Debut from Siouxsie leaves me in love with my stumps
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 02/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Siouxsie and the Banshees are best known for being the inspiration behind the goth movement, yet Susan Dallion and crew began with the punk scene in the late 70's, and their debut album Scream is the proof of the pudding that the Banshees could rock as hard as their punk peers.The opening "Pure" is a haunting instrumental number, with Siouxsie and company vocalizing. A prelude to their later goth efforts.The snarling guitars and quick-paced drums of the alienation song "Jigsaw Feeling" demonstrate that Siouxsie hasn't left her punk roots.The mid-paced "Overground" as opposed to underground, contains the punk irony and distaste of the modern age and "a life of pleasantries." Yes, overground is a place free from "abnormality" and "normality" but at the cost of "identity."The next track reverts to punk, and "Carcass" about a cannibal, but of a metaphorical kind, where the "butcher" is "craving for a raw love" or should that be "carving?" And using the butcher analogy, love will leave one impaled, put in cold storage, and a victim of the cleaver. The end result of an encounter is being "in love with your stumps/in love with the bleeding/in love with the pain that you once felt."Their cover of the Beatles' "Helter Skelter" pre-dates those of Motley Crue and U2. There are a few bass notes, then some guitar riffs, and when Siouxsie sings the first words, the drums sound in time with her words, then the drums speed up, as does her singing, and it turns into a frenetic punk exercise. This is later done on their live Nocturne CD. Like that album, in one line, Siouxsie adds a word, singing "you may be a lover but you ain't no f----ng dancer!" The best cover of the Beatles song I've heard."Mirage" seems a commentary on TV, sung from the POV of a character on the screen, described as "a photo-fit of loose ends, framed in 3D.""Nicotine Stain" depicts the horrors of smoking down to the physiological and psychological craving. The chorus goes "Wallow in that ash bath/soaking up the fumes/and see the nicotine stain/start to spread." The number of people who will die from cancer is predicted from the POV of the cigarette, who says spread me in every country.The dulling and meaningless of living in a suburban drudgery comes in the punk "Suburban Relapse" where the character might go postal, or is that suburban, "when [her] string snapped." The character then wonders "Should I throw things at the neighbours/expose myself to strangers/kill myself or...you?" My string may snap soon myself."Switch" begins quietly, but the tempo goes up with the second verse. How trying to get a novel stimulation in life to make things better, seeking out a new paradigm, is given a rewiring analogy: "watch the muscles twitch/for a brand new switch." There are verses linking scientists testing out new drugs, and religious figures trying to be more progressive. This song too ended up on Nocturne.This features the original lineup of the Banshees, before drummer Kenny Morris and John McKay left to be later replaced by Budgie and for a brief spell, Robert Smith of the Cure. An impressive debut produced by Steve Lillywhite, with Siouxsie and friends still clearly in the punk scene."
Ahead of its time and original
Richard J. Brzostek | New England, USA | 11/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Scream" by Siouxsie and the Banshees is a great album from 1978. This was their first album, and the unique sound of Siouxsie's vocals and upbeat sound make this album special. Of the ten songs on this album, every single one I enjoyed, two were my favorite ("Carcass" and "Nicotine Stain"). Both these songs have a punk sound to them, yet the rest of the album is hard to classify. They are very catchy, upbeat songs. The lyrics for "Carcass" are a bit gruesome, but because it is sung in a chipper manner and has an upbeat tempo, it does not seem so. There is a cover of "Helter Skelter" on this album, which is great because Siouxie's powerful voice brings new life to the song.This album is very original and unlike anything I ever heard before. In some ways, it is hard to categorize, and furthermore, it is hard to believe that it is from the 70s. As this album marked the band's debut, it also foretold of their future, as the unique sound of Siouxie and the Banshees was just beginning."
Brutal Raw and Dissonant
baylo | Oz | 12/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brutal, raw and dissonant. The Scream was the first of its kind and fundamental for the development of the goth era. Pushing punk music into the darkest realms that the genre could allow, The Scream roars furiously on the surface while it seethes uncomfortably just below. The lyrics set the blueprint for the dark subject matter Siousxie would continue to dabble in, perhaps it's just the stylistic limitations of punk music that keeps this album just a foot away from perfection.
Best Tracks: Carcass, Suburban Relapse, Helter Skelter"
baylo | 10/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is really awesome for a first release! i love carcass and nicotine stain! if you like "join hands" you will love this!"