1. Michael Knott: Screaming Brittle Siren


This is it. The record that blew my mind in the early ’90s as a young adult trying to find my way in a harsh, cruel world. And Screaming Brittle Siren was the soundtrack to the inner angst I felt. Well, that’s probably reading into it a bit too much. Let’s just say I have a soft spot for Screaming Brittle Siren, which is arguably the greatest Michael Knott solo record and perhaps the best Christian rock record ever made.

For starters, the music was raw, the lyrics were poignant and personal, and the instrumentation (yay, cello!) was breathtaking. It’s an adventurous 13 tracks, with the unforgettable, uncomfortable and sensational Crash and Burn. And I love how the record starts with Miles From Shame, which is such a great track. Then, three songs in, you have Apocalypse Lips, which I’ve heard someone refer to as their favorite Michael Knott song ever. Four songs in and you get the haunting Brittle Body with a whole lot of that sweet, sweet cello. It’s magnificent, and segues nicely into Blood on My Hands. There’s just no slow down on this record. The back side of the album is highlighted by the superb Draw The Line, while Gold Silver Soup and Silk is one of the coolest instrumentals you’ll ever hear. But the record would not be complete with I Am No Christ, one of the greatest Knott songs ever put to tape. And I absolutely love how, despite all doom and gloom of Knott’s inner torment and agony over sin, doubt and faith, the record ends on a hopeful high with Shine a Light.

Yup, Screaming Brittle Siren is a great, great record deserving of a fair amount of gushing over. Of course, that’s just one man’s opinion. But if there was only one Christian rock record I could take with me to that proverbial deserted island, this would be it.



4 thoughts on “1. Michael Knott: Screaming Brittle Siren

  1. i found this list at the halfway point and didnt see any project 86, i hope theyre here somewhere. and thanks for talking about Rez

  2. I really appreciate your whole list. I must say that we have fairly different tastes but that is the beauty of something like this. Music connects us but also allows us to celebrate our differences. I happen to be one of those “critics” who is most moved by the work of what I call the Big 5…DA, AA, 77’s, Choir, Mark Heard. Have never had the fortitude for anything much heavier. I like Knott a lot and he would probably be number 6 on my list but seems to clearly be your most influential artist. I totally respect and understand that. I tend to like the purty melodies and harmonies a lot…older dude (50) who was 25 when he was 13 in terms of musical taste. WHile my tastes went harder for a while in the early 80’s, it was exclusively in the mainstream underground scene and more indie/punk influenced (think Replacements/Husker Du/Meat Puppets….)before becoming a Christian. It was hard to find things I liked right away but soon found the bands I mentioned. Anyway, love how your list is indicative of where you were at certain times in your musical journey. You meld the personal anecdotes with solid analysis which is what makes the list relevant to me even if our tastes aren’t identical. I appreciate the work!

    1. Hey, appreciate the comments. The “big 5” you talk about have all certainly influenced me. I think it would be a saw of between DA and Knott as being the most influential Christian artist ever (outside of Larry Norman and Rez, with a tip of the hat to Petra). And yup, I listen to everything. Good music is good music, no matter the genre. These 100 records have been part the journey ’cause I happened on them along the way (in the youngster to young adult phase). It certainly isn’t a “My Favorite 100 Records” list, although some would end up there. Cheers!

    2. I am also thankful for your list and hope you leave it posted. As noted above my tastes are quite different as well , but I still had 28 of your bands represented in my collection and own 14 of your albums, I lost track of CCM and Christian rock after CD’s came into force post 1987 until maybe 10 years ago. My tastes are generally more mellow but like Delirious from present day and some Hillsong United. My mid 1980’s rock bands were Rez Band, Daniel Band,Jerusalem and love Petra although I am still discovering bands from the various genres from the 1980’s to date. One band that surprised me that I liked it was Benjamin Gate after I saw there video “All over Me”
      Well done !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s