Screaming Trees – Last Words, The Final Recordings (2011)

This album should be released eleven years ago, but in 2000 not one record label was interested in Screaming Trees. Nowadays the world – and economy – falling apart, everything worth a try, the record labels would release even their neighbor grandma’s singing in the bath if there’s the smallest chance to cash-in a few cents. Don’t ask me what happened with the idea that music should be fun and joy… But back in 2000 Screaming Trees was fired by the industry, now they thought it’s time to deliver to their fans their last songs and it’s quite alright.
Back then, Mark Lanegan joined Queens of the Stone Age, Barrett Martin has been a touring member for several bands and worked with Stone Temple Pilots and R.E.M. along others and Gary Lee Conner started the bands The Purple Outside and Amanita Caterpillar in which he is the vocalist.
“Last Word” the eight album by Screaming Trees, released on August 2, 2011.

Put to tape during 1998 and 1999 in  Stone Gossard’s Studio Litho to record the last batch of songs they wrote and played. “Ash Grey Sunday” was shopped them around to labels, but no label was interested. A few surprise shows in early 2000 to try to gain a label’s attention but they were unsuccessful. Eventually they did however release the song “One Way Conversation” on the Musicblitz Records internet label.
After remaining untouched for over ten years, the tapes were recently found by drummer Barrett Martin and producer Jack Endino, who proceeded to carefully clean and transfer them to a digital format.
The album features Gary Lee Conner on guitar, his brother Van Conner on bass, Barrett Martin on drums, and, of course, Mark Lanegan on Vocals. REM’s Peter Buck makes special appearances on acoustic and 12-string guitar, as well as Josh Homme (Queen Of the Stone Age).

Listen/buy the album HERE.

Bright and agreeable, with kind of comfortable garage rock resonances, but without being too scratchy and edgy, “Last Words” probably is far not the most inspired collection of songs by Screaming Trees. “Ash Gray Sunday”, “Revelator”, “Crawlspace” or even “Last Words” are quite nice pieces to listen. And remember.
Along with the Melvins, U-Men, Skin Yard, Soundgarden, Green River, and Malfunkshun, Screaming Trees are one of the “Godfathers of Grunge” and was one of the most successful underground music acts of the 1990s.

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