Review: El Ten Eleven – “Tautology I”

The first chapter in El Ten Eleven‘s new three-part musical journey seems to be written entirely in the third person and drained of all impulse for narrative twists. Kristian Dunn, the duo’s very adept guitar and bass player, said he wanted Tautology I to “represent what my teenage years were like, when I was full of testosterone and…

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: Le Petite Mort – “Disco”

The name of the song is “A Piano In The Basement” and, though it closes the 13-track record, it’s the best point where you can enter Disco, the new LP from German trio Le Petite Mort (Little Death) now out on digital devices and vinyl via Cold Press. The song starts with glassy, post-rock guitars…

Review: Rob Ford Explorer – “Buh Bye”

The reference points behind Rob Ford Explorer’s name ain’t aging that well. Yes yes, Ford in its capitalist wisdom has released a 2020 Explorer – the large print giveth and the small print taketh away, natch – but former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford died almost four years ago now and has largely faded from the…

Review: Paranoid Void – “02”

Wow! Just wow. The new Paranoid Void EP – which hides behind the dubiously simple title of 02, out online this week – will knock you right off your feet and out of yr winter blues. This is, without rival, the best math-rock of 2019; in a year where Ian Williams and BATTLES released a…

Review: Wet Fruit – S/T

The songs just skitter away in a delightful pop of Roman candles on Wet Fruit’s self-titled, debut LP, out last week on digital and cassette via Seattle’s Halfshell Records, each composition uniquely frenetic and painted with minute detail to texture and tone. But to write off the ascending Portland quartet as some incantation of art-rock…

Review: Monotrope – “Immutable Future”

Monotrope’s new record is a wondrously dense thatch of black thorns and I love it for that. In case you’re just joining the show, the quartet, which should be storied by now, features a Touch and Go Records alumnus (who also happens to play in Bellini), a Pittsburgher and two members of Unraze. And, if…

Review: Pray For Sound – “Waves”

Sorry, I don’t dig on proselytizing. So, okay I’m biased. And when I heard, via advance PR notes, that the quartet Pray For Sound was out to preach (connotation intended) a little bit of happiness and hope with its brand of instrumental post-rock, contrary to many of the genre’s sometimes-sullen standard bearers, I was pretty…

Profile: Damon Che (2019)

At the time, everybody in Pittsburgh knew Damon Che. But few really knew him. Che, who now lives an uneventful life in the Amish countryside 15 miles southwest of Punxatawney, Pa., was the octopus-armed drummer for Pittsburgh-bred experimental rock pioneers Don Caballero, a singular percussive force in indie-rock circles. But even Che himself talks about…