Review: Radon Chong – “I Keep On Talking To You” (x2)

Radon Chong — a Pittsburgh act that crafts musical nooses out of knotted guitars — sets its sights high on I Keep on Talking to You, a debut cassette sitting at the intersection of post-rock’s interwoven trajectories and Captain Beefheart’s atonal laments. And, man oh man, does this band bloody and utterly batter those sights. In…

Justin Vellucci’s Year-Ending Top Ten: 2017 Edition

Yeah, yeah, putting the final nail in the coffin of 2017 is a little premature, seeing as there’s still more than 30 days left in the year. But, I’m the music writer compiling this list, so, here you go. It was an interesting year in underground music and, rather than present a conventional Top Ten,…

Review: The Sun Machine – “Turn On To Evil”

The Sun Machine certainly has its musical reference points down pat. On its evocative Turn On To Evil LP, which was released two days ago through Electric Church, the Austin “third-coast” quintet sounds like a band possessed by the sometimes-raw, lo-fi haziness of 60s garage-psych. And, on the LP’s 10 songs, they prove themselves mighty…

Review: Slow Decay – “Ghosts” EP

Hard to get into Ghosts, the new EP from Isle of Man’s Slow Decay. It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with the three-song outing; the vocals – delivered by a front-woman who sounds like the offspring of Bjork and Danzig – are well-studied and well-trained, the guitar crunches, the drums pop. It’s just that…

Review: DF – “abcdf” EP

I feel largely under-qualified to review abcdf, the new EP and accompanying visual experience from Montreal duo DF. While tenor saxophonist Dustin Finer employs some of the same looping methods as fellow Montreal act Alder & Ash – whose Clutched In The Maw of The World I liked very much – his tone is wholely,…

Obituary: Chuck Mosley (1959-2017)

Chuck Mosley – who died unexpectedly yesterday, age 57 – was a mess of contradictions. He was an L.A. rock star and a Midwestern underground icon. He was audacious, yet amazingly self-conscious and self-effacing. His greatest work was behind him – Faith No More’s still-engaging Introduce Yourself, on which he sang in 1987, introduced him…

REVIEW: Jozef Van Wissem – “Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back”

Minimalist composer and lutenist Jozef Van Wissem follows up last year’s When Shall This Bright Day Begin with a new LP, the spare and oft-haunting Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back, out Friday on Consouling Sounds. Van Wissem’s got Minimalism’s horizon-expansion down. In “Golden Bells Ring…,” a 4/4 refrain on lute loops infinitely,…

REVIEW: Murder For Girls – “All The Pretty Stars”

Blender analogies are lazy, so let’s find a way around them. While Murder For Girls always has traced its trajectory back to the Riot Grrl bands of the early ’90s, its new record – All The Pretty Stars, which the band will mark with a release show Saturday night – is a little bit more…

REVIEW: U-Men – S/T

My first exposure to the bizarre genius of U-Men came when I first tracked down a vinyl copy of the scene-setting C/Z Records comp. Deep Six back in the early 90s. I was a budding teenager then and, thanks to Nirvana, discovering what Poneman and Pavitt dubbed, with more than a hint of cynicism, “The…

REVIEW: CALYX – “For To, Oh” EP

Contrary to the imagination of its title, CALYX’s Four To, Oh is not a testament to weed-fueled jam-band mythos or, this being Pittsburgh, a smoky-eyed homage to Wiz Khalifa. Instead, it’s a textured, even borderline-mathy, addition to this trio’s growing – and impressive – catalog. And it’s definitely worth the $2 download asking price. Sounding,…