REVIEW: U-Men – S/T

My first exposure to the bizarre genius of U-Men came when I first tracked down a vinyl copy of the scene-setting C/Z Records comp. Deep Six back in the early 90s. I was a budding teenager then and, thanks to Nirvana, discovering what Poneman and Pavitt dubbed, with more than a hint of cynicism, “The…

REVIEW: CALYX – “For To, Oh” EP

Contrary to the imagination of its title, CALYX’s Four To, Oh is not a testament to weed-fueled jam-band mythos or, this being Pittsburgh, a smoky-eyed homage to Wiz Khalifa. Instead, it’s a textured, even borderline-mathy, addition to this trio’s growing – and impressive – catalog. And it’s definitely worth the $2 download asking price. Sounding,…

REVIEW: Primitive Race – “Soul Pretender”

It’s hard not to view Primitive Race’s sophomore outing, Soul Pretender, as the next chapter in Chuck Mosley’s epic comeback story. On the record, out Friday on Metropolis, Mosley is positively radiant, sounding better, sharper and more engaged than he has since the heyday of Faith No More’s Introduce Yourself. After years of being relegated…

REVIEW: The Gotobeds – “Definitely Not A Redd Kross EP”

Pittsburgh’s The Gotobeds are offering their two cents on a vintage blast of punk energy – and it is mighty good. Dubbed Definitely Not A Red Kross EP, the new 7-inch EP, out tomorrow on Atlanta’s Chunklet Industries, is a six-song cover of – yep, uh huh, you guessed it – Redd Kross’ high-octane debut…

REVIEW: Matt Mehlan – “The Mehlans”

There’s electronic buzzing, post-something refrains, borderline-tribal heat, and occasional Rhodes-and-bass grooves. There’s also, however, more mutant pop bridges than you could swing a dead cat at, if that’s your idea of a good time. The Mehlans – Matt Mehlan’s first record under his birth name, though not the first record he’s recorded solo – is,…

REVIEW: The Gotobeds – “Fucking In The Future +5”

There’s something rough-hewn, authentic and wonderfully immediate about Fucking in the Future +5, a collection of odds and sods from Pittsburgh’s The Gotobeds out Oct. 13 on Comedy Minus One records. Why? Well, some bands, minus all of the bells and whistles and studio sheen, sound half-hearted or, worse yet, like impersonators of themselves on these…

REVIEW: The Seven Fields of Aphelion – “Keep The Ocean Inside”

Dreamy, ethereal, other-worldly – all could be used to describe Keep The Ocean Inside, Pittsburgher Maureen “Maux” Boyle’s engaging sophomore outing as The Seven Fields of Aphelion and her first since 2010’s Periphery. A San Diego musician I once interviewed called composer Harry Partch’s work a kind of Martian folk music; Boyle’s signature brand of ambient-classical also fits the…

REVIEW: Watter – “History of the Future”

Watter – a Louisville post-rock band that’s high in promise due to its parentage, if nothing else – simply fails to deliver on the oft-disjointed but occasionally ambitious History of the Future, its sophomore full-length, out today on Temporary Residence. It’s not that there are not great moments on the record. It’s just that their…

REVIEW: Yes Selma – “Songs of Happiness”

When Chad Beattie, a 24-year-old from Baltimore, first told me about his bedroom project Yes Selma – a Dancer In The Dark nod – he referenced a lot of the Drag City musicians adored by those in the lo-fi singer-songwriter boom of the 1980s and 1990s. And, yes, listening to Yes Selma’s ambitious and ironically…