Screaming Tribesmen

The Savage Beat of the Screaming Tribesmen

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You couldn't ask for a more comprehensive document of the Screaming Tribesmen's first lineup -- the trio of singer/guitarist Mick Medew, bassist John Hartley, and drummer Murray Shepherd -- than this compilation of their 1982-84 recordings. It has both sides of their two singles, their rare 1982 debut EP, a previously unreleased outtake from the EP sessions, and ten tracks recorded live in their native Brisbane, Australia in 1982. At this point the group were rawer than they would be when they attained greater success later on in lineups in which Medew was the only remaining original member, fusing '60s garage rock with harder late-'60s/early-'70s Detroit hard rock/proto-punk. The nine studio tracks are the more original ones here, in a quite literal as well as artistic sense, as all but one of them are group originals, while the live stuff is devoted wholly to covers. While the band's moody (and sometimes gloomy, as on their debut single "Igloo") power trio punk-garage-hard rock attitude on those studio recordings might have seemed a bit done-to-death by the end of the 20th century; in the context of Australia in the early '80s, it was unusual and less cliched. The live portion is more of a souvenir than a creative statement, with not-great/not-bad sound, and an enthusiastic set devoted almost wholly to '60s garage/British Invasion covers, some of them quite obscure. At least it was more unusual to do '60s rarities back then, like the Starfires' "I Never Loved Her" and the Black Diamonds' "See the Way," than it would be in later years. The package is enhanced with thorough liner notes, including 2003 interviews with all three members of the lineup.

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