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…

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: Melvins – “Pinkus Abortion Technician”

Ugh. The new Melvins record, I am sad to report, dear reader, is a bit of a trainwreck. It’s not that Pinkus Abortion Technician, out Friday on Ipecac, lacks ideas. For the first time, the band appears with two bassists and, while the concept is interesting – “It could be an acid-trip metal version of Tortoise!”…

Profile: Mark Deutrom (2018)

Every 10 years, Mark Deutrom goes through some fresh hell. Take 1998, a couple of hells ago. Deutrom was recording his first solo record – the excellent The Silent Treatment, which gets the 20th-anniversary reissue treatment today from Season of Mist – as his first marriage dissolved and he then was kicked out of the…

Review: Mudhoney – “L.i.E.”

I still remember the CD. My Mudhoney collection was fairly impressive in ’93, having dug deep into the band’s Sub Pop soil, but the disc I found at Vintage Vinyl, Jack’s or wherever I was buying records at the time was of special interest: it was a live bootleg. Hearing a band live – or…