May 15, 2023

I never know what to expect from Screaming Females. I started with Ugly, their double album masterpiece, and came along for the ride on the production-heavy Rose Mountain and the aptly named kitchen sink of All at Once. “Brass Bell” was the first song to drop on Desire Pathway. It’s the kind of song you want to play when you’re setting up yr. stereo for the first time in a new apartment, with its huge sound and movement from channel to channel. With that said, though, the kind of cool studio wizardry that made the song such a great choice is an anomaly on the record: rather than relying on production choices, the band is back-to-basics here, writing songs with shredding guitar lines, unexpected bass counterpoints, and a solid anchor of drums, all palettes for Marissa’s distinctive and unique vox. I dove back into the band’s catalogue after listening to this one a bunch, and decided these songs could comfortably be included in any era of the band’s career, just hit after hit. I think I’m most excited to hear them play “Beyond the Void” live, a waltz (!). Screaming Females remains the band whose new stuff I celebrate the most when it comes out, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to celebrate again. –Michael T. Fournier (Don Giovanni,

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