Review: Mourning Noise’s ‘Screams/Dreams’-The Horror Punk Resurrection We All Needed

Mourning Noise

By Colette Claire

Mourning Noise was founded by Steve Zing in the early 1980s and carried the torch of Misfits-styled gothic horrorcore before taking a somewhat less than brief hiatus in 1984. Now, 40 years later, the band is back with a new studio album released on June 7 2024 entitled Screams/Dreams. While the original lineup of Mourning Noise released only a small amount of music in the form of 7-inch singles, the newly resurrected version of the began releasing new material in 2021 and features Zing on drums, bassist Chris “Draphobia” Morance, guitarist Tommy Koprowski and vocalist Robby Bloodshed. 

If you think Screams/ Dreams is going to be a pale (pun intended), rehashed version of the Misfits you would be completely wrong. While 2021’s self titled Mourning Noise had more of the horror punk elements one might expect from this Misfits-adjacent band (A raw sound incorporating fast skank beats, and simple melodic chord progressions on songs like “Death in a White Cloud,” and “Vincent’s Theme”) Screams/Dreams has a lot of surprises that show that Mourning Noise has evolved and can stand on their own. It make you wonder why they waited so long to reform. 

Zing and the boys go full throttle on Screams/Dreams with elements that stray away from the formula in a very good way.  Yes, there’s certainly a Misfit’s influence, but also you can detect elements of early emo like Moss Icon, goth like The Damned, psychobilly like The Cramps, and even some 1970’s area rock elements like Blue Oyster Cult. This interesting mix creates something that feels nostalgic yet fresh at the same time. 

Go-for-the-throat guitar riffs (and a killer solo), head smashing percussion frenzies, and dramatically dark lyrics are found on opener and first single “Black Cadillac,” which sets the tone for the rest of the album. Songs like the title track “Screams/Dreams” and others like “We Want you Dead,” have surf guitar psychobilly elements, raw punk rock, and even a hint of metal to enhance the dark atmosphere. 

“Sin” is absolutely one of the standouts on this album. It builds up slowly with strumming guitar and Robby Bloodshed’s beautiful voice (sort of a mix of Danzig and Davey Havok) and then kicks you in the face as the strong, aggressive drums join in with the driving bass line, and dark, brooding guitar hook. “Sing with me tonight my love/We’ll light the night so bright” are some of the lyrics to the big ass chorus reminiscent of 1970’s arena rock that suddenly ties the whole thing together, not to mention another killer guitar solo thrown in for good measure. 

Songs like “Frozen Fear” and “Stranger Hearts” have melodic hooky sing-along choruses with more rock and metal elements in the song structure. A cover of The Door’s “Changeling” is also an interesting take on the slow, bluesy tune giving the timing of the beat an interesting twist. 

This is not to say that this isn’t a punk rock album with the fast heaviness you would expect. “Embalmed With Love” and “Angel Lounge” are some of the evidence that punk is still very strong within this record. 

Overall, Screams/ Dreams is varied enough in its’ style, and solid enough in it’s delivery, to thrown on the whole album from beginning to end, not just put a token song or two on a playlist. Let’s hope they get to join a major tour after their blistering performance at the No Values Festival earlier this month.

A little bit about Zing, in case you are not already aware, he emerged from the New Jersey scene that spawned the Misfits having gone to high school with Eerie Von and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. Back in the day in Jersey, he performed with Implosion, Mourning Noise, and The Undead before joining Samhain. Zing left Samhain in July 1985 but returned in 1999 for the reunion tour, playing the first half of the show on drums, and the second half on bass. In 2000, he recorded with the supergroup Son of Sam, including AFI vocalist Davey Havok, then-Danzig guitarist Todd Youth, and former Samhain and Tiger Army drummer London May. The album featured guest appearances by Glenn Danzig and then-Danzig drummer Joey Castillo. He also tours with Danzig playing bass, and the band occasionally plays Samhain songs live.

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 Track List:

1. Black Cadillac   

2. Screams / Dreams  

3. We Want You Dead      

4. Kiss Of Death    

5. Frozen Fever      

6. Sin  

7. Island Of Unknown

8. Empty Streets    

9. The Changeling 

10. Stranger Hearts

11. Embalmed With Love 

12. Angel Lounge


13. Misery Loves Me (Remix)

14. …At The Seville (Remix)

15. Book Of The Dead      

16. Green