Review: Rachael McElhiney – “Apricot Trees”

“You gotta bleed a little bit to put on the show,” Rachael McElhiney sings on a track from Apricot Trees, an EP of four, folk-soul demos she quietly self-released last week on Bandcamp. McElhiney knows the message well. As the frontwoman for Reno-based soul-rock trio Failure Machine – a band more amped up and with…

Review: Old Game – “Lunatics”

Lunatics, the excellent new four-song EP from Pittsburgh-based quartet Old Game, out June 22, starts with the thump-thump-thump of bass guitar and drums in enveloping and snarling syncopation. But, it’s not until the rousing chorus, after the glassy guitars that eventually come fall prey to a wall of crunching thunder, that the theme of the…

Review: John Dellroy Band – “Burning Desire”

The John Dellroy Band has shed some of the rustic, more folksy charm of its first full-length outing, 2013’s A New Life Has Begun, on “Burning Desire,” a new one-shot-and-out single – available now for download and on streaming services – that drops hints about the tone and direction of what might come next. Rumor…

Review: Lindsay Murray feat. Dw. Dunphy – “Reconsider Me”

A new single from Lindsay Murray, the first song from the Nashville-based singer-songwriter since March’s Nada Surf tribute, is out today on Bandcamp and it’s a beautiful, engaging little nugget due to the collaborator she chose to accent it: New Jerseyan Dw. Dunphy. Dunphy has worked up quite a lather on his underground resume —…

Review: Dw. Dunphy – “Charm Offensive”

The New Jersey writer/musician Dw. Dunphy and I have known each other now for some 25 years; I have stood alongside him as a friend, a producer of and conduit for his work, a collaborator and, more commonly in recent years, as a bystander cribbing notes. And I haven’t been this excited by one of…

Review: The Gotobeds – “Debt Begins At 30”

The Gotobeds released its new LP, the much-anticipated Debt Begins At 30, yesterday via Sub Pop Records. That move, the introduction of a new slate of head-churning material, gives us the ideal opportunity to re-examine and reevaluate these kings of the Pittsburgh underground or, as their peers are wont to say, the local band that…

Review: PAK – “Bestial”

I once wrote that Ron Anderson is the best kind of madman. Today, with Bestial, his trio PAK’s fourth LP, he again proves he’s worth all the breathless, rave reviews – and then some. Bestial is a very distant cousin of 2011’s Secret Curve, the mind-bending Tzadik Records release that led me to hail Anderson’s…

Review: Rodan – “The Hat Factory ’93”

If Rodan’s Rusty is the butterfly on its ripe-peach-hued cover, the newly released ’93 recordings are the budding chrysalis. And they are something to behold. So, first, a little back-story is necessary. In 1993, then just a year into the quartet’s existence, the young, early-20-nothing members of Louisville post-rock purveyors Rodan entered The Hat Factory…

Review: Various Artists – “Bridges”

What makes Pittsburgh quintessentially Pittsburgh? It’s a good question, one with an urgency the national media’s been mulling for more than a decade (and, in past iterations, for generations) now, and one that Conor Murray implicitly has been asking listeners over three years of unleashing a Pandora’s box of Pittsburgh noise-rock through Crafted Sounds. That…