Review: PAK – “Bestial”

I once wrote that Ron Anderson is the best kind of madman. Today, with Bestial, his trio PAK’s fourth LP, he again proves he’s worth all the breathless, rave reviews – and then some. Bestial is a very distant cousin of 2011’s Secret Curve, the mind-bending Tzadik Records release that led me to hail Anderson’s…

Feature: Crafted Sounds Releases “Bridges”

Connor Murray turned 21 on April 13,  but he didn’t celebrate in the usual way. Yes, there were the obligatory drinks at midnight but, instead of just rising reluctantly the next morning with a horrible hangover, the Pitt senior woke up with a new release on his cassette-centric label, Crafted Sounds. Bridges, the appropriately titled…

Interview: Xandra Metcalfe of Uboa(2019)

You don’t listen to UBOA, the solo act of Xandra Metcalfe, a trans gal from Melbourne. It just overwhelms you. Metcalfe’s latest offering, though, differs in some ways from past outings. For one, The Origin of my Depression, out earlier this year, is more nuanced, less a collection of harsh noise than an intersection of…

Feature: Record Store Day 2019

What am I eyeing when I head to my local indie record store tomorrow for Record Store Day? Here are the three items at the top of my list. Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band – Trout Mask Replica Third Man Records is lovingly re-mastering and re-releasing the captain’s seminal 1969 work, which influenced fire-breathers…

Review: Rodan – “The Hat Factory ’93”

If Rodan’s Rusty is the butterfly on its ripe-peach-hued cover, the newly released ’93 recordings are the budding chrysalis. And they are something to behold. So, first, a little back-story is necessary. In 1993, then just a year into the quartet’s existence, the young, early-20-nothing members of Louisville post-rock purveyors Rodan entered The Hat Factory…

Review: Various Artists – “Bridges”

What makes Pittsburgh quintessentially Pittsburgh? It’s a good question, one with an urgency the national media’s been mulling for more than a decade (and, in past iterations, for generations) now, and one that Conor Murray implicitly has been asking listeners over three years of unleashing a Pandora’s box of Pittsburgh noise-rock through Crafted Sounds. That…

Review: Chuck Mosley – “Joe Haze Session #2” (Record Store Day Exclusive)

There’s something wonderfully strange and welcoming about the new Chuck Mosley record. I, like many, got introduced, pun intended, to Mosley through early, Introduce Yourself-era Faith No More and specifically the band’s 80s-ubiquitous single “We Care A Lot.” That track and much of what Mosley did before Patton became the FNM frontman was colorful and…

Review: J Hacha De Zola – “Icaro Nouveau”

J Hacha De Zola, a New Jersey-based carnival barker and blender of genres, oft has proven himself adept at conjuring musical spirits. He does it splendidly on his juicy, new LP — Icaro Nouveau, out March 8 – transcending the lazy Tom Waits comparisons to lead a merry band of pranksters through a smorgasbord of…

Review: Shay Park – “I’m Not What You Expect”

There’s really a lot to love about I’m Not What You Expect, the excellent, new, five-song EP from Boston-by-way-of-Pittsburgh pop chanteuse Shay Park. It’s easy, in fact, to get sucked in by the charmingly naïve twee-fuzz that dominates and defines much of the EP, self-released March 1, but it’s one of the record’s more uncharacteristic…

Review: Lonesome Shack – “Desert Dreams”

I know it’s early but mark my words: come curtains on December, Lonesome Shack’s Desert Dreams – the London-by-way-of-Seattle trio’s latest full-length player, out March 1 via Alive Naturalsound Records – will still be creeping under the skin of critics’ lists as a contender for one of the best records of 2019. The LP, an…