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…

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.)…

Feature: Crafted Sounds Releases “Bridges”

Connor Murray turned 21 on April 13,  but he didn’t celebrate in the usual way. Yes, there were the obligatory drinks at midnight but, instead of just rising reluctantly the next morning with a horrible hangover, the Pitt senior woke up with a new release on his cassette-centric label, Crafted Sounds. Bridges, the appropriately titled…

Review: Night Vapor – “1,000 Miles of Mud”

“Dirtminer,” and its inherent sense of grime and mire and dischord, is the template. The opening song on Night Vapor’s 1,000 Miles of Mud — out last week via Corpse Flower and the much-anticipated follow-up to the band’s 2015’s S/T full-length — starts with frontman Albert Hall’s guttural utterances, disorienting fits of aggravation that fall somewhere between a…

Profile: Microwaves (2018)

Microwaves is at a crossroads. The Pittsburgh trio, which has been soldering together noise-rock, no wave and art-metal for 18 years now, has a new record out September 28 – a barn-burner titled, Via Weightlessness on Three One G, a label run by The Locust’s Justin Pearson. And while the band has been down this road before…

Review: Cousin Boneless – “Possession”

When they talked about making a transformation, they were talking about an ALL CAPS TRANSFORMATION. On last year’s Revel In The Rubble, the final installment in a “garbage parties” trilogy, Pittsburgh’s Cousin Boneless plied its bizarre and infinitely unique form of freak folk – think a mélange of antique-garde musings, Andrew Bird ambition, and the theatricality…

Review: Same – “Is Midnight”

Pittsburgh alt/indie quartet Same has released the digital-only single “Is Midnight” and the surprising thing about it isn’t its glassy-eyed beauty, but how different it sounds from the more driving refrains of a song like the band’s “Camp Vacation,” which opened 2016’s excellent Weird As Hell EP. The new track, available on Bandcamp, is pure…

Review: The Lampshades – “Astrology”

The Lampshades, a trio of Pittsburgh-by-way-of-Altoona ne’er-do-wells, is nothing if not ambitious. It hasn’t always entirely been this way. Sunshine, its 2005 debut, was more of a catalog of by-the-numbers power-pop than the loose-limbed junk-rock these guys have perfected on records like Arena Punk and Numbskull Nothinghead. Even after a good number of outings, though…

REVIEW: Radon Chong – “I Keep On Talking To You”

Captain Beefheart devotees, rejoice! Shape-shifter Don van Vliet might be deceased but his spirit – and that of his ever-evolving Magic Band – is alive and well in Pittsburgh. Local band Radon Chong channel the Captain with passionate precision, vibrant originality, and colorful flare on its nine-song debut, the mind bogglingly good I Keep On…

CONCERT REVIEW: Soda Club

The ascending Pittsburgh quartet Soda Club treated a hometown crowd to its lazy Sunday brand of guitar-driven indie-pop on a Saturday this month, peppering a highly danceable, hour-long set of originals with covers of 80s classics by The Violent Femmes, The Cure and, yes, Cyndi Lauper. Dueling fronts Shay Park (on guitar and ukelele) and…