Screaming Brittle Siren

 Track Listings
1 Miles from Space (4:18)
2 Crash and Burn (2:43)
3 Apocalypse Lips (3:20)
4 Brittle Booty (5:06)
5 Blood on My Hands (3:49)
6 Liar (3:52)
7 Hang Me High (3:18)
8 Draw the Line (1:21)
9 Gold Silver Soup and Silk (:52)
10 I Am No Christ (5:22)
11 What You Know Now (4:39)
12 Barnacle (2:38)
13 Shine a Light


The All Indie E.P. (2006)
Comatose Soul (2004)
Hearts Of Care (2002)
Life of David (2001)
Things I've Done, Things to Come (2000)
Live In Nash- Vegas (2000)
Bomb Bay Babies Vol. 1  (2000)
Definitive Collection (1999)
Strip Cycle (1996)
Fluid (1995)
Rocket and a Bomb (1994)
Screaming Brittle Siren  (1992)



Release Date: (1992)
Label: Blonde Vinyl

December  Hotel 
Overall Rating:  

(Shine A Light)


Album Review


That Michael Knott would need to make a solo record seemed, at first, a bit of a curiosity. The prevailing perception was that L.S.U. was essentially a one-man show, and that there was little need for Knott to work outside of that moniker. Screaming Brittle Siren proved all of these hypotheses absurd. Released the same week as the L.S.U. masterpiece The Grape Prophet, Screaming Brittle Siren funneled that record's anger and agony inward. Biting, razor sharp guitar riffs cut across mournful cello and violin, and the combination of the two distinct textures made for a record that was both unnerving and deeply sad. Knott utilized nautical imagery to bemoan the depraved condition of his soul, and the parallel never once seemed forced or unnatural. He coupled his bitter verse with music that smoldered with sinister energy. A bouncing, snapping bass line drives the hyperactive "Apocalypse Lips" and jittery "What You Know Now," and Knotts angry, sneering guitar howls Nirvana-like phrasings in "Miles From Shame" and "Barnacle." The record boasts three numbers widely considered to be among the strongest in Knott's canon. The first is the mausoleum-grim "Crash and Burn," which opens with Knott howling "Knocking down everything I tried to build/buying up everything I tried to sell" over a creeping, sinister bass line. Similar in spirit is "Liar": the song is constructed around a furious three-chord progression that stutters and stops and starts without warning. Midway through, the song collapses, and Knott begins the numbing, monklike chant "I'm filling my heart with rocks and sand." The mantra is cut short by a bloodcurdling shriek, and the song proper resumes with a new force and terrible fury. But Siren's magnum opus is "I Am No Christ." As Melisa Hasin's cello hums and moans, Knott, in chilling lower register, sings "Cross me once and I'll forgive you/cross me twice and it gets hard/cross me three times, just remember/I am no Christ." It is the starkest confession of his career, coming at the center of a record that is sick with regret. And here it becomes obvious why Michael Knott needed to make a solo record. Where L.S.U. records, to this point, had been mostly focused on the bleakness of life in general, Screaming Brittle Siren is a ruthless examination of Knott's own soul. The end of the record finds him pleading "Someone shine a light/shine a light so I can see" as Debbie Devore wails soulfully in the background. It is to Knott's credit that he can deliver a record so stunning and unflinching, and still emerge desperate for hope and salvation. Screaming Brittle Siren is a work of genius.

~ J.Edward Keyes



Michael Knott (homepage)







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