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.)…

Profile: David Mnemo (2019)

At a Pennsylvania house party around 2007, Penn State students John Dubosky and Eric Goeller heard a sound that blew their minds. “There was this infectious bass line coming from the first floor,” said Dubosky, 33, of Polish Hill, then the drummer in State College, Pa. band Electric Lemonade Stand. “Eric discovered it and introduced…

Review: Old Game – “Lunatics”

Lunatics, the excellent new four-song EP from Pittsburgh-based quartet Old Game, out June 22, starts with the thump-thump-thump of bass guitar and drums in enveloping and snarling syncopation. But, it’s not until the rousing chorus, after the glassy guitars that eventually come fall prey to a wall of crunching thunder, that the theme of the…

Review: The Gotobeds – “Debt Begins At 30”

The Gotobeds released its new LP, the much-anticipated Debt Begins At 30, yesterday via Sub Pop Records. That move, the introduction of a new slate of head-churning material, gives us the ideal opportunity to re-examine and reevaluate these kings of the Pittsburgh underground or, as their peers are wont to say, the local band that…

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: Various Artists – “Bridges”

What makes Pittsburgh quintessentially Pittsburgh? It’s a good question, one with an urgency the national media’s been mulling for more than a decade (and, in past iterations, for generations) now, and one that Conor Murray implicitly has been asking listeners over three years of unleashing a Pandora’s box of Pittsburgh noise-rock through Crafted Sounds. That…

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: 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: Pachyderm – “Verge”

Pachyderm’s turning out to be a tough band to pin down. While the obtuse single the group dropped in January, the aptly titled “I’m Not Happy, I’m Just High,” was epic stuff on the order of The Sea and Cake, the Pittsburgh-based quintet also traffics in a lighter, sometimes alarmingly straight-forward brand of indie-pop, powerful…

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…