Monday, 28 April 2008

CD Review: Screwloose – A Beginners Guide to Life

Review by Steve Dean

The standard of the bands of North Staffordshire never ceases to impress me and Screwloose are no exception. Like their contempories Operation Error, to whom they have a similar overall sound, the quality of the songwriting is first class and the execution of them outstanding.

Recorded at Stoke-on-Trent’s own Prism studios the production is spot-on and the arrangements well thought through to ensure the very best of the ideas that have come together to create the four songs that make up ‘A Beginners Guide to Life’.

The band boasting a very capable rhythm section, the full and resonant bass is kept to its traditional place within the structure of the songs and is felt rather than heard, leaving the treble and fancy stuff to the two guitarists; whilst the potent, tight drumming, to my mind, really shows its mettle when delivering the neatly accurate syncopated beat in the verses of ‘Out on Friday?’, but then again, I love that sort of stuff.

The band has an appealing trait of applying faultlessly coordinated crunchy chords in just the right place, lifting the composition in question, ie: ‘A Beginners Guide to Life’ from soft to dead heavy in an instant. The first song, ‘So you call this a Setback’, with its agreeably pacey chords makes a superb opening number and there are some impeccable harmonies throughout the CD. The final song ‘Eight’ has a most pleasing poignancy. I’ve yet to see Screwloose live, but going by what I’ve heard here, it should be one hell of a good gig. I understand they are at the Band Stand in Hanley on May 12th. I shall look forward to it.

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