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say you're a scream
The Four Corners
Say You're A Scream
Kindercore

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As we become inundated with cheesy nineties nostalgia, itís nice to know that there are still a few bands out there who choose to revel in the crimson-clad glory of the late sixties. After all, wouldnít you rather hear the roar of a Rickenbacker or a jaunty Farfisa line than Eddie Vedderís narcotic-fueled ramblings or the tepid dance stylings of C+C Music Factory? Every once in a while we need to sit back, relax and remember that Athens, Georgia has produced more great music in the last two years than anything associated with "alternative radio" has produced in nearly ten years. Oh, and the last two years have been slower than usual in the city that The B-52s call home.

Say Youíre a Scream is a candy-striped trip back through time. A "retro" outfit in almost every sense of the word, The Four Corners make music the way so many groups did back then: sloppy, punchy and catchy as hell. Just one listen to a song like "Dinosaurs in Brooklyn" and youíll not only be hooked on the Corners, but will find yourself rummaging through the attic looking for all your old Hollies and Pretty Things 45s.

By now, it probably doesnít come as much of a shock for you to hear about a band from Athens that plays music which is heavily indebted to the Woodstock era. Fair enough -- but unlike so many of their Athenian peers, The Four Corners tend to focus more on the swankier end of that particular decadeís musical spectrum. Songs like "The Secret Life" and "Summerís Tale" owe a much bigger debt to Swinging London than they do to obscure '60s psych-poppers such as Love. The Four Corners' love of all things spy-related comes to the fore on the rollicking "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.", as well as the rather obvious James Bond fetishism of "Miss Moneypenny". Elsewhere, the group dips their toes into some paisley-hued bongwater on the swirling "The Pastel Queen: Compassionate Lotus Blossom of Immense Destruction", cranks the amps up to eleven for the blistering one-two punch of "Stand Up!" and the aforementioned "Dinosaurs in Brooklyn", then slows things down on the maudlin album closer "Destination: Danger". Throughout, the groupís sound is tight, bright and refined enough that you wouldnít be embarrassed to bring it home to mom.

The CD version of Say Youíre a Scream includes both the Mono and Stereo mixes of the album, though to be honest itís difficult to differentiate between the two. It might be more of a stunt than a musical necessity, but it's still a cool idea.

The next time youíre at your local record store, before you grab that two-disc Super Hits of the '90s collection, why not snoop through the "F" section and see if you can dig up a copy of Say Youíre a Scream instead? If nothing else, by doing so you wonít subject yourself to repeated airings of MC Hammer or Right Said Fred -- which, as any true music fan will tell you, is definitely worth your fifteen bucks by itself.

-- Jason Jackowiak
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