Sunday, July 7, 2013

Song Of The Week: 7/7/13

Song: "Velvet Alley" acoustic version

Artist: Strung Out

Album: "Punk Goes Acoustic"

Year: 2003

"Velvet Alley" appears to be a song about a relationship that is on the brink. It seems like it crushes the notion of the theory that opposites attract. If the vocalist says up, she says down. If he says black, she says white. He just seems to want a moment, just one moment where they can be at peace with each other, but this relationship is just a constant argument with one another. It's going nowhere. "Velvet Alley" originally appeared on Strung Out's "An American Paradox" album in full punk style. The version I chose for the song of the week is taken from the compilation album "Punk Goes Acoustic", which featured several punk bands recording stripped down versions of their songs. Strung Out formed as a band back in 1989. After releasing several 7" singles, the band became one of the very first acts signed to Fat Wreck Chords, a label which was started by Fat Mike from NOFX. In 1994 the band released their first full length album, "Another Day In Paradise". 1996 saw the band release "Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues". In 1998, Strung Out released "The Skinny Years...Before We Got Fat". This album featured all of the bands recordings before they signed with Fat Wreck. "Twisted By Design" was also released in 1998 and showed a definite growth in the band's sound. In 1999, original member and bassist Jim Cherry left the band to work with the band Pulley and ultimately his own band Zero Down. Tragedy hit close to home for Strung Out when Cherry passed away from heart failure in 2002. The 2000 EP "The Element Of Sonic Defiance" was the band's first album not to feature Cherry on bass. "An American Paradox" was released in 2002 and became the band's first album to appear on the Billboard 200 charts. In 2003, Strung Out released the live album "Fat Wreck Chords Live In A Dive". By 2004, the band's sound continued to evolve and mature with the release of "Exile In Oblivion", which featured the song "Analog". 2007 saw the band release their sixth full length album, "Blackhawks Over Los Angeles". While on tour to support this album, Strung Out's van was stolen in Philadelphia and all their equipment was lost. Thankfully, the supporting bands Evergreen Terrace and I Am Ghost let Strung Out use their gear in order to finish the tour. In 2009, the band released "Prototypes And Painkillers". This was a compilation album which featured all of the band's b-sides and rare cuts. That same year the band put out "Agents Of The Underground" which was slightly less political than some of their previous efforts. 2011 saw the release "Top Contenders: The Best Of Strung Out". This compilation featured 23 remastered favorites of the band as well as three brand new tracks. For more than ten years, Strung Out has become a well respected punk band who infused a little bit of metal in their brand of skate punk to master their sound. Their longevity and work ethic is a testament to where they stand and their influence in punk rock circles. Currently, Strung Out drummer Jordan Burns revealed to in a 2012 interview that the band plans to release a new album in 2013.

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