Strung Out Announce New Album – Dead Rebellion


(January 17, 2024 – San Francisco) California rock band Strung Out is set to release their 10th album, Dead Rebellion (pre-order), on Fat Wreck Chords on April 5th. Crafted amidst the challenges of the global pandemic, “Dead Rebellion” signifies a pivotal juncture for the band as they celebrate 35 years of musical prowess. The album embraces a distinctive mid-tempo and heavy vibe, prioritizing melody over speed. Dead Rebellion’s thematic core delves into the complexities of societal issues, personal struggles, and the divisive impact of our technology-driven world. Vocalist, Jason Cruz shares:
Dead Rebellion is a love letter to our fans, and the product of a 34-year negotiation with ourselves and the world. It was written, performed, and produced with a deep conviction that none of this is in vain, and if you love something enough, it will always take care of you in the end. For example, the song “Cages” explores the self-imposed limitations that hold us back, like blame and self-victimization. Only by eliminating these from the equation can true growth occur.
Catch the video on YouTube or tune in to the song across various digital platforms.

Photo Credit: Rick Kosick 

It was always going to be different. Regardless of what ended up happening between Strung Out’s previous record—2019’s Songs of Armor and Devotion—and this new collection of songs, it was always the band’s intention to step away from themselves a little bit with it. Although Dead Rebellion-the band’s 10th album of their remarkable 35-year career—was written during the height of the pandemic and is, as all Strung Out albums have been, a reaction to the world at large and their own personal experiences within it, the band had already decided to end that chapter before Covid. A new beginning had long been in the works.
“We got to that point where I felt like if we kept going, we’d be repeating ourselves,” explains vocalist Jason Cruz. “And you know, we’re a metal band—a punk metal band—and there’s only so much you can do before people start writing you off as losing your roots or whatever. We all have side projects, so we use those to go into leftfield, but I think that this is the most we can do and keep our fan base and take them in just a little bit of a slightly different direction. It’s more mid-tempo and heavier, less worrying about speed. We were trying to be more melodic.”
That’s not to say these 12 songs don’t pack a punch, but, at the same time, the way the five-piece—these days completed by guitarists (and founding members) Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos, bassist Chris Aiken and drummer Daniel Blume—focus on melody over riffs is definitely noticeable. Take, for instance, the way opener “Future Ghosts” begins in a frenzy of riffs and drumbeats before settling into a kind of hypnotic aggression, or how the frenetic undercurrent of “White Owls” quietens down, its power condensed into a hushed whisper before once again soaring off in an impassioned burst of emotion. Similarly, “Life You Bleed”—one of many requiems here for modern living—tiptoes quietly at first but then accelerates into a fully-fledged rock anthem.
Elsewhere, “Cages” is a vicious indictment of the fractious, polarized and technology-driven nature of society, while “Empire Down” is a self-reflective ode about living up to the pressures and expectations of being in this band. ‘We are the orphans of a revolution song,’ sings Cruz; elsewhere in the song, he quotes the chorus of the 1964 Nina Simone song, ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.’ When the album ends a few tracks later with the breakneck (yet still melodic) intensity of ‘Plastic Skeletons,’ Cruz returns to the importance of that same revolution song. ‘Everybody dancing for applause,’ he sings, ‘when the song is how we rise above.’
“People always talk shit about religious people and spirituality,” says Cruz, “like ‘Oh, you believe in a man in the sky.’ But then the same people come up to me and look to me like I, or my songs, have the answers to their questions. Because everyone’s looking for something, everybody needs something. Sometimes, as a dad and as a husband, I wish I could call my dad or somebody and just ask ‘What the fuck do I do here?’ Everybody needs a Northern star. So, while those two lines kind of contradict each other, at the same time they lend to each other that we’re all just looking for something and we all put our belief in something, no matter how ridiculous or superstitious it is. And those things can let you down, but they also can rise you up.”
Regardless of the pressure it may have put on the band, and despite Cruz’s insecurity that being a Northern star could let people down, Strung Out’s songs have been lifting people up for three-and-a-half decades now. Dead Rebellion is no different. In a world that Cruz sees as incredibly divided, one that—as he outlines in the afore-mentioned “Cages”—sees people constantly building what he calls “ideological walls” around each other, his hopes are this record can help tear them down.
“The key to this record,” says Cruz, “is technology and divisiveness—divisive language, divisive attitudes, divisive ideologies. I feel I was abandoned in a way, by a lot of things. What happened to bringing people together? I thought that that’s what we started doing this for. It’s still a huge part of who I am, and it seeps into the lyrics – trying to just find some common ground with people again and remind people that we’re all the same. At the end of the day, when the lights go out, we all want the same thing. And that’s where the title Dead Rebellion came from – like, we got so far and here we are right back again, just fragmented and at each other’s throats constantly.”
That, then, is the crux of Dead Rebellion. Produced, mixed, and recorded by Shawn McGee at Artistry Recording Studio in Las Vegas, it might represent a new chapter for Strung Out, but it’s guided by the same principles that have always driven them. And while Cruz says he’s never thought of Strung Out as a political band, this record—like all Strung Out records—has captured the zeitgeist and the self-destructive political climate, especially in the USA, perfectly.
“I struggle with the political thing,” says Cruz. “I don’t think we’re political. I think we’re just human. We’re a bunch of guys who are like everybody else. We’re not that smart. We’re just five guys that had nothing in common and we’ve proved to the world that you can come together and make something beautiful if you put your bullshit aside. It’s as simple as that.”
Overtly political or otherwise, Dead Rebellion is nevertheless a record informed by and reacting to the world we live in and all the experience and wisdom that Cruz has attained over the years. It’s also one built on the unwavering principles that the band has had at their core from the very beginning. So, while Cruz hopes that it can help unify people, he’s more than aware that that’s very likely too much to ask. But that doesn’t mean he’s not going to try.
“I know that’s not going to happen,” he admits. “We’re too far gone. There’s a saying ‘You can never go back home’, and I feel like the horses are out the stable and they’re running wild. So this is my declaration of war, in a way—a war to stay true and to just go down like the person I know I am, to stay true to myself and to stay true to my brothers–and go down believing what I know is right, to look people in the eye and give them a chance, and to listen and to try my best to bring people together. And that’s the hill that I’m going to die on.”

