Shellshag. Noisy, covers-friendly duo. Epic drum fills, and an epic drum tower to close out their set. Also in the set in question: a pretty solid version of Liz Phair’s “Fuck and Run,” and a reminder that I really need to delve into the back catalog of This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb one of these days.
Screaming Females. The rhythm section starts out by making you recall the Minutemen, and, hey, there’s some precedent for that in terms of New Brunswick trios. (I’m thinking of Stormshadow, who wrote the best Orson Welles-as-punk-metaphor song ever.) And then Marissa Paternoster’s guitar and vocals kick in, and….damn. Paternoster’s voice can go from a soulful croon to a scream that recalls Rick Froberg circa Yank Crime. And while a lot of the press I’ve seen for the band has discussed her guitarwork, it’s worth mentioning that, at their root, they’re a punk band — guitar heroics are on display, but never in a way that threatens to derail the song. I keep thinking of the Zero Boys reissues that Secretly Canadian did a while ago, and how Screaming Females sound like they could be this lost contemporary of any number of SST Records bands — except that there’s something deeply, compellingly, immediate about their sound.