Screaming Females - All At Once
All At Once
There is this really odd moment for punk rock bands when they become too old to be punks anymore. Punk simply is a young persons game, the aggression and fury just feels odd coming from someone in their late thirties. Very few bands have been able to take the punk sentiment deep into their careers and often shift their sound to either post-pink, or some kind of pop centered sound. On this album Screaming Females' seventh the band don't downplay the speed and power but they also find melody and harmony more endearing than just noise. The driving strummed bass lines are still there but around it is guitars more closely aligned with pop-punk than real deal punk stuff. Yet with these kinds of vocals you would never really hear Screaming Females be accused of being too pop. The lyrics are almost growled rather than sung, but still manage to not be off putting or too aggresive. The balance of this record is simply fantastic, you just don't hear Rock music like this that feels wholly modern and concise. Production duties were handled by MInus the Bear's Matt Bayles, who brings the absolute best out of the band. There is so much here to sing along too and also scream at the top of your lungs that you are instantly hooked buying in from the very first note.
What is the most interesting is in shifting towards the middle Screaming Females have really found a sound that fits them like a glove. You would expect the record to feel watered down by them going for a more popy sound, but the opposite is true. They found the right outlet for their aggression, the right sound to make them soar. "Soft Domination" is so gritty, but bright at the same time and it fucking bops. The really interesting thing about this record is that it hangs on the edge of post-punk so much but never fully crosses over. This isn't The Mars Volta or The Deftones, but it has that same spirit. It is almost like a post-punk band accidentally made an album that got them on the radio. "Chamber for Sleep (Part 1)" feels like surf rock but done super well, almost like a California band, but coming from these New Jersey natives. A really really fun album from start to finish don't miss Screaming Females, you won't regret it.
8.1 out of 10