So, what do you expect from a band called Scream Hello? I mean if it was Say Hello or Scream I Hate You, it’d be easy to form some preconception, but Scream Hello? Who knows. As it turns out, the name fits the band perfectly. There’s plenty of screaming to be sure, but Everything is Always Still Happening is just as full of a warm welcome into its world. At its most fervent (on songs like “Bullets”), it reminds me of early Dag Nasty, sharing that same inclusive outrage, that anger based in love.
On the other hand, tunes like “Cocoon,” even with a punchy 2/4 undercurrent, have as much in common with Death Cab for Cutie (including an ability to get away at times with lyrics that should be cheesy but somehow aren’t) as they do with anything hardcore. Scream Hello’s multi-faceted approach allows songs like “We Don’t Exist” to explore existentialism with both offbeat, dissonant quirkiness and straightforward, unbridled tenacity. It all goes into the mix with the gritty punk rock of Hot Water Music or Avail.
Everything is Always Still Happening has passion and movement, yet never loses sight of itself. It’s the kind of album that can draw from the periphery without alienating its core audience, because it has so much to offer on every level.