Loooong before affixing “-core” to a genre became an insult, ’90s SoCal punk rockers Strung Out were shredding it up on top of D-beats played faster than most tr00 drummers could blast if Dino Cazares was threatening to sit on them. Strung Out combined guitar acrobatics with Bad Religion-style anthemic punk before metalcore was even a word… shit, they did it before the Swedish bands that influenced metalcore even existed. Make no mistake about it, this band is punk rock, but they always found a way to let you know they were good at their instruments without bashing you over the head with it.

I was never a huge Strung Out fan so much as an appreciative admirer from afar. The only album of theirs I own is 2002’s An American Paradox, which I guess is one of their more “commercial” affairs. But MS reader Dustinwind reminded me of them by sending a cover of Ozzy’s “Bark at the Moon” from a b-sides and rarities collection released in 2009. The cover is distinctly punk in flavor and execution; it’s fast as fuck and really rough around the edges (in a good way). But it’s got a scorching guitar solo in the middle, and the fact that a punk band would cover a song like this at all demonstrates their obvious heavy metal influence.


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