Screamfeeder: Pop Guilt

- Screamfeeder first started performing in Brisbane in 1991 and over the course of the next thirteen or so years released six full-length albums and a smattering of EPs. Whilst the band has done some live shows off and on since that time, it wasn’t until last year that a series of new singles appeared – Alone in a CrowdAll Over it Again and Karen Trust Me – all of which appear on the new album, Pop Guilt. Putting out new material after such an extended break can be a risky endeavour, but as each new song rolled out, it became clearer and clearer that Screamfeeder still has what it takes.

Sadly, too many bands that produce material after a long break tend to produce material that feels perfunctory or at best a mildly pleasant nostalgic echo of their old material. With this new album– their first full-length release since 2003 – Screamfeeder have achieved the challenging feat of retaining enough of the distinctive sound they’ve had for so long, while still producing a set of quality songs that sound fresh, and builds on their past material, rather than resting on it.

The band has the advantage that so much of their back catalogue still sparkles all these years later, but the new tunes on Pop Guilt have a fresh sizzle all of their own. The high energy indie rock feel is still there, jaunting through a range of different tempos and feels across the thirteen tracks. Bass player Kellie Lloyd and lead guitarist Tim Steward alternate as lead vocalist on different songs, which helps add further a sense of variety across the album.

The band will be performing in all the mainland capital cities over the coming weeks and no doubt will demonstrate they also remain a formidable live act. Regardless of whether or not you can get along to a show, I recommend getting yourself a serving of Pop Guilt. As the lyrics from the tune Sonic Souvenirs reminds us, “It’s been so long / I’ve nearly forgotten what it’s like,” but the new Screamfeeder will likely have you “jumping out of (your) skin / (and) rattling round like a skeleton.” Like so much of Screamfeeder’s past work, this is likely to be an album you’ll still be appreciating in fifteen year’s time – although hopefully it won’t take that long for them to put out another album.

- Andrew Bartlett.

Album Details

Album Title: Pop Guilt
Artist: Screamfeeder
Record Label: (Four-Four / ABC / Universal)