Deemed to be ‘one of the best and most consistent American rock bands of the past decade’ by Paste magazine, Screaming Females have more than earned their international renown. Yet the New Jersey trio play as if they still have a point to prove. They’ve stuck to their DIY principles and retained the energy of the underground scene, from which they emerged.
The band released their debut LP in 2006 and earlier this year, an album described as their ‘most expansive and imaginative work to date,’ All At Once. Having smashed it at Soup Kitchen in May, we’re excited to welcome the group to Band on the Wall on 7th September! For anyone yet to experience their hard-driving sound, here’s a five track introduction to their ever-growing back catalogue. If you find yourself wanting more, you be pleased to know that Don Giovanni records have just made each of their studio albums available to stream on YouTube, so you can try before you buy!
I’ll Make You Sorry (All At Once LP, 2018)
This well-wrought cut from their ambitious double album All At Once is a perfect snapshot of where the band are today. Comparing it to their early work, you’ll still an abundance of splashy rhythms, crunchy Rickenbacker bass and muscular riffs, but a new found production value and an appreciable depth to the song structure. In short, garage rock of the highest order!
Cortez The Killer (Hunchback / Screaming Females split 7”, 2008)
Screaming Females have released a host of super-cool split 7” singles throughout their career, including this crackerjack with fellow New Jersey punk group Hunchback. It features two songs written by the prolific folk-rocker Neil Young, including the Females’ rip-roaring rendition of his penultimate Zuma cut, Cortez The Killer. Where Young rides a gentle rock groove — his overdriven guitar and lofty vocals lending the track its character — Screaming Females plumb for a more urgent tempo. Jarrett Dougherty’s reinvented drum groove draws you in, but it’s Paternoster’s lethal guitar solos and vocal vibrato that keep you along for the ride.
Criminal Image (Rose Mountain LP, 2014)
Having road tested Rose Mountain material prior to hitting the studio, the band captured a lively and superbly tight sound on their 2014 studio record. A.V. Club were big supporters, praising Criminal Damage for ‘a riff and rhythm that could be pulled from late-’70s Southern groove-rock bands.’ Adding ‘Bad Company analogies wouldn’t be out of place—but neither would references to Soundgarden.’ They’re not wrong! The hard rock riffage sits beautifully with subtler guitar work, a chugging bass riff and tom-heavy drum pattern, making for an anthemic, hard-driving slice of rock brilliance.
Because the Night (Garbage split 10”, 2013)
Never ones to shy away from a cover, Screaming Females teamed up with Garbage to record a beautiful rendition of Because the Night for a 10” Record Store Day exclusive. Originally written by Bruce Springsteen, made famous by Patti Smith, and celebrating the 40th anniversary of that breakthrough recording this year, it’s a perfect tune to revisit in 2018! Marissa Paternoster gives a gargantuan vocal performance, while Garbage’s Duke Erikson gets the distinct privilege of playing the iconic piano riff.
Electric Pilgrim (Baby Teeth, 2006)
The aforementioned Patti Smith springs to mind on Electric Pilgrim, a grooving, jaunty piece of garage rock, laden with catchy hooks and unpolished energy.