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Album review: Screaming Females ‘All At Once’

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Photo by Andrew Himmelberg
Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females

What is one way to take out your frustration the week before midterms? Sure, you could binge-watch the newest additions to Netflix or yell at your roommate for not doing the dishes, but what if you could completely dispel the angst with a perfect album?

Screaming Females is a band out of New Brunswick, New Jersey. They’ve been creating intensely catchy punk rock for 15 years and the newest addition to their discography is no exception to the rule. “All at Once” is the band’s seventh studio album, and their maturity only amplifies their ability to connect with their audience on a base level.

Unless you’re looking to get a speeding ticket, I would not suggest you play this album in the car. Driving bass lines can lead to a heavy foot, and guitarist Marissa Paternoster’s distortion-filled solos are distracting, to say the least.

“Glass House,” the first track, works as a flawless impetus for the listener’s transition into the album’s feverish body, starting slowly and adding bit by bit until it feels bigger than just a song. The video mirrors that evolution.

The guitar solo in “Chamber for Sleep (Part One)” pushes and pulls on your emotions with changes in tempo and complexity.

Paternoster’s vocals during “Black Moon” and “I’ll Make You Sorry” reflect the particular sort of desperate feeling a heartbreak gives you. Amplify that by the frenzied, verging on out-of-control music, and you have the perfect songs to get your angst in check.

The lyrics on “All at Once” match the torment of the music. Take this example from, “End of My Bloodline”:

“There’s little truth in power’s timing,
Its desperate need to have it all,
On my device, the silver lining,
Misplaced your faith, leave me alone”

Screaming Females also addresses the standards put so strictly on women in “Soft Domination”:

“They clip my claws and braid my hair,
Dance on my back, my body bare.
Let’s bind their hands and seal their eyes,
So that the blind can lead the blind”

The challenges of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses are prominent in “Fantasy Lens”:

“You’ll stare at me in a fantasy,
Love me through the lens”

It is really difficult to pick favorites from this monolith of an album. Of the 15 tracks featured on it, I currently have 14 downloaded onto my Spotify account. Take a few minutes for yourself this upcoming midterms week and enjoy an amazing album from start to finish.

Album Highlights:

Black Moon

Soft Domination

End of My Bloodline

Chamber for Sleep (Part One)

Fantasy Lens

“All at Once” is available now on all platforms via Don Giovanni Records.

 

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