Review: Fox Medicine – “Procedures Mystique”

No less an authority on sludge and the seedy intersection of punk and metal than Melvins/Tool board-helmer Toshi Kasai recently described Portland duo Fox Medicine as an amalgamation of “Black Sabbath with J-Pop vocals.” And, yeah, that sounds about right. (The band offers up a description of a fictional noise-genre: “bubblegum doom.) The nascent band’s…

Concert Review: Melvins (2019)

Melvins know no years. They’re just too fucking good to be bothered with them. So, seeing the trio, now nearing its fifth (!) decade in existence, destroy a stage live is a bit like hovering above the historiography of it all. All content, no context. The trio – Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover, and Steven McDonald…

Profile: Buzz Osborne (2019)

When Buzz Osborne visits Pittsburgh Saturday, Oct. 5 for punk-metal veterans Melvins’ concert at Rex Theater in South Side, he won’t hit the haunts most tourists frequent. There will be no baseball game at PNC Park, no visit to the fountain at The Point. No photos from the Mt. Washington overlook. No sammich at Primanti’s….

Review: Warish – “Down In Flames”

The year is 1988 and the place is some dive bar outside Seattle. Or maybe it’s not – but it could be. The guitar-driven trio Warish – whose Down In Flames LP, its full-length debut, is being released Friday via Riding Easy – elicits the punky thrills of grunge at its headiest, calling to mind…

Profile: Urns (2019)

Pittsburgh’s Urns descends from the dirgy, often glacially paced punk-metal of Melvins, Earth, Sunn O))) and other icons whose guitar riffs are sludgy and molasses-thick. But the quartet is releasing its self-titled debut this week, and frontman and Urns founder Mike Myzak is hesitant to break down the minutia of his band’s sound into careful…

Profile: Spotlights (2019)

The band Spotlights played its first show in Pittsburgh in 2017, opening for Melvins at Rex Theater in South Side. At the time, the group – husband and wife team Mario and Sarah Quintero – lived in Brooklyn. On Tuesday, July 16, the band will make its latest appearance in Pittsburgh, headlining Black Forge 2…

Review: The Austerity Program – “Bible Songs 1”

I’m not sure which version of the King James Bible Thad Calabrese and Justin Foley are thumbing through, but I don’t remember the incantation “You motherfuckers!” appearing in the Book of Isaiah. The Biblical interpretations might shoot from the hip a bit (God bless ‘em) but that’s the only thing that’s loose about Bible Songs…

Review: PAK – “Bestial”

I once wrote that Ron Anderson is the best kind of madman. Today, with Bestial, his trio PAK’s fourth LP, he again proves he’s worth all the breathless, rave reviews – and then some. Bestial is a very distant cousin of 2011’s Secret Curve, the mind-bending Tzadik Records release that led me to hail Anderson’s…

Review: Mark Deutrom – “The Blue Bird”

If most of Mark Deutrom’s new LP — The Blue Bird, kicking off 2019 Friday via Seasons of Mist — is any indication, the titular bird is a blue of the moody variety. Deutrom, guitarist-turned-bassist-turned-guitarist, Texan, ex-Melvin, has always packed his solo outings with lots of texture, context and ambiance. Sequencing, in particular, always has…