By Michael Farah
I know it’s easy to put rock music into little boxes, a convenient shorthand that defines what a band is all about. And make no mistake, there are all kinds of labels flying at the Screaming Females right now: DIY, queer rock, punk, lo-fi, garage rock, etc.
However, when my ears took in the aural assault laid upon us December 12 at Terminal 5 in NYC, I could only think one thing: “Thank God grunge is back!”
Consider the evidence:
- Their name reminds us of the Screaming Trees, Mark Lanegan’s late 80s-early 90s outfit.
- They’re a power trio like Nirvana.
- Although I didn’t see much flannel, their clothes are definitely thrift-store chic.
- They’re from a thriving, yet still somewhat underground, music scene: New Brunswick, NJ.
- Their performance is pure grunge: hair in the face, heads banging, feedback manipulation, and of course, guttural screams.
Most of that last one is due to the raucous bolt of energy that is the Females’ lead singer/guitarist, Marissa Paternoster. The smallest figure on the stage, she is also the most mesmerizing, with a booming voice and guitar rifts that literally rock your socks off. To say the woman “shreds” is an understatement. Continue reading