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Scream was a hardcore punk band from Washington, D.C. active from 1981 to 1990.


Scream was formed in Northern Virginia in 1981 by singer Peter Stahl, his brother Franz Stahl on guitar, bassist Skeeter Thompson and drummer Kent Stax. They are considered one of the benchmark bands in the history of the Washington, D.C. hardcore music movement. Along with bands such as Minor Threat and Government Issue, Scream ultimately merged the attributes of the movement, which were blinding speed, heavy political and social connotations in the lyrics, unpretentiousness of attitude, and shunning of commercialism. Their music is faithful to the roots of rock, but spun itself into other genres by employing sounds that predate the raunchiness of grunge, while saluting reggae and speed metal. Scream hated the classification of bands into certain types and considered what they played as simply 'music.' Recording their music in the basement of the now legendary Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, VA, Scream became the first band on the Dischord label to release a whole album, Still Screaming, as opposed to singles or 12 inch EPs. Like the world-renowned hardcore band Bad Brains, they could play clearly at breakneck speed, but also played mid-tempo songs like "American Justice" and "Hygiene," which were metal-tinged reggae.

For their second album, Scream added a second guitarist to their line-up, Robert Lee "Harley" Davidson (a veteran of the local heavy metal band Tyrant - band which became know as Saint Vitus), to thicken the overtracks and dubs from Franz in their live performances. In turn this led to more complex guitar tracking, a more powerful live sound, and a crunchier recording sound for their third album. For a few compilation efforts and some live shows they added a keyboard player, the local keyboard wizard Bobby Madden, who for years was a colleague of Davidson's from the same metal scene.

After the 3rd album Banging the Drum, Kent Stax left the band for personal reasons and he was replaced by local drummer Dave Grohl, who then played on Scream's 4th album No More Censorship. The band then toured Europe; their May 04, 1990 show in Alzey, Germany was released by Tobby Holzinger as Your Choice Live Series Vol.10. Scream recorded their 5th and final studio album Fumble (which was released a few years later on Dischord Records) and then called it quits in late 1990. Pete and Franz gave rock a major-label shot with the band Wool, while Grohl joined Nirvana and helped make Grunge the sound of the '90s. In 1997, Franz Stahl briefly joined Dave Grohl's newly formed group, the commercially successful Foo Fighters. Thompson continued working in bands, as did Stax with such skinhead-tinged bands the Suspects, United 121, and the Spitfires United. Stax also committed himself to a family life. Davidson continued in other bands such as Angelstorm (in Huntsville Alabama) from 1993-1995 and creating new bands, including Orangahead, Festival of Fools with Madden in 1998, and two different bands both named God Is Dead (1 in D.C. and 1 in Huntsville Al) from 2002 - 2005.

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