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Buzz Factory

Screaming Trees

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Album Review

Buzz Factory would mark the Screaming Trees' final recording for SST, but not their last stand as independent recording artists. They would follow up by spending some quality time with Seattle indie Sub Pop, prior to the release of their Epic debut, Uncle Anesthesia, two years later. Produced by the Trees and Jack Endino (Superfuzz Bigmuff, Bleach), Buzz Factory lives up to its title with buzz aplenty courtesy Gary Lee Conner's muscular guitar playing. The album is a solid (if not spectacular) send-off, which should come as little surprise — history will remember the Trees as one of the Northwest's most consistent bands. If they never had a hit on par with Nevermind, nor did they ever release any lackluster (or uncharacteristic) recordings in a career that spanned over 15 years. Opening track "Where the Twain Shall Meet" and "Black Sun Morning" are two of the strongest selections. The latter doesn't just have a Soundgarden-style title — á la "Black Hole Sun" — but even sounds somewhat like that hard rockin' Seattle quartet (also aligned with SST at the time), which is to say it is more anthemic than usual. A sample from an interview briefing is slipped between "Yard Trip #7" and "Flower Web" ("The question will be what kind of trees you are; the answer will be 'Screaming Trees'"). ~ Kathleen C. Fennessy, Rovi

Biography

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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Buzz Factory, Screaming Trees
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