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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, Rovi