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Strung Out - Prototypes and Painkillers Album Cover

Strung Out - Prototypes and Painkillers

Reviewed by
7.3
Strung Out - Prototypes and Painkillers
Record Label: Fat Wreck
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Since 1992, this California quintet have been playing fast, melodic, technical skatepunk -- and never slowing down, even through the difficult times. Seven albums later, and after loads of compilation appearances, the band has decided to put all their b-side and raritie efforts onto one full-length so the fans can have all their favorite hard-to-find gems in one place. And boy howdy, are there a whole mess of 'em!

Now, b-side collections are generally hit-or-miss, and this is no different. No one ever expects masterpiece material here, and a majority of these tracks are no surprise for anyone who has followed Strung Out's work -- but for every "Novella" or "Lost Motel" (two of the band's best tracks, period), there are forgettable cuts like "Mad Mad World" or "Sinner or Coward." It should be noted that it's easy to hear which of these songs were initially early recordings, and while the band has done their best to re-master each of the 25 tracks, there's only so much they can do.

Again, let me reiterate: 25 tracks, many of which are splendid ("Velvet Alley" and "Bark at the Moon," from early entries in the "Punk Goes..." series, are terrific), some of that which were left off prior records for good reason. The best compliment one can give Strung Out here is witnessing the growth in sound that the band has gone through. They've become much more melodic and technical in recent years, and perhaps the only downside to Prototypes is that all the tracks are in random order, and only die-hards will hear the evolution. Not everything here is mint condition A+ material (the seven previously unreleased cuts are mainly demos/outtakes), but in all essence, it's not really meant for anyone but the longtime fan.

Make sure to purchase the hard copy if you're a fan, as the band has given an explanation for every track and why it is here, when it was recorded and what the background is. For all the big Strung Out fans, this is a nice hold over until something new. For the casual fans or newcomers, you're better off giving Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues another spin.

Recommended if You LikeB-sides; the good, the bad, the ugly; 25-track feasts
Choice Cuts"Novella," "Lost Motel" and "Your Worst Mistake"


Tracklisting1. Don't Look Back
2. Novacain
3. I'm Not a Loser
4. Novella
5. Lost Motel
6. Pleather
7. Klawsterfobia
8. Ghost Town
9. Bark at the Moon
10. Sinner or Coward?
11. Season of the Witch
12. Your Worst Mistake
13. Betrayal
14. More Than Words
15. Barfly
16. Night of the Necro
17. American Lie
18. Dig
19. Wrong Side of the Tracks
20. Just Like Me
21. Mad Mad World
22. Jacqueline
23. Velvet Alley
24. Ashes
25. Forever is Today
Band MembersJason Cruz: vocals
Jake Kiley: guitar
Rob Ramos: guitar
Chris Aiken: bass
Jordan Burns: drums


Online VitalsOfficial Site | Official Myspace
PurchaseAmazon MP3
This review is a user submitted review from Chris Fallon. You can see all of Chris Fallon's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 29
06:22 PM on 03/28/09
#2
Justin_stacy
Go AWAY! Batin'!
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Shit even for a compilation album that's alot of songs to get through.

Somebodys got that same cover too, but I can't put my finger on it.
12:06 AM on 03/29/09
#3
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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Shit even for a compilation album that's alot of songs to get through.

Somebodys got that same cover too, but I can't put my finger on it.
Reminds me of Tool's Lateralus
02:15 AM on 03/29/09
#4
thatwasamoment
RICH GANNON WAR WAGON
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Named my band Lost Motel back in the day
07:06 AM on 03/29/09
#5
MickShamrock
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Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues introduced me to Strung Out. Still my fave album by them.
01:49 AM on 03/30/09
#6
March_Faster!!
まくどなるどなしじゃいきられない。
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God I love Strung Out.
02:23 AM on 03/30/09
#7
its all good 03
i am the wind, singing a sad song.
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Shit even for a compilation album that's alot of songs to get through.

Somebodys got that same cover too, but I can't put my finger on it.
reminds me of a static lullaby's first one
03:55 AM on 03/30/09
#8
EchoPark
promesas son sombras
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Good review Chris, I'd rate this album 40% Winner 60% Could be better.


Give me a Strung Out album,live or rarities or b-sides or covers or even pooping in a jug for an hour, any day over the trash that is being peddled as music in this day and age.
05:10 AM on 03/30/09
#9
lew_1987
The desperation's gone.
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I love 'Your Mistake'. I'm tempted to buy this so I can read the liner notes and all that.
05:15 AM on 03/30/09
Chris Fallon
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I love 'Your Mistake'. I'm tempted to buy this so I can read the liner notes and all that.
It's a fold-out digipack release -- but if you're a fan, I suggest getting it since they do have a few sentences on each track and why it's here.
06:50 AM on 03/30/09
Toner
I'll Always Never Know
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I would kill a polar bear to get my hands on a new Strung Out album. I already have the majority of these b-sides but it's great to see some unreleased stuff on here. Really look forward to giving this a listen.
07:47 AM on 03/30/09
hardpill
Get Well Incentive
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Can't wait to get my hands on this
08:44 AM on 03/30/09
heartsdietoo
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reminds me of a static lullaby's first one
It reminds me of A Static Lullaby's first album cover as well.
09:04 AM on 03/30/09
Justin_stacy
Go AWAY! Batin'!
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reminds me of a static lullaby's first one
that's it, exactly. shit I'd have never remembered the band name.

10:10 AM on 03/30/09
prefix-core
Andy Adores Alliteration
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I would have liked to have seen these in in chronological order, but I think it flows well as-is. Psyched to read the liner notes/lyrics.

And props for their inclusion of the Descendents cover. That one made me ridiculously happy.

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