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View Full Version : Greatest screams, shrieks and howls in Rock


Lazarus and the Gimp
27-03-2004, 21:09:19
Pixies - "Tame"

Black Francis was probably the greatest screamer in rock, and this was his greatest moment. The screams kick off on every chorus- shrill, grating things wrenched through clenced teeth. However it's what he does in the outro that really clinches it. He starts wringing out these volcanic gouts of pure noise straight from the pit of his ample belly that sound like some sort of doppler-distorted ninja death missile passing inches away from your eardrums.


Suicide- "Frankie Teardrop"

In this track, Alan Vega attempts to vocalise the experience of dying, going to hell and writhing in eternal agony there. It's almost enough to get me back into church. Shrieks, screams, gibbers and gnashing. Not easy listening.


Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- "Stagger Lee"

Nick Cave can't scream for toffee- he's a lightweight in this category. However his guitarist, the mighty Blixa Bargeld of Einsturzende Neubaten, certainly isn't. In the coda of this track from "Murder Ballads", he lets rip with a set of shrieks that don't sound even vaguely human. When I first heard it, I thought it was some sort of feedback. How he gets a note that high just baffles me- he could sell it as a means of scaring off agressive dogs.


Bruce Springsteen- "State Trooper"

From "Nebraska". It's a terse, brooding track. As it pulses out to a close, Bruce whoops and it's an empty and desolate sound. You ponder on it as the guitar notes keeps thrumming along insistently, getting your head around the cold expanses of Prairie he's singing of. Yup, you think you're starting to understand.
Then, suddenly, this howl hits you and it's like a glimpse into fucking Hades. It's the most bleak and abandoned sound I've heard coming from a human throat- this Coyote-howl from a very distant past. It's hair-raising.

What's yours?

Scabrous Birdseed
28-03-2004, 02:07:45
How negative of you, Laz! Don't you have any screams of positive emotion that you like? I'm thinking of something like the intial "oh-oh-ho-ho-yeah" of T. Rex's Metal Guru - surely if anything sums up the elation of glam it's that.

Lazarus and the Gimp
28-03-2004, 06:12:05
Well ones that nearly featured were Kim Deal's orgasmic yips off the first Breeders album, and Tim Buckley's "way-out-there" ascending-angel warbling off "Starsailor".

King_Ghidra
29-03-2004, 12:34:09
The dude from 80's matchbox b-line disaster does some great shouting on various tracks on their album.

Mr. Bas
29-03-2004, 15:40:09
I have to agree with Frank Black and the guy from the 80''s matchbox b-line disaster, they both did some brilliant screaming. Other impressive screamers are Tool's Maynard James Keenan (see for example Jerk-off or The Grudge), Converge's Jakob Bannon (although he screams all the time, really) and Sick Of It All's Lou (or Pete?) Koller. My personal favourite scream by Koller is the one at the beginning of Disco sucks, fuck everything, although it doesn't sound that great on the album. It is amazing live, though.

Some other interesting screams are at the beginning of Slayer's Angel of Death (at the beginning, I always think it starts out as a guitar effect) and the weird yell by Spot on Husker Du's Standing by the sea. Talking about Husker Du, Bob Mould is also brilliant in songs like Eight miles high, Something I learned today and New day rising.

Eklektikos
29-03-2004, 15:50:03
You mean the really high falsetto single held note vocal thingy in Standing By The Sea?

That's the thing that lifts the song from merely great to minor work of genius in my opinion.

Nills Lagerbaak
31-03-2004, 08:17:34
I always liked the shout of "Yowza!" At the end of GNRs Mr. Brownstone.

Can't beat AC/DC for some good shriekiage!

Eklektikos
31-03-2004, 17:50:25
Might be stretching the definition of "Rock" a little, but Yamatsuka/Yamantaka/whateverhecallshimselfnow Eye's screams on the first Naked City album are pretty impressive, as are Mike Patton's on thefirst Fantômas album.

Lazarus and the Gimp
31-03-2004, 19:55:25
I remember watching Eye with The Boredoms at Glastonbury. That was impressive. Jeff Buckley did a brilliant Eye impression on the Pyramid stage the next day.

Chris
31-03-2004, 19:59:54
Roger Daltry had an impressive scream in a who song.

PosterBoy
31-03-2004, 20:39:37
I was just thinking of Love Reign on me by The Who when reading this thread.