Thursday, May 21, 2009
The Screamers - Demos 77-78
Post number four is the Screamers, one of the most interesting, and sadly underdocumented, bands of the 70s LA punk scene. They were part of the first wave of LA punk bands, and were thought of as the west coast response to Suicide. They were a four piece act consisting of a crazed singer, two keyboard players (one covering bass lines, another guitar, both playing with effects to make them blast more like stringed instruments than traditional synths) and a drummer. Unlike Suicide, the Screamers played loud, fast and confrontational songs, musically in line with bands like the Germs, the Dead Boys and Discharge, but led by keyboards rather than guitars. They had crazy ideas about distribution and recording their music and decided that, rather than releasing an album, they wanted their first musical output to be a VHS movie featuring the band's music as a soundtrack. The production failed, and they broke up in the early 80s. These demos and a few live bootlegs are all you can really find of their stuff. The quality's not great, but it's a pretty fun listen. They had some decent punk songs, and sound like they could have developed into a fantastic act if they'd lasted long enough.