Thrice and Poison the Well

If I'd read only one or two of the 847 magazine stories that attempt to illuminate the screamo scene for the parents of junior high kids with pictures of Bert McCracken on their walls, I'd dig it. Screaming, emotions, eccentric front men given to onstage acrobatics more involving than the Chuck Taylor shuffle--what's not to love? Problem is, in most of the screamo I've tried, I don't really hear the vulnerability that supposedly makes this stuff more tween-friendly than regular old metal. Sure, the latest CDs from California's Thrice and Florida's Poison the Well are easier to take than the emasculated mewling on that last Promise Ring record. But hearing Poison's Jeffrey Moreira growl, "Are you even excited to see your baby boy?" over furious guitar squall isn't what I'd hoped for after reading in Spin that the band digs both Slayer and the Smiths. Please, please, please let me get the emotional complexity I want!


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