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coverpic flag Australia - Full Moon 88 - 12/08/03

Screamfeeder
Take You Apart
Rhythm Ace Records

A lot can (and does) happen to a band in the space of thirteen years - especially one that teeters on the edge of cool and and/or mass acceptance. Screamfeeder have had their fair share of both hype and indifference, depending on the dreaded weight this week's fashion brings to music. Despite the rocky road, folks with a copy of "Take You Apart" are currently walking the streets with fists in the air as it's an absolute cracker!

After the light strum and noodly keyboards of opener "Now I Don't Feel So Bad", "Needles" comes out like a train wreck from hell, all buzz saw guitar, doctor/patient dialogue and driving rhythm. "I Don't Know What to do Anymore", replete with handclaps (some well placed smackers in a song are always a winner, Tumbleweed's Richie Lewis and You Am I's Tim Rogers being damn fine exponents over the years) is a scorching celebration of indecision, the rolling riff nearing the end gets me to rock-dreaming about Pete Townshend and Tim Rogers trading windmills onstage. Exhilarating stuff. Those claps make a most welcome reappearance on "And Tigers They Roam" with the deliberately (??) botched first chorus a very endearing touch. Tim n' Kellie's distinctive twin vocal attack has never sounded more sublime than on "I've Got The Knife" - talk 'bout being at the height of yo' powers!

An older brother once looped the latter part of "Hey Jude" repeatedly over one whole side of a tape, something I'd like to update with this album's centerpiece n' masterpiece "Me and You". A fantastically rousing six minutes of perfect indie gospel (and they're cobbling together a choir for upcoming shows which should prove entertaining!), so good you just wish it would never end.

Lyrically the themes centre around regret, loss and the salvaging of relationships with a highlight the heart-rending "my writing's bad, but here's my letter, I'll let you know I wanna make it better" from the single "12345". "I could forget you like you were never there" from "I've Got The Knife" finds them in a more pensive mood, but like the troopers they are they never forget the importance of a simple melody and hooks to die for. Yeah there's sadness here, but Magoo's lively production ensures the songs really burst from the speakers and that gives the whole effort a real brightness.

We're incredibly fortunate to have Screamfeeder still recording and treading the boards and sharing their handclaps, skills and sense of fun with us. While this a brilliant album (my album of the year for what it's worth) it's exciting to think there may be better to come. To quote St Nick, "bring it on" - age ain't got to em' yet.

Copyright © 2003 Brian Stradbrook e-mail address

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