Strung Out / Handguns / The Darlings w/ locals Black on Black
- Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, 8 p.m.
- The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence
- Age limit: Not available
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Southern California punkers Strung Out were formed in 1992, with a lineup featuring vocalist Jason Cruz, guitarists Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos, bassist Jim Cherry, and drummer Jordan Burns (formerly of Ten Foot Pole, who joined up after the band's first 7"). The quintet signed with NOFX bassist Fat Mike's Fat Wreck Chords label in 1993 and issued a debut album, Another Day in Paradise, the following year. The band took an artistic leap forward with the 1996 follow-up, Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues, an album whose rapid-fire playing began to build their following among fans of new-school punk-pop. In 1998 Strung Out issued the Crossroads & Illusions EP and the full-length Twisted by Design, the latter a more progressive work that found the group beginning to mix elements of technique-oriented heavy metal into its instrumental attack; in addition, Fat Wreck Chords issued a set of early Strung Out material titled The Skinny Years: Before We Got Fat. Cherry left the band in 1999, going on to play with Zero Down and Pulley, and was replaced by Chris Aiken on bass. The band returned in 2000 with the EP The Element of Sonic Defiance and followed two years later with An American Paradox, the band's first album to chart on Billboard (hitting number 11 on the Independent Albums chart). Their summer 2003 live album featured 21 tracks and comic book artwork done by Cruz himself. Strung Out's fifth full-length, Exile in Oblivion, was produced by Matt Hyde (Slayer) and issued in November 2004; it contained the song "Swan Dive," which was a tribute to former bassist Jim Cherry, who had sadly passed away in July 2002 from a lifelong heart condition. In June of 2007 the band's next effort, Blackhawks Over Los Angeles, came out. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide.
LA alt-rock outfit The Darlings are on a roll lately, and they’re only just getting started. After beating out hundreds of bands to win 2010’s Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, the band garnered attention from influential LA modern rock station KROQ, which added their songs “Broken Hearts Still Beating” and “Let’s Roll” into steady rotation on DJ Kat Corbett’s weekly Locals Only show, resulting in them becoming a Bud Light Band of the Month on the station.
The band’s track “What Lies Below” was also picked up by the Anaheim Ducks, who used the track for their 09/10 season promo spots on Prime Ticket. The Darlings’ music has also appeared on FOX TV’s Good Day LA. In addition to securing endorsements from Ernie Ball, Supernatural Cymbals and the FC Cancer Foundation, the band hit the road on tours with the likes of Face To Face, Strung Out and Pennywise and shared the stage with Sum 41, Bad Religion, and Social Distortion.
The Darlings were recently showcased at NAMM 2012 and played in front of massive crowds at this year’s Musink Tattoo Convention and Music Festival. The band was recently added to the lineup for this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, marking their 4th time performing on the annual trek.
The Darlings’ debut LP release, The New Escape, due out April 24 on Gadsen Records/UMG, melds the individual members’ classic rock and alternative influences into a hearty dose of honest and pure, rock and roll that steers clear of trends and posturing. Stand out songs include "Broken Heart Still Beating" "Hypnotize "Head Hunter" and "These Wings."