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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Scream

Siouxsie And The Banshees

1978

Buy At Rough Trade
The Scream
Album Summary

The Scream is the debut studio album by British rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees, released on 13 November 1978 by Polydor Records. The album is considered a landmark recording: its innovative combination of angular guitar with a bass-led rhythm and machine-like drums played mostly on toms, made it a pioneering work of the post-punk genre. The Scream was met with widespread acclaim and was hailed by critics as an original musical development in rock music. It has been cited as a key influence on a number of succeeding post-punk, noise rock and alternative rock acts, including Joy Division, Killing Joke, the Cure, Big Black, Sonic Youth, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Faith No More and Massive Attack.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.02

Votes

10986

Genres

  • Rock
  • Post Punk

Reviews

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

This album was the first that really conflicted me from a ratings standpoint. It's also the first one that is closer to what I normally listen to. The album itself isn't one I particularly enjoy. It's ok, in general, but not a sound I would listen to much. The conflict comes from the fact that this album was one of the most influential to the punk genre that most of my favorite artists of all time belong to. You can hear the influences that my favorite bands drew on and you can see where this album helped change the world in that way. With that, I gave it one more star than I would have otherwise because I believe this album helped pave the way for the future alternative and punk genres.

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Thu Nov 12 2020
5

I've written this somewhere else, copying it. From 1978. This debut is a dark and heavy slice of post-punk. Heavy guitars, twisted lyrical poetry, and apocalyptic soundscapes. Lead singer Siouxsie Sioux lends these songs a heavy, doom-laden atmosphere- on the classic "Jigsaw Feeling," her bewitching declarations soar above crashing, biting guitars and a squirming bass line, while the epic "Switch" sees her building from an acidic croon to a deadly chant. Other highlights include "Carcass," which uses the image of torture and cannibalism as an extended metaphor for the psychological effects of unrequited love... over a ridiculously catchy surf-rock background. The handclaps in the final verse are nothing short of genius. "Suburban Relapse" is a harrowing portrait of insanity, wit an absolutely Wagnerian sense of drama.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
4

Deserves some sort of extra credit for recording "Helter Skelter" exactly how Charles Manson heard it in his head ten years prior. Overall, this album is a delight. Shame on everyone I went to college with for not introducing this to me during my campus years. You can literally hear countless bands (the B52's, Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins immediately come to mind) forming just from hearing this. Dark, twisted, original and thoroughly enjoyable.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
2

I'm not feeling very generous this morning, unfortunately. The music was really interesting, but the singing mostly annoyed me. Again, I know that's the style, and it's on purpose, but it just doesn't please me very much. 2 stars.

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Tue Sep 22 2020
4

I feel like this is an album I "get" more than I truly enjoy. Made me wanna put on eyeliner and wear all black clothing. A song like "Hong Kong Garden" has NOT aged well, even if it means well. The Beatles cover is so on-brand for what I expected this to be: dramatic, over-the-top, artsy. Favorite tracks: "Jigsaw Feeling", "Carcass", "Suburban Relapse".

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Fri Feb 05 2021
3

While I'm a fan of what I have heard of Siouxsie & The Banshees since high school, I've never had a full listen of their debut, The Scream. Siouxsie's emotionally charged vocals explode from the grinding guitar and punk-rich drum & bass rhythms. And I'm not gonna lie, a lot of the A-side is not for the faint of heart or ear, and wasn't easy to swallow today for me. But Hong Kong Garden and The Staircase peaked my interest above the rest of the record and are better examples of SATB's developing accessibility that bloomed in the 80s.

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Tue Dec 05 2023
3

With a shriek and a yell, Siouxsie and the Banshees began their incomparable run amongst the post-punk/indie throng. A commanding presence, Siouxsie dominates The Scream (improbably the band's debut album) in a manner only she and the group could carry, approaching one peak after another like the noticeable Helter Skelter cover, Jigsaw Feeling and Hong Kong Garden. A really rather good start. Favorites: Jigsaw Feeling, Overground, Carcass, Helter Skelter, Suburban Relapse, Switch, Hong Kong Garden.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

In My Vinyl collection already this one. Siouxsie Sioux doing her indomitable best to change the face of women in rock music. I love their version of the Beatles "Helter Skelter" and of course "Hong Kong Garden" and "The Staircase (Mystery)" A real statement from one of the original "Bromley Contingent" just gotta love her chutzpah. Definately on my list of 1001 LP's to Hear Before You Die!

