Screeching Weasel – [Album]

Friday, 19 November 2010

Over the years, Screeching Weasel has built a deserved reputation as one of the truly great skate punk bands of the Eighties and Nineties. Since first blasting out of Chicago in 1986, SW has hammered flat, honed and perfected their sound to the joy of their devout and rabid fan base but, in all of the band's storied history, one album has always stood out as the “whoops!” release, and even the most dogged and vocal Weasel fans will sheepishly admit to it. That album is Television City Dream. Sure, the album was chock full of pop culture and Ramones references, but that was to be expected because pretty much all of the band's albums are like that; the reason Television City Dream didn't go over so well with anyone was because it was so muddled. It just didn't play well; as soon as Screeching Weasel would get a head of steam built up, it would either be dashed by a misplaced vibe or would sit too long in the same thematic place; listeners could easily skip a couple of songs because the band would take three or four to flog the same point. Because of that, Television City Dream has been a bad weed in Screeching Weasel's catalogue for the last twelve years but, now in 2010, the band has finally decided to mend fences; now re-sequenced and remixed, Television City Dream reappears on record store new release walls.

Truth be told, the changes made to the sequencing of the record as well as its' mix do help the record's case. Now not so muddy sounding “Speed Of Mutation,” “Dummy Up,” “Punk Rock Explained,” “Identity Crisis” and “We Are The Generation X” have the chance to really punch with the punk pop force that some true believers always thought it might be able to, were they to have the chance. As an added bonus, the band doesn't flog a point for three or four songs in a row now, thanks to the re-sequencing done to the reissue. For example while all four songs are still negative, having “Video” inserted between “Dummy Up” and “Your Morality” as the reissue does keeps the proceedings from getting too monotonous or preachy; the commentary is broken up a bit now, which keeps it all a lot lighter. Likewise, “Punk Rock Explained” and “My Own World” keep “Dirty Needles,” “Breaking Point” and “Outside Of You” from tanking under the sour grapes that Ben Weasel is spitting; the results of such simple changes keep the album moving better, and just making it more enjoyable in general.

Now, will this release make up for the bad taste that Television City Dream left in the mouths of listeners on the first go-round twelve years ago? It may for some, it may not for others – but it's likely that this release is geared more to appeal to younger punks who may have just discovered the band. This way, they may pick up on Screeching Weasel and develop a long-time love affair – and with Television City Dream appearing as it does here, they could actually get a strong start with this release.



Screeching Weasel – "Speed Of Mutation" – Television City Dream


The reissue of Television City Dream is out now. Buy it here on Amazon , or here directly from Fat Wreck Chords .

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