A decade back, the Marissa Paternoster-fronted trio Screaming Females was shattering eardrums on the basement party circuit in Brunswick, N.J., and indulging in a ferocious strain of indie-punk. Today, the band is touring behind an album that sounds like the work of a band that would be at home in an arena.
Which is not to suggest that Screaming Females – due for a headlining slot at Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.) on Tuesday – has abandoned its punk roots. Rather, the trio’s most recent effort, “Rose Mountain,” excels on the basis of its ability to cram abundant indie-punk energy into songs that boast tight structures, allow Paternoster plenty of room to run her strident melodies through their paces.
This is the first time the band worked with an outside producer, although engineer and indie iconoclast Steve Albini has acted as engineer for them in the past. Enlisting erstwhile Mastodon producer Matt Bayles to help them see “Rose Mountain” through from rough-hewn demo stage to full-blown guitar-crunch finality made a big difference, however. You can hear the basement band urgency, but Bayles seems to have pushed the Females toward a state of full actualization. The result is both the biggest-sounding and best-written Screaming Females effort to date.
Tickets for Screaming Females, with guests Potty Mouth and Hot Tip, are $12 advance, or $14 at the door.
– Jeff Miers