Strung Out Agents of the Underground

Strung Out Agents of the Underground
The seventh studio album from punk rock institution Strung Out marks their 20th year as a band. As if that wasn't impressive enough, Agents of the Underground is quite possibly their finest work to date. The record takes the tightest and catchiest moments of Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues (from 1994) and combines them with the darkness and edgier material found on 2004's Exile in Oblivion. Further, Strung Out trim the fat of later albums, such as Blackhawks over Los Angeles (which boasted a total of seven guitar solos), giving way to a skin-tight, ferociously fast, catchy beast of a record. Sometimes it can be difficult to write material that's catchy without losing any intensity but on songs like "Jack Knife" and "Andy Warhol," Strung Out masterfully jam hooks inside of relentlessly fast beats and technical structures. For a band that have toured endlessly, and continue to perform on a level as professional and innovative as this, Agents of the Underground is a testament to Strung Out's incredible career in punk rock music. Here's to 20 more. (Fat Wreck Chords)