Showing posts with label screaming females. Show all posts
Showing posts with label screaming females. Show all posts

Friday, March 2, 2018

video review: 'all at once' by screaming females

I can imagine given how much critical acclaim this record has gotten that my slightly cooler take might be divisive... folks, I still like it, just not as much as everyone else, it happens.

Next up... hmm, probably Annihilation, but we'll see what shows up on the schedule come tomorrow, so stay tuned!

album review: 'all at once' by screaming females

So here's a hidden truth about being a music critic: in the age of the internet, you haven't heard everything, and you will never hear everything. And learning to reconcile that on some level is pretty much the only reason I haven't burned out nearly five years into this, and one reason I am so grateful Patreon provides some structure in my schedule. It doesn't mean I'm any less curious about everything that's out there or that I'm not kicking myself at the end of every year when I miss some record that's notched critical acclaim that I just didn't get a chance to cover, but it softens the blow a bit, especially considering my Patrons have a nice habit of pushing me outside my comfort zone, which is definitely healthy. That being said, since it's my policy to try and hear a band's entire discography before reviewing them in depth, it gets a tad exhausting when you see yet another indie rock band with considerable critical acclaim and a discography close to double digits wind up on my schedule. And it's not even that the bands are bad - it's typically got enough of a punk edge to stay exciting, the writing is often passable to pretty strong, the riffing is usually pretty well-developed, and at some point they typically get Steve Albini behind the production boards - but I also won't lie and say that unless the sound shifts significantly these records can start to run together a bit. 

Fortunately, it seems like five records in, Screaming Females realized this and started shifting up their formula after four pretty damn solid releases - my personal favourite favourite of those being Power Trip. For their fifth record in 2012 called Ugly, they brought in Steve Albini, tightened up the production and riffs, and crystallized their sound... only to swivel on their next full-length towards a crunchy brand of metal in 2015 on Rose Mountain that while was pretty likable didn't always flatter their more melodic guitar digressions or Marissa Paternoster's incensed, throaty vibrato. So when I heard they were heading closer towards mainstream rock radio on their newest collection... well, I had mixed expectations, given that they had kept Matt Bayles on production - and he's most well known for working with Mastodon on their pre-Crack The Skye years - and a swivel towards power-pop or pop punk seemed like uncharted territory, even if the critical consensus has generally been unsurprised by the pivot. Granted, said critics have also been giving this album the most praise Screaming Females have gotten since Ugly, so what the hell: how was All At Once?