Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
The toughest task for anyone who knows that their blood tends to boil is the stem the heat source. They find - and this is the greatest contributing factor to their frequent boils - is that they have never had any such luck curbing any of those sources. If anything, they become greater and more irksome as they years pass. They become the tumors that are inoperable. These outside forces stir themselves up with their inner fractures and flint and they become hard-to-manage infernos.
For most, they feel rational. What's not rational about being disgusted with the shortcomings in others, the cruelty in others and a general lack of cooperation between good sense and action? Or, why can't more people just forget about themselves for a while, be kind to others, not fuck everything up and exhibit just a little goddamned decency for a change? The brotherhood of man can feel bankrupt too often and the downward spiral insists of gaining speed.
We just came out of the warmest year on record and you can feel the justification in Strung Out lead singer Jason Cruz singing, "I never needed anything from your twisted, fucked up, dying world." He feels the rage. He sees the sickness and the death that's not been clinically diagnosed, just pointed at, marveled at as some phenomenon. It's a gradual nightmare that's become present, while still debatable for some. The line, while touching on a "dying world" is more micro than talking about a real dying world. It's about an individual's dying world and the mess that they've made of it, but they have no plans to fix any of it. They've driven themselves into the muddiest spot in the field and they will be spinning their tires, indifferently stuck. The one viewing it all must walk away from it or get thwapped with the splatter, though the unsettling feels comes from knowing that you're cutting ties with a disaster that will never cease and it could spread.
It's still debatable what social protocol is, though it's hard to believe that manners and etiquette weren't figured out long, long ago. Strung Out, for the last 23 years, since the band started in Simi Valley, California, has always been about exposing the hypocrisies and the hard-to-swallow behaviors of the dolts and the jerk-offs, the fakers and the liars. They focus their ire on the people who could just simply be better, who could make a change that would make all the difference in the world, in so many ways and for so many others. Instead, they abuse people and they spew ugliness. They treat everyone else like shadows that they'd like to manipulate and exhaust, caring little for the repercussions. They look at the twisted, fucked up, dying world and they take sick pleasure in it, commenting, "I made that."