Coincidentally, as the New Jersey-based trio of Screaming Females celebrate their 10th anniversary as ab and, they’ll be releasing their sixth full-length effort, Rose Mountain through Don Giovanni Records in February. And interestingly, while their previous releases were self-produced with the legendary Steve Albini engineering their 2012 release, Ugly and their blistering live album, Live at the Hideout, the band’s forthcoming effort will mark the first time in the trio’s history that they worked with an outside producer, Mark Bayles, who’s best known for his work with Mastodon and The Sword. Essentially Bayles’s involvement breaks a long-standing, self-imposed rule; but, hey rules are meant to broken when necessary, right? 

Interestingly, as the band set out to write and record the material that comprised their forthcoming album, they had a particular vision which resulted in a decidedly different approach — whereas their previous efforts consisted of songs that were sprawling, the newest effort reportedly has the band writing and recordings songs that are much more concise and melodic, and in turn, perhaps their most accessible while still retaining blistering guitar riffs and howled vocals. 

The album’s first single “Ripe” bore some of Bayles’ production touch and by default, so does the album’s second single, album opener “Empty Head.” You’ll notice that the guitar chords are crisper, clearer and much more forceful. But whereas “Ripe” had a deceptive structural complexity, as it was comprised of three distinct parts; “Empty Head” on the other hand is a forceful dirge that reminds me quite a bit of L7’s “Pretend We’re Dead” but with a barely contained primal rage.