Screeching Weasel

Screeching Weasel's album cover for Wiggle

Screeching Weasel was a punk band from Chicago.  Founded in the mid eighties Screeching Weasel went on to inspire countless others in the punk rock community.  While drawing much of their initial inspiration from The Ramones they quickly found their own unique sound.  The simplistic guitaring, snearing vocals and fast tempos set a special tone matched by few.  For me one of the things that sets Screeching Weasel apart is the feeling that these songs are written from real life experiences, they are written with heart.  The topics are basic, life changes, relationships, sadness, disagreements, anti-establishment, etc. the typical things that a regular joe goes through.  Yet with Screeching Weasel these topics come to life with such virility and sincerity, they are almost therapeutic if you happen to be in the right mood.

I think Screeching Weasel has to have had one of the most hectic band life spans on record.  They’ve gotten together and broken up about 5 times.  Not little breakups but with years of separation in between.  There has been countless spin off bands and countless band members.  Even who’s playing what has been an issue with the members switching instruments on an almost album to album basis.  The primary band members and initial founders were Ben Weasel(Ben Foster) and Jughead(John Pierson).  I won’t go into the others but the list is about twenty strong.  From what I understand there is currently a Screeching Weasel incarnation touring the US(in 2009) but in my view Screeching Weasel hasn’t existed since the release of “How to Make Enemies and Irritate People in 1994″.  I find the magic to be gone in albums since that release.  They’ve made a valiant effort and pumped out quite a few albums since 1994 but they just aren’t the same in my opinion.

Band drama aside Screeching Weasel managed to record an impressive catalog prior to 1994.  They were on dozens of splits as well as compilations.  It’s really hard to pick a favorite album since they were so consistent.  I should note that besides LP releases there were plenty of seven inch releases as well that contained songs that never made it to the LPs.  These songs can now be found on single compilations my favorite being on Lookout Records, “Kill The Musicians”.  Below is a full list of their LP releases.  Anything prior to and including 1994 is golden, except the first album which was more hardcore sounding, before the band hit it’s punk rock stride.Screeching Weasel circa 1989, photo by Pauline Poisonous

1) Screeching Weasel [1987]
2) Boogadaboogadaboogada! [1988]
3) My Brain Hurts [1991]
4) Beat On The Brat(Romones cover) [1992]
5) Wiggle [1993]
6) Anthem For A New Tomorrow [1993]
7) How to Make Enemies and Irritate People [1994]
8) Bark Like A Dog [1996]
9) Television City Dream [1998]
10) Emo [1999]
11) Teenage Punks in Heat [2000]

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