Scream Daisy’s Rise in the local music scene has accompanied the parallel growth of the many teens in their early fan base into young adulthood. Their seminal ‘Room 7’, originally recorded in 1999, slowly garnered local popularity over a span of many months, feeding off the very meat and potatoes of genuine rock music – emphatic airplay and an awesome string of memorable live performances. This great initial success was followed up by the release of 'In Case of Emergency' – a milestone local release. Flash forward five years, and we have the follow-up, long awaited, and self-titled. Prior to this release, the band’s indie leanings could be gleaned from their choice of cover material in live performances – I clearly recall a particularly resonating performance of Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Sweetness’, for instance.
However, Scream Daisy was considered more of a pop-rock outing. No longer! Their self-titled album immediately blows open any pigeon-hole they might have been confined to. Shades of the Strokes and the Queens of the Stone Age pervade, but thankfully, it’s still a Scream Daisy sound – a sure mark of a long road of maturation towards identity.
The album opens with ‘Seeing is Believing’, clearly ushering in the new regime of style. While the record is clearly more alternative, it never lets you settle into it. There is a very frequent shift in pace, between and within individual songs. The grinding, grounded and antagonistic tempo of ‘Learn to Fight’ completely flies in the face of the old rock-lyric cliché of ‘learning to fly’ – contrasting it with its ‘biological imperative’ alter-ego.
‘Pretty’ will probably end up being the most popular song on the album, and the one that it is mostly remembered for. It really crystallizes the shift in style, but it’s still immediately identified with and as Scream Daisy. ‘Bees’ still has me scratching my head… it’s probably the biggest enigma on the record. The contrast with the following ‘Surrogate City’ couldn’t be starker. This mellow, intimate, near-lullaby is far and away my personal favorite – and it’ll be interesting to see how it translates into a live set.
Not ones to let us get complacent, the style immediately shifts back to up-tempo with ‘Headlights in My Rearview Mirror’, featuring just a sprinkle of road-rage paranoia. The eccentric accent is kept up in ‘Astronaut’, another delightful enigma. ‘Go Away’ is the closest song in the album to old-time Scream Daisy releases. It doesn’t jar with the rest of the album, which is incredibly varied anyway… it does indicate how much work the band has put into finding its voice, though. The last three songs of the album, ‘10 Days’, ‘The Other Side of the Wall’ and ‘Airlifts’ ease us out of an album that completely redefines a band that had already achieved great success.
The result is another milestone in local music, and a courageous departure from previous efforts. It’s time to open your mind, and let Scream Daisy in.
Vanni Borg - "Juice Magazine"