Screaming Females

Screaming Females

Screaming Females' seven years as a band, four full-length albums and 700 globe-spanning live shows has made them difficult to miss. Through it all, the New Brunswick, New Jersey trio have continued to exude a frenetic energy which is built upon the zeitgeist of America's punk and indie underground yet has always remained forward-looking. Fittingly, for Screaming Females' 5th album Ugly, the band enlisted legendary recording engineer Steve Albini, famed for his unique ability to capture the ferociousness of a live performance while delivering gorgeous sonic clarity. The album's 14 tracks reaffirm the touchstones of the band; they can still shred and front-woman Marissa Paternoster can still unleash a powerful howl. But it doesn't end there. The album ushers in new explorations for the band, a truly remarkable feat considering their already prolific output. Ugly has the perfect combination of raw energy and honed musicianship that produces the type of rock & roll which is still a force to be reckoned with.

For the past few years, Ali Koehler has been best known as the drummer of the pop group Best Coast and the noisy girl punk trio Vivian Girls. After her departure from Best Coast, Koehler decided to step up from behind the kit to front a band of her own, embracing her melodic punk-spirited songwriting impulses with Upset. Joined by Patty Schemel (of Hole) on drums and Jennifer Prince on lead guitar and vocals, Upsetwill release its massively hooky debut record, She’s Gone, this fall.

With 12 songs in just under 30 minutes, it’s a pop-punk album that immediately sounds classic, full of unshakeable hooks and the sincerest of shouts. It is fitting that She’s Gone will see a release with Don Giovanni Records; the record could easily fit in the record collections of Ergs or Lemuria fans. She’s Gone was recorded primarily at Koehler’s house in April of 2013 by Kyle Gilbride of Swearin’.

As a songwriter, Koehler draws on the snarky angst and punk simplicity of her previous bands, with a delivery that masks angry and cheeky lyrics with a sweet-sung and wide-eyed infliction. She’s Gone opens with “Back To School,” conveying that sense of first-day anxieties and uncertainty that comes with a return to an old routine. “First day back’s a heart attack,” Koehler sings. It’s an intro to the sort of personal and relatable lyrics she sings throughout, full of anxious introspection. “Game Over” (written and sung by Jenn Prince) is bored and angsty, channeling distant vox and 90s-indebted noise-pop guitars; “Never Wanna” is an urgent and impatient earworm. “I just don’t know what to do / I can’t stop thinking of you,” Koehler sings.

“Queen Frosteen” uses childlike, upbeat rhymes and a sticky chorus to set up her indictment of a friendship gone wrong. “When she sets the scene / it’s a sugarcoated fantasy,” she sings, in a way that’s so overly sugar-sweet, it almost sounds sarcastic. “Queen Frosteen, my enemy / she’s everything and I’m nobody / Queen Frosteen, my enemy.” The closing track sounds similarly burned and pissed about it. “This was a lesson learned / this is goodbye,” the band sings, girl-gang style. “That’s not what friends are for.”

She’s Gone has moments of self-doubt and resonant angst (“I can’t remember feeling worse than this,” Koehler sings on “Oxfords and Wingtips”) but it has a sense of humor about it as well; “About Me” even starts with a giggle. It’s a sort of record that’s not afraid to have sincere open-book, downer moments, but doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Benny The Jet Rodriguez

estimony by Baby J (Stoned At Heart/Can of Beans):
Keepin the San Pedro scene poppin is Benny The Jet Rodriguez! They emerged way back in the summer of 2012 originally a two piece featuring a studdly queer babe, L. Freeman, and the handsome drummer with the chops, Joey Centofanti.
BTJR has become a trifecta with the addition of Todd C.(FYP/Toys That Kill) on the keys. Together they are making magic happen, and smoking tons of weed while doing it. BTJR songs are written by a sweet baby genius! Songs you wish you wrote with harmonious keyboard melodies on top of righteous dirty chord progressions, backed by crashy head bobbin' drums and vocal chorus’ that are guaranteed to get stuck in your head.
BTJR= Straight up, pumped up, high side of the lo-fi, feel good, heart felt, innovative pop punk with some grrl power sprinkled on top. New, fresh, young, fun, rockin and uh rollin.

$11.00 - $13.00

Tickets

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Echoplex

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Screaming Females with Upset, Benny The Jet Rodriguez, MC Sean O'Conner

Thursday, November 21 · 8:30 PM at Echoplex