A horrible hack

Scream

Fumble

Year Released: 2016
Format: Download
Label: Dischord
 
Reviewed by Alex Deller on May 24, 2016
Scream's fifth and final LP was recorded in '89 but not released until '93 and, like many works by their late 80s peers, represented a band who'd evolved beyond their original punk rock sturm und drang into what would later be referred to as 'post-hardcore'. While still possessed of the occasional blast of speed, 'Fumble' fills itself out with odd time changes and textural shifts, merging hc surges with acoustic moments, a clear fondness for reggae and big ol' dollops of classic rock howl. As with later offshoots Wool and Goatsnake there's an awkwardness - partly in the music, partly in Pete Stahl's odd, atypical phrasing - that walks a fine line between confounding and compelling, and Stahl's voice - a mix of HR, Steven Tyler and Henry's Cat - will likely prove a litmus test for newcomers to the band's sound. Even if you're not enamoured straight off the bat it's worth persevering, however, since the record stands up as both an interesting piece of the wider DC puzzle and an intriguing item that might lack the immediacy of 'Still Screaming' or 'This Side Up' but still has plenty to offer.


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