Screaming Females – Castle Talk

January 01, 1970

(Don Giovanni)


With the recent emergence of what I’ve dubbed “tribe
bands’, bands with 6 to 22 members, it’s always refreshing to behold what
damage a simple 3-piece outfit can inflict. New Jersey power trio Screaming
Females delivers anthemic, in-your-face, hard, classic rock with punk
snottiness that seldom lets up or throttles down and may motivate some
listeners to playing air guitar in their underwear.


Their fourth release, Castle Talk is chock full of hella-chunky songs that fans of bands
like Dinosaur Jr will embrace. Sleater-Kinney is often held up as comparable,
but the SC are more intense and driven, and Marissa Paternoster’s commanding
vocals are harder and smoother than Corin Tucker’s. (Coincidentally, they just
opened for the Corin Tucker Band at Maxwell’s before jetting off for their Fall
European tour.) Some comparisons could be drawn to The Fastbacks (again,
Marissa’s dazzling guitar playing is neck and neck with Kurt Bloch’s,) the
Flatmates and Elastica with the hooky-ness and harmonies, but without the New
Wavey-ness of the latter two. Initial spins may yield the impression that the
songs don’t have much diversity, but ultimately, after a couple more hearings,
each song’s uniqueness does emerge.


The elfin Paternoster’s powerful vocals and guitar
are ably backed by Michael Abbate’s bass musings and Jarrett Dougherty’s
powerful drumming. Both “I Don’t Mind It” and “Normal” are outstanding examples
of their catchy hooks and delicious, anthemic melodies. “A New Kid” begins with
a metal-hard intro guitar, while “Boss” and “Fall Asleep” slow the pace down to
a moderate tempo. “Deluxe” slows it down further and sounds like sitting in a
studio control room listening to a lo-fi pre-mix from The Kills’ early
recordings. “Ghost Solo” is resplendent with lightning-strike, plasma hot
guitar riffs and bass lines of a seismic magnitude. Sometimes three’s company
and 22’s a crowd.


DOWNLOAD: “Ghost Solo,” “I
Don’t Mind It” BARRY ST. VITUS

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