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Fri Dec 04 2020
4

Solid proto-post-punk. More important than many records of that era

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

This album is sick. Kind of got a bit of Velvet Underground energy but sounds so dark... I don't really know what to think about it - it's good, really good, but it's definitely something you need to be in the mood for. That Helter Skelter cover was bizarre af

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Wed Dec 06 2023
4

I’ve a lot of love in my heart for post-punk, and this band’s debut helped write the book.

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Tue Jun 08 2021
2

Angry, discordant punk/experimental. Not really something I enjoy.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
2

Would've been 3 but her vocals are infuriating.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
1

Early punk and I'm not so sure I really care for it. 3/10.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
1

Je ne vais pas vous cacher que j'ai passé une demi-heure épouvantable en compagnie de cet album. Il s'agit tout simplement d'une notice de quarante-minutes destinée à expliquer tout ce qu'il ne faut pas faire quand on sort un disque. À croire que la chanteuse et les musiciens ne se sont jamais rencontrés tant la voix et les instruments n'arrivent pas à s'accorder une seule seconde. Ne me refais plus ce coup là, Robert.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

I’m going to listen to this one over again.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

Women were so much better at punk than men.

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Sun Feb 12 2023
5

Not as impressive as *Juju* but still a historically important and seminal record in the post-punk genre (and one of the earliest of its kind). No one on Earth can sing like Siouxsie, with her instantly recognizable haunting voice. As for the instrumentation, Steve Severin's bouncing basslines bring a breath of fresh air to the claustrophobic mood of those tunes, and John McKay literally invented a playing style--if there was a patent for "angular" guitar lines, he should be its rightful owner. "Jigsaw Feeling" and "Mirage", along with the atmospheric and mysterious "Switch" are landmarks of the genre. And if it's too bad the band didn't include their all-time classic "Hong Kong Garden" in the original album tracklisting (a non-album single), I'm pretty sure most CD copies available out there now include it as a bonus track. So 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5. A couple of songs are indeed a little difficult for non-fans of the genre, but given how ridiculously *low* the overall score of this seminal album is, I can't give it any less than that. Number of albums left to review: 657 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 171 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 82 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more essential to me): 96

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Fri Mar 24 2023
5

I kept coming back to this album and listened it 5 times over the last 24 hours. What a crucial and amazing post punk record. I find it hard to word how this album has been impacting me, but songs like Jigsaw Feeling, Suburban Relapse and Switch make me listen close, to all sounds, cracks and noises. Amazing. I was washing up the dishes / minding my own business / when my string snapped. I had a relapse / a suburban relapse.

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Fri Apr 21 2023
5

A low 5, but it grabbed the spot by being proto-everything I like out of the 80s, so great job!

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Thu May 25 2023
5

Feels timeless, like its a sign of good things to come for music. Scratches a unique itch.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

Really fucking good album. 5 stars for sure.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

I loved this! really well done gothy post-punk - noisy but organised yet still danceable for some reason. and so cool that the beatles covered that helter skelter song! [NB - I'm glad Hong Kong Garden was not on the original release because it's easily the worst song there]

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Thu Aug 17 2023
5

Still sounds great after nearly 45 years! What a debut album and highly influential.

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Sun Sep 03 2023
5

Punk, post-punk, goth - pretty much everything and the best debut to come out of the first punk wave. It's five stars even without Hong Kong Garden and Staircase mystery - both singles but not on the original album. John McKay on this album is as good a guitarist as John McGeogh - very different, and a lot harsher, but as good.

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Mon Sep 18 2023
5

S&tB debut album - it is their noisiest album and in my top 3 of S&tB albums. (Two days ago we had the Teardropes Explodes debut, a more psychedelic version of post-punk which I also like, but Scream is of a different level.)

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Sun Sep 24 2023
5

PJ Harvey sprung out fully formed from a Siouxsie album

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Wed Sep 27 2023
5

"The Scream" by Siouxsie and the Banshees is a groundbreaking masterpiece that continues to captivate listeners with its hauntingly innovative sound. Released in 1978, this debut album effortlessly blends punk energy with a dark, atmospheric quality that sets it apart from its contemporaries. Siouxsie Sioux's mesmerizing vocals, often veering from eerie whispers to powerful howls, are the album's driving force. Tracks like "Metal Postcard" and "Jigsaw Feeling" showcase her commanding presence. The band's sonic experimentation is evident throughout, with unconventional percussion and John McKay's screeching guitar work on "Pure" adding an extra layer of intensity. The album's lyrical themes explore alienation and disillusionment, creating a sense of unease that perfectly complements the music's edginess. "The Scream" is a timeless classic that remains a testament to Siouxsie and the Banshees' enduring influence on post-punk and gothic rock, making it an essential addition to any music collection.

