh, sarà per un altra volta.

a cura di Davide Tamburlini
Dopo lo splendido “Twisted by design” l’attesa per il nuovo album degli Strung Out era tanta poichè tutti aspettavano un’altro album all’altezza di quel capolavoro e invece “The Element of sonic defiance” fu un parziale passo falso poichè la band decise di non percorrere le strade del sano melodic hc che li aveva resi celebri alla comunità punk ma cercò nuove sperimentazioni che fondevano il punk al metal. Sinceramente non mi sento di giudicarlo perchè quest’album ha veramente spaccato la critica in due, chi sostiene che sia un album mediocre, chi invece un capolavoro perchè la band ha dimostrato maturità nel cercare di percorrere strade musicali e ricercare sonorità nuove. A me sinceramente, nostalgico e affezionato al vecchio old style, non è piaciuto affatto, a malapena conosco i Metallica o gli Slayer e disprezzo totalmente la musica metal quindi non posso giudicare un album che mostra cosi marcate sonorità metal. Anche se ascoltato più volte, è difficile trovare tra queste canzoni la solita hit che solitamente tutti ascoltiamo nelle Fat Music ove Fat Mike raccoglie il meglio della produzione della sua casa discografica il che dimostra che anche in scuderia Fat Wreck tutto sommato non è stato cosi apprezzato. Mah…il mondo è bello perchè vario ma io amo il punk ma chiamatemi ottuso “for me if it isn’t punk it sucks!!”
Voto 6 (Un sei politico che premia il coraggio della band)
Tracklist 01- Mission to Mars02- Scarecrow03- Savant04- Blew05- Everyday06- Razorblade07- Jacky O08- Mephisto TESTI

Mission to Mars – Countdown initiation sequence the course is set all systems functioning in check all preparations have been met brain function at full engagement body locked in vigilance awaiting contact with a destination far inside of me sling shot across the sky a million light years to the other side reality’s a distant hazy dream exiting the atmosphere of my mind body and chemistry my body separates itself from me approaching our destination heart and mind have reached ascension no response to signal sent we are unable to respond to the remaining threat crews incapacitated vital signs have clearly stated something’s gone wrong with the ship collision course is imminent slingshot across the sky a million light years to the other side no one could have imagined anything like this ascending to another state can’t stop and think or hesitate the reality of the situation has reached control.

Scarecrow ñ I put my faith in the absence of something better if it doesnít fit then its out of reach for me I’m a tightly wound mess neatly perched inside my own distress and you talk of freedom that means nothing to me and then you say how we ever gonna know if thereís something better is the only way to know ourselves to go too far I spend my days in a fear one day a wind will blow me away the only thing that keeps me here are these strings of mine that hold me down I watch the rise and fall of a thousand days it means nothing to me cause Iíve been promised redemption for a life time wasted in these golden fields so far so good so many promises swinging in the wind directions something that I canít control creation eludes me its all just waiting time here in this field nothing but a scarecrow waiting for the world to tear me down

Savant ñ Here I can hold ëem off for a while at least till I think of a way to make them see what I gotta show and to make them feel what I already know now pour the gas all over me light a match say a prayer and set me free turn your cameras on this burning boy Iíll be the life of an image you canít destroy to see me here is to pass me by and to watch me live is to watch me die your conscience ignored your panic spread youíre whimper in the wind that no one said you crucify what you fear hold up to the light make it shine the desperation in my eyes is no dim reflection I wonít disguise but you never listened too afraid to give now Iím giving up on you to save face and deny youíve lost your chance for a better way assassinate the threat immortalize the corpse write a book about the show and sell it to the source riddle me this and Iíll share your world around hang me on your wall and Iíll bring your hurt down

