Hertfordshireâ€™s Scream! Shout! Say Nothing are certainly making a name for themselves on the underground circuit. Having toured with Star Wars-types Bossk, the over-hyped Enter Shirkari and the sadly missed Cutting Pink With Knives, theyâ€™ve finally got round to releasing their debut album, ‘The Animals Still Run This City.â€™ After witnessing their impressive set at Club 85 several months ago, I was intrigued by the prospect of hearing their recorded output. Letâ€™s take a look.
I know from previous articles I have bitched at length at how bored I am of music with generic scream/sung vocals and how itâ€™s about as interesting as watching all 800 of my dadâ€™s holiday slides whilst consuming gallons of grey paint, but I genuinely find Scream! Shout! Say Nothingâ€™s brand of passionate hardcore a breath of fresh air. For one thing, they know how to write a song, mixing the kind of intricate guitar work of Meet Me In St. Louis & Secondsmile with the steady driving rhythms of Latterman and their own unique brand of headstrong vigour.
Opening track ‘When It All Goes Dark, The Animals Still Run This Cityâ€™ immediately earns itself the Keep It Fast seal of approval. The volatile opening of rapid fire drums, rattling-punk guitars and Ben Daviesâ€™s hast-filled vocal attack are a short sharp shock to the system. It bolts from my speakers like an over zealous greyhound, eager to sink its teeth into the robotic hare that always stays a few steps ahead. The soaring chorus gives a gigantic nod towards the heavy rock of Hell Is For Heroes, whilst the utterly fantastic gang-vocal chant of â€œhey heart beats, donâ€™t fail me!â€Â bring to mind the angst-ridden rampage of Hopesfallâ€™s ‘Waitress.â€™ This is the kind of enthusiastic and majestic post-hardcore that will pump new life into the dead veins of the UK scene – a fantastic start.
To prove that they havenâ€™t put all their eggs in one basket, the 5 piece hit back with a storming 2nd track in the form of ‘Fulfil The Roles Boys, Fulfil The Rolesâ€™, which despite itâ€™s sombre introduction, complimented by soft saxophone overtones and slow-burning build up, proves to be one of the most progressive and spirited sounding pieces on the album. The main body of the track pulsates with such crushing rage; the guitars grinding new furrows of unsettling menace within the listener, whilst the vocal yelp gives a nod towards the anger and tension associated with Poison The Well.
The 11 minute chug of ‘Einstein I Ainâ€™t‘ dips up and down more times than a fat man and a midget on a see-saw, changing from a crushing and I mean, crushing metallic attack, to an almost ambient, unrehearsed instrumental arrangement. This is also the only time when the vocals sound slightly off, which is one of the very few criticisms I have about this album.
‘The Riverâ€™ is a stark, biting track, with the lyric â€œsay what you like about us, just keep your opinions to yourselfâ€Â screamed as though personally attacking the listener, whilst the caustic rumble of guitars, bass and drums drills new seeds of desperation and rage.
The last track, ‘Gimme Inner Peace Or Iâ€™ll Mop The Floor With Yaâ€™ keeps up S!S!SN brand of resolute dedication to creating powerful and honest music. The punishing tirade of sound is tempered only by the inclusion of a melodic saxophone, trumpet and Euphonium interlude that should feel out-of-place, but oddly slots in rather nicely. The last minute is then consumed by sound as the rest of the band crash in; complete with a gorgeous vocal chant that absolutely floors me.
In conclusion? I wish there was more to be honest. At 5 tracks, this album feels slightly short, but at a running time of 35 minutes I can see their decision in sticking to this modest number. Itâ€™s over far too quickly, but that just means you get to hit the ‘playâ€™ button again which is never a bad thing. One of the best UK releases Iâ€™ve heard this year, a terrific slice of sincere, intense rock music – great work guys.