Comprised of Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vocals), Jarrett Dougherty (drums) and King Mike (bass), the New Brunswick, NJ-based trio of Screaming Females got their start playing in that town’s renowned all-ages basement show circuit; but they’ve received quite a bit of attention both nationally and across the blogosphere for material that was comprised of blazing guitar lines and a sprawling, frenetic energy paired with Paternoster’s sneering vocals. And through their almost ten year career, the members of the band have steadfastly held on to the DIY ethos that they were brought up in – in fact, all of their releases were self produced, although they enlisted the legendary Steve Albini to engineer their 2012 release Ugly and their impressive Live at the Hideout.
The New Brunswick-based trio’s forthcoming, sixth full-length effort, Rose Mountain, which is slated for a February 24, 2015 release through Don Giovanni Records marks a major first for the band – the first time that they’ve worked with an outside producer, Matt Bayles, best known for his work with Mastodon and The Sword. And although enlisting Bayles to handle the knobs and dials broke a longstanding self-imposed rule by the band, rules are meant to be broken on occasion.
As the band set out to write and record the material that would comprise Rose Mountain, they had a particular vision, which resulted in a decidedly different songwriting and recording approach – whereas their previously recorded material was much more sprawling, the forthcoming album has the band writing and recording songs that are arguably the most concise, melodic and downright radio-friendly/accessible they’ve ever released – all while retaining the blazing guitar work.
“Ripe,” the first single off the album manages to bear some of Bayles’ production touch — guitar lines are much crisper, clearer and as a result are much more forceful, paired with thunderous drumming, throbbing bass and Paternoster’s sneering vocals. Interestingly, the song possess a deceptive level of complexity as it contains three different sections held together by a tight rhythm section.
From the song, there are a couple of things that should be apparent – first, that Screaming Females kick ass; and second, that Marissa Paternoster should be considered on the list of great, contemporary guitarists, along with White Mystery’s Alex White.
The band just released this live footage of the song, which should give you a sense of the kind of energy the band brings to a live show. And as the folks at Stereogum noted, pay close attention to Paternoster’s guitar because it looks as though it has flecks of her own blood on it. Talk about dedication to thrashing and kicking ass, huh?