Paternoster's guitar playing is the first thing you'll notice. On tracks like the choogling "Arm Over Arm" and head-bobbingly insolent "I Do" she churns out thick chord riffs that nod at classic punk but add a bouncy rhythmic flair. Then she'll stop and pick out a chiming single note passage or spiraling solo. She plays like she's listened to all the best garage rock singles, half-forgotten what she heard, and came up with better stuff when she tried to play the songs back from memory.
Her singing is good too: Strident, with a smartly deployed vibrato and a healthy dash of sneering attitude that makes a line like "I dig on calculus," from "I Do" sound like a warning. And if Dougherty and King Mike don't quite match their frontwoman, they complement her just about perfectly--check out the almost tribal groove they cook up on an almost unrecognizable version of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer." It's just a fun, fun record. Now about that name.
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- Marissa Paternoster