F-Minus' "Wake Up Screaming gets 4 stars from AMG!

Rating: ****

AMG REVIEW: You really have to hand it to Steve Albini. Constantly shrugging the term of producer, he remains the guy whose name follows the phrase "Recorded by" on countless CDs. And on those countless recordings, he lives up to the term that precedes his name. Wake Up Screaming by F-Minus is no exception. Albini tackles this project the same as always: pressing record and letting the band do all the rest. F-Minus is a unique project for the veteran engineer, as the band's style is more in the crust punk vein of things than the alternative or post-rock material with which he's more known to work. Perhaps one of the reasons for the appeal with a band like F-Minus is that they're not just a crust band. And Wake Up Screaming isn't just another crust album; its influences are as varied as the sound --- street punk, Oi!, grind, garage rock, thrash, and the list goes on. With dueling male and just as gruff female vocals, it makes for an album that doesn't ever get old despite misconceptions based on the genre. While much of the musical structure is traditional three-chord punk rock, F-Minus has found a way to not allow it to get redundant or seem too immature. The lyrical slant is dark and aggressive, showing the hurtful side of life but without overwhelming the listener. While the 15 songs on here aren't necessarily an integral part of the crust punk scene, fans will certainly enjoy this, and the bandmembers' ability to cover a broad musical spectrum just opens them up to gaining more fans without losing punk credibility in doing so.

--- Kurt Morris
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