REVIEW: Aaron Myers-Brooks – “Orthrelm Covers”

Orthrelm, may God save it soul, shreds to burst an eardrum or 10. And Aaron Myers-Brooks, guitarist for Pittsburgh post-punkers Night Vapor, is no novice in the practice, either. But, while Myers-Brooks has always hinted or nodded toward his Orthrelm love on stage and online, he now has a proper collection of riffage to show his love of musical angularity in full force.

Titled, rather simply and rather appropriately, Orthrelm Covers, the 10-track collection is, you guessed it, a collection of Orthrelm covers. (Has anyone ever told you how bright you are, Gus? Sharp as a tack!) But, while Minimalism aficionados like myself are hoping for a Rust Belt recap of 2005’s epic , 45-minute, one-track OV, Myers-Brooks sticks to the short and choppy, playing that familiar ring of punk-metal solo notes over clattering drums in microbursts. The 10-track collection offers just three songs that break 30 seconds, and the whole thing runs about three minutes. “OII 39,” the closer, clocks in at just 5 seconds. Consider Orthrelm Covers, then, a collection of aural orgasms.

Bands like Orthrelm have thrived in these kinds of microbursts — 2002’s Asristir Vieldriox ran 13 minutes but featured 99 songs –and it’s exciting to see how they manage to keep every little sonic explosion sounding a little different, a little fresh. Myers-Brooks follows suit nicely and, while this is far from easy listening, it’s a great experiment worthy of your avant-attention.

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About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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