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California Rock Quintet Strung Out Announce New Album

California Rock Quintet Strung Out Announce New Album

Longstanding California rock band STRUNG OUT are pleased to announce their brand new studio album titled Songs of Armor and Devotion (pre-order). Produced by Cameron Webb(Motörhead, Megadeth), Songs of Armor and Devotion is a record that brims with the same ferocious fire the band had at the very start of its career close to 30 years ago when frontman Jason Cruz was still a teenager, but which also demonstrates how far its members have evolved as songwriters, musicians and people. Leading the collection is the moody "Daggers" which features Cruz telling a story of personal turmoil within the backdrop of an increasingly dystopian America. Stream the track on YouTube HERE or Spotify HERE.

Songs of Armor and Devotion was created out an inherent need for Strung Out frontmanJason Cruz to reveal his fresh feelings on loss, the current state of America, and his continued drive to further his connection with fans through more dynamic, and evolved, songwriting. It's a punk record, but it's also much more than that. It's a political record that addresses the state we're in, but at its core maintains a belief that humanity overrides everything. It's pain and sadness and hope and rebellion all wrapped into one powerful statement that also serves as a culmination of the band's three decades together.

"Some songs can be armor: they can repel and they can guard you," explains Cruz. "And they can also bring you comfort and speak of love and belonging to something. To be a good and gentle person, you have to put up a little bit of armor, but that armor never works, because you're so caring and sensitive and vulnerable that your heart is going to be displayed on that armor anyway. There are so many thoughts and feelings in my head that I just opened up and let it go so I could explore the duality of having to defend and protect what's inside, and at the same time make it available for the world."

Ideas flow throughout this record both musically and thematically, the vulnerability and uncertainty of Cruz's lyrics lying in stark contrast to the fierce, pummeling nature of its songs. That juxtaposition has always been present in Strung Out's songs, but for this record, that push-and-pull has become the central basis and focus as his heart and thoughts struggle to make sense of the chaos of the world at large. That's not to say this album has the answers, but in analyzing everything, it offers the listener - and Cruz himself - the various contradictory paths of life that, hopefully, can lead to some kind of truth or understanding.

All those thoughts and feelings swirl together on this record as Cruz - who refers to himself and his vulnerability as the "flesh in the machine" - tries to find some sort of resolution. "Daggers" tells a story of personal turmoil within the backdrop of an increasingly dystopian America, while the grief and sadness contained with "Monuments" is offset by the pulsating, defiant frenzy of the song's tune. "Disappearing City" blends a raucous energy with a sense of resignation but - importantly - not defeat, "Under The Western Sky" brims with Strung Out's trademark sense of melody and coruscating aggression, and the insistent ebb and flow of album closer "Bloody Knuckles" is ravaged with both despair and a kind of beauty at the same time. The end result is simply Cruz continuing to live out his destiny the only way he knows how.

"This opportunity I've been given, and everything I've been doing, I don't have any say in it," Cruz says. "I don't have a choice. I have things inside of me that swell up when I go through this, but it's what people put into what they hear and what they then take out of it, that's the magic. I need to do this, but if it's not making a connection, I have no right to be here. My favorite part about America is the pain of the poor people and what they create out of it - the culture that the poorest people of this country have created. From that came blues, jazz, rock'n'roll, and, to me, coming from nothing and creating something is everything to me."


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