Screaming Females - London Luminaire - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Screaming Females - London Luminaire

by Steve Reynolds Rating: Release Date:

Hailing from New Jersey are power trio Screaming Females. This is their first ever London gig and the Luminaire is a more than adequate venue that fits snugly round their fuzzy guitar sound. Ably supported by London's own Not Cool who serve up some unconventional noisy pop and deserve a mention just to highlight Matt's howling shriek.

Screaming Females shuffle on stage 15 minutes early, and suitably reward us with a breakneck 45 minute set. Lead singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster is more than capable of leaving us breathless with some grunge-like power licks. She's reminiscent of a female J Mascis and they blow all the valves out on opener 'Buried in the Nude'. Marissa is shy when interacting with the crowd but she more than makes up with it with her banshee wail, which at times is reminiscent of Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland. It's an obvious reference but that's not a negative.

The trio are extremely tight and the rhythm section of Jarrett Dougherty (drums) and Michael Abbate (bass) are the essential glue that keeps the whole thing together. Abbate is even playing chords on his four string. 'Bell' is laden with a power lick that is simply hot hot hot. Halfway through Marissa unleashes a full on solo that is simply irresistible to nod your head to.

The set is awash with songs from their new album Castle Talk, and while it's a superb listen their live performance simply crackles, pops and is much heavier and than the album versions. 'I Don't Mind It' is simply a beautiful assault on the ears; it bounces along with all the effervescence of a bunch of kids who've sank too many E numbers. It's a whirlwind set, but what's rather hypnotic about the songs are that they are so catchy while remaining both urgent and tight. 'Fall Asleep' throbs with a clever bassline and Marissa takes her foot off the vocals with a more sedate singing style but ensures that the guitar remains the focal point of the song.

They end with 'Boyfriend', its pulsating bass juxtaposed against a screaming guitar and Marissa suitably vents her spleen beyond any howl I've heard in many a year. Forty odd people turned out for this gig, they have just witnessed the dawning of a new guitar era. If they aren't huge in 2011, I will eat my hat. Oh yeah, and the parting shot was having the set-list written on the back of a flyer advertising a Chesney Hawkes gig!

All hail The Screaming Females.

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