Halloween songs no. 9: T.S.O.L. – “Silent Scream”

Dance with MeHere’s another one from the early LA/OC hardcore scene. T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty) started out with politically-charged hardcore but quickly moved in a more gothic direction in the vein of The Damned, a mood which permeates their debut LP Dance with Me (1981), right down to its grim-reaper-in-the-cemetery cover art. They’d get even more goth-y with the keyboard-driven follow-up Beneath the Shadows (1983), after which the band would be completely overhauled with the departure of singer Jack Grisham, moving in a more hard rock and, eventually, hair metal direction. The original lineup reunited at the turn of the millennium and I’ll be seeing them on the 18th.

There are a couple T.S.O.L. tracks I’ll probably come back to later in the month, but for today I chose “Silent Scream” because it’s filled with classic horror movie imagery and references to Dracula. Appropriately, someone on YouTube set it to clips from Nosferatu.

I’m the cobwebbed stairs, the ancient bones
I’m the shadow rippling cobblestones
I’m the stagnant swamp, the black lagoon
I’m the branches scratching at the moon

I’m the funeral service, the unknown mourner
I’m the demon cowering in the corner
I’m the sexton’s spade, the new-thrown clay
I’m what’s left when they walk away

I’m the ebony coffin, satin lining
The pale, thin lips in the back room dying
The pale, thin lips in the back room dying

I’m the walking dead, the fly by night
I’m the last of the fading light
I’m the unbarred door, the open casement
I’m the stairs leading down to the basement

I’m the four-post bed, the let-down hair
I’m the cross you forgot to wear
I’m the highest voltage, the shining slab
The crack of midnight in the doctor’s lab

I’m the night before, the morning after
The echoing of the baron’s laughter
The echoing of the baron’s laughter

I’m Jonathan Harker, I’m Lucy’s trance
The elegant count’s hypnotic glance
I’m the wooden mallet, the sharpened stake
I’m the precautions you forgot to take

I’m the mummy’s curse, the passing bell
I’m the fortune that they wouldn’t tell
I’m pyromania, I’m Transylvania
I’m out of breath, I’m worse than death

I’m the late night air, exhilarating
I’m with you in the darkness, waiting
I’m with you in the darkness, waiting


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