Friday, February 19, 2010

Review #68: Scream - Still Screaming (1983)


Year: 1983
Genre: Punk Rock
Sub-Genres: Hardcore
Label: Dischord Records
Tracks: 17
Length: 36 Minutes (Long)
Style: Political/Rebellious
My Rating: 6/8

Scream was a hardcore punk band from the Washington D.C. scene. The band was formed with the original lineup of Peter and Franz Stahl, Skeeter Thompson, and and Kent Stax. They are regarded as being influential in the hardcore genre along with other early D.C. bands, and in my opinion, they're pretty good. This iz their first album. I couldn't find the lyrics to any songs on this album, so I'm just going to make up the interpreted meanings based on the titles of the songs, so just bear with my stupid bullshit.

1. Came Without Warning
Sometimes "came" is the past-tense of the verb "cum". Maybe it's a song about somebody cumming and not warning the recipient in advance. Can't find the lyrics so I guess I'm just going to have to come up with the song meanings myself, and you can't even blame me! Huahahaha. The song starts with a laser-beamy blast of feedback. Alternates between fast and slower sections of the song.

2. Bedlam
This song's about the American Summer of 1981 when Peter Stahl woke up with a lamb in his bed (get it??). Heheheheheheh. It's hard to hear, but the bass is pretty entertaining in this song. Fast, but not as fast as the song before it.

3. Soliditary
This song's about when you take a dump and your poop comes out really solid (like concrete, almost!). This one's pretty melodic and fast. A lot of background chorus vocals... It's really good.

4. Your Wars/Killer
This is a medley of two different songs. The first one is "Your Wars"; A song about not wanting to fight someone else's wars. Peter names a bunch of parts of the army such as the Navy and the Marines. The second one is slightly lengthier, called "Killer". I liked it a little better. It's probably about some guy who kills people.

5. Piece of Her Time
Okay, this one's fast but not as fast as the last few. More "oooh-ooooh-ohhh-ohhh" stuff goin' in the chorus section. What iz it about, you might ask? Well friends, it's about this one chick. She had a bunch of time. Like, a lot of hours worth of it. Some dude borrowed it and dropped it on the concrete. It smashed into little tiny pieces. And he has to pick them all up. What a shame.

6. Human Behavior
Starts with a spoken section which abruptly just EXPLODES IN YOUR FACE into a fast thrasher. Pretty short.

7. Stand
Opens with only bass which sounds real cool alone. It's a song beckoning its listens to 'take a stand' as we're encouraged to "get up". For some reason, just about every other line said in the song has this little ring to it. Gotta love the bass-n'-drum-roll in the middle of the song that just precedes a full letting-it-out which is definitely the best part of the song. The song gets really beautiful at the very end.

8. Fight/American Justice
Another two-in-one track. Fight is just another super-fast song. Not very long, though. The standout here is "American Justice". "American Justice" is a song about law enforcement and police brutality. It's a bit slower, and it a slight ska feel to it. End of Side 1.

9. New Song
This is a new song. It just came out. In 2010. And totally not 1983. And Scream is still around. Totally (actually, they did play a reunion show just a couple months ago!). This song is actually really cool. Starts a little mellow with bass and drums, but it all builds up into something packed with energy and youthful rage. There's even a really cool solo, here!

10. Laissez-Faire
Whether or not they're talking about Laissez-Faire government or the French phrase for "Let it Be", unsure of. Anyways, this is the best song on the album for me. It has an awesome extra clean, happy-sounding guitar added to all the chaos and distortion, really adds a new flavor to it. I love it.

11. Influenced
Begins with the sounds of a dude walking through a hallway and a few various false-starts before the song actually begins. It's fast. The chorus goes "you're influenced... to ignorance!".

12. Hygiene
The intro dialogue almost sounds like they're talking about a guy with a bump on his two-inch wang. Or maybe it's discussing the importants of anal hygiene. Sounds like I'm hearing a lot about some chick in this song. Has a pretty funky feel to it. I think it's the bass... I like it.

13. Cry Wolf
Either about a crying wolf or about the boy who cried wolf. Or about false paranoia-sparking propaganda. Your call. Shortest song on the album.

14. Total Mash
They say the modern term "mosh" (for slam-dancing) comes from the title of this song. Pretty neat intro... doesn't last too long, though... gets pretty fast and intense -- describes the appropriate force of a slam-dance.

15. Who Knows? Who Cares?
The first half is a creepy, sinister intro mostly driven by bass. The second half is another hard-driven punk-rocker. Great vocals, etc. Nothin' to complain about. Another highlight of the album.

16. Amerarockers
I guess this was the second take. Where was the first take? We'll never know. Once again, this song has a blatant ska influence on its sound, which is really cool and probably seemed really fresh n' such at the time. Of course, it's easy to ignore nowadays because the ska-and-punk combo is such a commonly used musical cliche -- not that there's anything wrong with that, but sometimes when a new band does it it just seems more like bandwagon-jumping than anything else. Peter tells us that we are "amerarockers" and so are they.

17. U. Suck A./We're Fed Up
"Umbrellas Suck Ass?". Another two-for-one-er. After a semi-lengthy bridge-piece, "We're Fed Up" starts, and it's a song about the youth of america being fed up with the government and the in-sight future for them. And that's the end-io.

Scream are still more cutting-edge than a lot of bands today. They also lasted pretty long for a hardcore band -- nearly ten years! Pretty cool, huh? As I said before, the band actually performed a reunion show at the Black Cat in D.C. two months ago. I really wanted to go! Oh well... anyways, this a pretty good album, full of top-notch hardcore thrash and some experimentation with other genres as well. So, check it out, friends.

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