All at Once takes it to the core


The Mirror reporter

All at Once is yet another in a stream of fantastic albums from the New Jersey rock trio Screaming Females. Although the band is prominently DIY, they provide a sound that sounds as good as if it was produced by a big budget producer. Marissa Paternoster, the vocalist and guitarist, provides a similar taste of her signature style, but more refined, with a fresher taste provided in this album.

All at Once is harder than previous releases, delivering power whether it be in strong guitar riffs, prominent drums, and a skillful use of bass. But even the softer tracks provide a melodic greatness, holding you in the album.

The lyricism, often a strong suit of the trio’s work, makes a return in this album, full of impressive metaphors and symbolism. Although the lyrics may become somewhat esoteric, and at a surface level may be hard to understand, if you look at the symbolism, they become even greater works of art. Deep in meaning and in emotional strength, it’s obvious to tell a lot of heart went into both the instrumentation and the lyrics. Marissa isn’t afraid to get raw with the emotional energy, filling each track to the brim with emotional resonance.

But the most notable strong suit of the band is the instrumentals, the blazing guitar you hear in Step Outside, the fast-paced gallop of the bass in Black Moon, and the heavy hitting drums in Fantasy Lens. But the power of the instrument work isn’t just in particular songs, they’re stretched out across the entire album, taking a backseat when needed but coming to the forefront when they’ve got some brains to melt, especially in Marissa’s flaming guitar work.

The album isn’t likely to gain mainstream radio play and attention, both due to it being on an indie label and being indie rock, but within alternative circles, I have no doubt its popularity will continue to grow. The album isn’t poppy, but it hits on all the notes of what makes an album great, with each song performing well on its own, but with each coming together to create a fantastic experience, exactly how albums are meant to be. You’ll certainly be tapping your feet, but you won’t forget what you hear.

In typical Screaming Females fashion, the album starts and ends strong, with Glass House, a powerful emotional track with hard guitar stings, and ending with Step Outside, a hard rocking maze of guitar that delivers a hard rock punch. This is great because it furthers the album as more than just an album, a collection of songs and sounds, but rather as an experience, something to really sink your teeth into and enjoy. You’re drawn in and then sent out with a kick, with no weak moments in between.

Overall, All at Once is a masterpiece in a line of fantastic albums, providing a sound unlike any other out there and going in bolder, more experimental directions. If you haven’t checked out Screaming Females, I’d recommend them to the highest degree. The trio creates a unique, almost genius, sonic experience that will captivate you to your core.