Review: Rob Ford Explorer – S/T

Just wow. The new self-titled LP from Reno’s Rob Ford Explorer, out earlier this month, is a potent gem, a heady amalgamation of jazz fluidity and math-rock specificity, and a roar-from-the-rooftops collection on par with some of the best you’d hear from similar outfits like Hella or American Don-era Don Caballero. This pair is the…

Review: Saleeha – “Come Wander Through The Pale Dark”

As Saleeha, the Australian-born, Vancouver-based Max Buchanan makes meditative, slowly unfurling soundscapes that, surprisingly enough, do not echo or mime fellow Vancouver-based ambient artist Loscil. I say surprisingly because, as ambient music goes, the five tracks on Saleeha’s new Come Wander Through The Pale Dark have a similar mission to Loscil: namely, painting narratives with…

Review: Melvins – “Pinkus Abortion Technician”

Ugh. The new Melvins record, I am sad to report, dear reader, is a bit of a trainwreck. It’s not that Pinkus Abortion Technician, out Friday on Ipecac, lacks ideas. For the first time, the band appears with two bassists and, while the concept is interesting – “It could be an acid-trip metal version of Tortoise!”…

Review: Same – “Is Midnight”

Pittsburgh alt/indie quartet Same has released the digital-only single “Is Midnight” and the surprising thing about it isn’t its glassy-eyed beauty, but how different it sounds from the more driving refrains of a song like the band’s “Camp Vacation,” which opened 2016’s excellent Weird As Hell EP. The new track, available on Bandcamp, is pure…

Review: Nonagon – “Tuck The Long Tail Under”

Nonagon sound positively, well, positive on “Tuck The Long Tail Under,” its offering from a new split seven-inch with Cincinnati’s Knife The Symphony out on Phratry and Controlled Burn Records. That’s not to say the trio’s gone all doughy or doe-eyed on its first vinyl outing since 2013’s excellent The Last Hydronaut. The closing third…

Review: Big Weather – “The Lightest Darkness”

Well, turns out climate change – for those rational people who agree with the science behind it – might not be all bad, after all. Big Weather, the latest effort from musician/composer/drummer Ryan Rumery, posits itself as an experiental response to “ever-intensifying natural phenomena.” The Colorado-based outfit’s new record, The Lightest Darkness, is an interesting point…

Review: Pachyderm – “Verge”

Pachyderm’s turning out to be a tough band to pin down. While the obtuse single the group dropped in January, the aptly titled “I’m Not Happy, I’m Just High,” was epic stuff on the order of The Sea and Cake, the Pittsburgh-based quintet also traffics in a lighter, sometimes alarmingly straight-forward brand of indie-pop, powerful…

Review: The Lampshades – “Astrology”

The Lampshades, a trio of Pittsburgh-by-way-of-Altoona ne’er-do-wells, is nothing if not ambitious. It hasn’t always entirely been this way. Sunshine, its 2005 debut, was more of a catalog of by-the-numbers power-pop than the loose-limbed junk-rock these guys have perfected on records like Arena Punk and Numbskull Nothinghead. Even after a good number of outings, though…

Review: The Elephant Parallax – “The Conscious”

I pity anyone who has to come up with colorful ways to pigeon-hole The Elephant Parallax. The trio recently released online a single to the Loam & Sky EP, out May 11, and it is categorically, um, THEM. Much like songs like the epic “Incenfeminalgia,” off 2010’s Elephant Parallax, the new single, dubbed “The Conscious,”…

Review: Your Food – “Poke It With A Stick” (Reissue)

This Friday belongs to Your Food. The Louisville post-punk quartet – whose only LP, 1983’s Poke It With A Stick, is getting the reissue treatment at the end of this work-week care of Drag City – was key in its all-too-short tenure to the region’s indispensable wave of punk and post-rock in the 80s and…