Strung Out’s latest album, Agents Of The Underground, is not only their 7th full length, but it also marks the band’s 20th anniversary and is a true testament to their relevance and longevity. Think about it: two decades. Two decades in the underground with thousands of live shows, tours on five (5!) different continents, over a million records sold… and they’ve managed to do it all while on an independent record label. More striking than their massive sales, which is a notable for any artist in this day and age, but the fact that the band that has never had help from “the industry”. They may not have household name status, but they do have a colossal worldwide following and a loyal fan base that has been with them since the very start. Such is Strung Out’s true legacy: devotion to the music, devotion to the band, and devotion to the fans.
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.
“Whats up we are a pop punk band from Harrisburg Pa. We believe in hard work and having fun. We don’t have famous friends we are not critically acclaimed and no one in this band was ever in some famous band who’s name we could drop or coat tail we could ride. But we will get up earlier than you and work longer and harder. That has to count for something. If it doesn’t then at least we had a hell of a good time trying and made some amazing friends along the way.”
During the early and mid-2000′s La Armada established themselves as one of the most influential bands in the Hardcore/Punk scene in their native Dominican Republic where they played countless shows and notched 2 releases under their belt. In 2007, after making a tough but groundbreaking decision to leave a land where even DIY culture is a commodity and very limited platforms existed to present their music, the band decided to relocate to Chicago.
After becoming immersed in the city’s infamous music scene and touring extensively around the country, the band became exposed to distinct subgenres including grindcore, powerviolence, crust-punk and traditional hardcore & metal sounds. These influences, fused with the band’s native tendencies towards the intricate percussion lines present in Latin music, have developed into their first proper release, a self-titled 11 song vinyl, which delivers crushing bursts of what the band has affectionately coined “Latino Hardcore Fury”. Released in late March 2012 on behalf of the Memphis, TN label Fat Sandwich Records this album successfully manages to possess the brutality and energy that bleeds out of their live shows night after night. Recorded, mixed and mastered by longtime friend and collaborator, Juan Carlos “Kanky” Lora (Marc Rizzo, Kingdom of Sorrow, Cavalera conspiracy, Jasta), the record will have you raising your eyebrows and fists with its aggressive riffs, intricate song structures, piercing vocals, and driving rhythm section.
Backing up their musical delivery are sharp witted lyrics that touch on a variety of pertinent social issues such as immigration rights, globalization, and class struggle in general, the band takes on a cynical perspective on governmental authority and phoney corporate “first world” activism. Along with many of their Chicago predecessors La Armada is unwilling to compromise their native Spanish language in their music; the band addresses this usually recognized linguistic barrier by taking their live set on the road. With an extensive touring background that has taken them to every corner of the US, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic; and now with an album that truly personifies the band’s sound, La Armada will now be touring full time visiting the rest of Latin America, Mexico, Canada and Europe.