Though known primarily as Dave Grohl's first band of note, Scream in fact released its finest material years before Grohl's entry into the band. After the primary wave of D.C. hardcore -- SOA, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Government Issue -- crashed noisily to the shore, kids from the surrounding suburbs, attracted by the sound and fury of the city center, began formulating sounds predicated certainly on the first wave, but with enough outsider flair to be considered unique. Scream was one such band, and probably the finest. Boasting the incredibly gifted vocalist Pete Stahl and his brother Franz on guitar (the two later formed Wool), and rounded out by the rhythm section of Kent Stax and Skeeter Thompson, Scream fought their way into the tightly knit in-scene of D.C. hardcore, and were initially greeted with suspicion as suburban rednecks. Indeed, Scream's music borrowed as much from classic rock -- especially on This Side Up -- as it did from Minor Threat's lockstep speed. The band's first release, Still Screaming, shows the band maturing, trying out the fast stuff, testing their feet in the Bad Brains reggae pool, talking about scene solidarity, etc. It's a solid record, bolstered by the Stahl brothers' deft ability to make an ordinary song truly soar with melody. Unlike most other hardcore bands, Scream was never blunt with its music. Of course, this was probably due to Pete Stahl's vocal talent, which was truly showcased on the follow-up, This Side Up. For all its glory -- "Bet You Never Thought" is a brilliantly crafted piece of anthemic rock -- This Side Up has a few duds, like the pointless castoff "Gluesniff." By the time of This Side Up, Scream had found its voice, and that voice owed a lot more to suburban rock than to the elitist hardcore found in the city. A D.C. hardcore classic. ~ Patrick Kennedy Recording information: Ambient Studio (07/1981-04/1985); Inner Ear Studios (07/1981-04/1985). Illustrator: Matt McMullen. Photographer: Jim Saah. Personnel: Franz Stahl, Robert Lee Davidson (vocals, guitar); Skeeter Thompson, Amy Pickering, Peter Stahl (vocals); Kent Stax (acoustic guitar, drums); Doc Night (saxophone); Dr. Know (piano). Audio Mixers: Don Zientara; Ian MacKaye.
trACks: Came Without Warning - Bedlam - Solidarity - Your Wars-Killer - Piece Of Her Time - Human Behavior - Stand - Fight American Justice - New Song - Laissez Faire - Influenced - Hygiene - Cry Wolf - Total Mash - Who Knows Who Cares - Amerarockers - U Suck A We're All Fed Up - Ultra Violence Screamin' - Violent Youth - Bet You Never Thought - Things to Do Today - This Side Up - Gluesniff - Still Screaming - A No Money Down - Show And Tell Me Baby - The Zoo Closes At Dark - I Look When You Walk- Iron Curtain - Walking Song Dub.