Late to the party: the Screaming Females

So as I mentioned earlier this week, AVClub’s Undercover series turned me on to the Screaming Females a month or so ago, yet almost ten years after the band formed.

It’s gimmicky but get into them with their cover of “Because the Night” with Garbage:

Then this performance of “It’s not fair” is such a great hook for the band. It has a melody that’s all over the neck (both the guitar’s and Marissa’s). It’s short. It’s tightly-performed.

This performance for Audiotree is just amazing. I started the playlist with “It all means nothing” which has become one of my favorite songs of theirs. The next song in the playlist, “Baby Jesus,” shows off Marissa’s scary command of tone and rhythm on her guitar. It’s just so awesome to watch the close-ups as she plays.

Their Tiny Desk concert is also great since it shows them totally stripped down. All 3 songs are awesome but it’s the last, “I don’t mind it,” that I love the most. It sounds raw and the instruments are a bit dead in the office but Marissa’s voice is its most crazy with her strange inflections and constant vibrato. She’s something of a vocal savant: her vocal performances are so solid yet weird. She has to be aware of that but the conviction with which she performs makes it all perfect.

Finally, watch Lance Bangs documentary on the band which shows them, zits and all, coping with life on the road and Marissa’s fibromyalgia and ends with a Misfits’ cover: