I have a great deal of love in my heart every time I hear a wilhelm scream. I also have a great deal of joy in my soul every time I hear A Wilhelm Scream. Oh ho – how confusing that could prove! But it’s not; they’re actually two genuinely great things in the world, and somehow, some way, have the same name. Some say it’s because the latter was named after the former, but that’s the kind of wild speculation I’ll leave to the professionals. I prefer the mystery anyway.
What is the Wilhelm scream (sans ‘A’)? Well, Wikipedia is your friend:
The Wilhelm scream is a frequently-used film and television stock sound effect first used in 1951 for the film Distant Drums. The effect gained new popularity (its use often becoming an in-joke) after it was used in Star Wars and many other blockbuster films as well as television programs and video games. The scream is often used when someone is either pierced with an arrow, or falling to their death from a great height or because of an explosion.
The Wilhelm scream has become a well-known cinematic sound cliché, and is claimed to have been used in over 149 films.
You know that scream you hear in seemingly everything? You’ll know it when you hear it. That’s the Wilhelm scream. I associate it mainly with Stormtroopers, but it pops up all over the place and is generally a welcome addition.
But what about A Wilhelm Scream?
A Wilhelm Scream are a band. They do melodic hardcore, a sub-genre in the punk rock… genre. This may mean nothing to you, so here are some more clues as to what they are like: they have songs called ‘The Kids Can Eat A Bag Of Dicks’, ‘Me vs Morrissey In The Pretentiousness Contest (The Ladder Match)’ and ‘I Wipe My Ass With Showbiz’; they have lyrics like “This grin is shit-eating and fleeting like a catamaran”; they exude a genuine air of Not Giving A Fuck about fame – a rarity, no doubt; someone hacked one of their songs into Guitar Hero and it ended up like this, which would make my hands melt or explode.
Or I could just post a video, but that would ruin the guessing game. Oh, here you go – I’m too kind:
I realise it’s not cool to like a band like this – I’m supposed to be into Sigur Ros or talk non-stop about Mono or Mum by the time I’m this old (it’s definitely not just to posture and look cool, oh no – everyone ‘intelligent’ clearly only loves bands like those) and ignore stuff that just makes me feel “RARGH YEAH” etc. But I don’t. I like A Wilhelm Scream. Every time I listen to them, life feels a bit better.