Issue September 15, 2010

Castle Talk

Screaming Females

Born out of the basement scene of New Brunswick, N.J., Screaming Females’ sound hasn’t stayed there. Rather, the trio’s material has morphed into the exact opposite: glossy but unsanitized of punk’s grit. Singer Martha Paternoster might wear a dress, but delicate in word or riff she is not. Three minutes into “Laura & Marty,” sister is laying waste to the fretboard and kneecapping the ending before you have time to process. Bold articulations? She’s got those, too, on “Boss”: When you pray your hands go raw/You change skins and call your baby/When you kneel you sink and rupture reason/I could be the boss of you any day. Short and furious, like an all-ages show, Paternoster is content to make her point and leave, as if she’s trying to sneak out of the house and back before her parents find out.