Music Review

Screaming Females – Desire Pathways

todayFebruary 23, 2023 169

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By Kristi Houk


Recommended if you like: The Breeders, Rush, Veruca Salt, Bat Fangs

Kathleen Hanna is right—Marissa Paternoster IS one of the best guitar players alive.

Paternoster is the guitarist and singer of the New Jersey band, Screaming Females, and their 8th release, Desire Pathway on Don Giovanni Records is a tour de force. Chock full of guitar riffs reminiscent of all your favorite classic rock bands like Rush, Sabbath, and Nirvana (I said what I said.) Very early 90’s—I hear some Pixies in there.

Lyrically, the album rips the band aid off to expose the rawness of a break-up, rejection and the isolation that comes with it.

On opening track, “Brass Bell” (it’s heavy in here) we feel it in Paternoster’s wail:

Pin my mask, bind me still
Pour my blood, feed me pills
Ball your fist, cut my lung
Hold me close
With your gun

I’m living in a brass bell and
It’s too loud
It’s too loud

My favorite track, “Ornament” is a catchy confession with a hook 13 miles long. It’s the most realized song on the record and encapsulates the entire mood —angsty, with a soft center. I don’t think she’s made entirely of stone.

Now I got what I want
It won’t make me feel better
Now I got what I want
It won’t me feel better
Built brick by brick in hell

I want it all
An ornament
Your head hangs heavy on it
I want it all
An ornament
Your head hangs heavy on it

Even the best decisions come with remorse. However, there are no regrets in the amount of listens to Desire Pathway and a refusal to cry inside the lines.

Stand out Tracks: Ornament, Brass Bell, Mourning Dove

Written by: kristi houk

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