Just as the New Jersey-based trio of Screaming Females are about to celebrate their 10th anniversary as a band, they will be releasing their sixth full-length effort, Rose Mountain through Don Giovanni Records on February 24th. And although their previous releases were self produced with the legendary Steve Albini engineering their 2012 release, Ugly and their impressive live album, Live at the Hideout, Rose Mountain marks the first time in the trio’s history that they worked with an outside producer, Matt Bayles, who’s best known for his work with Mastodon and The Sword, essentially breaking a long-standing self-imposed rule. 

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 angry, raw, blistering and 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. “Ripe,” the latest single off the forthcoming album bears some of Bayles’ production touch – guitar chords are much crisper, clearer and as a result are much more forceful, and those chords are paired with thunderous drums. And the song itself manages to possess a deceptive level of complexity as it’s comprised of at least three distinct sections that I can discern held together by a tight rhythm section. But perhaps more important, the song kicks ass and captures a band at the height of their creative powers.