Synopsis by Mark Deming
The Screamers was one of the most unusual bands to come out of the Los Angeles punk rock scene in the mid-'70s. Abandoning the conventional two guitars, bass, and drums format, The Screamers were structured around two loud, distorted keyboards, a drummer bashing a small kit, and a singer who milked his apocalyptic lyrics for all the drama they were worth. Wildly popular and influential in their hometown, The Screamers are often cited as one of the seminal bands of the California new wave explosion (Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys has called them "the most important unrecorded band ever"), but despite the group's impact, they never made an album or even a single, and this live video recorded during a 1978 appearance in San Francisco is the only authorized document of the group to be released to date. The Screamers: Live in San Francisco, 1978 preserves a 30-minute set recorded at the studios of the video art collective Target Video; songs include "Vertigo," "The Beat Goes On," "122 Hours of Fear," "Punish or Be Damned," and "In a Better World."
punk-rock, concert, rock-band, New-Wave