Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the New Brunswick, NJ-based JOVM mainstays Screaming Females. Comprised of Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vocals), King Mike (bass) and Jared Dougherty (drums), the trio can trace their origins to a band that Paternoster and King Mike formed while in high school — and after a series of lineup changes that band had finally settled to their current lineup, before changing their name to Screaming Females. Now, as you may recall the trio got their start in their hometown’s all-ages basement scene; but with the release of 2012’s Steve Albini-engineered Ugly, 2014’s forceful live album, and 2015’s Matt Bayles-produced Rose Mountain, the Central New Jersey-based band received wider exposure from NPR, Last Call with Carson Daly and MTV, and adding to a growing profile, the members of the band have toured with internationally and nationally known acts like Garbage, Throwing Muses, Dinosaur, Jr., The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, JEFF the Brotherhood, Little Lungs, Cheeky, The Ergs, Shellsshag and others.
2015’s Rose Mountain was a decided change in songwriting and recording approach, with the band writing arugably some of the most concise, melodic and accessible material they’ve released, while retaining the blazing guitar work and muscular insistence of their previously recorded work; however, it’s been some time since there’s been new, original material from the New Jersey-based punk rockers — that is until now. “Black Moon,” the band’s latest single continues in a similar vein as the material on Rose Mountain with band focusing on crafting tight, yet rousingly anthemic hooks. And while adding to a growing collection of radio friendly material, the band manages to remind the listener that Paternoster is one of the baddest guitar players in the world.
Lyrically speaking the song meshes a larger metaphor on earth abandoning humanity but fed through the fairly universal experience of a relationship ending in a rather bitter and frustrating fashion, which gives an underlying sneering forcefulness.