Monday, October 17, 2011


If you ever saw the Screamers live, you know. Sadly, most people didn't, and never will. They were only around for about four years, from 77-81, and what few recordings exist fail to compare to their live performances. Though they did record demos, they were just that, demos. They once said that they weren't going to release records, they were instead waiting for video discs to come out. This was before video discs existed on store shelves. Before Beta recorders, before VHS, and before music videos were commonly done. They were forward thinking, original, and unconventional; on the fringes of a movement that was supposed to be. They seized the synthesizer, from the hands of experimental, prog and art rock bands, and into punk rock; and they went in through the front door. Two keyboard players, a drummer and a vocalist who demonstrated that punk rock was more than loud guitars and abbreviated rock n' roll licks. They had no real predecessors, and few stylistic peers.

All that exist are demos, primitive videos, a feature film starring lead singer Tomata duPlenty, and the written word, rather a lot of written words. There's a bunch of links below. A great place to start would be the recent post at Beware of the Blog, which reminded me that I'd never gotten around to throwing them in front of you. You should also check out the Unofficial Screamers site (hosted by Synthysteria). It's very comprehensive. History, time line, discography, videography, press, interviews, flyers, photos; they got it all. Check out the videos too. Imagine that band, well mixed and loud. There's also a link to the site for the film, Population 1, starring duPlenty, Vampira (Plan 9 From Outer Space), Penelope Houston (Avengers), El Duce, members of Los Lobos, Al Hansen, and Hansen's grandson, a twelve year old Beck.

The Screamers - Punish Or Be Damned (demo) mp3 at HoboFM
The Screamers - In A Better World (demo) mp3 at The Cargo Culte
The Screamers - 122 Hours of Fear (demo) mp3 at Avant-Avant
The Screamers - 122 Hours of Fear (demo) (Pt 1) and (Pt 2) at Zahnarzt
The Screamers - Punish or Be Damned (live) at YouTube
The Screamers - Let's Go, Vertigo (live) at the Population 1 movie site
The Screamers - In A Better World (live) at YouTube
The Screamers at Network Awesome Eight live videos, in succession
Population 1 - Trailer/movie site Expanded two DVD edition for sale, bonus disc with 40 minutes of the Screamers
The Screamers - Unofficial site Very comprehensive
The Screamers - Profile at Beware of the Blog
The Screamers - Profile at Perfect Sound Forever

No comments: