Screaming FemalesPosted: July 11, 2011
A few nights ago, I saw Screaming Females open up for Ted Leo at South Street Seaport.
So. Freaking. Good.
Marissa Paternoster, singer/guitarist, and the only female of Screaming Females (with Jarrett Dougherty on drums and Mike Rickenbacker on bass) is a powerhouse of incredible energy, her black cape of hair swinging wildly around her head as she shrieks out lyrics like:
One foul swoop on the jaw of man
May pull apart his frame
In for the money, I’m suspect
To me it’s just the same.
I can’t say I know what she’s saying exactly, but something tells me it’s cool.
The name Screaming Females is pretty accurate (minus the singular/plural thing)- one comes away from their show with your ears simultaneously ringing of Marissa’s screaming guitar solos and Hitchcock-movie shriek. But what the name doesn’t fully account for is Marissa’s true vocal abilities. She doesn’t just scream. She belts, she moans, she yells, she shrills, she even sings pretty- all within one song. Every song is a roller-coaster, but it doesn’t make you feel nauseous or dizzy (how I feel when I go on roller-coasters), it just makes you excited (how I’ve heard roller-coasters make some people feel).
Perhaps what Screaming Females is best known for is Marissa’s amazing guitar-playing. Usually I associate “shredding” with either Guitar Hero (a game at which I am truly terrible) or those creepy washed-up-punk guys that seem to do nothing but sit in stores like Guitar Center, where they play incessant hair-metal solos and tell you a story about the good old days when they used to “jam” with Joe Perry or Axl Rose.
But with Screaming Females, it works. Yes, I think it’s cool that Marissa plays guitar solos in a style that most would associate with men, but more than that I think it’s cool how the solos work within the song, not as a disjointed and flashy annoyance, but as an exciting and emotive element of already good songs.
So check them out!