Release Date: May 2016
Scream were a hallmark of the DC Hardcore scene that would eventually be lumped into the Grunge movement. They were active from the early eighties through the early nineties. Fumble was their fifth and final full-length album for Dischord Records. Those, my friends, are the nuts and bolts. Oh yeah, and a young drummer named Dave Grohl was a member of the band during this era.
So, with much shame, I have to admit that this is my first official exposure to Scream. Sure I know their name and their loose connection to Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, but that’s about it. Originally released in 1993, the album is a tour de force of Post-Hardcore (and, honestly, has much more in common with Foo Fighters than anything Nirvana did). Turns out Fumble is pretty damn amazing.
“Crackman” is a great example of what I love about this album. It’s basically a heavy jam that ends the album by challenging the idea of what a song can be. I’m sure the guys from Karma to Burn played this song over and over. Another highlight, “Dying Days” is a brilliant display of everything that was good about Post-Hardcore. It’s dischordant guitars take turns sharing the limelight with the Classic Rock approach of the rhythm section. The vocals are passionate and angsty without any of the glam edge that so many of their peers were known for. The guitar solo is huge and borders on psychedelic without getting too far into the hippie mix. On the other hand, “Land Torn Down” is a nod to the connection the band would have to the coming Grunge scene. It reminds me, musically, of what Mother Love Bone were doing on the left coast at the time. That said, the vocals are so different here (darker, more straightforward, and angrier) that it feels much more aggressive than Mother Love Bone, or even Soundgarden (who also had a penchant for the Classic Rock sound on their early works).
Overall, I love this album and I can’t believe I missed out on it (despite being familiar with and owning a lot of the Dischord Records releases). Thankfully, Dischord are giving us another chance to own this underrated release. Don’t miss out this time around!
Reviewed by mark1340