Review: Bad Wires – “Politics of Attraction”

Politics of Attraction, the full-length debut from Louisville power trio Bad Wires, is a Frankenstein’s monster of a rock record. The group, technically adept but still engaging in guttural and primal ways, are well-studied pupils and make the proceeds unfurl easily. The LP’s seven tracks offer punk attitude, 1990s New York City noise posturing, a touch…

Review: Helen Money – “Atomic”

The Chicago-based cellist Alison Chesley is accustomed to providing the sonic equivalent of accent marks and highlights on other people’s statements of intent. She has appeared on some 150 LPs, offering the bowed weep and illuminating scope of her instrument to the likes of Anthrax, Russian Circles, Bob Mould, MONO, and many more. But, when…

Review: Raphael Weinroth-Browne – “Worlds Within”

Reconsideration, at least in this writer’s case, has been very kind to Raphael Weinroth-Browne. I was introduced last year to the Canadian cellist and post-classical composer by way of Worlds Within, the new 10-track song-cycle he plans to self-release on CD and digital platforms Jan. 24. At first blush, Weinroth-Browne’s modus operandi mimicked, at least…

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…

Review: Horehound – “Weight” EP

Fifty words on Weight. Well, not counting those. Pittsburgh champions of dirgy doom-metal follow 2018’s Holocene with a two-song gem. (Sorry, vinyl’s sold out.) Slow and entropic, with serious shout-outs to early Sabbath. The chorus of “Unbind,” the “A side,” could melt Maynard’s face. B-side, with some icy vocals from Shy Kennedy, flirts with Kyuss-style…

Review: Aaron Myers-Brooks – “Energetic Bursts”

Guitarist-composer Aaron Myers-Brooks constructs mathy, even obtuse, metal for listeners who appreciate the genre’s technical virtuosity but take issue with its faux-evil strutting and testosterone-jacked theatricality. There you have it. But to call the Pittsburgh underground musician a thinking man’s Dave Mustaine or Kevin Hufnagel is derivative. (He’s always been more Orthrelm than Dysrhythmia, anyway.)…

Review: SUZISUZI – “Microphone’s Counter Attack!!”

SUZISUZI likes exclamation points. On Microphone’s Counter Attack, its new 12-track, 20-minute LP out via Pure Evil last month, the title of every song ends with two exclamations. And that’s appropriate, given the bombastic tendencies contained within each track. Now, SUZISUZI – “suzi” means “vein” in Japanese, as in the veins that pop out of…

Review: Aaron Myers-Brooks – “Multilinear Smatterings”

Pittsburgh-based guitarrorist Aaron Myers-Brooks summons up precision-lined metal shredding and keyboard-thrusted polyrhythms on his excellent, new one-man/one-song instrumental single, “Multilinear Smattering,” out last week on Bandcamp. Now, the entire “single” runs less than two minutes but, that, for a descendent of Orthrelm, is more than enough time to make a hell of a racket. Myers-Brooks,…

Review: Ampline – “Passion Relapse”

If you like your underground rock jagged and rugged and raw, you’d best tune in for Ampline’s Passion Relapse. Out last week on Sofaburn Records – sometimes you plan to review a record “on time” and sometimes you get the flu, y’know? –the new LP from this guitar-driven Ohio trio is vintage Ampline: dirgy and…

REVIEW: Alder & Ash – “Clutched In The Maw of the World”

The cello flirts lovingly with you, then roars and lunges forward, bearing its teeth. The composition in question is “A Seat Amongst God and His Children,” the second song and most transfixing moment on Montreal artist Alder & Ash’s sophomore release, the appropriately titled Clutched In The Maw of the World, out July 28 on Lost Tribe Sound. It starts…