Material: Screw plays original rock & roll that draws from classic punk and hardcore sources, such as the Stooges, MC5, Misfits, Bad Religion, etc. It is music with a groove that is raw and immediate, yet extremely melodic, with subtle harmonies. Tunes such as “Bottom Feeder” or “Dance with Me” have strong hooks and relentless beats. Most of the band’s songs clock in at a little over the three minute mark, with a common thread of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo and out.
Musicianship: Each member of Screw is a veteran of the Detroit and Midwestern music scene. Their stage setup is pretty bare bones and typical for a band of this type. Hot Rod Tusek wields a mean lead guitar and, except for kicking in a wah-wah pedal for occasional color, creates a huge blanket of grit and rhythm between himself and his amp. His single-note lines are razor sharp, with a tasteful balance of warmth and midrange. Elrod Deluxe’s bass not only locks in tightly with Nik Savage’s supple drumming, but he creates an active and danceable mix of counterpoint and low-end thump that is thick and rich. Last, but certainly not least, frontman Tommy T. Harman delivers lyrical vitriol, with a blend of passion and humor. His vocals cut through the metallic fray and shine brightly, with a crooner’s panache.
Performance: The wise men say go big or go home. That was, indeed, the case here. The band played to a relatively small crowd, but you would never know it. They came out guns blazing from the very first note and kept a frenetic, yet measured pace throughout their set. Harman was a gracious frontman; sharing the spotlight with guitarist Tubek and acknowledging people in the crowd between songs. He was also darting all around the stage and gave an arena-worthy performance in the process. For an encore they came back with the Stooges’ “No Fun” that was faithful to the original, but liberating in its own right.
Summary: Screw plays like its namesake; straight, to the point, with a stylish sense of double entendre. They are all accomplished musicians and have a sound with contemporary marketable value. The band could spice things up with a selective ballad or textural piece but, overall, what they do, they do very well.
– Eric A. Harabadian