It’s been a long, hot minute since we got a workable update from the two men and one yelling woman from central New Jersey who have been keeping the post-punk blues explosion loaded under the mantle of the Screaming Females. Unlike former labelmates, Downtown Boys, who used the capital of their breakthrough LP to score a deal with Sub Pop and studio time with Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, Marissa Paternoster and co. are keeping the march up sludge mountain low-key. But it’s good sludge and cosmopolitans will continue to take note. “Glass House,” which comes with a music video and the official announcement of LP7: All At Once (out in February on hometown Jersey indie Don Giovanni). The video, directed by Kate Sweeney (see the low-fi art school on display on her earlier SF video for “Poison Arrow”) involves smashing a lot of glass, an activity that hipsters, nowadays, pay good money to do.
Unlike the visceral oxy-thrill of smashing glass, “Glass House” is rusty, delayed satisfaction: bassist King Mike creates a kind three-minute ethereal trob that Paternoster packs with small chord expression of post-Zeppelin angst. Then, things explode. Paternoster, suddenly, begins to evoke the Siouxsie Sioux of “Happy House,” you know, that track that The Weeknd once sampled back in the day. The glass, like the chords, feels like its being smashed on our heads and if that isn’t still punk I don’t know what is.