In the cool undergrounds of the Cattivo basement tucked away from the radiant heat of the melting tarmac of the summer streets above, The Screaming Females wrapped up another tour with the help of Pittsburgh locals The Lopez and Roulette Waves. As the crowd began to drift in, finding refuge from the sweltering summer streets, The Lopez got the night started with a set of hard charging electro-punk songs. Their heavy fuzz and use of a drum machine falls somewhere in between the Jesus and Mary Chain and Adam and His Package, tackling local politics, social media faux pas and of course cats.
I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I have seen Roulette Waves but be assured it won’t be the last. The local four piece adorned with black paint markings on their faces as if they were going into some sort of primal battle ripped through an emotional collection of reverb heavy songs.
Heather Donny Donovan’s vocals range from subdued to gigantic, as if a “Live Through This” era Courtney Love was fronting TSOL. Listening to the ‘Waves latest release “Blown Out” a mix of of 90’s grunge and Scandinavian style death rock is the perfect back drop for Donovan’s vocals and a wonderful primer to usher in the overwhelming power of Screaming Females live show.
Marissa Paternoster adorned in her black dress, fender stratocaster and a mess of dark hair in front of her eyes might be one of the most powerful rock n roll images you can witness. Paternoster standing at just a tick over 5 feet, soft spoken and polite is an atomic bomb on stage. Riff after heavy riff and a voice so big it seems impossible that it could be coming out her body. Her physical stature is even more accentuated by bassist King Mike, who stands to her left pounding out grooves at 6 foot 2 inches.
Anchored by drummer Jarrett Dougherty and King Mike, Paternoster was able to push out into improvised solos, experimenting with a collection of effects pedals. Paternoster guitar efforts during well known songs was reminiscent of J. Mascis, when the mood struck the lighting would get ridden. A sold out show on a Monday night in Pittsburgh put an end to another touring effort for the Screaming Females, keep an I out for new material by them and if you live near or around the D.C. Baltimore area be sure to catch Paternoster’s side project Bad Canoes as they we’ll be going on an indefinite hiatus.