The Screamers are punk pioneers. They were the first unsigned band to to headline the legendary Roxy Theater on Sunset Blvd, they sold out multiple-night engagements at the Whiskey Go-Go (and for those who may not know don’t about the Whiskey, The Doors were the house band in the 60’s ), AND they never even released an album.

I didn’t have the slightest idea who they The Screamers were until I heard the original version of “122 Hours of Fear” – a song I totally believed to be by a modern band called Le Shok.   Ah man, I still remember getting made fun of for not knowing it was Le Shok who covered The Screamers. FOR WEEKS this went on.

These songs have stuck in my head for years. Both versions are equally amazing.  Now that I know the truth, here’s what I know…

The Screamers

The Screamers stage presence is second to none.  With lead singer Tomata du Plenty (born David Xavier Harrigan) being described as “a man who had just stuck his finger into an electric socket. His performance reflected the nervous, relentless anxiety of a society.” By the end of their 40 minute set “Tomata had gone through the same disintegration of the human-will that we associate with such books as 1984.” Oh, and the videos of The Screamers’ performances are one of the things in life that make you ask yourself, “Was I born in the wrong decade?”

The intro of the song gives you an eerie feeling – like if you’re watching a horror film, anticipating something to come from around a corner and kill whoever is on screen. Once the synthesizer and the electric piano drop, you can’t help but move around, wishing you were in a pit. Du Plenty’s intense vocal’s and stage presence only add to this song.

“Wow, what a show – 122 hours of fear!”

The band was all but done by the early 1980’s.  Having never released an album, most of the members went on to pursue non-music careers. In 2000, members K.K. Barnett and Paul Roessler reunited to play several Screamers songs, in tribute to Tomata Du Plenty, who passed away in August 2000.

Le Shok

Le Shok’s version of “122 Hours Of Fear” is one of the songs that shaped my taste in music. It’s fast, it’s catchy.  If I have to think of a band that remind me of my youth, it would def be The Strokes, Crass, and Le Shok. With Joey Karam (of The Locust) on Drums and Hot Rod Tod on vocals, Le Shok made a lot of noise and oozed energy, all while still emitting a nonchalant attitude towards performing – it’s what I consider a standard of “cool”. They were an inspiration to countless post-punk bands coming out of Southern California during the early to mid 2000’s.

The band broke up quite anticlimactically in 2001. They released one full length, We Are Electrocution (2000, GSL). and various singles. Following the break-up, members of Le Shok went on to bands including Nazti Skinz, Neon King Kong, The Locust, The Distraction, T-Cells, FM Bats, Gods Iron Tooth, and Dirty Girls.

There’s not much more I can say other than to end this by quoting the song:

“You better shut up and listen.”


A Homie Post is a guest features by some pals of Cool-Tite.

About this Homie:


Robert, or RawRaw, is an East Los native who we always seem to find at shows.  We’ve known him for 6+ years, and he’s always had a rad taste in music.  You can catch him managing the good shit at Urban Outfitters, but I bet you’ll have better luck finding him in the pit, skating some local spot, or talking about life on ItsRawRaw.