Review: High Plains – “Pilot Hill”

High Plains today quietly released a follow-up to Cinderland, its brilliant debut and, hands down, one of last year’s best records. But, before you go all googly-eyed on me, take pause – this is not the group’s second LP proper but, instead, the digital release on Bandcamp of a tour-only cassette. And that’s an important…

Review: Joan and The Rivers – “Meat Sweats Vol. 1 and 2”

If you like your modern-day interpretations of 60s trash-rock booze-drenched, then you’ll want to tune into Joan and The Rivers, a San Jose-based, EP-prone trio that released two, you guessed it, EPs – Meat Sweats Vol. 1 and 2 – last month. But, wait, wait, is that a little bit too reductive? Are these guys more than…

Review: Spencer Kilpatrick – “Lungs”

Fans of early Amos Lee – in other words: well-crafted acoustic soul – mustmustMUST tune into Spencer Kilpatrick, a Reno, Nev.-based songwriter who previewed the single “Lungs” on Soundcloud just this week. Like Lee, Kilpatrick – who’s getting primed to tour nationally, starting tomorrow – has an in indescribably smooth and endearing timbre, something transient…

Review: SUZISUZI – “Microphone’s Counter Attack!!”

SUZISUZI likes exclamation points. On Microphone’s Counter Attack, its new 12-track, 20-minute LP out via Pure Evil last month, the title of every song ends with two exclamations. And that’s appropriate, given the bombastic tendencies contained within each track. Now, SUZISUZI – “suzi” means “vein” in Japanese, as in the veins that pop out of…

Review: From The Mouth of The Sun – “Sleep Stations”

A quick and overdue take: Sleep Stations is the best record From The Mouth of The Sun has ever recorded. There, it is said. Released May 18, which seems like an eternity ago, via the always-illuminating Lost Tribe Sound, the Dag Rosenqvist/Aaron Martin post-classical duo’s new record is, yes, short, just 20 minutes in all….

Review: Cousin Boneless – “Possession”

When they talked about making a transformation, they were talking about an ALL CAPS TRANSFORMATION. On last year’s Revel In The Rubble, the final installment in a “garbage parties” trilogy, Pittsburgh’s Cousin Boneless plied its bizarre and infinitely unique form of freak folk – think a mélange of antique-garde musings, Andrew Bird ambition, and the theatricality…

Review: Various Artists – “The Co-Op Communique, Vol. 4”

The new entry in Introverse Media’s Co-Op Communique series – titled, appropriately, The Co-Op Communique Vol. 4 and available Friday on Bandcamp – goes to great lengths to champion independent artists, and, above all, is nothing if not exhaustive. In a time as saturated with media and background noise as ours, that’s appropriate – and…

Review: Papa M – “Walt’s”

Talk about a teaser! Drag City Records today released “Walt’s,” the first song off a new LP, out Aug. 17, from David Pajo solo project Papa M. And it is a shimmering, devastating little doozy. The song, a slow instrumental meditation for acoustic guitar (the record is billed as a collection for four acoustic guitars),…

Review: Aaron Myers-Brooks – “Multilinear Smatterings”

Pittsburgh-based guitarrorist Aaron Myers-Brooks summons up precision-lined metal shredding and keyboard-thrusted polyrhythms on his excellent, new one-man/one-song instrumental single, “Multilinear Smattering,” out last week on Bandcamp. Now, the entire “single” runs less than two minutes but, that, for a descendent of Orthrelm, is more than enough time to make a hell of a racket. Myers-Brooks,…

Review: Kaada – “Closing Statements”

The new record from the Norwegian composer Kaada is a beautiful thing, immense in scope yet startlingly intimate. But, while it plays on a theme – Death; the record, after all, is called Closing Statements – its songs, taken as a cycle, sometimes feel too content to color within the lines. The LP, out today…