Screaming Females, a name I THOUGHT would just be self explanatory was absolutely wrong. Screaming Females is reminiscent of a punk rock era that I missed. I came into the punk scene when Cali and pop punk were king. Which I still love and listen to constantly but are far from the the true punk roots many of 70s and 80s know. This weekend was a lesson in old school punk and I got to see the genre alive and well as well as it’s core fans from years past still rocking out front and center.
The first teacher in my punk education on the night was Kitten Forever. Armed with one bass, a single drum kit, and a telephone style microphone they hit the stage. Kitten Forever honestly blew me away. First, the ladies of Kitten Forever are full of energy beginning to end of their set. I may frequent the gym but seeing them jump around for their set and sing through all the jumping and dancing I would have been out of breath. Second, they all trade places to play each instrument or take point on vocals. Again, something I would love to be capable of. Unfortunately for me and my lack of ear plugs I was never in an ideal spot to hear the band in it’s full form. But having been to the show and rehashed their albums in some listening I dig it. The old school punker vibe is strong and it’s fun to see where some of my favorite bands grew from.
Second on the night’s curriculum was Radiator Hospital. The name itself baffled me so I had to go research this one. It’s the name of an auto shop in Grand Rapids Michigan. Unsure if there is any sort of royalties there but I wouldn’t have figured the choice was so simple myself for a band name. In any event!. Radiator Hospital is another old school punk rock style band, this time with one more guitar though. Radiator Hospital is perhaps the band I jived with the most this night. Enjoying all the bands at Turf that night aside their sound is reminiscent of many of the bands I still listen to and has the less grunge and garage punk band sound and more what you might expect from pop punk. Many may disagree. But it’s the vibe I got from their set and I think it allowed for them to continue the upward swing of crowd energy as the night rolled out.
Finally, the Screaming Females came onto the stage. Now, being that the theme of the night for me was partially “what are these names from?” I had to look. In a Billboard interview band lead Marissa Paternoster admitted they picked the name out of need for putting one down on a show flier. Pretty logical for a band name I’ve gotta say. But it seems the name is enduring and growing a following if Billboard is interested in prying the story out. Moving right along to the music. Screaming Females brings me back into a place somewhere between teen me, and a parallel dimension self where I lived in the 70s and 80s rock and punk scene. Their music is amazingly refreshing but has the easily recognizable tones of the genre’s past.
Now, I am not going to try to claim I was able to gather the songs from the night. Between the tight space that is the Turf Club, my lack of ear plugs and being on the back side of the speakers it was hard to make out lyrics much of the time to my dismay. But, I managed to enjoy the show for its entirety and can give some suggestions for anyone wishing to to get into the Screaming Females music before they undoubtedly hit the next level in their careers and everyone starts knowing their name. Check out Humanity Arranged, I’ll Make You Sorry, Dirt, and Rose Mountain. Marissa’s guitar talent is easy to pick up in these tracks at varying times and the band has an awesomely unique sound. But I MUST advise you see them live. It doesn’t matter how many times you see a guitarist shred a solo or even a simple bridging improv during a song. It’s fun as hell to see in person each time and I left more than impressive and loving on the band for such moments after the show had ended. This is definitely one I did not anticipate to leave feeling sold, but Screaming Females I definitely heard you. Loud and clear.