“Shout” is the hit that broke Tears for Fears in the US, as part of the “Second British Invasion,” and it remains one of their biggest songs. Like so much of Tears for Fears’ oeuvre, the song is really tied to its aesthetic, which saw the band mixing synthpop and rock music.
Forty Feet Tall are a Portland, OR-based post-punk-influenced rock band who have been putting out music for about a decade. So they’re into the music that was all over the UK underground a little bit before Tears for Fears made it big.
Their cover opens with a pulsating synth at ever-increasing speed, rather than the drums of the original, but that’s a red herring. This is cover does not lean into the sounds of ’80s radio.
The most obvious difference with this version is the tempo, which is much faster than the original. But the instrumentation is also considerably stripped own. After that initial synth dies out, it’s just guitars, drum, bass and the vocals. The vibe is very post-punk, the guitars feel almost mathy. Lead singer Cole Gann’s voice is drenched in an effect that is at least a little bit reminiscent of Roland Orzibal’s voice on the original, but that is the closet tie. And they take on the breakdown with vigor, treating it much more like a straight-ahead rock song.
Along with the vocals, the closest the band gets to the original is in the video which is a deliberate homage to the Tears for Fears version. Watch it below: