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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Screams - 1979 Screams
Screams - 1979 Screams

ARTIST: Screams
ALBUM: Screams
LABEL: Infinity
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: David Adams - lead vocals * John Siegle - guitars, backing vocals * Steven Jones - bass, backing vocals * Brad Steakley - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Paper Dolls * 02 Angeline's Toys * 03 I Play For You * 04 It's Just A Matter Of Time * 05 Imagine Me Without You * 06 Your Girl, My Girl * 07 Pen Pal * 08 Financial Disaster (It's Only Money) * 09 Pop Art

This band have been spoken about enough on this site over the years. So it's time to put pen to paper. Along with New England and jazz exponents Spyro Gyra, Screams were one of a minority few to be signed to Ron Alexenburg's fledgling and short-lived MCA Records offshoot Infinity Records. Screams weren't jazz fusion, nor were they Pomp/AOR. No, they presented a harder new wave edge/power pop style. Like an American version of The Jam on steroids. It's all a mad scramble, and as an Illinois band, pop pundits would be quick to compare them to fellow state contemporaries Pezband and the mighty Cheap Trick, but that would be only after they dropped their original punk direction.

The Songs
The band's two most popular songs were the first two on the LP: 'Paper Dolls' and 'Angeline's Toys'. You can find these on YouTube without a problem. 'I Play For You' is the LP's longest track, at a touch over 5 minutes. It opens as a guitar ballad, meandering along until the halfway mark where John Seigle's guitar suddenly open out in full-on electric mode. 'It's Just A Matter Of Time' rumbles along with a tribal back-beat for a friend, and some power pop flavours to sweeten the mix. Probably my favourite songs here are 'Imagine Me Without You' which sounds more American, and there's 'Your Girl, My Girl' that veers to the hard rock side of the road, rather than hard new wave or power pop. 'Financial Disaster (It's Only Money)' certainly has some Cheap Trick references, while 'Pop Art' lulls along for half the song before springing to life.

In Summary
As a side note, 'Screams' was produced by former Starcastle vocalist Terry Luttrell, so this was quite different to anything Terry had been involved with previously. Screams went out on the road with Van Halen during 1979, who themselves were then on their first headlining tour. Screams also travelled to the UK as a headliner to build up their profile and fan base. But with the demise of Infinity Records, the band ran out of money and had to return home to Illinois. Now without a record label, 1980 was spent recording and promoting demos, but this hit a brick wall and the band finally succumbed at the end of that year. There are few good tracks here, and though Screams may probably do it for a few GDM readers, the old adage applies.. 'your mileage may vary'. [word count 407]

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#1 | Carl Noonan on January 17 2016 12:28:46
Brilliant album. Don't get the comparisons to the Jam (absolutely nothing like them). It's a great hard rock album that has powerpop overtones ala Cheap Trick and Off Broadway. Powerchords all the way and fantastic drumming like Bun E Carlos on steroids.
#2 | Eric on January 19 2016 10:47:36
Actually Terry Luttrell produced another power pop band out of Wisconsin called Orbits the same year. They released one collectable single. Screams toured with Starcastle in 1979 as well.
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