Review: TRVSS – “New Distances”

Looking for noise-rock to cut through the film of dusty ear-drums like a straight razor? Well, TRVSS has your number. The trio cuts through the bullshit with post-hardcore propulsion. Sophomore effort, New Distances, as understatements go, is tightly wound. How TRVSS sounds this in synch is confusing for a band with this short of a resume….

Profile: TRVSS (2020)

The new TRVSS song “Malaria” is as infectious as its title indicates. Of course, it falls seven songs into the trio’s second LP – “New Distances,” which the band is self-releasing July 31 – so the spell has already been cast. If you haven’t been converted by then, well, there’s just no hope for you….

Review: The Bobby Lees – “Skin Suit”

What’s the opposite of rigor mortis, that stiffening of the joints that immediately follows death? Well, whatever it is, that’s the best way to summarize the sensation of taking in the new LP from the Bobby Lees, a Woodstock, New York garage-rock quartet with sex, sweat, and lightning bolts of electricity surging through their collective…

Review: TJO – “Songs for Peacock”

Memory is an illusion, a construction both flimsy and fluctuating that you can’t see with your eyes, much less touch with your hands. We think, as individuals with our own concepts of what is real or true, that we have control of the construction, but more than anything, it exerts control over us. Memory regularly…

Review: WiiRMZ – “Faster Cheaper”

The joyfully bombastic quartet WiiRMZ hail from the same city that defined (and arguably invented) post-rock in the 1990s with bands such as Slint and Rodan. And they also come from the state that gave America two well-known right-wing windbags: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Tea Party-backed Governor Matt Bevin. But on their sometimes-too-good-to-be-true debut LP, Faster…

Top 50 Records of 2020, So Far (Spectrum Culture)

David Grubbs & Taku Unami – Comet Meta [Blue Chopsticks] The record begins in unassuming territory, two undistorted electric guitars unfurling jumbled yet glassy, complementary yet dissonant post-rock measures that resemble rivers floating suspended in the air, sentiments that are both fully formed and feathery-light. Two minutes into the title track of Comet Meta, though, you…

Top 50 Records of 2020, So Far (PopMatters)

My contribution to PopMatters‘ top 50 (so far): Chicago-based cellist Alison Chesley is accustomed to providing the sonic equivalent of accent marks and highlights on other people’s statements of intent. She has appeared on some 150 LPs, offering the bowed weep and illuminating scope of her instrument to the likes of Anthrax, Russian Circles, Bob…

Review: Coriky – S/T

Legendary Washington, D.C. post-hardcore act Fugazi has been on an indefinite hiatus for nearly 20 years. But the debut LP from super-trio Coriky, which features Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye and Joe Lally alongside the Warmers’ Amy Farina, will forever exist in the presence, not the absence, of its most prominent forebears. That’s a damn shame. Though…

Review: Cat Clyde – “Good Bones”

Calling something “old-timey” can be a flat-out misnomer. The history of recorded music remains too new, relatively speaking, to know what signatures were writ large on long-long-gone eras and most of what we associate with the genre, the familiar skeletons of it all, aligns with signifiers from contemporary ephemera, particularly other music. That said, Cat…

Profile: Steve Albini (2020)

Eight hours each way. That’s how long Tim Midyett and his friends drove to see Big Black play live in Seattle in 1987. Archaeological artifacts place inhabitants in the Missoula, Montana area at the end of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, Native American tribes like…