Following up with my recent post on DC’s explosive band PRIESTS, I figured I’d cover the other album I picked up at that show, Screaming Female’s latest full length Rose Mountain. The Females have become without a doubt one of my favorite rock/punk bands EVER and most certainly one of the best guitar bands playing music today hands down. Their sixth LP showcases not only continued growth but a self-assuredness which is both refreshing and exciting. Marissa Paternoster’s guitar playing is unparalleled as the tiny shredder lays down riffs and solos that can stand up against any of the greats past or present. Starting off with the steady, energizing “Empty Head” and “Ripe” you’re reassured that this new effort is still the hard hitting garage rock people have come to expect from the NJ basement trio. However, it’s songs like “Wishing Well”, “Hopeless”, “Broken Neck” and the titular track “Rose Mountain” which show that Screaming Females have come a long way since 2006’s Baby Teeth. Marissa’s voice is better than ever hitting a large range of notes while employing her iconic vibrato to punch the listener in the face with the sheer force of her lyrics and harsh squeal. King Mike’s bass fills are increasingly present and offer chunky contrasts to Paternoster’s sharp solo’s and powerful hooks. Jarret Dougherty’s drums are on point and push his bandmates to new heights while keeping them firmly grounded in unshakeable rhythms. The band was concerned that their time may have come to an end last year when Marissa was diagnosed with mono and eventually fibromyalgia which saw them cancelling shows for the first time ever and returning home to take a break from their relentless touring schedule. After bouncing back, the band is clearly at a point where they are happy with their music, their life, and each other and that comes out strongly in the tracks on Rose Mountain. Having been a band for nearly 10 years, this violently cohesive, feel good power trio is here to stay and is committed to staying true to the DIY spirit that embodies their music, their label, and themselves. I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.