         Tour Dates with Less Than Jake:

  • 15 Mar 2024 in St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
  • 16 Mar 2024 in Charleston, SC, US @ Music Farm
  • 17 Mar 2024 in Asheville, NC, US @ The Orange Peel
  • 18 Mar 2024 in Norfolk, VA, US @ The NorVa
  • 20 Mar 2024 in Boston, MA, US @ Big Night Live
  • 21 Mar 2024 in Brooklyn, NY, US @ Warsaw
  • 22 Mar 2024 in Montreal, QC, Canada @ L’Olympia
  • 23 Mar 2024 in Ottawa, ON, Canada @ Bronson Centre
  • 24 Mar 2024 in Toronto, ON, Canada @ History
  • 26 Mar 2024 in Grand Rapids, MI, US @ The Intersection
  • 27 Mar 2024 in Bloomington, IL, US @ The Castle Theatre
  • 28 Mar 2024 in Cincinnati, OH, US @ Bogart’s
  • 29 Mar 2024 in Reading, PA, US @ Reverb

Dead Rebellion Track-listing:

1.    Future Ghosts
2.    Signal Fires
3.    New Gods
4.    White Owls
5.    Life You Bleed
6.    Cages
7.    Empire Down
8.    Resistance
9.    Ceremony
10.  Veronica’s Song
11.  Dystopian Party Bus
12.  Plastic Skeletons

Ilium – Quantum Evolution Event

I would like to start this off by saying that I am not qualified to properly review this album. I would rate my knowledge of punk rock as strong to very strong, depending on the time period and geographical location. With the exception of late 80s/early 90s hip-hop, I am remarkably ignorant of any other type of music. This release is about as punk rock as Phantom of the Opera, so I will be winging it, or “bullshitting”.

Ilium are a heavy metal band. Now, as many of you know, there are essentially two types of metal. There’s the kind where you can read the font, and the kind where you can’t. Well, you can read Ilium’s. It’s written plain as day on a flying dagger with a gargoyle perched atop the handle. These guys go beyond just having a decipherable font though.

This is a special subgenre of metal for dudes who shop at that weird store at the mall where you can buy a sword. Their Bandcamp page describes them as “symphonic metal”, which sounds appropriate as it has all the drama and flamboyance of a highly choreographed Broadway production. To be clear, I’m not bagging on them. These guys are masters (or wizards) of their craft. I’m sure this isn’t what they (or any other metal band ever) were going for, but this EP is fun. It’s a lot more fun than the kind of metal with cookie monster vocals where you don’t even know what the band is called because their name is just a bunch of menacing scribbles.

One of their previous releases is called “Enviro Metal”, and appears to be comprised of songs about caring for planet Earth. The cover art depicts a peaceful intergalactic Serengeti plain. I think the genre could use more of that. You never see heavy metal artwork where the landscape is properly cared for. It’s always like, this used to be a city, but now it’s been destroyed and this corpse in the foreground is laughing at me.

I’m only guessing here, but my assumption is that this type of metal is not fashionable, and that Ilium are complete dorks. Great! They’re a lot cooler than some Burzum worshiping wannabe viking motherfucker with sketchy politics. This EP is ridiculous and crazy, and I love it.

The term ilium comes from the final segment of the small intestine, which is appropriate because these guys are really working on some new shit. Give it a listen, regardless of what you’re into. It’s fun, the way metal should be. 

–Zach Akenson

Split – Voidcrawler & Deconvolution

I was in the mood for something a little more brutal today, and well, I guess I’m in luck. I’m listening to the new split with Deconvolution and Voidcrawler; Four tracks of pure fucking onlsaught!

The EP opens with blistering metal as Deconvolution belts out “Sanctimonious”. A track lodged between some seriously dark metal, and later era Hardcore. Razor vocals, but not screamo, inserted into a crushing metal cacophony of bass, guitar, and drums.

Track two, “Guillotine” introduces itself at a slightly slower pace, only to accelerate into Slayer speeds. It owes as much to 80s Thrash as it does to 90s Death metal. 

Photo by Reikon Devore

Track three brings us into Voidcrawler territory. “Certain Fatality” offers further sonic assault. Relentless chugging riffs and an angry growl grip you straight by the throat. The song winds down with what I can only describe as death by weed wacker. 

The final track “Torment” bursts at the seams with unbridled anguish, the very torment the title invokes. Extreme metal solos lace the tracks and neatly sew up its bone crushing grind. 

A brief, yet brutal split from bands who, if they haven’t been, would be right at home at Wacken Open Air. (During some better year, when music festivals return) 


1 Deconvolution- Sanctimonious

2 Deconvolution- Guillotine

3 Voidcrawler- Certain Fatality

4 Voidcrawler- Torment

Press Release:

Blindsided Records’ 4th release is about to be unleashed into the world. A 7” vinyl record featuring Voidcrawler (NL) & Deconvolution (CH), each taking up one side of the wax. Having played together several times the combination was a slamdunk as the music from both outfits complement each other perfectly. The riff filled record will drop both digitally and physically on 7” vinyl on June 12th, 2020.

DECONVOLUTION will kick off the record with raw hardcore combined with juicy thrash metal riffs. The Swiss band, hailing from Solothurn, has been working hard since 2015 and released their first EP ‘Fool’s Path’ in 2017. Sharing the stage with major hardcore bands Terror, Broken Teeth, Hawser and Expire to name a few, they gained momentum in the European hardcore scene. A promo cassette was released in 2019 and Blindsided Records is more than proud to feature them on this record.

On ‘Sanctimonious’ the band talks about the annihilation of our world, two faced politicians and the destruction of the environment. ‘Guillotine’ is about a group of people suffering and rising up against their leader through violent means. It’s easy to draw parallels with certain US leaders as the symbolic monarch, especially in these trying times.

Side two is occupied by the most terrifying band in the Netherlands, VOIDCRAWLER. In just two years the Dutch band have already played shows all over Europe and released their acclaimed EP ‘Maddening Descent’ last year. The band produces an unique blend of extremely angry metal and hardcore. Lyrically frontman Lennart explores similar themes as DECONVOLUTION, for example he imagines the end of the world on ‘Certain Fatality’.

Blindsided Records

No Takers – S/T

Currently listening to a self-titled release from No Takers. The seven track release is aggressive, hardcore punk, with tinges of speed metal nicely interwoven into the mix. Hints of Agnostic Front, Madball, and Sick Of It All, and D.R.I. are dancing through my head as the tracks spin on.

The band, while certainly a product of its influences, manages to provide a take on the genre that is simultaneously brand new, yet oddly familiar. It’s as though a band you loved from the late 80s found a previously unreleased album somewhere in a vault. You’ve never heard it before, but you totally know where it’s coming from.

As a product of 80’s metal, punk, and hardcore, I’m definitely onboard with the sound. It’s well crafted, fast, intense, and articulate. What’s not to like?

-Jerry Actually

No Takers, from Denver, CO, combine the speed and ferocity of 90s street punk with the passion, intensity and creativity of 80s hardcore. Drawing influence from bands across genres, this 4 piece uses intricate metal-inspired riffs over an unrelenting rhythm section to create a sound of their own.

