Review: Melkbelly – “PITH”

Sorry, as much as you want them to be, Melkbelly aren’t a 2020s reincarnation of the Breeders. There are parallels, yes, yes, but it’s not that simple, not that clean-cut a thesis. For one, Melkbelly are rougher around the edges and more likely to lunge at you with the blade than carve out a careful refrain. (In short:…

MusicTAP Record of the Year (2019)

It’s an ugly, vicious thing for an ugly, vicious year. And, yeah, there might be bigger chart-toppers from 2019 or “better” market-researched deep-cuts out there polished to within an inch of their life, but I’m tipping my hat and giving my Hall of Fame vote this year to a series of explosions from Pittsburgh. 2019’s…

Review: Trvss – “Absence”

Holy shit, man. How a rock band sounds so vicious, yet so calculated and razor-sharp precise on a record, never mind a debut LP, is beyond me. In short: the Pittsburgh band trvss (pronunciation, Webster?) has exceeded even lofty expectations with Absence, a 10-track corker it released on cassette and digital formats this summer, offering…

Profile: Microwaves (2018)

Microwaves is at a crossroads. The Pittsburgh trio, which has been soldering together noise-rock, no wave and art-metal for 18 years now, has a new record out September 28 – a barn-burner titled, Via Weightlessness on Three One G, a label run by The Locust’s Justin Pearson. And while the band has been down this road before…

Review: Elephant Rifle – “Hunk”

As pig-fuck goes, this is some of the best. For those just tuning in, pig-fuck is the unfortunately titled genre of explosive post-punk that, at first, was cut in Chicago and the greater American Midwest in the 1980s and 1990s – think bombastic acts like Big Black, Vesuvian ones like The Jesus Lizard, and masters…

Profile: Elephant Rifle

Let me call it early: anybody who’s anybody who considers themselves a devotee of punk rock will consider Hunk, the recently announced third full-length from Reno quartet Elephant Rifle, to be one of the most anticipated records of 2018. That’s on the record, Skippy. While Party Child, the group’s debut, was great, the band really…

REVIEW: Elephant Rifle – “Ivory”

This record begins with the uncontrolled wailing of guitar feedback and squalor, later joined by the gasps of a dying piano. And that’s a good place to start. Because, then, it kicks you in the goddamn teeth. Turn it up! Turn it up! “Bone Voyage,” Elephant Rifle’s entry in Noise-Punk Single of the Year, explodes…