By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
A Screaming Females show is a noisy, thrilling thing. Wearing a trademark vintage mandarin dress as she wails and pumps out frenetic riffs, front-female Marissa Paternoster's bangs fall over her eyes, her mouth stretched into a cartoonish oval that echoes her glossy bowl-cut as her voice swoops between throat-bleeding howls and catchy choruses, the disciplined racket of the rhythm section seething behind her. The band's 2009 release, Power Move, its third, is full of prickly rock and darkly clever tunes that blend angsty yelling, feverish melodies and guitar-goddess solos in ways that variously recall Sleater-Kinney, Fugazi and The Gits, with occasional hints of the kind of slinky, dirty blues perfected by The Gossip.
The disc was released in the thick of another round of near-constant, cross-country touring—which is both a good and bad thing. "When you play 50 to 100 shows in a year, you owe a lot of people favors," drummer Jarrett Dougherty explains. But, touring so extensively themselves, the band has gotten used to watching as people discover them. Dougherty dreamily recalls driving cross-country to play a sprawling San Francisco basement filled with hundreds of people in 2007. The end of their first song was greeted by a moment of stunned silence, followed by an ecstatic burst of affection.
As Power Move spreads word of Screaming Females' delicious clamor, the band will surely be met with less surprise—but no less amazement.
Nashville punks Jeff the Brotherhood and Denton's Teenage Cool Kids open.