Words by Audra Tracy

It’s a few weeks before beach season takes over the Jersey shore, and the great city of Asbury Park is…well, to put it nicely, “in transition”. Orange traffic cones and dusty construction signage line the uneven pavement on Kingsley Street, just one block in from the historic waterfront. Crossing over onto 4th Ave, the sidewalks have been reduced to piles of rubble. And yet, dedicated locals dodged and detoured their way to the front steps of Asbury Lanes, all just to see a little band from the Fat Wreck Chords family called Strung Out.

Inside, the venue was teeming with testosterone – the dude-to-lady ratio was probably 5:1. And when there are no ladies around, there is nothing left for dudes to do but form a circle and beat the crap out of one another to the sounds of searing guitar solos.

Taking the stage around 10PM, the West Coast crew opened their set with “Rats In The Walls”, off
Transmission.Alpha.Delta, the band’s first new album in six years. They seemed no worse for the wear – whether they were tearing through new material or getting nostalgic with “the old shit”, the delivery was tight and the energy electric.

Despite all the pushing, shoving and stomping in the crowd, you could feel a sense of brotherhood growing, like these crazed animals were bonding through song. As a female, it was fascinating to watch. This must be how Jane Goodall felt when she was studying those apes in the wild.

Thrashing their way to Thursday night glory, Strung Out left it all on stage in a big, sloppy pool of sweat. And the fans? They got a much-needed night of intensive punk rock therapy.


TheWaster.com | Asbury Park