Live Review: Screaming Females, Mere Women, Hannahband

15 August 2016 | 11:19 am | Xavier Rubetzki Noonan

"By about three songs into the set, it felt like they were going to tear the roof off the place."

More Screaming Females More Screaming Females

Local faves Hannahband began the show, as the high energy grungy punk duo jammed with loads of great hooky tunes. The band played to their strengths, swapping lead vocal duty where appropriate, and soon Terrified Of Everything had the bar's attention. A new song thundered along, in spite of (or maybe because of) its stop-start structure. Building to a big palm-muted bridge, it revealed the great lyric "Glitter on the outside, garbage on the inside". Recent single Burn It Down conveyed the weight of its anti-traditional gender-role sentiment. With anthemic guitar, punchy drums and chanted vocals, the crowd couldn't help shouting along.

The dissonance and distress evoked by Sydney goth-pop quartet Mere Women may have been a little more confronting than the sugar rush that preceded it, as the soundscape cast a contemplative shadow over the room. However, the band worked hard to put together an enjoyably moody set. Thick, reverberating guitar added texture and weight to the synth and bass, with percussive drums rounding out the sound. New song Drive sprawled through verses and choruses, building throughout, while Heave Ho provided a Kate Bush moment for singer/keyboardist Amy Wilson, who dove right into its high-pitched chorus.

New Jersey's Screaming Females have finally made it to Australia, and the Sydney crowd that greeted them was rapt. At times it was hard to even see the stage through the masses of people, eagerly trying to see how the band's incredible sound was being created. Screaming Females specialise in giant hooks and world-conquering vocals, which soon evolve into transcendent guitar jams. By about three songs into the set, it felt like they were going to tear the roof off the place. Criminal Image led to one such dazzling jam-out that lasted several minutes. The crowd were whipped into a frenzy as the guitars swirled in grimy crescendo, limbs and instruments flying across the stage. Helpless began softly with sustained clean guitar, highlighting singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster's distinctive vocals, while gradually chugging along and building into its iconic chorus.

Paternoster, ending the set with Boyfriend, stage-dived into the crowd, with her guitar, microphone and stand passed along with her. Her instrument rang out and fed back as she screamed its closing lyric, "While you sit on the fence, I will burn in hell."

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter