Screaming Females, “Rose Mountain”
New Brunswick, New Jersey’s Screaming Females have blazed a post-punk trail for nine years and their latest record, Rose Mountain, attests that the band has no intentions to cease their gripping punk odyssey. They’ve crafted a pretty solid style over the past few releases and broke out even further with 2012’s Steve Albini–engineered Ugly. Marissa Paternoster (vocals, guitar) is still the firebrand at the center of the group with Jarrett Dougherty (drums) and King Mike (bass) backing her up. Paternoster’s signature vibrato—which often recalls the strong and focused screeching of riot grrrl masters that have come before—can be understated, but still retain the power of ragged past glories. The album is brimming with ferocious tracks (“Criminal Image,” “Broken Neck,” and “Ripe”), and most feature emotionally threadbare lyrics and skeletal electric guitar riffs that build into cyclonic forces. Rose Mountain’s frayed sonic edges and unstoppable energy will inch Screamales out of the DIY basement scene and onto even bigger stages.