(Strobelight Records/Indigo)

as reviewed by Jett Black -

Our office is drawing daggers and pitching band names in a heated discussion over this latest release from SCREAMS FOR TINA: 2003 A.D. Ian Curtis - reborn? Virgin Prunes? Written in Ashes, perhaps? But no, SCREAMS FOR TINA precedes Written in Ashes, and many other modern rock bands who now shy away from stereotypical terms such as “deathrock” and “goth rock” as though it were riddled by lice, or the Black Plague. As to re-inventing the immortals of Joy Division and The Virgin Prunes, I believe all musicians may be guilty for “getting it right” at least once in a lifetime.

Initially devastating the music scene with their “Strobelight Funeral” e.p., SCREAMS FOR TINA speaks to a segment of the underground with words and music that breathe life into the molding essence of who and what we are/were as cultural Death Rock iconoclasts against the norm of Reganomics, flying the flag of Jim Morrison as a modern-day revival of the Death Rock standard.

However, before one can begin to evaluate Death Rock, one must get a grip on the culture of gloom and doom lining the bedrock of the bi-polar generation.

SCREAMS FOR TINA may be the grip-tape of survival against a pop-culture universe.

2003 A.D.delivers medication samplers to carry you forward until your local indie record store pharmacy can fill your Rx. Plus, 2003 A.D. features a brief look back into the distant past with the inclusion of “Eleven Eleven”.

For openers, “Standing in the Rain” boldly tosses the expired zoloft into the garbage, abandoning the gauntlet of introspective torments in favour of “brighter days”. ::Shudder:: Something tells me that these melancholy death rockers aren’t holding out for more sunshine, but rather a reprieve from despair in a “Life of Sin”. SCREAMS FOR TINA keeps the dance floor grooves spinning while molting into a slightly Eastern influenced instrumental with "Ranjipur”. Closing out this ep is the flashback to "Eleven Eleven”, a remixed version of the track which originally caught so much feedback and interest from fans of that track’s appearance on an compilation album called “The Whip” put out circa ‘93 by the then fledgeling Cleopatra Records.

Which now bring us to that first full length album inspired by the success of “Eleven Eleven”.

“Judgement Day” busts down the gates of HELL to bring you the very best of Death Rock rising from the rich and fertile soil of the L.A. underground. This is the music that immediately gets you grooving and eyeing the stage for a glimpse of light reflected in the eyes of Warren Mansfield (vocals, guitars). Black eyeliner permanence beneath the darkest of thick eyelashes and sweat drenched bangs, swinging. Music to unleash the ass-kicking spirit locked up within every decadent young soul. “Suffer” leans on the spirit of remorse, regret, and sour-grapes inspirations. “In Her House” jumps back into the pit with shredding guitars and intense percussion. Break-neck pacing follows into the “arms of never”... “In Her House”. Music inspired by the lust “tearing holes in your skin” on the way back into the seductive den of the lioness.

Much of what I’m hearing now in this earlier album feels influenced by Alien Sex Fiend and the electro-experimentations of Bauhaus and Kraftwerk.

Particularly in this version of “Eleven Eleven”, the intro feels like the eletro-statik popping noise that brings up the goose bumps and adrenaline rush, like within THE HUNGER cinematic debut. The vocals haunting and eerie, like spiders dancing the foreground with the remote speed set to: Fast Forward.

Dipping into the more melodic/romantic style of Modern English, Warren Mansfield belts out a love song for “Kristen”. A more shoegazer/darkwave side of SCREAMS FOR TINA flows into “Un Chien Andalou”.

Fans of strong male vocals will find satisfaction in SCREAMS FOR TINA, like lamplight on a stormy night, in every word punctuated by Warren Mansfield; a seasoned guide among weary gothic travellers looking for passage through the underground.

Cue the rain, and let the night begin.