From Seattle with love
Emerging alongside Nirvana and Mudhoney from the underground of Seattle to take the world by storm, Screaming Trees were the band that redefined the Seattle sound before the other groups could really cement it's roots. Mark Lanegan conjures that unmistakable feeling that can be heard in so many records today, from his solo project to Queens of the Stone Age, and this is where it all began and quite rightly the band are getting remembered for an undeniable influence on rock over the past decade and a half. The music doesn't die.
'Who Lies In Darkness', a classic sample of the Trees magnificent magnitude, their musical aptitude and the ease they seem to create brilliant big catchy songs with, opens the 'Ocean of Confusion.' Lanegan, on this record, as with all, has the voice of a giant, which he commands effortlessly, taking it from one dynamic height to a low whisper without losing any of the strength and the raw throaty power. His unabashed vocal ferocity makes him the natural successor to Ozzy Osbourne in his heyday with Sabbath.
'Disappearing' is brilliant dreamy surfy song with another beautiful vocal track, like a big bear, fuzzy, comforting warmth, can attack and rip off your head at any moment. This music's just brillo pad, frenetic and jumping, so filled with kinetic energy, sunny day, get you moving tunes. 'Nearly Lost You' gets you thanking the higher heavens you were born when you were so you could have the chance to enjoy this fantastic piece that blesses sacred moments, just like the one you have when listening to the song.
'Julie Paradise' is a sweet and sensuous summer song with heart-wrenching inflections on the vocal track; enough to set your ears on fire softly. It's another track that reinforces the phenomenal comforting rock sounds this band could produce, it reaffirms their position of influence on the scales of music and reminds us who really deserved due credit and who would last from that hyped up time in scenester history when pretty much anything coming out of Seattle was hailed great. Screaming Trees were great.
The unreleased 'Watchpocket Blues' starts slow and bluesy, hence the title and then soon transcends into the sweet and sugary hard rock smooth grooves we're more used to from this band. A lot of techniques from this song and the way Lannegan's voice sounds made it onto the Queens Of The Stone Age's 'Songs For The Deaf.'
And the second previously unreleased tune: 'Paperback Bible' is also a real stonker, fantastic harmonies and a brilliant rollicking chorus, rolls along with sensitive bravado and humble modest arrogance. They always got the balance just right. The compilation ends on the sweet-lipped 'Traveler' with nice orchestration and a flow that no one could ever stand in front of...
This release crowns a band that have been slightly neglected by the passing of time. From that infamous Seattle scene that started in the early nineties (so, we're clear why I'm not including Sonic Youth) two truly great bands emerged whose ingenuity and craftsmanship were entirely different yet their influence and members live on today just as solidly as back then. Legends don't die out like with the passing of bandwagons.