Album Review: Screamfeeder are back with ‘Five Rooms’ – a pulsating collection of harmony laden fuzz pop.


The Breakdown

'Five Rooms' is a thunderous and evocative album: filled with a certain melodic sweetness that is underpinned by a raw, organic instrumentation with shades of light and darkness, subtle at times, fuzzy and muscular at other times.
Independent 8.5

Screamfeeder have been a veritable indie institution in Australia for more than a remarkable thirty years, and following a return to the live scene recently, they have just released their new album ‘Five Rooms’: a sparkling return to the fray.

At the heart of Screamfeeder’s music is pure melody: layered harmonies that are coated over a rough-hewn skeleton replete with snaking bass and jangling barbed-wire guitars.

The single ‘Don’t Get Me Started’ has all the hallmark fuzzy pop-soaked sounds that define the band.

Sung by bass player Kelly Lloyd, the track is a deliciously organic and febrile delight with a wall of jangling, fuzzy guitars, sibilant, snaky bass and Lloyd’s layered, louche vocals delivering a psych-infused melody that pops with a shoegaze haze.

Lloyd says of the track:

The sound on this song in particular was inspired by music that sounds like it’s been written in 5 mins and recorded in 15.  Loud, brash, a little unhinged, you don’t know if it’s going to fall over.  This song is just a fun song, but I’ve been feeling people need to look away from themselves, look away from our screens, look away from our reflections and see bigger pictures

Indeed the track references some of the Trumpian horrors of the past few years:

If you can’t sleep for what you’ve done
If you don’t blink when you look into the sun
Then I think there’s something wrong

‘Late To The Party’ has a long jungle rumble intro that pounds effortlessly forward with the might of something by The Cure, with a little more bite. Tracks like ‘Day Crew’ and the effervescent ‘Outers’ are examples of prime, euphoric indie pop that bubble and fizz with an air of sweet melancholy. ‘Campfire’ gently presses on the brakes – a charming and gentle track with a certain air of innocence and joy with a sing along nursery rhyme air and a sense of whimsy in the lyrics:

I was in the forest
I couldn’t find my campfire
I was in the forest
I couldn’t find my campfire
I thought I was sleeping safely in my tent
Something came and found me
I don’t know where I went
I was in the forest
I couldn’t find my campfire

‘Everything is Temporary’, again sung by Lloyd is a glorious example of Screamfeeder’s shoegaze genes with the jangling guitars and glorious harmonies whereas ‘Deidre’ is pure adrenaline-inducing power pop that has a sixties bubble gum flavour. Of the song, Tim Steward says:

Our short punky one for this album.. we couldn’t help get kinda excited about what it’d be like to play it live, with the big opening riff and extended mid-section.

We crammed a lot of music into this, but the message is very simple, along the lines of “how can you still want to be with me after I treat you like this?”. In a way it’s a sister song to “Who are We (to do this to each other?)”

‘How We Pay’ and ‘State to State’ highlight Lloyd’s thundering fuzzy bass that provides a solid, sonorous undercurrent. Final track ‘Try To Find Us’ is a fittingly haunting and atmospheric exit: an epic widescreen track that ebbs and flows with intensity.

‘Five Rooms’ is a thunderous and evocative album: filled with a certain melodic sweetness that is underpinned by a raw, organic instrumentation with shades of light and darkness, subtle at times, fuzzy and muscular at other times.

This is a band at their very best, showing creativity has no use by date.

Screamfeeder will be on tour to launch the album on the following dates:

FRIDAY JUNE 10 | NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, MELBOURNE | 18+
SATURDAY JUNE 11 | JIVE BAR, ADELAIDE | 18+
SATURDAY JUNE 18 | OXFORD ARTS FACTORY, SYDNEY | 18+
FRIDAY JUNE 24 | PRINCESS THEATRE, BRISBANE | 18+

Tickets available here.

Previous Track: These are not 'Important Things' - Marveline unleashes a glorious piece of charming and romantic whimsy.
Next Album Review: Warpaint get intimate & transcendent with 'Radiate Like This'

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