Iâ€™d never heard, or even heard about, The Feminists before they sent me their third full-length album, â€œCanâ€™t Scream Loud Enough.â€ And thatâ€™s a shame. The Feminists are cool. Really cool.
The album opener, â€œThe Beginning of the World,â€ begins as a synth-driven â€˜80s rocker and then makes a fascinating right turn into a quieter, acoustic piano ballad. The album continues to surprise on every track. The single, â€œ21st Century Ghost,â€ is another â€˜80s keyboard romp, but the drumming by Mike Zobac is extraordinary, quietly laying back until the opportunity is there to be seized, when Mr. Zobac will suddenly burst out and snatch the spotlight. But only for a moment, and then he seems content to fade into
the ensemble once again. Vocally, thereâ€™s some nice harmonies between keyboardist Allyson Mara and lead singer/guitarist
Keith Grief, but Mr. Grief is clearly the star. What he lacks in technical skill he makes up for in passion and unusual choices of pitch and melody, sometimes stepping on a beat a little too lateâ€”as if heâ€™s following the music rather than leading it, and often singing slightly above-key. The best example of this is â€œHow to Kill a Country,â€ the most interesting track on the album and the most unusual pop song Iâ€™ve heard in quite some time. It wavers somewhere between Warren Zevon and the kind of 90s alt-jam rock made popular by bands like Jellyfish and School of Fish.
And then thereâ€™s â€œBecause Why.â€ For the life of me, I canâ€™t understand why this wasnâ€™t the single. Itâ€™s amazing. It deserves extensive radio play. And your money.
Check it out.