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Sun Oct 08 2023
5

As gothic post punk masterpiece. I love the guitar.

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Wed Oct 18 2023
5

I have enough goth friends that I knew of Siouxsie and the Banshees but had never done a deep dive. What a hell of a debut album. Some of it sounds a bit dated to me but looking at the date it really defined a genre for years. 5/5. Great album.

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Thu Oct 26 2023
5

Rounding up to 5 stars out of fear that this is the only Siouxsie album on this list. Production is a bit tinny, and her voice isn’t featured as much as later albums. However, Switch is a sign of things to come. Hope Juju is amongst these albums, when she is at the peak of her powers.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

This is, and I don't say this lightly, an absolute fucking masterpiece. For me it's the ground zero of post-punk. Every track is superb, and let's not forget this is a debut album. There are few bands that close their debut with a near seven minute song, but Switch is the standout track on The Scream.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
5

This was a great album from Siouxsie and the Banshees! The music was so dark, gritty, and punky (which I absolutely love!). I highly recommend this one! I liked almost every track and will definitely save for future listens. Favorite Song(s): "Hong Kong Garden", "Nicotine Strain", "Overground", "Carcass", "Mirage"

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Thu Jan 18 2024
5

That's funny Autumn just mentioned these guys the other day! oh wow! It has been cited as a key influence on a number of succeeding post-punk, noise rock and alternative rock acts, including Joy Division, Killing Joke, the Cure, Big Black, Sonic Youth, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Faith No More and Massive Attack. That's crazy. Just for that it deserves 5 stars

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Mon Jan 29 2024
5

"The Scream" is the debut album by British rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It is considered "a landmark recording with an innovative combination of angular and serrated guitars with bass-led rhythms and machine-like drums" and "a pioneering work of the post-punk genre." I really can't add much more to that. The bandmembers included Siouxsie Sioux (vocals), Steven Severin (bass), John McKay (guitar) and Kenny Morris (drums). The album reached #12 in the UK and had wide-spread critical acclaim. The first song "Pure" is mostly an instrumental but we get a sense what the band is: angular, high-pitched guitar, heavy bass and Siouxsie howling. This leads into "Jigsaw Feeling." Thumping bass, pounding tom-tom drums and that same guitar sound which does sound like a jigsaw. The pace picks up. Oh, yeah, this is post-punk. "Overground" has Siousie screaming about sacrificing yourself for normal people. No one in this group seems normal. Nice starting and stopping by the bass and drums. Of course, there's a song named "Carcass." Of course, it's about a butcher falling in love with raw meat. By far, their most normal sounding rock and roll song. I like the dichotomy. "Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)" is very mechanical sounding. Guitar scratching which goes into some sort of eerie guitar chord progression. A tom-tom drum beat. About waking up and finding you're under the rule of a totalitarian mastermind. The album closes with "Switch" which may be guitarist McKay's finest moment. More eerie guitar strings; he dominates going all over the place with echoes. The pace keeps picking up. Siouxsie screaming about the hypocrisy of everything. This is quite the album and is one of the best debut albums that I've heard and along with Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures," defines post punk. The music and lyrics create a foreboding and eerie atmosphere. McKay's serrated and angular guitar is unique and just spectacular. I hear this guitar sound in PIL. The Pretenders, Sonic Youth, U2 and I'm sure a lot more I'm not thinking of right now. Although muttled, Siouxsie's vocals are haunting and appropriate for thr music; she would become much more in the forefront in the future. The bass and drums are also great. I thotoughly agree with the landmark label.

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

Yeah this album rocks… how have I never heard this? Sounds completely modern despite being over 40 years old

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Thu Feb 01 2024
5

Great album if you are into that unrefined early punk sound.

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Tue Feb 13 2024
5

To start, I am VERY picky when it comes to 5 star music. This album had me HOOKED. I've known of & listened to Siouxsie and the Banshees before (I love spellbound) so I had high hopes, and safe to say my hopes were met. If you like goth music, this album is DEFINITELY worth a listen.

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Sun Mar 17 2024
5

Best album so far top 5 punk of all time. Experimental, progressive, industrial post punk. Nothing you have heard sound like this. Now its probably in my top 50 ever best albums. Grace Slick meets sex pistols, with the ramones in the trunk on a car full of the runaways. Simply a masterpiece with punk rockers who are actually great musicians. Clean as punk can get.

