Screaming Females | Ugly

Don Giovanni (2012)
By DAN WEISS  |  April 17, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars


It's nice to know a woman as talented as singer-guitarist Marissa Paternoster was influenced by Our Band Could Be Your Life, despite Kim Gordon being the only woman in it. And Paternoster forges her axe with the urgency of someone determined not to be missed in the next round-up for rock icons of her generation. She covers a lot of ground, in fact, from the Jack-White-you're-next powerdrill of "Doom 84" to the pointillist bubblegum of "Help Me." Since her stock's not in crunch or dynamics, Paternoster aims for the aural kudzu of mostly male precedents like Archers of Loaf, and they'd better consider her a threat, now that her songwriting's catching up. Ugly leads with two of the young year's catchiest knuckleballs, "It All Means Nothing" and "Rotten Apple," then proceeds to the scorching tango of "Expire," and caps off almost an hour with the surprising heart-tugging violins of "It's Nice." "Tell Me No" approaches the dearly departed Be Your Own Pet's frenetic punk via the Minutemen's noodly precinct. If world domination is in question, hooks could be more defined, production could be less flat, and Paternoster's yodel most resembles the forgotten Lunachicks. But she and this Brunswick, New Jersey–born trio have staked an impressive claim.

  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, New Brunswick,  More more >
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