Don't let the size of the amps at the NPR Music office fool you: Screaming Females' music is louder than bombs. Okay, the Smiths reference isn't terribly germane, but the fact remains that, whether at a festival or in a basement (or on an upcoming record-store tour), guitarist and vocalist Marissa Paternoster, drummer Jarrett Dougherty and bassist "King Mike" convey the kind of rock 'n' roll force that time's forgotten. Pared down at our offices, the band's keen sense of song stays front and center — especially in "It All Means Nothing," a new song that will appear on Screaming Females' Steve Albini-recorded fifth album, Ugly.
The New Brunswick trio has been at it for a while now, but it wasn't until 2010's Castle Talk that the band figured out a place for both melody and wildly imaginative guitar solos. Make no mistake: Paternoster is a modern master of shred, her fingers exploring every inch of the fretboard, though not without careful thought. We don't see many guitar solos at the Tiny Desk, but after the quiet and folky "Little Anne," I dare say it took everything the Screaming Females had not to demand our speakers to properly rock "I Don't Mind It."
- "It All Means Nothing"
- "Little Anne"
- "I Don't Mind It"
Producer: Lars Gotrich; Editor: Bob Boilen; Videographer: Michael Katzif; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; photo by Mallory Benedict.