Brandon Davis – Vocals
Delon Beckett– Guitar
Jason Chavez – Bass
Ryan Longenecker – Drums


Threatpoint – RIP

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Ominous, dark, ambient sounds slowly give way to high speed menacing in the form of distraught distorted guitar, pummeling drums, thundering bass, and brutal yet harrowing vocals. That’s what you get on the beginning of R.I.P. the new release by Scranton, PA (The Electric City) based, Threatpoint.

Fucky yeah! I say. Old school thrash metal style. Reminds me a bit of latter year M.O.D. vocally, but more metal musically. It’s funny, I suppose. I was way into metal and thrash when I was a kid. I don’t listen to it a bunch these days. Listening to this makes me feel a bit nostalgic, and it also makes me want to start a mosh pit in my office. (I’m writing this while on a coffee break, ‘cause outside my spare time, I’m a fucking office drone.)

Because I’ve been out of this genre for a while I don’t have anything to readily compare it to. Not that comparisons are all that important. Suffice it to say that it’s doomy thrash metal. The band bio indicates that they’re a “Groove Metal” band. I don’t know what that means. Sounds fucking like something a hippie that’s also into meth might say. Beyond my shallow categorization, R.I.P. is a freaking gut punch and just what I need on a Friday afternoon to get psyched for the weekend.

Lyrically the themes are dark, as I’m sure you can assume from the song titles. It’s different from the more “Fuck you, and fuck society too” type of mantra that you get from hardcore punk. Much more gothic, doom, you know, more metal.

What I liked most of all, was the Spotify commercial in the middle of the album. … ok I actually didn’t fucking like that at all.

At the end of the day, I’d say this is a damn solid, dark thrash metal release from a band to which I hadn’t been privileged to hear before today.

Check em out!

Jerry Actually

Deadend Machineland
Tombstone of My Enemies
Thy Will Be Done
Light Bleeds Through the Black
Bury the Wicked
Laugh Now… Cry Later
Writings on the Wall
One in the Chamber, One in the Chest
Face Your Fear
Angels with Broken Wings

Die Hexe is slated to release ‘Coven’, their second EP on February 11th 2017

In support of the release the band will embark on a cross-Canada tour. A video for ‘Distress’, the first single off ‘Coven’ is available here.


Tour Dates:
Feb. 15th – Press Cafe. Ottawa, ON.
Feb. 17th – Jimmy Jazz. Guelph, ON. 
Feb. 18th – D-Beatstro. Toronto, ON. 
Feb. 19th – The Assylum. Sudbury, ON. 
Feb. 23rd – Sewing Machine. Edmonton, AB. 
Feb. 25th – The Vineyard. Chilliwack, BC. 
Feb. 26th – 333. Vancouver, BC. 
Feb. 27th – The Space. Kamloops, BC. 
Mar. 1st – Distorion. Calgary, AB. 
Mar. 2nd – Liquid Cafe. Medicine Hat, AB. 
Mar. 3rd – Mercury Cafe. Regina, SK.
Mar. 24th – Ajax, ON
Mar. 25th – Ottawa, ON
Mar. 26th – Quebec City, QC
Mar. 26th – Fredricton, NB
Mar 29th – Moncton, NB
Mar. 30th – Charlottetown, PEI
Mar. 31st – St. John, NB
Apr. 1st – Halifax, NS
Apr. 2nd – Woodstock, NB

Hay Perro – Eastern Ideas of Death


© 2011 Hay Perro
Rating: ★★★★☆

More back than ever before, and better too even, Hay Perro resurges with a gauntlet of renaissance metal. Still from Chicago and rocking the four piece combo, Eastern Ideas of Death jams with a serious fury of doom tinged metalicious rock and roll.

The new release gives up nine tracks of Maiden/Sabbath-esque tracks that will damn near shred your face off. I think this latest effort reaps the benefit of time. The production is better and sound is much more coalesced. The trappings of Zeke are gone from this new effort replaced with a much more consistent foundation.

The funny thing is that while I re-read the review of 2008’s Summer of Destruction (EP), I am getting bits of deja vu. Their sound has definitely kept consistent over that last several year. Now in 2011, it is just that much more polished: The new razor edge of the sword lowered to impale your sniveling non-metal guts.

While the songs border on the too long side, for short attention span folks like me, they have enough musical diversity to keep things interesting. When it all boils down, the result is one strong ass rock record. I’d love to have this on vinyl, with the knobs on the stereo dimed, shaking the paint off the neighbors walls.

–Jerry Actually

1. The Isopod
2. Vicious Beast
3. No Visions
4. Ride the Laser
5. Homunculus
6. Blue Mother
7. Mammal Disaster
8. He’s From Norway
9. Eastern Ideas of Death

Life of Agony

Life Of Agony and I Scream Records sign worldwide deal.