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Fri Mar 29 2024
5

love this band. Hong Kong Garden is fire.

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Thu Apr 25 2024
5

What an awesome band this is. I just love the way that punk bands play their instruments...so much power and connected rhythms. I could listen to both this and Juju on repeat forever. Favorite track: Switch

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Fri Apr 26 2024
5

This album is an essential post-punk record. It is brooding and dark and features great song development. It reminds me quite a bit of Joy Division/New Order. I can also hear this sound in later bands as well. As a debut, this is fantastic.

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Fri May 24 2024
5

How have I never listened to this post punk masterpiece before?

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Thu Dec 10 2020
4

Cool Helter Skelter cover. Best songs: Switch, Hong Kong Garden and Nictone Stain.

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Fri Jan 08 2021
4

Goede en toegankelijke "punk"

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

Awesome. A little underrated in her catalogue. 8/10

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Wed Apr 07 2021
4

I like the vibes. Like X, but Brits!

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Fri Apr 23 2021
4

Really enjoyed it. can see how the sound lives on today, "carcass" in particular sounds like a female-fronted Hives

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

I'd like to listen to this again to differentiate the songs? Bit samey but good

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

Good album, I like it a lot. definitely sounds ahead of it’s time. It does get a little samey tho. 8.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Some crackers on this album, proper goth / punk banger.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

I quite liked most of Side 1 of this album.  Jigsaw Feeling is excellent. Overground - not so much. My favourite might be Carcass - a song that it seems most people passed over. The thundering  in your face bass lines do the trick for me.  I have a habit of commenting on cover versions so I must say that The Banshees' cover of Helter Skelter is excellent. Side 2 doesn't start strong but again I liked the less popular songs Metal Postcard and Nicotine Stains. The driving bass lines in Nicotine Stains make the song. On the home stretch, Suburban Relapse and the first half of Switch were a little hard to listen to.  Listening to this was a little bizarre since, before playing it,  I thought we were easily heading to 4 or 5 territory since  I remember liking this band. At the end of the day, I'm rounding up which is deserved imo since they influenced  many bands I like,  in particular bands fronted by females.  

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Fri May 07 2021
4

3.5 because of the last song

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Mon Jul 12 2021
4

Raw and edgy goth post-punk. I much prefer her voice on later albums - she does a monotone drone a bit much but it's still really cool and interesting.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
4

Energetic, lively, fully committed to what they were doing. A really fun listen.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

Really surprised I haven't heard more of this band.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
4

4/5 only because I know with time I will like it more and more. Some really good dark rock on here. Standout: Helter Skelter.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
4

really fun, women are so punk!!!!!

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Wed Sep 15 2021
4

Hell yes. Great 70's female punk album. Great cover of Helter Skelter. 4.5

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Sun Oct 31 2021
4

Absolutely classic debut album from the Banshees. What punk was all about.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
4

What an interesting listen. If I hadn't looked at the band title, I might have thought it was a Patti Smith album. The wiki article talks about how the vocals in this album are an instrument and I can definitely see that. It's hard to believe that it was recorded in 1978. I love this tidbit from wikipedia that shows that fandom sometimes does work. "A fan undertook a graffiti campaign in London, spraying the walls of the major record companies with the words "Sign the Banshees: do it now"." Also, this was interesting to learn about the title,"The title of the album was in part inspired by the 1968 film The Swimmer (starring Burt Lancaster), in which main character, Neddy Merrill, intended to swim home, using open-air pools. Climbing over garden fences, from pool to pool, his journey put him into a state of mental and physical exhaustion, and in the end, Goddard said, "all Neddy Merrill could think to do was scream, [...] as a scream of exhausted jubilance after a troubled, arduous journey". All around, a good album. Made me want check out their last album of 2004 to see where the band went.

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Mon Jan 10 2022
4

I understand Juju, but I'm a bit shocked this was picked over Kaleidoscope, A Kiss in the Dreamhouse, or Tinderbox on the list. Am I complaining? No. I love post-punk and I love Siouxsie's vocals. What I love best about her vocals is best represented in "Metal Postcard," abrasive but fun and a little weird, reminds me of Cindy Wilson of the B-52s. There are some haunting gothic hints of where their sound will take, as in "Overground" and "Suburban Relapse." It seems like a lot of viewers give their points to the album's influence over how much they like it. I'm the opposite: their influence didn't explode until two albums later, but I find this to be a guilty pleasure of mine. I really enjoy all the songs; there's always something exciting happening that I wouldn't believe anyone who said they all sound the same. Before today, I only knew "Hong Kong Garden," and now I appreciate the song so much more now that I have context of how different this album is from their other work, and I like that. Again another example that reinforces post-punk as my favorite genre.

