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Customer Review

on 26 September 2001
I accidentally saw Screaming Trees at a Festival in 1996- and remembered that I liked 'em the previous time I saw them at such an occasion. And I had loved 'Nearly Lost You' from the 'Singles' soundtrack & their version of the Velvets 'What Goes On' from an Imaginary Records tribute to Reed & Co...The reviews for 'Dust' were great; an appearance on Jools Holland made it definite. I bought the album...
And was blown away- this record lead me back to the previous Trees albums: the good 'Uncle Anethesia' (let down by mixing) & the brilliant 'Sweet Oblivion' (where Don Fleming, 'Bandwagonesque'/'Pretty on the Inside'/'Frosting on the Beater' & Andy Wallace, 'Nevermind'/'Grace' produced & mixed the great songs of the Trees. Finally capturing their live power). It also lead me to Mark Lanegan's great solo albums & Queens of the Stone Age...
This album is produced by George Drakoulas (Jayhawks, Ride, Primal Scream, Black Crowes)& mixed again by Wallace. The star is multi-instrumentalist Barrett Martin- who would later play on records by Mark Eitzel/Peter Buck ('West'), Queens of the Stone Age ('Rated R') & REM ('Up'). Martin & Benmont Tench add an eclectic array of instruments to the Conner Bros. guitar assault & Lanegan's awesome vocals.
Every track is a classic- the only rock albums close to this in the 90's were 'Ritual de lo Habitual', 'Nevermind' & 'Ragged Glory'. Add to this Lanegan's estimation of U.S.-one hit wonders, Oasis, as "pussies" & you have an example of THE REAL THING.
The singles 'All I Know' & 'Sworn & Broken' are great (pity the excellent b-sides 'Wasted Time' & 'Silver Tongue' from the former weren't included as extra tracks in this reissue); the single that never was 'Dying Days' is the highlight. Featuring Pearl Jam's Mike McReady & backing vocals by the 21st St. Singers it is an awesome elegy to the blackness that enveloped Seattle (this is detailed in the Everett True book, 'Live Through This').'Dying Days' is a cousin of Cream's 'White Room'- I can't think of things much better than Lanegan's refrain of "waited for the sunshine". This is the blues that Lanegan would explore more & more on his solo albums...
'Halo of Ashes' & 'Dime Western' are epic sitar driven tracks; though they are not epic in the bloated Smashing Pumpkins/Rush sense. Imagine a concise Led Zep or The Doors with Hendrix guesting. REALLY!!!!!
'Make My Mind' is a fantastic extension on the territory of 'Lay Your Head Down' & 'Butterfly'- the harmonics & false ending superb. 'Traveler' is closest to Lanegan's solo albums- & would have fitted on 'The Winding Sheet' & 'Whiskey for the Holy Ghost' with ease. 'Look at You' is a lovely ballad, which builds up to an inferno of guitars, in the mode of 'Sweet Oblivion's 'More or Less'. 'Witness' is almost throwaway, a track close to that of the Trees live sound- the searing guitars recall 'Something About Today' & 'The Secret Kind'...The album concludes on the epic 'Gospel Plow', which uses reams of percussion- and goes places possibly only Led Zep have been with 'Physical Graffiti'.
This would be Screaming Trees final & best LP. Forget that Lanegan on the cover looks like his glass is half empty until the end of time. This is the best rock album of the 1990's. For proof listen to the overload of keyboards on 'Sworn & Broken'- "all that's gone away..."
And at this budget price, it would be rude not to own this album. Awe-inspiring stuff: PURCHASE NOW!!!!!!!!!!
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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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