April 8, 2014

LP: Screaming Females - Live at the Hideout

Live At the Hideout is an album that cool punk parents will show their kids.

When I was a kid, my parents educated me on live albums like Simon and Garfunkel's The Concert in Central Park, George Harrison's The Concert for Bangladesh, and Bob Dylan's 1966 Royal Albert Hall concerts. I can only hope that some cool punk parent will be showing their child Screaming Females' Live at the Hideout in the future. Singer-guitarist Marissa Paternoster, drummer Jared Dougherty, and bassist King Mike have long held the reputation of being masters of shredding and screaming. After five full length albums, the New Brunswick trio continues to retain the frenetic energy that has cemented their reputation as a powerful live act. Screaming Females has always been the type of band that never seeks assurance from anyone, and this has never been more evident than on Live At the Hideout. The group marinates in their time onstage, promising more than familiar versions of fan favorites. Screaming Females sound ferocious on their studio recordings, but this Steve Albini-produced record captures the raw intimacy of a tiny venue.

The night Live At the Hideout was to be recorded, Screaming Females crashed their minivan into a semi-truck. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, and the band played two nights of sold-out concerts. Feelings of survival, urgency, and immediacy permeate the album, the band seems so grateful to be playing the show. After an awkward introduction from the MC, the band launches into "Leave It All Up To Me" from 2012's Ugly. Paternoster's voice, deep and hair-raising, is probably one of the most distinct sounds around. If her shrieks do not grab you by the throat, her shredding definitely will. It feels unfair to isolate individual songs on this album since it flows so cohesively. However, versions of "A New Kid," "Starve the Beat," and "Sheep" are particularly outstanding. If you have yet to add Screaming Females to your music collection, Live At the Hideout is a great place to begin.

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Purchase Live At the Hideout from Don Giovanni Records.

Written by Quinn Moreland