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?