franz stahl

REVIEW: Scream – No More Censorship (1988)

SCREAM – No More Censorship (1988 RAS Records)

Hey Grohl fans! Think Dave can do no wrong?  Not the case at all — just listen to his lacklustre debut, 1988’s No More Censorship by Scream!  Here is one of those albums that you buy “just for the collection”, but not to listen to on a regular basis.

Scream were a punk band out of Washington DC, with some history behind them.  Grohl made his debut on their fourth album, featuring Peter Stahl (vocals), Franz Stahl (future Foo Fighters guitarist), Robert Lee Davidson (guitar) and Skeeter Thompson (bass).  Amusingly Dave is miscredited as “David Stahl” on the first song.

The songs aren’t bad so to speak, just dull as a cinder block.  They check a lot of the boxes — hard rocking, rebellious lyrics, punchy guitars, but not a lot of hooks.  Scream has several riffs in want of a song.  The riff on “No Escape” is one that vintage Aerosmith would given a nut to write.  The guys could certainly play, and there’s more than enough energy to spare.  But there’s something missing, and it’s the songs that are the problem.  On some tracks, they were just doing basic garage punk.  On others they seemed to be striving to be more than they were.  They stretch outside the box on tracks like “Run to the Sun”.  But 10 minutes later, you can’t remember anything about the song.

The best tune, and the one that best showcases what Dave could do on the drums, is “Fucked Without a Kiss”, a speedy blast regarding incarceration.  Otherwise the album struggles to spark a fire.

In 2017, this album was remixed and reissued on Record Store Day exclusive green vinyl with a different track list.  Maybe the remix made it a better listen?

2/5 stars

REVIEW: Foo Fighters – Live In Rio 2001

Next in line of my reviews from Record Store Excursion 2012!  Check out the video below if you missed it.  This one bought at Sonic Boom Music at Bloor and Bathurst.

MIKE AND AARON GO TO TORONTO

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FOO FIGHTERS  – Live In Rio 2001 (2012 IMC Music Ltd.)

This is sort of an oddball release, fully 11 years after the concert itself, on some weird label called Immortal.  This is probably taken from the Rock In Rio 2001 broadcast.  Bootlegs from that show are pretty common.  I have a Guns N’ Roses bootleg from the same concerts.  I believe they were on pay-per-view.

I’ve heard some people complain that Dave Grohl screams too much live, and he certainly does scream a lot in this show.  If you’re not into it, I get it.  It doesn’t bother me personally.  His vocals are a bit shaky, as it sounds like he’s doing a lot of jumping around.

Sound quality is decent.  I look at these as really well made bootlegs.  Don’t expect anything that sounds like a flawless modern live album.  It’s perfectly listenable though.  You can hear all the instruments clearly enough (although bass is a bit muddy) and Dave’s vocal/screaming is up front and loud.

The setlist is jam packed full of early Foo classics.   13 songs, plus a little bit of “Happy Birthday” as the following day (Jan 14th 2001) was Dave’s birthday!

Amusingly, Dave dedicates “Monkey Wrench” to Guns N’ Roses who were playing the following day.  Dave says he’s never really seen Guns N’ Roses before.  Well, isn’t that Kurt’s fault, Dave?  You could have opened for them on the 1992 tour with Metallica!

There’s one weird flaw with the CD.  At the beginning at track 14, “Everlong” (not even listed on the CD), the wrong song begins.  Instead, it’s “Stacked Actors” which is also track 6.  This goes on for over two minutes, and finally it fades into a truncated “Everlong”.  I have no explanation.

3/5 stars