Review: MELK – S/T

It’s really easy to drink the Spencer Kilpatrick Kool-Aid. The Reno-based singer-songwriter has an amazing, even intoxicating handle on pitch-perfect period strut – in most cases, Stax-infused soul – and a smoky, emotion-damaged croon that accents and accentuates it perfectly. While his voice sounds like a cross-hatching of a bluesy John Mayer and Bill Withers,…

Review: Paracute for Gordo – “Best Understood by Children and Animals”

Post-rock boasts a long lineage of outfits driven by glassy guitars. Though birthed from the oft-unpredictable, highly surrounding-soaked likes of Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock, Television’s Marquee Moon or Slint’s Spiderland, much of what has come to define the post-rock genre, be it June of 44’s and Mogwai’s tangled multi-guitar attacks or Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s and Explosions in the…

Profile: Merce Lemon (2020)

“You think you love me. Well, look at me now.” With those simple words, softly cooed over a carefully plucked sequence of acoustic guitar notes, Bloomfield-based singer/songwriter Merce Lemon’s got you and got you good. The song expands, ever so slightly, with the addition of a restrained bass and a wash of guitar – but…

Review: Mezcla – “Shoot The Moon”

David Bowden knows how to wring some delicious elasticity from the electric bass – the key feature on his band Mezcla‘s debut LP, Shoot the Moon. As a bandleader and composer, Bowden’s breaking out with an eye (and ear) for bigger things on his first recording. And he’s doing it with some bold pronouncements. Just listen to…

Review: Phavors – “Petals”

It’s real tough to find inspiration in central New Jersey. I can vouch – I spent the bulk of my youth in suburban Monmouth County and attest to the overall blandness of the place; the running joke was, aside from havens like Asbury Park or the obvious Shore “culture”-markers, most of the municipalities were a…

Review: Raphael Weinroth-Browne – “Worlds Within”

Reconsideration, at least in this writer’s case, has been very kind to Raphael Weinroth-Browne. I was introduced last year to the Canadian cellist and post-classical composer by way of Worlds Within, the new 10-track song-cycle he plans to self-release on CD and digital platforms Jan. 24. At first blush, Weinroth-Browne’s modus operandi mimicked, at least…

Profile: String Machine (2020)

There are elements of Neutral Milk Hotel’s freak-folk,’90s slowcore, and of Montreal’s cinematic post-rock on Death of the Neon — the second LP from Pittsburgh-area ensemble String Machine — which Know Hope Records will re-release Jan. 16. But, more than that, the record is informed by a gnawing hunger: A hunger to create, yes, but also that…

Review: Le Petite Mort – “Disco”

The name of the song is “A Piano In The Basement” and, though it closes the 13-track record, it’s the best point where you can enter Disco, the new LP from German trio Le Petite Mort (Little Death) now out on digital devices and vinyl via Cold Press. The song starts with glassy, post-rock guitars…

Profile: Astrology Now (2020)

Pittsburgh psych-rock band Astrology Now will celebrate its new Knife EP by playing an acid-tinged set at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, with Outsideinside, Silver Car Crash and DJ Miss Mungo at Spirit in Lawrenceville. That’s oddly appropriate because the group’s story started in Lawrenceville. A decade ago, Greg Mastrean – who was en route to being…