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.