It's a day of reminiscing, it seems. I got to see Screaming Females the once, when I lived around the corner from the still mourned London venue The Luminaire. With old SM mates Paul and Ani I'm pretty sure. The band was tight and fun, and the diminutive Marissa Paternoster was a blazing presence, her voice booming forth, her face contorting, her guitar wailing. It was a powerhouse performance, one that I was sure would blast them into the stratosphere. It's grungey, punky, proggy in places, silly in others - noise pop with hunting knife serrated edges and dipped in PCP. Over eight years and five records that hasn't changed.
It makes sense then that for me, their live album Live At The Hideout (out now on Don Giovanni Records) is the best thing they have committed to tape. First up, it's recorded by Steve Albini (also recorded their last album, Ugly). Secondly, it's the Screaming Females. They roar through their tracks like it's the last gig on earth, and other than some muted drums (the recording's fault), it is a killer display of raucous, blood curdling rock and roll. King Mike on bass is given some moments to shine, and the tightness of the band is without question. Yet the focus must be on Paternoster - she is a wailing dervish, a devil at the crossroads, and she finally gets the recorded platform that she deserves. Live At The Hideout reaffirms (if any was needed) that this trio are one of the best live acts on the planet - go out and see them pronto!
You can get Live At The Hideout here.