Review: T-Tops – “Disease” EP

Talk about a punch to the gut. Something is roiling in Pittsburgh and the punk trio T-Tops is most definitely tapped into it. The group’s new EP — Disease, out now on Bandcamp — is a blistering, four-song set, with a rhythm section that pounds itself into your ear-drums and a frontman (guitarist/vocalist Patrick Waters)…

Review: The Elephant Parallax – “Loam and Sky”

There are two epic songs battling for your attention on Loam and Sky, the new EP from The Elephant Parallax out Friday, and either could launch a fit description of why the record is indispensable. First, there is the opener, “The Conscious.” Though it begins with “Bloody Mary”-style drums and a pixelated, Battles-ish guitar onslaught, what…

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: 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: BATTLES – La Di Da Di

It’s been a handful of weeks since Warp Records released BATTLES’ La Di Da Di, the experimental outfit’s third full-length LP proper, and we should all still be shouting from the tenement rooftops about it. It’s that kind of record – part demented dance mash-up, part math-rock/post-rock opus, part Slick Rick-dropping, year-defining mythos – and it…

REVIEW: Mylets – “Arizona”

Now, that is what the fuck I’m talking about. From the first grungy, then vaguely pixelated, guitar chords of album-opener “Trembling Hands,”Arizona, the second record proper by loop-rock “band” Mylets, just grabs you by the ears and controls you. It will not let go. Unlike last year’s predecessor, Retcon, a hit-and-miss affair that showed some great…

Welcome To Pittsburgh #2: T-Tops – S/T

Hello and thank you for kicking the snow off your feet as you cross the Popdose threshold of Welcome To Pittsburgh, Now Go Home. Thank you, also, for not abandoning us after our first installment with Broughton’s Rules, or after that embarrassing night in East Liberty we had a few past our limit at Kelly’s…

Welcome To Pittsburgh #1: Broughton’s Rules – “Anechoic Horizon”

In this fine, first edition of Welcome To Pittsburgh, a new, somewhat-irregular Popdose column dictating the independent musical pulse of the Rust Belt’s cultural capital, we find ourselves saddled with a quirky little record bearing an interesting lineage and a sense of composition writ large. The record in question? Broughton’s Rules’ Anechoic Horizon. Released by…

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…

REVIEW: Mylets – “Retcon”

“Ampersand” showed such promise. But we can’t all be Ian Williams. Mylets, the one-man-band pseudonym of guitar-texturist Henry Kohen, aspires to attain the heights of Williams’ pedal-frenzied, signature-shifting genius with groups like Don Caballero and Battles. But Mylets’ debut, Retcon, falls short, plain and simple. Back to “Ampersand,” though. Earlier this year, Kohen’s label, Sargeant…