I Scream Records is very excited and proud to welcome Life Of Agony to the family.

On Saturday April 3rd 2010 I Scream Records will be recording & filming Life Of Agony’s performance at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium, the second show of their exclusive European “20 Years Strong” tour. In late 2009 the band performed their debut album “River Runs Red” in its entirety during a few exclusive, sold out, US shows and now, after popular demand, they’re also heading over to Europe to perform a set built around this amazing, legendary album.

The release of this “20 Years Strong” live album, which will also include a free bonus DVD of the complete show at the Ancienne Belgique, exclusive footage and much more, is set for early this Summer.

Crossover-metal kings, Life of Agony, formed in the summer of ’89 and quickly built a cult-following upon the release their now classic, debut album, “River Runs Red” released through Roadrunner Records. The band’s unique sound and honest lyrics have captivated audiences for two decades now. In celebration of this huge milestone, the group has been performing the record that started it all!!

“We’re really excited to capture this moment in time. Twenty years, man, that’s no joke! If you would’ve asked us when we were kids growin’ up in Brooklyn, if we thought that we’d ever make something this important to people around the world, we probably would’ve laughed in your face. But, here we are, still selling out shows after all this time and turning people’s tragedy into hope. Somehow, through the music, we’ve helped a lot of folks out there. And that’s what’s always been most important to us.” – LOA Bassist, Alan Robert

Laurens Kusters says: “We’re very excited about this collaboration. This will be an amazing release, recorded at the Ancienne Belgique, one of the most exclusive European clubs, in Brussels Belgium, the city where I Scream Records was founded in 1994.”

Life Of Agony “20 Years Strong” – European Tour 2010

April 2nd – Effenaar in Eindhoven, The Netherlands (sold out)

April 3rd – Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium

April 4th – Matrix in Bochum, Germany

It Dies Today – Free Download


The wait is over and Trustkill band IT DIES TODAY are set to release their long awaited album LIVIDITY, out September 15. Look for the band to kick off a tour with Vanna and Arsonists get all the girls on September 10 in support.

Free download of a brand new track now at The

Hailing from Buffalo, NY IT DIES TODAY formed in 2001. The group creates a blend of brutal riffs and punishing breakdowns that are coupled with huge anthemic and driving melodies. This dichotomy within their sound has gained them fans across the metal, hardcore and rock scenes. At their formation, most band members were only 16 years old and although now only in their early 20s this is a band who has already accomplished more than bands twice their age and they have only just begun.
Look for the true strength, ability and resolve of this band to explode with “Lividity” on September 15.

Live with Vanna and Arsonists Get All The Girls
September 10 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
September 11 – Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground
September 12 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Loft
September 13 – South Hackensack, NJ @ School Of Rock
September 14 – Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
September 16 – Jacksonville, NC @ Hooligan’s
September 17 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
September 18 – Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero
September 19 – Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box
September 23 – Houston, TX @ The Java Jazz
September 24 – San Antonio, TX @ Scout Bar
September 25 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
September 27 – Denver, CO @ The Marquis Theatre
September 28 – Farmington, NM @ Gator’s
September 30 -=2 0Tempe, AZ @ The Sets
October 1 – Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go Go
October 6 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
October 10 – Detroit, MI @ Harpo’s
October 14 – Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s
October 15 – Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
October 16 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
October 17 – Toronto, CA @ Wreck Room

Mute – The Raven

(c)2008 Mute on 2nd Wave Records
Rating: ★★★★★

mute-theraven I’m kicking myself for never listening to Mute before. This CD hasn’t left my player since it was sent, but it was time to take it out to write a review. GO GET THIS NOW.  Seriously, if you like music, you should like Mute.  This an amazing album — skate-punk steeped in metal, sweetened with power chords and harmonies, served up with a twist of punch-the-air songs to quench your music thirst.

I can taste the Lagwagon flavor, but Mute takes it over the edge…like a hotdog compares to gourmet imported Italian sausage.  The Raven serves up 12 tasty tracks, amazingly crafted — both lyrically and musically — and beautifully presented.  These guys are technically proficient, crisp, punchy, and savory.  Some lyrics toe the edge of heartbreak and come back swinging, others have you banging your head or shaking it in empathy.  They sing “Can’t be slowing down…” and here’s hoping they don’t.

The Raven is perfect for an afternoon barbeque or a raging party — you may need to re-up on beer, but you can just hit repeat on this CD and be sated.