It’s the 4th of July and we have American punk band Strung Out in town celebrating their classic Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues’ album. It’s also Adelaide’s iconic venue Fowlers fifteenth Birthday too, so cause for double celebration as we get out of the cold and into the heat of the masses, here to enjoy some good ol’ ‘Merican punk rock.
Starting the proceedings for the night is Adelaide’s Thrashboard. A mixture of punk rhythms, hardcore vocals and thrash guitar work, the already half full Fowlers seems suitably impressed, even if it is from a distance. Having recently supported bands like Good Riddance and on the back of their debut The Journey, they are not letting up. They’re tight, heavy, fast, energetic and have a good rapport with the crowd. There is more to come from these guys, so watch this space!
The Lizards are also from Adelaide and they’ve also been making waves this year, most notably supporting Suicidal Tendencies. The three piece don’t waste any time in getting the fast filling room pumping. Imagine mixing Pennywise with Anthrax and you’re someway there. You get the impression this band just want to play and have fun, and have fun they do. Despite some bass issues midway through the set, the band plough on as a few of punk rock kids down the front begin to get right into the groove.
From the amount of checked shirts and flat caps around, it can mean only thing; a seminal punk rock band is nearby. California’s Strung Out come out and waste no time burning the faces of the packed audience. Playing the Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues album from start to finish , the five piece start with Firecracker then straight into Better Days. A quick chat with the crowd and bang, Solitaire is played.
By this time, there have already been numerous crowd surfers as well as a rowdy mosh pit. The energy from the crowd never letting up as the band keep going further through the set list. Monster, Radio Suicide, Six Feet, it’s all there, sung loud and proud.
Singer Jason Cruz belts the words out however he need not bothered, as true to form, the punk rock crowd sung every word back. Despite the ferocity down front, the band acknowledge that they’ve never seen any trouble at an Australian show in their career before blasting out Speed Ball.
They may be a little older now however the frantic pacing from each side of the stage from bassist Chris Aiken, who also took a fond liking to one of the road crew fixing the drums, belies that. The guitarists Rob Ramos and Jake Kiley keep the grooves going, even chucking in a little Creeping Death, before a quick two song encore closes the night.
The band’s back catalogue of two and half minute songs means that even though fifdteen songs have been played, the shows finishes after just over an hour, which is probably well enough judging by how drenched and exhausted some of the crowd were. Strung Out didn’t string anything out tonight, they played fast, the played loud and the crowd duly reciprocated. There was no blues, very few teenagers however Strung Out celebrated 4th of July by leaving Fowlers a wasteland.
Live Review by Iain McCallum