F-Minus - Wake Up Screaming (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Wake Up Screaming (2003)


Brutality. That's the word I'd use to describe this album. Utter brutality. From start to end this album skins you alive and screams in your ear loud enough to cause perminant loss of hearing.

Although longer and more varied than past F Minus albums, this is without any doubt their best. Most of the songs are what you'd expect from an F Minus album- raw, thrashing and fast as hell. Brad's gravel like voice mixed with Erika's throat tearing yell (which makes Brody Armstrong look like Britney Spears) propel the band over music as punishing as the lyrics. Lyrically this album is similar to the others, dealing with anger, anomie, violence and politics. Many people had labeled this album as "slower" than the rest, that's just false. First off, there are some songs that have a "heavier" tempo and last longer, but those one's ended up being my favorites on the record. Songs like "Wake Up Screaming", "Sweating Blood", "Not This Time", "From Here", and "Survival" are trademark, blistering F Minus. A couple of the songs play at a heavier, longer pace and really give the band a chance to show that they CAN play a song over 2 minutes long AND play it well! Brad get's his shot at it in "Mother Of Suffer"and, my personal favorite "Here Lies Jessica". Erika REALLY shines on the brutal "A Transformation". The latter 2 songs moving along at a chugging pace slightly faster than, say, side 2 of Black Flag's "My War". The album closes itself with the most ferocious and ear splitting song this band (or almost any band for that matter) has ever produced- "Barking Dog", I'm sure that both Erika and Brad sing on this song, but most of the time they are screaming so hard that you can't tell which is which. The scream until their throats become coarse, Erika actually screams until her throat actually gives out on a her a couple times. It's amazing.

This album more than earns it's 10. Definitely a surprise, not that I wasn't expecting it to be good, but just not incredible....which is what it is, purely an experiance which must be had from start to finish. The album plays almost like a single, long, brutal assault on the senses. Get this thing. Best thing to ever come out of Hellcat.