Review: Jason Sharp – “Stand Above The Streams”

For all its wondrous ambiguity, ambient music can be an exacting sort of art; one false step or misplaced note, and the whole canvas is not inspired so much as splattered with disconnected or unfulfilled ideas. Such is the case with the new record from Jason Sharp, Stand Above The Streams, out this Friday on…

Review: Ilyas Ahmed – “Closer To Stranger”

How this one flew under the radar is just beyond me. Released Jan. 26 by MIE Music, Ilyas Ahmed’s Closer To Stranger is a hazy-edged dream riffing on the notion of identity that is set at the intersection of singer-songwriter acoustics and avant-garde initiation rites, a bizarrely listenable and sweetly digestible record whose textures will…

Review: Monoculture – “Life Goes By”

Psych/jazz from Texas? I’ll take it! Dallas’ Monoculture tomorrow will release “Life Goes By,” the first single available from its forthcoming LP. (The song already is available on YouTube.) If the track is any indication, that record will be a crescent of intersecting points, as the band, finely recorded here, resembles a mélange of Austin…

Review: Ampline – “Passion Relapse”

If you like your underground rock jagged and rugged and raw, you’d best tune in for Ampline’s Passion Relapse. Out last week on Sofaburn Records – sometimes you plan to review a record “on time” and sometimes you get the flu, y’know? –the new LP from this guitar-driven Ohio trio is vintage Ampline: dirgy and…

Review: Pachyderm – “I’m Not Happy, I’m Just High” EP

Consider this the fresh-faced first entry of the new year in Pittsburgh Single of the Year territory. The oft-engaging Pachyderm channels The Sea and Cake and the emotional heft of a romantic relationship gone awry on “I’m Not Happy, I’m Just High,” a new two-song EP now available on Bandcamp. It does this, and this is…

Review: Mudhoney – “L.i.E.”

I still remember the CD. My Mudhoney collection was fairly impressive in ’93, having dug deep into the band’s Sub Pop soil, but the disc I found at Vintage Vinyl, Jack’s or wherever I was buying records at the time was of special interest: it was a live bootleg. Hearing a band live – or…

Review: Barlow – “In A Stranger’s Car” (Reissue)

Lo-fi fuzz-pop – think The Cure coalescing around the guitars of Les Thugs – is the name of the game on In A Stranger’s Car, the 2017 outing from Pittsburgh’s Barlow that gets the re-release treatment on cassette and streaming formats from Crafted Sounds Monday. The new edition features outtakes and promises of things to come….

Review: Bellringer – “Stumble Bum/Triangular Object”

No matter how much he loathes it, Texan and musical-firebrand Mark Deutrom forever might be inextricably linked with Melvins, the legendary Gods-of-Thunder quartet whose debut he released on Alchemy 30-odd years ago and, more importantly, for whom he played a mean bass during a good chunk of the 1990s. But the Deutrom story did not…

Review: The Dazies/Courters – “Seen A Ghost”

There’s something wondrous about the noise that emanates from a garage. Now, I’m not talking about the groan and rumble of a Harley’s engine or the clang of metal tools on the underbelly of a car. I’m talking about music here, and many who have applied their own fingers to the neck of a guitar…

Review: Fantomas – “Suspended Animation”

Records bearing the mark of Mike Patton typically have an edgy, experimental edge to them, and Fantômas — the violently good, cut-and-paste avant-punk project he fronts alongside Melvins’ Buzz Osborne, Slayer’s Dave Lombardo, and Mr. Bungle’s Trevor Dunn — has been no exception to the rule. The group’s debut, released back in 1999, was a…