Over the course of a decade-long career that started when they were barely out of high school, force of nature guitarist-vocalist Marissa Paternoster and her formidable rhythm-section bandmates Jarrett Dougherty and King Mike progressed from playing punk-rock basements in and around New Brunswick, N.J., to opening huge shows for Garbage, the Dead Weather, and Arctic Monkeys.
Paternoster made a Spin list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time—albeit at No. 77—and after working with Steve Albini on their last studio album (2012’s aptly named Ugly), she and the boys indulged in a move that often signals that a group is running out of steam, releasing a live album (albeit a cool one recorded by Albini at Chicago’s Hideout).
Was it time for Screaming Females to grow up, get a day job, and maybe tone the caterwauling down to a gentle roar? Hardly.
Longtime fans may be surprised at first by the bigger, bolder, dare we say more polished sounds of Rose Mountain, which was produced by Matt Bayles, best known for working with hipster/nü-metal bands like Mastodon and the Sword.