Album Review: Screaming Females – Live at the Hideout

If you’ve seen New Brunswick punk rock band Screaming Females live, you know the three piece brings an intense show that takes the music from their numerous albums into an even more raw and improvised setting. A while after being part of a nearly-fatal car accident,  Screaming Females played two sold out shows at The Hideout in Chicago. Their performances were recorded by engineers Steve Albini (Big Black, Nirvana’s In Utero) and Timothy Powell, and recently released in album form as Live at The Hideout.

The album definitely gives you a good representation of the band’s crazy antics on stage, especially vocalist/guitarist Marissa Paternoster’s coarse shrieks, which are first heard on “Buried in the Nude” among distressed instrumentals. The next track “Extinction” has more crazed vocals with a noticeably thumping bass lines played by King Mike. The guitar work starts getting really crafty and improvisational from this point on, “A New Kid” is hammered on and changes up in tone and feel through the entire five minutes, with some of those mind-bending guitar solos fans have come to love from Paternoster. And while you don’t have the visual representation, except for a well shot music video below, the quality of sound makes you feel like you are right in the room with them. They played heavily off their 2012 release Uglybut they covered all their albums in true rock star fashion. They’ve mastered all of these songs and have them down so well that several times a song will turn into an ever-speeding up clash of drums (played by Jarrett Dougherty) and bass behind the shredding guitar prowess of Paternoster. Some of the most epic moments come at the end of a lengthened “Lights,” “It All Means Nothing,” and during the entirety of “Boyfriend”. But this album is a must-listen for any fan of punk or intricate guitar work, especially if you have mot seen Screaming Females live.

Speaking from experience, they put on an out-of-this-world show. They go ballistic on their respective instruments, and Paternoster usually gets hoisted up by the crowd during at least one of her gnarly solos. Every song on this album has that in-the-moment passion and aggression that is one of the most impressive things a band can have. Screaming Females have proved that they can maintain that level of fervor at every live show I have seen, and it is a treat to finally have such an amazing set on the record.

Pick up Live at the Hideout on vinyl/CD/digital from Don Giovanni Records here, or stream it on Spotify.

Image via Don Giovanni Records.

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