Pretty Maids - Scream
Massacre Records
Melodic Hard Rock
11 songs (49'46)
Release year: 1995
Pretty Maids, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Rewind to the year 1995. The great Danes of Pretty Maids are two albums in with their new lineup of Michael Fast on drums and Kenn Jackson on bass. Although one would think because of the timeframe that Scream was released this would be a dime a dozen “rock band goes grunge” type of record, this most certainly is not. Unlike other hard rock stalwarts such as Pink Cream 69 or Axxis, this band can look back on their nineties career and not cringe. In fact, Scream is one of the Maids’ most rock oriented albums. For being a band that utilizes the keyboards extensively, they take a backseat here which lends the music a much more guitar oriented sound and works quite well actually.

On the lyrical side of things Ronnie began to pen words that tackled world and societal issues. Rise has a chorus which tells the listener to turn off that damn TV and start clamoring for some social change. This message might be lost on some listeners due to the incredibly upbeat nature of the music. Psycho-Time-Bomb-Planet-Earth sounds exactly how the title looks when written, an eclectic blend of manic bass lines, explosive guitars, and intense angry singing. I’ve stated before that the writing partnership of Ronnie Atkins and guitarist Ken Hammer is the stuff of envy and two tracks here clearly illustrate this, This Love and the ballad Walk Away. Both songs deal with relationships (really? I couldn’t tell!) but do it in a manner that is both classy and plain simple fun. This Love is a mid tempo rock tune that is great for listening to while cruising in the summer with the windows down. Ronnie wields his voice like a weapon here, cutting delicately with the verses, delivering heavy swinging blows with the chorus, and smashing through the thickest of armor and striking a mortal blow with the gorgeous passage that comes out around the halfway mark. Not to be outdone, Ken has a nice little grip of solo sections that he goes off on most notable during the fading outro. Walk Away on the other hand is a mellow love ballad that really does show up and coming songwriters out there that all you really need sometimes for a fan favorite song is a monster hook. Now, this isn’t just a simple one trick pony here. If I were to personify the fishhook here that lures the listener in it would be a multi pronged beast that tears your jaw clean off with it’s brilliance. Slightly palm muted guitar accompanied by a basic backbeat is the white canvas that Ronnie decides to paint over. While Walk Away is obviously centered around the strength of the chorus, there are so many other little intricacies that I find every time I listen to it. There are subtle melodies there to be discovered by the listener and I have never heard the words “Don’t you walk away” repeated so many times and still sound pleasing to the ear (the live version of this on Screamin‘ Live is essential and shows what a terrific front man Ronnie truly is).

Scream is an album that is all around solid. What kind of sucks however is that it is sandwiched in between two of Pretty Maid’s best releases, Sin Decade and Spooked. Because of this Scream often gets overlooked by newcomers to the band which is a damn shame. Take those extra steps to track this bad boy down, you won’t be disappointed.

Killing Songs :
This Love, Rise, Walk Away, When It All Comes Down
Ben quoted 76 / 100
Other albums by Pretty Maids that we have reviewed:
Pretty Maids - Undress Your Madness reviewed by Andy and quoted 78 / 100
Pretty Maids - Louder Than Ever reviewed by Chris and quoted 84 / 100
Pretty Maids - Motherland reviewed by Chris and quoted 100 / 100
Pretty Maids - Pandemonium reviewed by Chris and quoted 92 / 100
Pretty Maids - Wake Up To The Real World reviewed by Mike and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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