Screaming Females

Screaming Females


This is a common Tuesday night. But this is also that kind of night in which you can have just a couple of beers so as to get away from the everyday paraphernalia or experience an inspirational eye-opener and realise that you should really follow your dreams. Let’s bet for the second option.

One goes into the Roadhouse, whose doors will close by the end of May (such a pity!) and feels like being  in a mausoleum. Few people surround the bar, the basement is so dark that we seem chatty vampires refusing the daylight. “I don’t wanna holiday in the sun…”.

It’s 22.00 and there’s no risk of sun anymore. Screaming Females make clear that they’ve got guts and talent to spare from the very first riff. They open the gig with ‘Rotten Apple’. Originated in New Brunswick, New Jersey, this band has a certain Scooby Doo look. It is formed by Marissa Paternoster on guitar and vocals; Jarrett Dougherty on drums, and King Mike on bass. They have supported bands such as Arctic Monkeys, The Dead Weather and Dinosaur Jr., among others. It is worth mentioning their cover of Because The Night along with Garbage.

Without giving a chance to take a breath, they perform’ Starve The Beat’ and ‘Wild’, which fuels audience’s craving for a good basement show. In fact, Screaming Females has grown with the DIY spirit, as they are their own managers and have recorded and released some albums all by themselves. Having studied Fine Arts, Paternoster has also designed the sleeves. She may never have had a guitar lesson, but thanks to her DIY spirit perhaps, Paternoster figures among the 100 greatest guitarist of all time according to Spin magazine.

After going Wild, it is quite surprising to hear how shyly she greets the audience, with such a daddy’s little girl-like soft voice. “…We’re from New Jersey”, she almost whispers, with half of her face hidden behind an endless fringe. She doesn’t seem the same girl that just a few seconds ago was ripping both her voice and guitar (as well as spitting lavishly, if I must say).

With Ripe they jump to their latest album, Rose Mountain (2015), and they continue with the songs included in this work, ‘Empty Head’ and ‘Broken Neck’. All of them seem to me clear messages to escape from the tedious routine and follow one’s own path, whatever this would be.

They rewind to previous albums with the tunes ‘Crow’s Nest’ and ‘Bell’, and introduce the audience into a smooth garage trance.

The performance of ‘Wishing Well’ is jaw dropping. At this point, it doesn’t really matter how will you look like tomorrow at work, the only important thing is that you’re alive today, right here, right now.

The gig finishes with ‘Criminal Image’ in such an abrupt way -“We have our albums on sale at the bar”… and fade to black- that leaves us wanting more. Actually, they have been playing just for 45 minutes, to be exact. Well, fair enough for a suspiciously warm Tuesday…

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Amaia Santana

Good karma brought me here to Manchester, my second home, where you can stay healthy (despite the weather) and young forever, as you can breathe live music in every corner of the city. I do believe in the healing power of music (rock is my life vest) and I'd be so glad to share my passion with you rockers of the world!