10 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The ‘90s alternative wave didn’t help everyone who participated. Screaming Trees had been a modestly successful blues-punk-psychedelic group that gained a harder edge after signing to a major label. After a touch of success, Screaming Trees found themselves without a label, and Last Words sat in limbo for 12 years until drummer Barrett Martin finally released it himself. The recordings were made at Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard’s studio, circa ‘98-‘99, and they’re top-notch. Back to their raw beginnings, but with singer Mark Lanegan’s growl ever more authoritative, The Final Recordings stands among the group’s finest releases. “Crawlspace” cuts with precision as a bluesy-punk snarl filtered through effects increases the unease. “Reflections” has a backwoods folk feel as the backing vocals approach the sounds of a séance. “Tomorrow Changes” samples psychedelic pop, while “Anita Grey” has a lighter feel, closer in line with the group’s late-‘80s output. “Ash Gray Sunday,” “Revelator,” and “Last Words” make the case for Screaming Trees as one of the most underrated groups of the ‘90s.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The ‘90s alternative wave didn’t help everyone who participated. Screaming Trees had been a modestly successful blues-punk-psychedelic group that gained a harder edge after signing to a major label. After a touch of success, Screaming Trees found themselves without a label, and Last Words sat in limbo for 12 years until drummer Barrett Martin finally released it himself. The recordings were made at Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard’s studio, circa ‘98-‘99, and they’re top-notch. Back to their raw beginnings, but with singer Mark Lanegan’s growl ever more authoritative, The Final Recordings stands among the group’s finest releases. “Crawlspace” cuts with precision as a bluesy-punk snarl filtered through effects increases the unease. “Reflections” has a backwoods folk feel as the backing vocals approach the sounds of a séance. “Tomorrow Changes” samples psychedelic pop, while “Anita Grey” has a lighter feel, closer in line with the group’s late-‘80s output. “Ash Gray Sunday,” “Revelator,” and “Last Words” make the case for Screaming Trees as one of the most underrated groups of the ‘90s.

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