Screaming Trees



by Wedontgetfooledagain USER (2 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 18 replies

Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Screaming Trees - Dust


Mark Lanegan: Vocals, guitar

Gary Lee Conner: Electric and acoustic guitars, coral sitar, backing vocals

Van Conner: Bass, guitars, backing vocals

Barret Martin: Drums, percussion, congas, tablas, djembe, cello, harmonium

Realesed 1996 by Sony

Screaming Trees are something of a forgotten gem of the grunge era. While bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam were riding the wave, the Trees were taking something of a backseat, content to stay as relative unknowns and leave the mainstream pretty much cluless regarding their brand of 60's influenced rock. Mainly branded with the 'grunge' title because of their germination in the late 80's in Seattle. Few people such as myself were lucky enough to encounter them through their singer and drummer's association with the Mad Season (Lanye Staley, Mike McCready and the mysterious Baker's) side project. However, the Trees maintained a devoted, if small, following throughout their career of more than a decade.


1. Halo Of Ashes

2. All I Know

3. Look At You

4. Dying Days

5. Make My Mind

6. Sworn And Broken

7. Witness

8. Traveller

9. Dime Western

10. Gospel Plow


Halo Of Ashes:

A punchy opener. Gary Lee's trademark coral sitar is doubled by acoustic guitar before Lanegan enters with his trademark whiskey soked growl. "I been a long long time away, with one foot in the grave, glorified in the dying of the sun" he croons during the chorus, with his amazing vocals that perfectly compliment the excited riffs and percussion. Features a trippy sitar solo in place of guitar which gives the song incredible character. Great to wake yourself up in the morning. 8/10

All I Know:

Begins with a simple, slightly bluesy riff before breaking into a typical Trees chord progression. As is common place on this album, many guitar tracks are evident such as acoustic and distorted electric open and barre chords, giving the track a great amount of texture. Lanegan effortlessly relays his heroin user's call for help to the point where you can almost feel the needle in your arm. The solo here is a typical Conner, pentatonic 'beautiful mess'. Very trippy. 7/10

Look At You:

Probably my least favourite track, simply due to it's subdued nature and my heavier tastes. Never the less a cracker. Mark soulfully tells the story of a failed relationship. The guitar here is actually fairly heavy in places, though never to the point where it changes the mood of the track. Has a pretty 'metally' solo. Good to chill to. 6/10

Dying Days:

The song that got me to buy this album (or rather, get my girlfriend to :thumb: ). Starts with a progression similar to the verse of 'All I Know' on an acoustic before thunderous powerchords enter from a distorted electric, leading into a fast moving verse riff. Mark tells the story of the declining state of Seattle over two energetic verse riffs, before breaking into a chorus and an excellent solo. The verses are then repeated but with acoustic backing (common place on many trees songs) before the electric guitar returns for Lanegan's "Waiting for the sunshine" refrain. There's then an awsome outro solo by Pearl Jam's Mike McCready. 9/10

Make My Mind:

Driving bass powers this softly written but powerfully performed song. Another song to a girl, but much more heavy than Look At You. Kinda like a sucessor to "Butterfly" from the Tree's sublime "Sweet Oblivion". Features another of Conner's trippy-cum-metal solos. 7/10

Sworn And Broken:

A very weird, psychedelic softy. Lanegan sings softly, once again, about a girl. Features what I believe to me a mellotron solo! Sounds weird, but fits very, very well with the mood of the track. Very soulful vocals here. 7/10


Begins with a somewhat bluesy guitar intro. Lanegan's haunting refrain of 'I think I'm gonna die, think I'm gonna die' will echo around your head like few other things. Seemingly about spirituality, Lanegan questions rhetorically in the chorus "Which God is mine" The one with a witness.." The band is incredibly tight on this one. And it kinda reminds me a bit of U2. 7/10


Incredibly calm, reflective track. Similar to Lanegan's numerous solo offerings, and somewhat unexpected for this album. You can really feel the pain in his voice here, he perfectly coaches you into sharing his personal mental breakdown. Very percussive acoustic guitar on this track, which is perfect for backing Lanegan without overshadowing his vocals. I think this track features another mellotron solo. One of my faves. 9/10

