10 Greatest Screams in Rock Music History



When playing rock and roll, sometimes the traditional vocal passages just aren’t enough. Even if you try to show your best impression of Freddie Mercury, the more lyrical side of rock doesn’t really work when you want to vent your anger. All the music drops and all you have to do is scream your head off.

Again, it’s hard to really judge some cries from each other. Since most of the time you won’t have to worry about the notes, these shouts are judged on the impact they have on the listener when played in real time. While there are some that are just doing their job to let all that aggression out, there are others where you get shivers down your neck, almost like the singer is in the room with you and just screaming in front of your face.

It also comes with context, always knowing when to shout instead of kicking into overdrive every time you approach the microphone. Rock and roll has always been about keeping a groove and singing along, but these are the few times we’ve seen bands tap into the more animalistic side of themselves.

Bringing intensity to rock and roll wasn’t exactly new to Dave Grohl when the Foo Fighters first started. Even though he never said much behind the drums in Nirvana most of the time, Dave was a student of the hardcore punk scene in its early days, and you can hear him wearing some of those influences on his sleeve in the first a handful of Foos songs like Wattershed and Weenie Beenie. The second album got the band back in shape though, and Dave rose to the challenge with one of the best screams of his life.

Which is strange because Monkey Wrench isn’t really a super intense song. When you take the guitars out, it’s just a typical love song gone bad on a couple who just don’t communicate properly. While most of the song reads like super-powered pop half the time, the real anger comes out after the bridge, where Dave does a long vocal run over a note before building it up to a scream at the end, catching the next chorus in the closing seconds.

The notes might not be that hard, but it would really be a test of endurance, with no real breathing room between those words and just continuing to ramp up in intensity so you really hit that final scream as hard as you possibly can. While the crowd may take the reins from Dave half the time at some of the Foos’ recent shows, this snippet of the song is just a taste of the kind of stamina Dave has for an entire show.

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