Marissa Paternoster of New Jersey-based three-piece Screaming Females used her vibrato vocals to lighten up Subterranean Thursday night. Accompanied by bassist King Mike and drummer Jarrett Dougherty, who backed up the only screaming female, Marissa, they gutted and devoured the night with gusto and unabashed vibrato. Paternoster tore it up with arpeggio guitar licks and ear-bleeding screams—yes—actual screams. Like a lioness, she roared on the stage and the crowd was smitten. Opening acts, Mayor Daley and Dethwarrant, both Chicago based punk rock bands, riled up the audience with noisy, silly nonsensical performances, with richly wild inhibition that tantalized the audience’s taste buds, warming them up for the anticipated headliner.
Basement show enthusiasts, Screaming Females have stuck by their philosophy that the DIY space is the most comfortable setting to play live, which is how the three members met before they collaborated in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 2009.
Their latest record, Ugly, was released on Don Giovanni Records and recorded in the famous studio of local talent Steve Albini.
What was refreshing about the show was Paternoster’s ambition: She yelped and rattled her way through minor sound hiccups and “guitar troubles” for a nearly hour-long set.
Marissa’s voice is unique, likened to that of a strange mixture of Veruca Salt and the Sandwitches, a sort of yodeling that dates back to the times of Wanda Jackson, who the 1950s dubbed “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
The night was female frenzied, with two chicks waling in Mayor Daley and Paternoster polishing it off with her no-bullshit-just-wing-it angst, it would be a shock if not one audience member left with a new outlook and respect for women ruling the stage.