At this late stage of the game, I’d concede the right of anyone who wants to call their music, lifestyle, sculpture or skateboard line “punk” to go ahead and do so. The basic impulse that was categorized by that label circulates freely through Western culture, irregardless of the (mis)application of the brand name.
So there’s no need to debate whether this Scream reunion Complete Control Session is “punk” or no: “the point is moo.” (sic - Google “Friends” + that phrase for clarification) And there’s really no debate involved as to whether this is handsomely muscled power-rock that touches on all the most laudable qualities of 90's proto-grunge. The vocals are consistently soaring and heroic—Anglophiles might be reminded of The Cult’s Ian Astbury on a good day… though Scream were at it long before The Cult dropped “Death” not to mention “Southern” from their name. Mid-period British punk (thinking Generation X, Ruts, Skids) is a useful reference point when it comes to the writing too: every number is handily equipped with a pronounced melodic feel and catchy rhythm guitar hook to boot. Most of these songs are anthem-like as fuh.
With so much sugar it woulda been very easy for Complete Control Session to have waxed glib and slick, but happily Scream have kept production-shenanigans to a minimum. It all sounds live, spontaneous and like they were having the time of their lives and the closed-fist wallop of the performances feels like the product of long-honed skills and not over- meticulous studio nitpicking. Good to have the Stahl brothers and company back together.... [SideOneDummy]
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