May 23, 2018

What would you say the lifespan of an average band is? There has to be an equivalent like dog years, because bands implode all the time after six months, a year, a tour, a single album: “Oh, this band has been together for an EP and a tour, so they’re like thirty in human years.” So it’s funny to think about Screaming Females. I’ve been a slobbering, annoyingly advocative fan since 2012, when I got Ugly. Anyone who’s been to my house since then has endured my Screaming Females evangelizing—but by the time I heard about them, they were already something like seven years in. I wasn’t clued into the first four LPs, f’r chrissake! It’s a minor miracle that they’re still going, close to twelve hundred shows later. And it’s even more miraculous that their new double LP All at Once might be the best stuff yet. After so much time together, the Scremales know what works, and what doesn’t—and have the uncanny ability to stretch the former beyond listener expectations. I think they’re more dynamic than ever, with each member coming to the fore and retreating as needed. This isn’t to say that things have changed dramatically, because they haven’t: Marissa still ululates and shreds, with Jarrett and Mike as the reliable anchors. But after so long, the band is dedicated only to what makes them happy—the reason for their sustainability and, of course, for their utterly inspiring albums and (especially) live shows. The greatest. –Michael T. Fournier (Don Giovanni)