9 March 2013

Screaming Trees - Sweet Oblivion


Some bands are perceived as under rated during existence, no matter how much coverage and press they get.  One band that gets this sort of image is the Screaming Trees.  Formed in 1985, this was their 6th album and most successful upon its release.  For years they had not been going anywhere special (in the public's eye at least) and when the Grunge era kicked off they just seemed to be picked up like many other band who just sounded slightly alternative.  However for these guys it was sort of amazing that they got where they did.  They are classed as part of the god father of grunge (according to Wikipedia at least).  I have a slightly different view as they seemed to be more psychedelic. But more on that later.

This album is not what you would call a happy album. The title alone seems to be a band that feels the end of days is coming very soon.  The whole album is a much more flavour record than some of their grunge counterparts, with only really Pearl Jam having a similar sort of vibe.  Also sharing a similarity with Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees have a towering singer in Mark Lanegan (who have went on to have a glittering solo career). The man's voice takes some good songs and makes them more special. The man could read the list of ingredients for a bag of crisps and make it sound good.


Such songs like "More Or Less" (the album's stand out track), "Julie Paradise" and "Nearly Lost You" are all classics from this era.  The album itself is a great foundation on to which they leap in leaps in bound with their next album 'Dust'.  However, it is not a stand out classic overall.  There is something about tracks like "Butterfly" and "For Celebrations Past" that just does not make it more than a meh.  No matter how well they are played, and the Connor Brothers and co were not sloppy players, it just does not make for a smooth listening. It is just there and this band was a little bit more exciting than that.


Would I recommend this to anyone? Yes, it is a good record overall, full of nice moments, with a few fillers that bring it down from amazing.  I do feel that this band could have gone on to more after their next album but due to lack of record company support.  It is a shame, but if they still had have been going, Mr Lanegan may not have had the career he has ploughed since.  A good place to start if your looking for grunge which is not part of the holy quadriplegia.



7 out of ten - This is good and well worth a check


You can purchase from here


You can listen to it on Spotify here

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