Review: MELK – S/T

It’s really easy to drink the Spencer Kilpatrick Kool-Aid. The Reno-based singer-songwriter has an amazing, even intoxicating handle on pitch-perfect period strut – in most cases, Stax-infused soul – and a smoky, emotion-damaged croon that accents and accentuates it perfectly. While his voice sounds like a cross-hatching of a bluesy John Mayer and Bill Withers,…

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: Adam Fitz – “Can’t Pardon Me”

There might be no better way to end 2019, this dog-eared novella of a year, and start the wondrous new Twenties than with ruminations on regret, redemption and hope. So, let us all join Pittsburgh-area singer-songwriter Adam Fitz when he starts 2020 bright and early Jan. 1 by self-releasing a two-song EP online that’s ripe…

Review: MELK – “Listen”

There’s not very much that’s astounding about “Listen,” the one-song debut from Reno soul quartet MELK, released yesterday on streaming services. That is, there’s not very much that’s astounding about it, aside from the initiation of it all. “Listen” is pretty much a straight-forward, 4/4 Stax soul romp, complete with genre-pitch-perfect, reverby guitars and a…

Review: Rachael McElhiney – “Apricot Trees”

“You gotta bleed a little bit to put on the show,” Rachael McElhiney sings on a track from Apricot Trees, an EP of four, folk-soul demos she quietly self-released last week on Bandcamp. McElhiney knows the message well. As the frontwoman for Reno-based soul-rock trio Failure Machine – a band more amped up and with…

Review: Spencer Kilpatrick – “Lungs”

Fans of early Amos Lee – in other words: well-crafted acoustic soul – mustmustMUST tune into Spencer Kilpatrick, a Reno, Nev.-based songwriter who previewed the single “Lungs” on Soundcloud just this week. Like Lee, Kilpatrick – who’s getting primed to tour nationally, starting tomorrow – has an in indescribably smooth and endearing timbre, something transient…

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…