Saturday, December 21, 2013

Screaming Trees : Uncle Anesthesia 1991

After a long career with independent label SST, the Screaming Trees arrived at Epic Records with little fanfare (and would leave in much the same way) with 1991's Uncle Anesthesia. Produced by Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and metal specialist Terry Date, the album lurches to its feet on the military shuffle of "Beyond This Horizon."

Despite offering a few glimpses of the group's punkier side "Story of Her Fate," "Alice Said," "Time for Light" -- most of the material emphasizes the Trees' mellower inclinations. As its title and disturbing, Alice in Wonderland-inspired cover artwork would suggest, the album also finds the band delving deeper and deeper into their psychedelic tendencies.

Gary Lee Conner's lysergic guitar textures gently frame Mark Lanegan's rough, whiskey-drenched vocals on such highlights as the title track, "Caught Between," and "Something About Today." And while "Bed of Roses" and "Lay Your Head Down" betray a strong R.E.M. influence, songs like "Before We Arise," "Closer," and "Disappearing" (with its Mexican funeral horn section) possess a sense of despair and hopelessness that only Lanegan's voice can convey. The last album to feature original drummer Mark Pickerel, Uncle Anesthesia also set the stage for the band's breakthrough, Sweet Oblivion.

(all music)


01 Beyond This Horizon      4:13
02 Bed of Roses             3:02
03 Uncle Anesthesia             3:52
04 Story of Her Fate             1:41
05 Caught Between             5:03
06 Lay Your Head Down             3:32
07 Before We Arise             2:26
08 Something About Today     3:02
09 Alice Said                     4:11
10 Time for Light             3:50
11 Disappearing             3:12
12 Ocean of Confusion             3:05
13 Closer                     5:48


Count the miles before they pass you by
Shadow of the sun has crossed the sky
Fill your head with everything you find

Beyond this horizon
Beyond this horizon
Beyond this horizon

Somewhere in the valley where you lie
Pray for those whose sun will never rise
Ghosts are laughing everywhere you land
Take another step and then you can

Beyond this horizon
Beyond this horizon
Beyond this horizon

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