Screaming Trees: Van Conner (bass instrument); Gary Lee Conner, Mark Lanegan, Mark Pickerel.
Personnel: Mark Lanegan (vocals); Gary Lee Conner (guitar); Mark Pickerel (drums); Jack Endino (background vocals).
Recording information: Reciprocal Recording, Seattle, WA (12/1988); Reciprocal, Seattle, WA (12/1988).
Buzz Factory would mark the Screaming Trees' final recording for SST, but not their last stand as independent recording artists. They would follow up by spending some quality time with Seattle indie Sub Pop, prior to the release of their Epic debut, Uncle Anesthesia, two years later. Produced by the Trees and Jack Endino (Superfuzz Bigmuff, Bleach), Buzz Factory lives up to its title with buzz aplenty courtesy Gary Lee Conner's muscular guitar playing. The album is a solid (if not spectacular) send-off, which should come as little surprise -- history will remember the Trees as one of the Northwest's most consistent bands. If they never had a hit on par with Nevermind, nor did they ever release any lackluster (or uncharacteristic) recordings in a career that spanned over 15 years. Opening track "Where the Twain Shall Meet" and "Black Sun Morning" are two of the strongest selections. The latter doesn't just have a Soundgarden-style title -- la "Black Hole Sun" -- but even sounds somewhat like that hard rockin' Seattle quartet (also aligned with SST at the time), which is to say it is more anthemic than usual. A sample from an interview briefing is slipped between "Yard Trip #7" and "Flower Web" ("The question will be what kind of trees you are; the answer will be 'Screaming Trees'"). ~ Kathleen C. Fennessy