Review: Merce Lemon – “Moonth”

There’s a clear line between Moonth, the new LP from Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Merce Lemon, and Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville, which hit streets and stereos more than a generation ago. Both records are documents of strong-willed women coming to terms with themselves and their desires in the musical and romantic landscapes that surround and sometimes seek to…

Profile: Stone Throwers (2020)

Here’s the set-up. The Pittsburgh-based soul musician known as Dr. D had just gone through a break-up a while back and was looking to get back out there. One night, when out on the town with a young woman, he got a text from his ex-girlfriend and, frustrated, closed his tab and ended the date,…

Review: TRVSS – “New Distances”

Looking for noise-rock to cut through the film of dusty ear-drums like a straight razor? Well, TRVSS has your number. The trio cuts through the bullshit with post-hardcore propulsion. Sophomore effort, New Distances, as understatements go, is tightly wound. How TRVSS sounds this in synch is confusing for a band with this short of a resume….

Profile: TRVSS (2020)

The new TRVSS song “Malaria” is as infectious as its title indicates. Of course, it falls seven songs into the trio’s second LP – “New Distances,” which the band is self-releasing July 31 – so the spell has already been cast. If you haven’t been converted by then, well, there’s just no hope for you….

Review: Same – “Plastic Western”

SAME, the post-something quartet with the un-Google-able name, is from southwestern Pennsylvania, the duly coined Paris of Appalachia, but not entirely of the place. Now, Pittsburgh is far from a musical monolith. Most storied bands (a recent example being Code Orange) have come from the city’s punk and metal scenes, but there’s a robust diversity to the…

Profile: Same (2020)

Playing guitar in an indie-rock band in 2020 requires some genre knowledge and a lot of muscle memory, that ability to reproduce the fingers shifting between chords and sentiments without conscious thought.  Jake Stern, who plays guitar and keys and provides backing vocals in the placid Pittsburgh band Same, knows the instinct to rely on…

Review: Murder for Girls – “Done In The Dark”

When I reviewed Murder for Girls’ last LP, All The Pretty Stars, for the SWPA-based zine Punksburgh back in 2017, I cited as the group’s forebears and immediate influences Babes In Toyland and Riot Grrrls like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile. But on the Pittsburgh quartet’s new LP — Done In The Dark, out on CD…

Profile: Merce Lemon (2020)

“You think you love me. Well, look at me now.” With those simple words, softly cooed over a carefully plucked sequence of acoustic guitar notes, Bloomfield-based singer/songwriter Merce Lemon’s got you and got you good. The song expands, ever so slightly, with the addition of a restrained bass and a wash of guitar – but…

Profile: String Machine (2020)

There are elements of Neutral Milk Hotel’s freak-folk,’90s slowcore, and of Montreal’s cinematic post-rock on Death of the Neon — the second LP from Pittsburgh-area ensemble String Machine — which Know Hope Records will re-release Jan. 16. But, more than that, the record is informed by a gnawing hunger: A hunger to create, yes, but also that…

Profile: Astrology Now (2020)

Pittsburgh psych-rock band Astrology Now will celebrate its new Knife EP by playing an acid-tinged set at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, with Outsideinside, Silver Car Crash and DJ Miss Mungo at Spirit in Lawrenceville. That’s oddly appropriate because the group’s story started in Lawrenceville. A decade ago, Greg Mastrean – who was en route to being…