Review: Same – “Plastic Western”

SAME, the post-something quartet with the un-Google-able name, is from southwestern Pennsylvania, the duly coined Paris of Appalachia, but not entirely of the place. Now, Pittsburgh is far from a musical monolith. Most storied bands (a recent example being Code Orange) have come from the city’s punk and metal scenes, but there’s a robust diversity to the…

Profile: Same (2020)

Playing guitar in an indie-rock band in 2020 requires some genre knowledge and a lot of muscle memory, that ability to reproduce the fingers shifting between chords and sentiments without conscious thought.  Jake Stern, who plays guitar and keys and provides backing vocals in the placid Pittsburgh band Same, knows the instinct to rely on…

Review: The Zells – “No More Heroes” EP

The Zells’ No More Heroes EP – the six-song follow-up to 2018’s excellent Failure to Slide, out today via Pittsburgh indie Crafted Sounds – starts with reverby, almost spacy guitars and glitchy percussion, a far and intentionally removed cry from the seat-of-your-pants garage-rock on which the band cut its milk-teeth. By the end of opener…

Review: Hontatedori – “Konata Kanata”

If the vitriol and raw energy of punk rock is like a fever dream, then the Tokyo trio Hontatedori — which premiered its U.S. debut, Konata Kanata, two days ago via David Grubb’s Blue Chopsticks imprint – is a wonderful antithesis: absinthe-soaked, doe-eyed, dreamy, and lined with enough crystalline guitars to fill the lonely sea….

REVIEW: Bedhead – “Bedhead: 1992-1998” Boxed Set

The single guitar note, all fragile and frosted glass, falls on the foot of the kick drum. And then, as the notes continue to unfurl and the metronomic drum spurs a succession, we first hear that voice, sleepy but somehow still resolved and engaged, lingering above a whisper and below a murmur. “More than ever…