Blew ñ I paint myself a window in this world of your conception where it all comes down to you knew if you conceived it you knew I would believe it you knew that you would paint me into your world of blue you call it something to say you call it nothing to lose you call it anything but the truth suffocation in words your isolation disturbs I can hear your voice as it echoes on so bury over and over the songs you sing inside my head I donít wanna lose what you left inside of me cause itís all I own of you the red disguises secrets lies and the blue belongs to you alone the gold is time wasted in lines of indecision dragging onward so bury over and over the light in you that wonít stay dead I donít wanna lose what you left inside of me cause itís something real pulling me under I hear the warm hum of your voice washing over me a blue light melody of sound shines across my back and now its pulling me down pulling me under to where hide yourself alone gagged and tied to the weight of ourselves underwater well I wonít forget this loss the shame of regret turn out the lights and sit in darkness while I try to make it through silence thereís a monster growing strong conspire to bring me down its all I own of you

Everyday – Iím preaching life Iím preaching thought cause I see it all around me as it struggles to unfold on a world born afraid I donít need science no reason to calculate whatís here inside no answers won no questions asked will chase this feeling away I know about hate Iíve been in love and Iíve seen everyone around me close their eyes and turn to stone Iíve seen hope in disguise well Iím not trying to save your soul donít wanna show direction donít wanna take control Iíve been a lie Iíve told a lie but I’m trying to get it better each day I try life shot in the vein pumped in the heart awaking my soul knocked down kicked in the face shown the easy path is the hardest way down Iíve drawn to one conclusion that no one really understands anything weíre all grinding gears donít know which way is up once the soul is dead the mind ainít far away on the steps of my mind one thousand thoughts decline away

Razorblade ñ Got a feeling you were alone and on the run with your suitcase filled with razorblades and turpentine sad eyes of a scarlet glazed in promises made too divine to be real a runaway too shiftless to know what is wrong donít make it right and sometimes I wonder if I knew you could I change you or would you be the same to me right now your reason to live became a reason to die and now youíre gone I think about you in black in white faded news paint still life memory of a broken body in a cheap perfume disguise well I just wanna know you found some peace before you left this place well itís alright to be afraid of what your eyes canít hide with both hands tied did you sink yourself did you cheat yourself how did you stray so far to end up here to know yourself is to destroy yourself and what you are you could not hide a clue is all I have to understand sound and bled instant fame in red now youíre in the spotlight again a different tale with a darker twist but for sure you knew that you would always be the star no lost innocence because there never was just you and the world no fairy tale could ever end like this itís just another bad luck tale all used up and on the run from you

Jackie-O ñ A warm dallas breeze floats naked through the air as a million hungry faces watch the king and his parade on show for the world to see prime time america nineteen sixty three and you were by his side I still remember pictures that look on your face the king had been forsaken and his country died in three seconds that would last an eternity O Jackie-O I wonder what you could be thinking now your mixed up little head has been left alone in a world so cold just a foot note in history book full of lies you such a good girl keep smiling make ëem happy all is well in the land of make believe as soon as the bullet left the chamber on that calm november day you knew the world would never be the same the killer in us all just victims of ourselves looking for the perfect death trigger happy patriots running from ourselves you knew it would never be the same again o Jackie-O I wonder what your thinking now youíve been left here all on your own in this land a world of make believe you get back what was taken from you and go moving on

Mephisto ñ One more time then Iíll know one more lie then Iíll go away pour another drink and Iíll ease myself into the comforts of your philosophy try to understand your friend in need and Iím here to make it easier you and I are one in the same weíre built alike in so many ways you canít understand and you wonít accept your secrets are all safely kept here inside weíre so lost I can be the one to find you everything that you deserve no request will ever go unheard youíre better off without me now but without me here you’re just better off alone just wait and see youíre just like me conversationís getting stale a penny for your thoughts one small betrayal does no man know what heís good for does no man want what heís asked for it takes our design Iíve spent a lifetime waiting for the chance to chase these devils away but they always come smiling when you need ëem the most so Iíll end this night alone again with nothing to offer and nothing to give conversations spoken in vein alone so go away itís easier if I stay so go away itís easier this way

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