Southern California’s noisy, progressive post hardcore act STRUCKOUT are on the verge of the July 20th release of their third self-titled LP, and we’re honoured to host the premiere of their new epic single “Queer Shit”! They wear their ’90s emotional post hardcore sounds on their sleeve, so it’s not hard to spot shades of both older and modern influences, but they have surely developed their own unique approach to dynamics and emotional intellect that combines fine re-interpretations of their predecessor’ work with more forward thinking ideas for songwriting. The new single captures them succeeding on their own artistic terms, and we can’t wait to hear the whole LP (pre-order HERE).
Struckout is a noisy post-hardcore band from Long Beach, California, formed in 2012 by bassist & vocalist Daniel Speer. Later joined by percussionist James Goldmann and guitarists Josue Quiquivix and Garrett La Bonte, the 4-piece outfit has toured extensively in the western half of the United States, playing both local shows and opening for national acts including Glassjaw and Jeff Rosenstock. Struckout also plans to hit the east coast in late August with the emotional hardcore band Dreamwell.
Struckout’s catalog includes two full-length records, one EP, and a 12-inch split with experimental indie punks Tomber Lever. Now, having signed with Postmark Records, Struckout will be releasing their third self-titled full-length record on July 20th, 2018. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden (who has worked with Deafheaven, Graf Orlock, Joyce Manor, Loma Prieta, and more), the new album will be released on July 20th, 2018 and will be available on vinyl, CD, and cassette through Postmark Records, as well as digitally through all major outlets (including iTunes, Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, etc.). Preorder here and get the first taste through the amazing, catharctic new single “Queer Shit” below!
On Struckout’s third LP, topics range from the hollow nature of menial tasks at work, the exploitation therein, and the general meaninglessness of things, to what it’s like to live in the political climate of today, trying to push forward, and struggling/coming to terms with identity. This is presented with densely layered musical intensity and vocals dripping with emotion, desperate to reach out and connect with the listener. The sound fluctuates from hushed mumbles and calm, melodic breakdowns to explosive, noisy punches. The overall feeling, were one to draw on comparisons, is something in the spirit of a nuanced permutation of Fugazi.
Here’s what vocalist/bassist Daniel Speer had to say about the record and the personal nature of the track “Queer Shit“:
“The new record is a rebuttal to our previous album, “What You Deserve.” Few people heard that record. It is an album that is almost entirely about navel gazing and asking myself if I really wanted to be a “success.” “Struckout” (the LP) assesses the emptiness that came when I didn’t achieve my previous barometer of success. I was essentially trying to see what rocks are left to turn over, what songs I still have inside of me, and why I still bother playing punk rock music as I steadily approach my late 20s.
There’s a song about a day job that’s really a song about capitalism. There’s a song about watching friends deal with death. And there’s a song about coming out.
I wrote “Queer Shit” during a period of writer’s block between records. I realized that I hadn’t written a song about coming out as bisexual, and I’d accumulated enough feelings on the matter that I could do a brain dump and put it all on one song.
Up until the age of 18, I used to pray that I’d have any sort of thoughts about boys cut out of me – I was raised catholic. Lots of guilt and self hatred wrapped up with that. I remember panicking when I came out in my early 20s, texting in all caps to my friend Carina. She told me exactly what I needed to hear in that moment, which was like, “congrats,” and also “hey, it doesn’t matter.” And that’s how it should be handled, when you come out as bi, or pan, or queer to people in 2018, it really should be acknowledged but not like, you know, a thing. Unless you want to make it a thing. Everyone’s different.
My entire lyrical approach for the song was “I want you to care, but also who gives a shit?”
It’s a complicated batch of feelings. When I refer to my queer identity with such dismissiveness, it’s more so acknowledging that the queer struggle is not the same as the struggle of other marginalized communities. My identity as a queer white latino is nowhere near as threatened as the identities of people of color, especially in these fascistic times.
The last song on the album is my best attempt to put a bow on all of these disparate themes. It’s a call to arms to anyone, myself included, who has sat still with the “correct” opinions, to actually act against fascism, the alt-right, Trump, neoliberalism, your landlord, the police, and any other oppressive force by whatever means necessary. I repeat the line “sharpen your weapons” over and over again, and it can be taken as a figurative call to arms or a literal one.
Some of the clearest words I say in the song are in Spanish, my first language, a language I lose my connection with bit by bit every day.
“Nos Estan Matando”
“They Are Killing Us”
Those words are said in history time and time again when someone calls for justice. I whisper them as detention facilities all over the United States house mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, left without water, without food, in miserable conditions, to be sent to countries where they fled from poverty, and fled from what is for many a death sentence.
It’s more a call to myself, to remind myself of what is at stake while I jump around and try to distance myself from the person who wrote navel gazing punk rock songs. I don’t wanna claim that this type of art has any power or ability to change anything – most change takes place in meeting people who are unlike you in a room and talking through city politics. This song is more of a line in the sand, a reminder of where to put my thoughts when I make my loud obnoxious punk rock songs.”
STRUCKOUT live dates:
May 20 – Costa Mesa, CA @ Tiki Bar
May 22 – La Puente, CA @ Bridgetown DIY
June 4 – Long Beach, CA @ 4th Street Vine
June 10 – Fullerton, CA @ Programme SK
June 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Locker Room
July 20 – Upland, CA @ The Palisades (Record Release)
July 21 – Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space
July 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Emerald House
July 29 – Santa Ana, CA @ Beatnik Bandito
August 7 – Long Beach, CA @ 4th Street Vine
August 8 – Fullerton, CA @ Programme SK