Review: Meeting With Hans – “Genius Loci”

Multi-instrumentalist Tomas Svoboda is clearly out to toy with listeners’ expectations of recording fidelity. The Czech musician’s third LP as Meeting With Hans – titled Genius Loci, available now on Bandcamp as a digital-only recording – is deceptively lo-fi, offering tracks that cut between occasionally gray recordings of Mogwai-tinged, post-rock anthems and unusually crisp, even…

Profile: Beach Blanket Blowout (2019)

Any musician’s urge to worship at the altar of Dick Dale has to start somewhere. For Kevin Koch, drummer for Los Vampiros Amarillos, the gateway to surf and garage rock was guitarist James Calvin Wilsey, who provided the crystalline six-string ambience for Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game in 1989. For Dan Spagnolo, guitarist for The Spectres,…

Profile: Urns (2019)

Pittsburgh’s Urns descends from the dirgy, often glacially paced punk-metal of Melvins, Earth, Sunn O))) and other icons whose guitar riffs are sludgy and molasses-thick. But the quartet is releasing its self-titled debut this week, and frontman and Urns founder Mike Myzak is hesitant to break down the minutia of his band’s sound into careful…

Review: Picastro – “Exit”

Liz Hysen’s reliably dissonant acoustic guitar might ground her as Picastro, but her work on six strings, however interesting it might be, is only the sparest introduction to this highly collaborative project. On Exit – Picastro’s new LP and its first in five years, out now via Sleeping Giant Glossolalia – Hysen’s guitar work remains…

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…