Screaming Trees: Something About Today

This EP is Screaming Trees’ major label debut (and kind of the debut of Mark Lanegan’s voice as it would come to be known). The EP served as a bit of a preview for their Uncle Anesthesia album. I’ve had this since I don’t know when, and I only just realized right now that only two of these four songs (the best two, “Uncle Anesthesia” and “Ocean Of Confusion”) actually appeared on that album. I thought it was a strict subset.

Anyway, the story of this is pretty simple. It’s some good songs mixed with inexcusably bad, muffled sound. The sound thing can be mitigated partially by turning the volume up, which exposes a lot more. But to listen at a reasonable volume is to be frustrated by the veil behind which the music is hidden. It’s like the musical equivalent of talking to a low-talker. I say inexcusably because this was 1990, a golden era of good-sounding rock. And it’s got the excellent Terry Date listed as co-producer (along with Soundgarden’s lead singer Chris Cornell and Screaming Trees themselves), lending even more bafflement to this issue.

A couple of really good songs, though, and “Something About Today (Numb Inversion Version)” is a cool look into what the band could do when it wanted to stretch outside of the standard guits and drums rock genre. If not for the sound problems, I would probably give this a full four clowns.

Rating:
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– “Uncle Anesthesia,” “Ocean Of Confusion”
– “Who Lies In Darkness,” “Something About Today (Numb Inversion Version)”
Filed Between: Screaming Trees’ Buzz Factory and Uncle Anesthesia
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Uncle Anesthesia – I want to make this an open heart based on its awful sound, but it’s a really good song, complete with a nice little wah wah guitar atypical of the genre and time.
  2. Who Lies In Darkness? – If you sum up the bad sound and the song quality, you almost get a broken heart. According to Wikipedia, the only other place this appears is on the Ocean Of Confusion compilation.
  3. Ocean Of Confusion – The best song, and also the best sounding.
  4. Something About Today (Numb Inversion Version) – Quite experimental. The base song is good, and some of the experiments are good. According to Wikipedia, this version of this track appears nowhere else.
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