Review: Trvss – “Absence”

Holy shit, man. How a rock band sounds so vicious, yet so calculated and razor-sharp precise on a record, never mind a debut LP, is beyond me. In short: the Pittsburgh band trvss (pronunciation, Webster?) has exceeded even lofty expectations with Absence, a 10-track corker it released on cassette and digital formats this summer, offering…

Review: The Lampshades – “Forget Me Not” b/w “Sadly True”

As posthumous releases go, the new 7-inch from Pittsburgh-by-way-of-Altoona’s The Lampshades, out today, is the exception to the rule in this fatalistic sub-genre: an afterthought of sorts that is actually a pretty worthy addition to the band’s considerable canon. The trio always has injected its best work with the spirit of Brian Wilson and the…

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.)…

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…