A post-punk trio based out of New Brunswick, NJ. Marissa Paternoster (guitar, vocals) and "King Mike" Abbote (bass) teamed up with drummer Jarrett Dougherty while students at Rutgers University. Although the campus and surrounding town were lacking in venues where bands and fans under the legal drinking age could get together, the "Screamales" took advantage of New Brunswick's quasi-legal house/basement show circuit
and quickly began generating audience buzz, mostly from Paternoster's un-punk-rock guitar shredding and primal-scream vocals.
As of 2014, they have released six full-length CD's (BABY TEETH, WHAT IF SOMEONE IS WATCHING THEIR T.V.?, POWER MOVE, CASTLE TALK, and the Steve Albini
-produced UGLY [studio] and LIVE AT THE HIDEOUT [concert]), an anthology of early vinyl-only singles, and the cassette/digital-download CHALK TAPE. Firm believers in the DIY/don't-sell-out ethos, they have also managed to tour both the States and abroad and even appear on late-night network TV, all without major record-label or talent-agency backing.
This band provides examples of:
- All Drummers Are Animals: Averted - Jarrett is intelligent, well-spoken, and (until recently) handled much of the band's business matters.
- All Guitars Are Stratocasters: Subverted. Marissa's guitar looks like a Strat, but is actually made by G&L, the company co-founded by former Fender Guitars honcho Leo Fender.
- (Mike, on the other hand, will be a candidate for "All Basses are Rickenbacker 4001s" when that trope is finally created…)
- Alternative Rock: As a teenager, Marissa's two favorite bands were The Smashing Pumpkins and Garbage.
- Animated/Surreal Music Video: This (potentially NSFW).
- Basement Band
- Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Marissa is The Chick, Jarrett the Smart Guy, Mike the Big Guy.
- Blinding Bangs
- Careful With That Axe: Marissa averages several blood-curdling screams per album.
- Celebrity Is Overrated: They've been known to help opening bands move their gear off stage in order to set up their own equipment – not as a "hurry it up" move, but a genuine "here, let me help you" gesture. Marissa actively campaigns to have other New Brunswick bands on the bill with them, and hangs out in the crowd to watch them perform.
- Cover Version: Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer."
- Cute Bruiser: Marissa, in a musical sense. This concert review in the Newark (NJ) ''Star-Ledger'' summed it up best when they described her as "a 4-foot pixie who can outshred any guy on the planet."
- Gorn: The Troma-riffic videos for "It All Means Nothing" and "Leave It All Up to Me."
- Harsh Vocals
- Irony: There's only one "female" in the band. She does, however, scream quite a bit.
- Limited Wardrobe: Marissa's onstage uniform of shin-length "granny dress" and dark tights. Regardless of the ambient temperature.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness – About a 4 to 5.
- Nobody Loves the Bassist: In this video, Mike's entire job is to hold Marissa's tiny amplifier. And not blink. (Doubles as an example of Leave the Camera Running...)
- For a more extreme version, check out the band's performances on this public-access TV show. Mike's head is completely out of frame the entire time. (Fast-forward to 19:55 and 49:20...)
- Performance Video: Quite a few...
- Punk Rock/Post Punk
- The Rock Star: Marissa and Mike become this on a large-enough stage.◊ Other than that, the entire band are poster children for "low-key and unassuming."
- Rock Trio
- Shrinking Violet – Marissa has described her high-school-age self as "unbearably awkward, pimpled, stocky, and brutish" – and insists nothing's changed since.
- Socially-Awkward Hero: For all her rock star moves while performing, Marissa's between-song patter goes right back into Shrinking Violet territory. An example from a February 2013 show:
"This song's from our new album, UGLY." *awkward pause* "It's still new..."
- The "The" Title Confusion: It's just "Screaming Females," not "THE Screaming Females."
- Chris Gethard found this out the hard way during a Summer 2013 concert. Interviewing the band inbetween sets, he made this mistake - and Marissa good-naturedly busted his chops for the duration of the interview. It got worse when he tried to introduce the band for their performance - and she kept drowning him out with riffs from Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins songs.
- Three Chords and the Truth
- Two Guys and a Girl: Averted. No, really.
- Up to Eleven: Subverted - while loud enough, their sense of dynamics shames many of their less-experienced opening bands.
- When She Smiles: Oh, HELL yeah. ◊