Pop & Hiss

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A Monday night guitar lesson with Screaming Females

January 14, 2011 |  4:39 pm

Now that everyone's eyes have been rolled at the abundance of Top-10 lists, and the rush of 2011 albums hasn't fully begun, it's time to catch up with some of the overlooked and under-appreciated of 2010. Start with New Jersey's the Screaming Females.

The band's latest single, "Wild," is something like catnip to those who appreciate the mixing of punk rock and guitar splendor. Admittedly, it could be a mix best left for small doses, but the Screaming Females can pack a lot in a small space. Singer/shredder Marissa Paternoster is a one-man show all herself, and her vocals hit nearly as many tones and shadings as her musical weapon of choice through this song's three and a half minutes. 

Her bandmates are no slouches, of course, but the rhythm section of Jarrett Dougherty and King Mike are wise enough to realize that the tension should shadow Paternoster rather than keep pace with her. Once one gets past the overlapping plates of chords that Paternoster whips out -- if one can get past them -- it becomes clear the Screaming Females are also a band of nuance. "Wild," for instance, is a torturous little rock number, in which a past flame is introduced via an Edgar Allan Poe-like tale.

The Screaming Females play Monday night at the Echoplex, and a batch of songs such as the above seem like a fine way to end a three-day weekend. Emotionally, there will be enough to capture the drag of having to go back to work. Musically, the adrenaline will make Tuesday a little less painful -- or at least the idea of it on Monday evening.  

-- Todd Martens

Screaming Females at the Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 day of show.