New Screaming Females Album Blows My Tiny Human Mind

Screaming Females - Glass House


Dearborn Plys, Editor

Screaming Females is a New Jersey punk trio from my top Six Bands With Female Vocalists Who Will Scream At You, whose music I have previously stated would “rip your face off”.

Last Friday, Screaming Females released their 7th full-length studio album, titled “All At Once”, and it lived up to the hype. All at once I was taken into the world of Marissa Paternoster’s angry, beautiful words and searing guitar licks, King Mike’s beefy bass lines, and Jarrett Daughtry’s expressive drumming. This album exemplifies Screaming Female’s progression as a band, moving from earlier no-frills album into layered soundscapes filling in every crack of space.

The album opens with Glass House, featured at the top of this page, which came out three months ago as a single. A series of hits alternate with a sweet melodic line from Marissa, harshness and intensity building up, showing the band’s dynamic range. This track also features a lot more ambient sound than most of their previous recordings which sets up the whole album to be one with expansion of musical territory. Punk rock enthusiast, Shania Haynes ’18, likes how “this album has a hint of the poppiness I miss when I’m not listening to Tegan and Sarah.”

Some of the genre shifting in this album can be seen in the last single released just a day before the rest of the album, “I’ll Make You Sorry”. The song opens with a deep and ominous vocal line, backed up by screaming guitar, bass, and drums, a typical Screaming Females opening, but from that point on the song takes on an almost pop-y element. The band’s grungy sound is slowly mixed with sugary pop notes, culminating in an undeniably catchy hook on the line “I once was in love before I knew you”, that has been playing on repeat in my head since I first heard it.

In contrast to the upbeat catchiness of “I’ll Make You Sorry,” All At Once features some really melodically intricate and tricky tracks like “Dirt”, a bewitching little melody that twists and turns, zig zagging with Marissa’s voice. This is immediately followed by “Agnes Martin” which has a classic Ugly style single note piercing guitar riff but still keeps the twisty turning vocals from “Dirt”.

This album has another first for the band, a two-volume track. Halfway through the album “Chamber For Sleep I & II” pop up, with a catchy riff expanding into the layered ambience that separates the album from previous ones. Right now the first of these two parts is my favorite song out of all 15, mostly because it’s got all the elements of a bop, and all the elements of a song to space out to. Guitarist Jose Barrera ’18 is “not sure what some of the lines mean, but it’s really good so [he doesn’t] care.”

The last five tracks see the most dynamic range, from the beautiful ballad that is “Bird in Space”, to the assertiveness of “My Body”, to the sharp heartfelt concerns of “Step Outside”, the final track of the album. This last song is something of a wakeup call from the angry, beautiful expression journey the listener has been on. The main line of the chorus, “I’m sick with worry just knowing, when you step outside you won’t be safe” is scary and threatening in a personal way but takes on an oddly comforting meaning as it’s shouted at you. Ivy Weston ’19, says “this song gets the feeling of telling a friend to ‘be safe’ when you say goodbye.”

Frankly, this album is a jam and I recommend it highly, especially if powerful female vocalists are your thing. It’s meant to be listened through from start to finish, and then started and finished again, and then started and finished again. Every part of this is wonderful, and it all comes together to form one gorgeous experience, so strap in for the ride.