SCREAMER – What Excites You

SCREAMER - What Excites You
  • 6/10
    SCREAMER - What Excites You - 6/10


Release date: October 22, 2008

User Review
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Screamer – a word that might conjure up images of a horror flick or an amusement park ride. In this instance, Screamer is neither of those things. What Excites You is Screamer’s second album. Their first, Target: Earth, was released over twenty years ago and is considered by some to be a “cult classic.” If you’re wondering about the long layoff between albums, the band members broke up to pursue other musical interests and projects. After many a year, they felt that the time was right to give Screamer a second chance. So, does this Melodic Hard Rock band, which hails from a state best known for its cheese-heads (Wisconsin, USA), succeed in being less than cheesy? The answer is a resounding: NO!

Screamer is about guitar driven rock. Ron Valeo and Mike DeRose are the guys that handle the axe-work. With this album, there’s a lot of emphasis placed on the riffs, melodies and solos. Plaudits go to both guitarists for providing a solid foundation of heaviness. Unfortunately, they’re perhaps a little too solid. It only takes a couple spins before the sound of these guitars becomes haggard and predictable. Inventiveness is not a strong point for these guys and you shouldn’t be surprised if some of these riffs sound vaguely familiar.

What also stands out are the vocals. Bill Carter is the lead singer of this group, and for those that are into nasally vocal styles, Carter’s your man. Sure, he can hit high notes, but none of them will knock your socks off. What’s worse, there are times where he sounds downright annoying. As with the guitars, he comes off sounding the same after a few plays. There simply aren’t that many dimensions to Carter’s style. Aside from exploring the higher registers of his voice, there’s really very little emotion injected into the vocals. There are many instances when Carter seems to be going through the motions and doing little else.

Are there any songs that stand out? Nope, it’s as if every single track is on par with the others. Indeed, that’s one of the fundamental problems with this album. Originality and innovation just aren’t strong points. You’ve heard everything on this one before and it’s been performed better too. The band has the musical aptitude, but are lacking on the creativity side of things. This album could easily have you screaming – out of frustration. When it’s apparent that a band has potential but doesn’t take advantage of it, it’s a loss for the band as much as it is for the listener. These guys have a ways to go before they can rekindle whatever it was that originally brought them notice twenty years ago.

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