As highly revered, sought after, talented, and influential as The Screamers are, they never officially released single piece of vinyl. Recent (and gorgeous) double-CD bootlegs (containing live shows and audio tracks from their Target Video appearances, among other things) have been released, and since Tomata Du Plenty died, it doesn’t look like a truly legit release will ever come out. (I have no idea who owns the rights to these songs.) The simple synopsis of The Screamers: a punk band that was at times out of Seattle and LA, was huge on the club circuit, that had no guitars. And they didn’t suck. Jello Biafra’s been quoted as saying The Screamers were, “The best unrecorded band in the history of rock’n’roll.” I personally can’t think of another one. The result is easily the first example of West coast techno punk, a genre that got raped all to hell, but was as vital and real as anyone plugging in a guitar. The Screamers are aggressive, tension-filled, exciting, and different – different not just to be different, but exploring something wholly original. Visionary? Yep. Iconoclastic? You bet. Worth getting? For the adventurous or if you think you’ve heard it all before. The only caveat to this? There’s a high pitch hum all the way through the LP and it’s fucking murder listening to it on headphones. And when I played it on the stereo, the neighbors dogs freaked (which is rad in its own way.).
–todd (SOB Records)