The Scream

Love it or hate it, screaming has wormed its way into rock music. Rather than protesting how awful it can sound, I’m going to embrace it and talk about 5 awesome songs that feature singers who rub their vocal cords raw.

1. “Boiled Frogs” by Alexisonfire
This song features alternating screamed and sung lines, a catchy chorus, and gang vocals. It’s about an overworked man on the verge of retirement. Music video.

2. “Grey Matter” by Finch
The intro to this song is screamed by Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw. For the rest of the song, he and Nate Barcalow duel back on forth on vocals. Pop-punk never sounded so brutal.

3. “Available” by The National
Before The National released the monotonous pile of dreck known as High Violet, they were one of the most versatile indie rock bands out there, dabbling in everything from folk rock to alternative country to electronic pop. This song, from their sophomore album, Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers, is a blistering post-punk anthem, bursting with energy. It’s a bit of a shock to hear Matt Berninger’s smooth baritone morph into a tortured, incoherent yelp, but it really drives home the powerful final minute of the song.

4. “Hearshot Kid Disaster” by Coheed and Cambria
After starting with a heavy-metal-influenced riff, this song kicks in with an ear-piercing “pterodactyl” scream, before heading into pop-punk territory. The screams of Montana Masback of the band The Paragraph feature throughout.

5. “Guernica” by Brand New
It was a toss-up between including this song and “3rd Measurement in C” by Saosin, but I ultimately settled on this one because of the interesting screamed/spoken bridge. This song is about lead singer Jesse Lacey’s grandfather’s battle with cancer. The drum beat in the verses is pounding and almost tribal, but the chorus is pure pop-punk perfection. It’s one of the most heartfelt songs from the band’s sophomore effort, Deja Entendu.

As always, you might able to find these songs on Grooveshark.