Mixing up punk speed, metal guitar power, and a dash of electronics for seasoning, Southern California rockers Strung Out were formed in 1989, with a lineup featuring vocalist Jason Cruz, guitarists Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos, bassist Jim Cherry, and drummer Adam Austin. By the time the band released their first 7", Austin had been replaced by Jordan Burns, formerly of Ten Foot Pole. 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.
Following a long-established production pattern, Mike Oldfield assembled some relatively simple pop- and rock-flavored numbers following one long introductory piece on his 1983 Disky release, Crisis. The 20-minute opening title-track is a quintessential Oldfield texture study that consists of sparkling synth washes with edgier material weaving in and out. A fine setup, this track cleanses the aural pallet, preparing the listener nicely for the tunes that follow. Yes fans who can adjust to the sugary highlight "In High Places" will enjoy Jon Anderson's springy vocal work on the track. The energetic guitar romp "Taurus 3" will also appeal to most prog and art rock fans. Those in search of more ethereal Oldfield material should be aware of this record's pop leanings, but open-minded listeners will have a good time exploring Crisis, one of Oldfield's better releases of this type.