Half Notes: Screaming Trees – Ocean of Confusion: Songs of Screaming Trees 1989-1996 (2005)

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by Tom Johnson

A sadly overlooked band, the Trees got lumped in with the grunge movement in the early 1990s. What’s unfortunate is that, like fellow Seattlites Mudhoney, these guys were way better than what got popular. It’s a typical complaint, I know, but I dare you to listen to pretty much anything these guys put out and tell me it doesn’t stand the test of time. What sets the Trees apart is a heavy dose of ’60s psychedelia that few other grunge bands exploited like they did — except for, again, Mudhoney. Luckily, comprehensive best-ofs like this come along and help to re-expose their music to the world, but it comes with the usual warning: Once you devour this, you’ll be picking up the full albums and never listen to this again. There were only three non-album tracks, which made for little incentive for long-time fans to pick it up. But don’t let that stop you.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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