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    Screaming Trees
Though they've never truly captured the imagnation of the American listening public, Ellensburg, Washington's Screaming Trees are unquestionably one of the finest rock bands to ever emerge from the Pacific Northwest. Formed in the mid-'80s by brothers Gary Lee and Van Conner (guitar and bass, respectively), vocalist Mark Lanegan, and drummer Mark Pickerel (replaced by Barrett Martin in 1991), theTrees have fused psychedelic, punk, pop and hard rock influences to create a remarkably consistent body of work. While the recordings of such Seattle co-horts as Nirvana, Mudhoney and Soundgarden often sound, in retrospect, like the product of a particular moment in time, the Trees are "classic rock" in the truest sense of the term -- their powerful albums like 1989's Buzz Factory or 1992's Sweet Oblivion would have sounded as compelling in the late '60s or early '70s as they did at the time of their release. An original pillar of the Seattle scene that unleashed "grunge rock" on an unsuspecting world, the band scored its first substantial hit in 1992 with "Nearly Lost You," a cut from Sweet Oblivion that also appeared on the soundtrack to the film Singles. Unfortunately, various internal and external distractions took a definite toll on the always-volatile band, and the Nineties saw the release of only one additional full-length Trees album, 1996's critically-acclaimed Dust. Though the band members have spent most of the last few years pursuing various other projects -- Lanegan has released several solo albums, while Martin records and plays with Tuatara -- the Trees still occasionally reconvene to play shows and work on new material. Will there be another Trees record in our future? It's anyone's guess -- but we're definitely keeping our fingers crossed.

-- Dan Epstein

Dan Epstein is a Los Angeles-based journalist and pop-culture historian whose work has appeared in L.A. Weekly, BAM, Raygun, Guitar World and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. His first book, Twentieth Century Pop Culture, was published in 1999 by Carlton Books.

   
Screaming Trees One-Way Conversation MP3,WinMedia Alt-Country, Alternative
Another timeless classic from the Trees, a majestically aching ballad stoked by funky congas, beautiful guitar playing, and Mark Lanegan's soulful croon. Will these gents ever get their just due?


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