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Thu Jan 13 2022
4

Really enjoyable post-punk record. Wasn't familiar with this group but it feels right at home with other artists/bands that I love from the same genre and period. Some great noise-rock guitar sounds. Will try to revisit this one again soon.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
4

Ding ding ding ding-ding-ding-ding-ding oooooh oh oh oh oh

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

Encore une belle découverte, album plein de promesses pour l’avenir.

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Thu Mar 17 2022
4

1978? You can hear this album's influence in late 80s synth pop, 90s college rock, on and on. This was a pleasure to listen to and this album in particular is an example of the post-punk sound's influence. Bonus: what a great version of Helter Skelter.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

Essential album for goth, post-punk, new wave. Great sound. Some mysterious bass, guitars flowing with anxiety and stress. Siouxsie's moans and shouts are just immaculate. Fav track: Switch.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
4

Encore une fois, en terme de face A et de face B, la face B est vraiment meilleure. La première écoute était moins évidente, mais une fois que j'ai "sizé" le groupe, j'ai complètement embarqué. Ce n'est pas une écoute de tous les moments, mais quand t'es dans le mood, c'est parfait. Un peu comme Sonic Youth. J’aime beaucoup les guitares sur cet album. Étrangement, c'est la dernière pièce que j'aime le plus, The Staircase (Mystery). Je trouve ce single de cette époque qui a été ajouté à la réédition de 2005 plus abouti et plus original. J'adore le jeu des guitares sur cette pièce. Pour ce qui est de la reprise de Helter Skelter, je trouve que c'est ce que dois être un cover, une adaptation au style du groupe. Si tu connais la chanson, cool, tu as la référence, mais sinon, tu l'apprécies comme n'importe quelle autre chanson de l'album. Ça fonctionne ici. Un album important qui a sa place sur cette liste. Pièces préférées: The Staircase (Mystery), Switch, Metal Postcard (Mittageisen), Nicotine Stain

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Mon Apr 04 2022
4

Genre: Post-Punk 4/5 Siouxsie and the Banshees, one of the first groups regarded as truly post-punk, released their debut album in late 1978. The turn of the decade was nigh, and groups such as these brits right here were beginning to push the limits of rock into the 80s. This album, The Scream, was one of my favorite listens throughout this exercise. Incredibly forward thinking, heavy as hell, and clearly a major influence on the genre, this album is an album not just full of killer jams, but one that’s a big moment for rock and post-punk. Once Jigsaw Feeling started, I knew I was in for a good time. The album continued to pump out jam after jam, with Carcass shortly following it, their take on Helter Skelter (which is quite good), and with songs like Metal Postcard and Suburban Relapse filling out the back end of the album. All of these tracks do a great job of executing their own unique style, and after the album finished, I genuinely just wanted to start it over and listen again. The vocals were wild and great, the guitars are top-notch sludge, and the rhythm section in this swings between tribal and punk styles like it’s no problem. Really great stuff here, very pleasantly surprised!

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Wed Apr 06 2022
4

I really enjoyed listening to this album. I had heard individual songs but never the entire album in a listen-through.

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Mon May 16 2022
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Helter skelter,

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Wed Jun 01 2022
4

Pretty good somewhat haunting

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Sun Jul 03 2022
4

I'm starting to think I like Siouxsie and the Banshees. I was originally listening on laptop speakers and halfway through Jigsaw Feeling I wanted to go listen to this on headphones. Some very Can-like guitar playing here, reminds me of their track "Father Cannot Yell". I definitely appreciate the dark post-punk here. Fun to know that they originally didn't know how to play anything really on their first gig, that's as punk as it can get. That Helter Skelter cover surprised me as well. Overall it falls a bit down as it goes along for me, but overall still good stuff. Metal Postcard did kind of annoy me though.

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Sun Jul 03 2022
4

More familiar with her later material but I really enjoy this rawer/punkier debut. I'm a closet goth.

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Wed Aug 03 2022
4

A band that has always somehow been in orbit around me, plenty of people love them, but I have never sat down and given a listen. Pretty fun album, and I dig the vibe a lot. Will explore more of their records.

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Thu Aug 11 2022
4

A beautiful and gothic debut from Siouxsie and the Banshees. While they would surpass this album with bigger, more iconic music this is still fresh as hell.

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

i loved this. loved her voice. loved the sounds.

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