Strung Out, Transmission.Alpha.Delta (Fat Wreck Chords, 2015)

In the '90s, when most of their peers chose to coast on guitar octaves and other clichéd melodic punk musical moves, Strung Out charged forward with a far more interesting formula. Since solidifying their sonic approach on 1998's seminal Twisted by Design album, Strung Out's arrangements have been packed with writhing arrangements and blazing guitar work.

In Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos, the SoCal quintet boasts a twin-guitar team that sits up there with the best of the best thrash metal acts around today.

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Arriving in record stores on March 24, Transmission.Alpha.Delta is Strung Out's eighth studio album since forming back in 1989. Five years in the making, outside of the flamenco-flavored guitars on the appropriately titled track "Spanish Days," the group doesn't mess with their musical blueprint on the new album.

Kiley and Ramos fire off one mouthwatering riff after the other, while bassist Chris Aiken and Jordan Burns hold the rhythmic attack down throughout the album's 12 tracks. Jason Cruz has never disappointed in the vocal department, and Transmission.Alpha.Delta keeps his winning streak going. The way he weaves a vocal melody together is one of the main reasons why Strung Out has appealed to so many people for so many years.

Along with Lagwagon's recently released album, Hang, Strung Out's Transmission.Alpha.Delta is reminding us that (high quality) melodic punk can be so much more interesting when it's being performed by top-notch musicians.

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