Dime Western:

Starts with bass and tribal sounding percussion, before they are joined by a wah-heavy, slightly off key lead guitar. Lanegan absolutely astounds on this track, constantly mixing the order of the claims 'I been where you never been, I've seen what you never seen, I've dreamed what you never dreamed, I left what you never leave" before letting the ressonance in his voice fade for a cleverly distant sounding 'take me higher'. The solo here sounds very native to a particular country, though it's difficult to pin down. Indian" 9/10

Gospel Plow:

Perfect ender. Starts with what seems to be a sustained note on guitar with a cool, relaxing bassline and a repetitive but fitting bongo beat. Lyrics seem to actually be partially lifted from the song of the same name by Bob Dylan. However, when Mark sings the last repeat of "if you wanna get to heaven let me tell you how, keep your hand on the gospel plow" the drums, perfectly timed, kick in. The song's energy tripples as Mark's lyrics change to his own, about a fallen relationship. Messy leads are dropping everywhere while the bass gets more speady and drives the pace of the song much harder. At the end of the song, psychedelic leads weasle their way up the neck before the song reaches a peak ends abruptly. Until the sustained guitar, chillout bassline and bongos return to ease you out of the song. It's this self assured outro that really makes this song for me. 10/10

Overall: 4/5

An amazing all around album, good for any mood. A brilliant showcase of an incredibly talented, inexplicably ignored band.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
September 6th 2004


Really good review. Your first post, too. I like Mark Lanegan's solo stuff, but don't actually know that much by Screaming Trees....I'll look into this.

April 23rd 2005


Picked this up today. Lanegan is excellent, Barrett Martin is genius, but the album doesn't jump out at me. It'll probably grow on me, but right now I give it 3/5. I think the intricacy and mass amounts of instruments are too much to take in at first.

Oh, and whoever does the backing vocals makes a vocal duo rivalling that of Jerry Cantrell and Layne Stayley.

Foreskin Fondler
May 2nd 2006


more people should start listening to the screaming trees. Their one of those great bands that no one cares about for some odd reason

September 30th 2006


did you mean to give this a zero? i need to get some screaming trees stuff. they're a really good band.

November 4th 2006





This Message Edited On 11.04.06

November 4th 2006


i just reviewed ocean of confusion
this review is kl
bt i dnt fink u meant to give it a 0/5!!!

November 17th 2008


holy crap this review is waaaay too ancient

March 24th 2009


this review is amusing


March 24th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

imho screaming trees were the BEST grunge band out of the whole seattle scene. this album is goregeous and its one i often take out of my Cd collection to listen to at least once a week.

March 24th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

Hmmm think I'll review this down the line, I've always enjoyed The Screaming Trees. Dust and Sweet Oblivion are both great albums.Well time to rephrase that: Superb

This Message Edited On 03.24.09This Message Edited On 03.24.09

February 18th 2010


Album Rating: 5.0

Some way to sort this page out?

April 26th 2010


Album Rating: 5.0

this rocks very underrated album of the grunge genre imo a lot better than a lot of pearl jam albums but it does take quite a few listens for it to grow on you once it does your hooked that's why i didn't give it a classic rating.

Digging: The Baby Namboos - ANCOATS2ZAMBIA

August 31st 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

Timeless fantastic rock album. 2-sided 10 song'ed.

This has nothing really to do with grunge, but you'd probably like this anyway.

December 9th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

Good shit

especially halo of ashes.

July 14th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

This album defines 'solid', not a bad track on there. Great review too, as TBT's go, though you could probably do with a few less spaces and I don't have a clue what the 0.0 is about....

March 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

fantastic album; halo of ashes is one of the best openers ever.. kicks ass

March 3rd 2012


Yeah it's better than sweet oblivion

August 11th 2012


Now THIS RIGHT HERE, is an oldskool review bra.

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