Screaming Females

Fuck Clapton, Marissa Paternoster is God. The Screaming Females frontwoman can shred when she feels like it—Ugly’s “Doom 84” proves that—in solos complemented by beefy, gnarly hooks complemented by her vibrato-laden wail, giving some much-needed heaviness to a genre that has become just a little too precious for its own good. (God forbid there is ever a ukelele on a Screaming Females album.) My introduction to the band was their newest album, the relatively poppy Rose Mountain, but I think my favorite is their previous effort, Ugly, which engineer Steve Albini records with just the right metallic touch. It’s about time indie rock had some hair on it again—and I’m not talking about a handlebar mustache, either. [Katie Rife]

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Cheatahs, Mythologies

When I reviewed Cheatahs’ debut full-length early last year, I mentioned it could be “a sort of sampler platter of the best of ’90s indie guitar-rock,” with its strains of My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr., Treepeople, Seam, Sugar, and Archers Of Loaf. The band’s latest, Mythologies—released at the end of October—retains those sounds but the comparisons are less direct. It feels more like its own thing. Guitars still reign supreme—the midway point of “Colorado” swirls with gauzy, overdriven, and somehow also chiming sounds—with the vocals still relatively buried in the mix. But the songs have grown more complex and, impressively, even more layered. One of the album highlights, “Su-pra,” is a maelstrom of arpeggios and gauzy guitars grounded by a rhythm section in lockstep. Those kinds of moments can make the more straightforward songs on Mythologies feel flatter, but overall the album is an enticing step forward. [Kyle Ryan]

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Hinds, Very Best Of Hinds So Far

While reading Carrie Brownstein’s engrossing Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl, I was surprised to learn how much of a slog touring can be. The exhaustion and homesickness make sense, but Brownstein’s warts-and-all tales from the road really emphasized the toll it can take on you, to the point that I realized I had been severely romanticizing the notion of the touring artist. But then, just a few short days after wrapping up the memoir, I saw the band Hinds play at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall and I was immediately ready to drop everything to hit the road with them. They were a bit jittery at the onset, but, as the night wore on, the nervousness channeled into excitement, building to a delightfully cacophonous encore performance of “Davey Crockett” (a Thee Headcoats cover) where they beckoned fans to jump on stage and sing along. It was three minutes of pure bliss. The Madrid-based foursome was having the time of their lives and, despite what Carrie Brownstein had just warned me against, I wanted in on it. Luckily, there’s Very Best Of Hinds So Far, a cheekily named EP collecting most of Hinds released tracks from the past couple years. The roundup of lo-fi garage rock captures the freewheeling feel of their live show, coasting through jam after jam of gleefully disjointed harmonies and sunny guitar chords. Like Black Lips, Hinds have a devil-may-care presence that belies their ability to engineer a perfectly catchy tune, with songs like “Trippy Gum” and “Chilli Town” that worm their way into your brain after just one listen. Very Best Of Hinds So Far is a sugar rush from an exciting young band that will make you want to be a groupie for life. [Cameron Scheetz]

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