Feature: Unreliable Narrator (2019)

Though the raucous punk of Pittsburgh band Unreliable Narrator’s debut LP – Old Man Yells At Older Man, self-released this month by the quartet – owes a lot to ’70s punk and ’80s hardcore, its message-minded blasts of noise are definitely cut from the cloth of 2019. Take, for example, frontman Clint Benjamin’s take on the Trump-era…

Profile: Flower Crown (2019)

What was Pittsburgh musician Richie Colosimo listening to while his band, Flower Crown, tracked dream-pop single “High Fantasy” at Mr. Small’s recording studio in October? Black metal, of course – why do you ask? “I know they’re kind of polar opposites but the things I’ve always liked about [black metal] are the walls of sound…

Profile: TRVSS (2019)

There are shreds of feedback and, waiting, waiting, waiting, also an air of anticipation as members of Pittsburgh trio TRVSS wait for WRCT DJ Sean Cho to peer through the studio glass and give them the thumbs up to start. Then, after a requisite “Alright, go!” TRVSS erupts over the airwaves and, figuratively, of course,…

Profile: The Commonheart (2019)

Pittsburgh’s The Commonheart doesn’t sound like it belongs in 2019. There are the surefire signs, of course – the reverby chikka-chikka of Stax-style soul guitar, yes, as well as bobbing bass scales that hint at Chicago’s electric blues and the nostalgic trill of Hammond organs. Then, there’s the man at the center of the nine-person…

Profile: Revival Choir (2019)

Sean Atkins understates things.  His band, Revival Choir, quietly released its debut LP, Finn, in September. Nobody ever shot-gunned out press releases, blitzed social media or even threw a release party. “Some people were like, ‘You gotta build it up. You gotta start a ground-swell,’” says the Pittsburgh singer-songwriter, whose day job involves accounting. “I got…

Profile: Rachel Grimes (2019)

It starts, appropriately, by rolling on the seams of piano keys. “There is something/ got ahold of me/ and it won’t let go,” the singer coos, among a forest trail of piano and upright bass that leads to a clearing of strings. The whole thing then expands orchestrally, with the thrust of the musical diaphragm…

Profile: Buzz Osborne (2019)

When Buzz Osborne visits Pittsburgh Saturday, Oct. 5 for punk-metal veterans Melvins’ concert at Rex Theater in South Side, he won’t hit the haunts most tourists frequent. There will be no baseball game at PNC Park, no visit to the fountain at The Point. No photos from the Mt. Washington overlook. No sammich at Primanti’s….

Profile: Chariot Fade (2019)

When Chariot Fade formed earlier this year, it was contained mostly to three musicians and two rooms of home-recording equipment. Listening to the pristine and ethereal psych-pop of its two-song sampler on Bandcamp, self-released in September, you’d never know the trio’s story was so home-spun. “For the last eight months, it’s been us, locked away,…

Profile: Descendants of Crom III (2019)

Shy Kennedy’s Pittsburgh-bred metal band Horehound is releasing a new EP this month. But you shouldn’t expect to catch a preview of that material live at the much-anticipated Descendants of Crom festival, which Kennedy lovingly curates. Horehound, you see, played at the festival in 2018. “I have a rule: no band gets to play two…

Profile: Damon Che (2019)

At the time, everybody in Pittsburgh knew Damon Che. But few really knew him. Che, who now lives an uneventful life in the Amish countryside 15 miles southwest of Punxatawney, Pa., was the octopus-armed drummer for Pittsburgh-bred experimental rock pioneers Don Caballero, a singular percussive force in indie-rock circles. But even Che himself talks about…