Screaming Females • Lip Critic • Rodeo Boys
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Formed in New Brunswick, NJ in 2005, Screaming Females is Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vox), Mike Abbate (bass), and Jarrett Dougherty (drums).
Once you start looking for them, you’ll see desire paths everywhere. In parks and driveways, parking lots and apartment complexes, in front of corner stores, libraries, schools and offices. “Maybe there was one in your neighborhood growing up, a corner where everyone decided it took too long to go around, so they made their own pathway to cut through,” says Marissa Paternoster, singer and guitarist of Screaming Females. “There’s this cool unsaid group consciousness that comes together where everyone decides, this is the right way to go.” Now a band for half the lifetime of its members, Screaming Females have long been pounding out their own desire path.
Formed in 2005 in New Brunswick, NJ, the trio has consistently created a hearty, surprising mix of indie-, alt-, punk- and stoner-rock, all with their original line-up of Paternoster, “King Mike” Mike Abbate (bass) and Jarrett Dougherty (drums).
Released on February 17th by Don Giovanni Records, Desire Pathway was recorded at Minnesota’s Pachyderm Studios (where Nirvana recorded In Utero) and produced by Matt Bayles (Foxing, Pearl Jam, Mastodon, et al). Bright and full, the album captures the band at a time when nothing was certain other than their abiding desire to make music together. Desire Pathway opens with the Sabbathy hypnotism of “Brass Bell.” Following a swelling haze of synth, feedback shrieks, martial snares advance, and the band explodes into a bracing groove. Soon, Paternoster makes the cryptic announcement: “I have flown us to the moon,” and we’re off. The song has the effect of clearing one haze and replacing it with another, much heavier one. Compared with their previous record (2018’s expansive All at Once), Desire Pathway feels refreshed and direct. “Beyond the Void” may gather gloomily, but it quickly releases into its jangly, memorable chorus. Single “Mourning Dove” successfully channels the Pixies into a tight, driving power-pop song that passionately declares “my love for you is too strong to hide.”
Now 18 years and eight albums in, Screaming Females are still making their own path in the world, still touring DIY and releasing music without compromise. The route might cut a little off the main road, but you’ll quickly see there’s a reason they’re on it. You just might like where it leads you.
Formed in NY in 2018. Bret Kaser, Connor Kleitz, Danny Eberle, and Ilan Natter.
On their Don Giovanni debut, Home Movies, Rodeo Boys are upping the ante. Their music owes as much to the twang of country as it does to the fuzz of grunge, and it’s a winning combination.
Lead single “Sugar” sits somewhere between Bully and SPICE, a gritty slice of feedback-drenched rock ‘n’ roll that immediately makes it clear where Rodeo Boys’ passions lie–in loud, crunchy, catchy alt rock. “Dog Leg” plays out like a supersized take on classic rock, all roaring solos and guttural hooks, and epic closer “Tomboy Radio” is a proggy masterclass in dynamics.
Home Movies hardly lets up all through its 40 minutes, the space folk of “Hail Mary” allowing a couple minutes to breathe, but it all seems to zip by. Vocalist Tiff Hannay says Rodeo Boys’ goal as a queer blue-collar band is “to give a voice to young queer people in small towns,” and what a powerful voice it is.