26 September 2023

Desire Pathway

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Screaming Females, Don Giovanni Records 2023.

Screaming Females is a three-piece band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, comprised of Marissa Paternoster on guitar and vocal, Jarrett Dougherty on drums, and Mike Abbate on bass.

They have been around since 2006 and they have featured on MTV and on Last Call with Carson Day.

They have released eight albums to date with their fifth album, Ugly, receiving many favourable reviews.

Desire Pathway is their latest and it’s a ten-track album of very good indie rock that was released in February of this year.

Every track on this album is a cracker, there are no fillers, there’s no down time, it’s up-tempo peddle to the floor nearly all the way, (there is one ballad).

The sound is dominated by distorted guitar and solid bass and drums. The opening track Brass Bell begins with an overlay of distortion providing an intriguing intro to the album.

The third track, Let You Go, is an interesting amalgam of styles that begins with a heavy bass intro that is reminiscent of Midnight Oil. The track then morphs into a grungy melange of heavy metal with brilliant guitar solos.

Screaming Females are like giant sponges that have been busy mopping up influences along their way.

They can go from the heaviness of Let You Go to the out-and-out pop of Mourning Dove and be completely convincing, then follow it up with the intensity of classic Britpop in a track like It’s All Said And Done.

They are very talented musicians who seem capable of turning their hand to any genre that takes their fancy.

There is one track on the album that turns the intensity down. So Low is performed to the accompaniment of one mostly finger-picked electric guitar and it’s recorded with no overdubs or other studio impact in the process.

As a first introduction to the band, I can recommend this album. The quality of the songs is universally strong and there is oodles of variety.

I kept hearing influences from 10CC through to Nirvana but they are making them their own.

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