Scream Shout are a five-piece with so much attitude and some killer tunes to back it up. Originally named Scream! Shout! Say Nothing a whopping ten years ago, they began life as a non-serious band who simply wanted to make music. Two EPs and some big support slots (with names such as Deaf Havana and Enter Shikari) down the line, they have now shortened it to Scream Shout.
Threads is their first full length album and it has taken the last five years of writing and producing due to the band’s determination not to take the band so seriously. As a result, their lives didn’t halt the album’s process meaning that the trials and tribulations of the band members’ happenings were put before the production.
It begins with Sister You Don’t Know What Rough Is, a chilled guitar intro with the odd piano note thrown in. The vocals have a desperation, angry element to them with a chant in the background, which crops up several times on the album. The drums up the attitude again before breaking down into a soft melodic choir and a slow, lulling sway brings it to a close. As with a lot of the songs on Threads, it’s a mixture of moods. Never have I heard an album that does both chilled and furious mid-track!
Young Bucks has a slight Sum 41 style riff and is a rare glimpse of the band doing pop-punk. Once again, the vocals have that strained quality that is present on most of the tracks. It has a great summer anthem feel about it coupled with a freak-out moshpit vibe. Again, it’s a very mixed track with a definite air of nostalgia, due to its looking back. Over Over Out sees the pop-punk sound return with the familiar choir chants also making a comeback. There is a particularly impressive guitar solo in the middle of it and there is a pretty closing instrumental. It is in fact my favourite on the album.
Scream Shout even dabble in country influences on Conductor Conduct, A Hush and a Heavy Hand and The Hardest Part. Conductor Conduct has an American sound instilled in the guitar and although it has a certain country twang, there is also a hint of Mayday Parade to it. A Hush and a Heavy Hand has passionate, spat out lyrics and a chanting choir set to fuzzy drum beats and crackling strums. The vocals become more distorted in the second half of the track and there is a repetitive atmospheric ending and the odd electronic whizz. The Hardest Part is the penultimate track and it begins with an indie bass. Sunny vocals and a high pitched riff take over. It seems to march along to a steady rhythm with the bass dying in the chorus. It’s perhaps the catchiest track on the album and has an interesting country style to it. A real hipster vibe encircles it and adds another facet to their sound.
There are even tracks on the album that are more philosophical such as A Great Roar. It compares a man who has lost everything and is unsure of what to do to a lion. It’s a powerful metaphor and the lyrics are quite deep. It is perhaps the most stripped back, simplistic track on the album although it does have a shouty chorus. The breakdown is really quite beautiful though both musically and lyrically. It’s followed by the title track, which has a funky riff and intermittent drums. There is plenty of angst and glitchy dancing riffs to end.
Broadening their sound even more, I detected a little Fall Out Boy on I Should’ve Been a Pair Of Ragged Claws (even the title suggests it!). The instruments are centre stage and the vocals have more of a melody than on the other tracks. They’ve captured the dark guitars and crashing drums seen on so many Fall Out Boy songs. Again, there’s a breakdown to a twist which has a softer guitar and a smokey atmosphere is created. I pictured waves coming and going in time to the guitar, which repeats over and over at the end. After the initial frantic mess, these songs always calm down for the second half. Ending on We Bake, We Sew, it is both a lazy summer song but supported by a militant drum, which forms the heartbeat. Again, the choral backing vocals adds another layer and the lead vocals appear to stumble tiredly through the forest of instruments. It is a definite “end of the party” track and you can almost hear it fall down in exhaustion by the time it finishes.
Threads clearly depicts the many strands of the band members’ lives over five years. A rollercoaster of emotions plays out and there’s no clear feeling left at the end. There is something for every emotion and is an all-round, great post-hardcore album. I love that the band don’t take themselves too seriously and there’s definitely an element of that on the record. There’s not a lot of sincere, pretentious stuff going on and as a result, you really get an idea of the band’s personality.