Let’s not bury the lead here: Strung Out are not a metal band. This is going somewhere though, I swear.
Back when I was a wee little punk rocker in the 90’s, pop-punk was hitting all over the place and in the mid 90’s a sure fire place to get your pop-punk fix was from Fat Wreck Chords, home of bands like Lagwagon, Face to Face, NOFX, No Use for a Name, and Strung Out. Strung Out’s sillier, hook-driven pop-punk catchiness was all I needed and that first album of theirs, Another Day in Paradise, got played into fucking dust. Then I lost track of them until I heard a song from 2004’s Exile in Oblivion and could barely believe my ears. This was Strung Out? Those goofy, squeaky-voiced kids, hopping around playing punk? Somewhere between the two Strung Out added a much harder, more serious edge to their music that incorporated a lot of metal tendencies. The vocals were much harsher at points, almost to growls, the guitars got much more riff driven in conjunction with the blasting drums. I was intrigued right away. The rest of the album played out in much the same way, harder songs balanced with their pop-punk sensibilities but with more serious themes.
This more “heavy” style continued for Strung Out up until right this minute. I know there was, or still might be, a bit of friction between these types of punk bands and metal but Strung Out doesn’t give a fuck and blends the two genres into something that makes their band unique amongst the endless throngs of shitty ass pop-punk bands. I’m not sure if Exile was the first time they did this but it was the first time I noticed and it’s what made me enjoy this band again.