So I'm buying a guitar this friday and I've narrowed it down. Will be playing lead in a garage band playing Tool/Hendrix/Queens of the Stone Age inspired stuff.

They are both 179.00
If your playing Hendrix Go for the strat,Get a left handed and flip it You will be harcore Lol.
The Epi.... it will last longer and it's easier to adjust the action (among other perks). You're going to grow out of the Squier in about 4 months and need a new guitar, you'll probably get a year or two out of the Epi. Besides, it will sound bassier... probably a better tone for the Tool/Queens of the Stone Age stuff, and decent for Hendrix.

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I'm as shallow as a dry lake bed.
get the epi. better beginner guitars in my opinion. youll probably realise in a year or two that its not the real deal but until then youll be just fine.
Well, I had a Squier Tele for a year and I loved it, sounded great. I'm not a beginner.