Review: Demons – “Uglier Americans”

As protest songs go, this one, yep, is pretty damn angry. “Uglier Americans” – the new MAGA-targeting protest song, out today online, from Virginia noise-rock quartet Demons – is a furious little piece of agit-prop. And the screams, as politicians volley quips back and forth over the legal minutiae of American detention camps, are definitely…

Review: INUS – “Western Spaghettification”

Cherish this, kids, because records like Western Spaghettification don’t come along often. The trio INUS, whose full-length debut is out Aug. 9 from San Diego’s Three One G, prominently features Bobby Bray, he formerly of The Locust, and you can hear The Locust’s dedication to rapid-fire, herky-jerky time signatures and abrasive polyrhythms in much of…

Review: Pan-American – “Kidnap!” b/w “Casino” (Reissue)

The typewriter appearing in “Kidnap!” is initially misleading but oddly apropos. The track, from an early Pan-American cassette recording re-released online this month, is old, but it’s not that old, am I right? (It appears to predate Pan-American’s self-titled debut, from 1998.) What’s surprising about the too-short, two-song “re-release” – and what makes it worth…

Review: Marika Hackman – “All Night”

Marika Hackman’s new single – “all night,” released online today to advance her third LP, Any Human Friend, out via Sub Pop and AMF Aug. 9 – is an interesting collision of the bombastic and the nuanced, and somehow manages to straddle both idioms while describing, sometimes in lovingly horny detail, the eros of lesbian…

Review: 18th & Addison – “Leeches”

New Jersey gets a bad wrap, though sometimes it’s for good reason. I was born and raised in the Garden State, and, having spent the better part of 25 or 26 years there, I have witnessed its ills and its charms – musically speaking – first-hand. I’ve crowded into shows at Maxwell’s, dive bars akin…

Profile: Loscil (2019)

Scott Morgan doesn’t listen to his work as Loscil after it’s been released. The Canadian avant-ambient sound-sculptor has little concrete sense of his discography. But, before the recordings are available commercially, they’re fair game. When he was mixing the Sea Island LP, from 2014, for example, he literally would wander Sea Island – an island…

Review: MELK – “Listen”

There’s not very much that’s astounding about “Listen,” the one-song debut from Reno soul quartet MELK, released yesterday on streaming services. That is, there’s not very much that’s astounding about it, aside from the initiation of it all. “Listen” is pretty much a straight-forward, 4/4 Stax soul romp, complete with genre-pitch-perfect, reverby guitars and a…

Review: Roley Yuma – S/T

Well, it took a couple decades, but it looks like Dayton, ground zero for bands as notable as The Breeders, Brainiac and Guided By Voices, has unearthed its answer to Philadelphia’s Latimer. Twenty fours years after LP Title, Latimer’s debut full-length, hit streets, the band Roley Yuma has released its second full-length, the self-titled successor…

Profile: Spotlights (2019)

The band Spotlights played its first show in Pittsburgh in 2017, opening for Melvins at Rex Theater in South Side. At the time, the group – husband and wife team Mario and Sarah Quintero – lived in Brooklyn. On Tuesday, July 16, the band will make its latest appearance in Pittsburgh, headlining Black Forge 2…

Review: Aaron Myers-Brooks – “Energetic Bursts”

Guitarist-composer Aaron Myers-Brooks constructs mathy, even obtuse, metal for listeners who appreciate the genre’s technical virtuosity but take issue with its faux-evil strutting and testosterone-jacked theatricality. There you have it. But to call the Pittsburgh underground musician a thinking man’s Dave Mustaine or Kevin Hufnagel is derivative. (He’s always been more Orthrelm than Dysrhythmia, anyway.)…