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Even If and Especially When

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Album Review

By essentially "repeating the language of the land and the sky," the Screaming Trees accurately portray the organic spirit of the Pacific Northwest. On tracks such as "Cold Rain" and "In the Forest" their narrative landscapes are not only expressed by the seasoned voice of Mark Lanegan but also by the rich complexity of their song structures. While drummer Mark Pickerel and guitarists Gary Lee and Van Conner provide the energy of a classic garage band, producer Steve Fisk molds their groundwork and pop sensibilities into the realms of proto-grunge. Along with fellow SST labelmates Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr., the Screaming Trees served as true pioneers of the burgeoning genre. With distorted guitars and meaningful poetics becoming the norm of the late '80s, Even If and Especially When stands as a commendable album and a telling preview of what was to later come from the Seattle scene.


Formed: 1985 in Ellensburg, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Where many of their Seattle-based contemporaries dealt in reconstructed Black Sabbath and Stooges riffs, Screaming Trees fused '60s psychedelia and garage rock with '70s hard rock and '80s punk. Over the course of their career, their more abrasive punk roots eventually gave way to a hard-edged, rootsy psychedelia that drew from rock and folk equally. After releasing several albums on indie labels like SST and Sub Pop, Screaming Trees moved to Epic Records in 1989. Though they were one of the first...
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Even If and Especially When, Screaming Trees
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