Screaming Females - Castle Talk - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Screaming Females - Castle Talk

by Steve Reynolds Rating:8 Release Date:2010-09-14

Lavishing us with their fourth album is New Jersey's power trio Screaming Females. Castle Talk weighs in at under 40 mins and it's a relentless ride of guitar shredding, high energy punk rock.

Reminiscent of Veruca Salt at times, lead singer Marissa Paternoster lets loose with a female vocal range that stacks up beautifully against the wall of scuzzy guitar and wanton metal-laden riffs. Accompany that with the neat and tidy bass work and tub thumping drums and you have the perfect indie punk sound and DIY ethos.

Advocates of no-age venues, the band created their own places to play including basements and friends houses. This unique gigging process built up a sizeable following which eventually projected them into the mainstream, which shines through on the 11 tracks of Castle Talk.

There is a real sense of togetherness and camaraderie on the album and it bristles with all the energy of three kids who have eaten far too many skittles. The gauntlet is suitably laid with opener 'Laura + Marty', which blasts through the lugholes leaving you gagging for further ditties.

The piercing solo that precedes 'Boss' is acute and taught before launching in a wall of sound that wouldn't be amiss on a Mudhoney album. 'Normal' is a catchy bottom heavy bass ride that is lower than a snakes belly and is a cracking number with Paternoster almost spitting bile out of the speakers. Its almost like she's trying to drag your head through the stereo and into the studio such is the impact of the song.

'A New Kid' puts you in a hypnotic guitar echo chamber that is irresistible to remove from the cranium. The songs are short and straight to the point. The lack of flab here is simply stunning. 'Fall Asleep' has a stomach rumbling bass that carries the song through and the vocals take a somewhat lo-fi backdrop to the four string. It doesn't detract from the song but merely galvanises it into a nice slice of shiny fuzzy pop.

'Nothing at All' follows with a similar style of work and while it might not be ripping up any original trees, it's the smart taut vocal and clever guitar work that really pulls the listener into the tractor beam of Screaming Females. A smart fun album that is ubiquitously rammed full of catchiness and hooks.

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