Screaming Females have been around for almost a decade, but again for this review I’m either the best or worst person to review their sixth album Rose Mountain, since I've never actually listened to any of their work. Still, their continued presence on Don Giovanni Records was what initially interested me given I've played many of their artists on my radio show, I've always seen their name thrown around and lead single Empty Head is a pretty good introduction to the album, quite literally as it’s the first track.
Apart from that though, I’m really struggling to say much else about it. No joke, to the point where this review will probably be very short. It’s an alternative rock album in every sense of the word. Your distorted guitar, quiet-loud moments and big drums and vocals are all there. All of the songs are decent, it’s very consistent sounding across the board and at 36 minutes won’t outstay its welcome. And that’s the problem.
It just sounds safe, and that’s not a good thing to be. The songs are fine, just fine, nothing else. There are many worse albums but equally many better ones and I’d rather hear something awful that was at least going for it than just playing it completely safe. It’s an album you could very easily stick on in the background, but you’d have a hard time remembering any specifics about it afterwards. Music sticks with me because it’s not just good but it forms an emotional attachment, and I just have no feeling whatsoever towards this album or any of its songs. It’s just sort of there.
The best parts of this album actually come on the quieter moments like Wishing Well and Hopeless’ which is not something I thought I’d say, but at least on those tracks there’s a little bit more going on. Usually I can find some way of talking about different tracks and the sound of the album, but I’ve listened to it a few times and there’s still nothing else for me to say.
If you like your guitars crunchy and vocals big and powerful then you can probably very easily find a lot to enjoy in Rose Mountain. The entire album is an easy listen, none of the songs are particularly bad and it’s very professional all around. However, there’s just not enough of a spark there for me to really enjoy it or to listen back to it often now that this review’s been written. Simply put there’s other artists doing this type of music better right now, especially in a year so far that has seen Sleater-Kinney knock it out of the park with an album in a similar ballpark. It’s too safe, too mundane, too repetitive and too much of a 90s rehash where other similar sounding artists have taken that sound and moved it forward. It’s a giant contradiction and it weirds me out. It’s a good album that is also mediocre. Completely bang average. Existing fans might love it, but it didn’t leave a last impression on this new listener.
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