Review: Monotrope – “Immutable Future”

Monotrope’s new record is a wondrously dense thatch of black thorns and I love it for that. In case you’re just joining the show, the quartet, which should be storied by now, features a Touch and Go Records alumnus (who also happens to play in Bellini), a Pittsburgher and two members of Unraze. And, if…

Profile: TRVSS (2019)

There are shreds of feedback and, waiting, waiting, waiting, also an air of anticipation as members of Pittsburgh trio TRVSS wait for WRCT DJ Sean Cho to peer through the studio glass and give them the thumbs up to start. Then, after a requisite “Alright, go!” TRVSS erupts over the airwaves and, figuratively, of course,…

Concert Review: Tool (2019)

The prog-metal quartet Tool exudes context, from its rich LPs, full of epic songs and epic phrasings, to its historiography as a band, which is ripe, unfortunately, with legal headaches and more than its share of silence. (More than a decade passed between the band’s last and newest LPs.) But the group largely avoided the…

Profile: The Commonheart (2019)

Pittsburgh’s The Commonheart doesn’t sound like it belongs in 2019. There are the surefire signs, of course – the reverby chikka-chikka of Stax-style soul guitar, yes, as well as bobbing bass scales that hint at Chicago’s electric blues and the nostalgic trill of Hammond organs. Then, there’s the man at the center of the nine-person…

Review: The Zells – “No More Heroes” EP

The Zells’ No More Heroes EP – the six-song follow-up to 2018’s excellent Failure to Slide, out today via Pittsburgh indie Crafted Sounds – starts with reverby, almost spacy guitars and glitchy percussion, a far and intentionally removed cry from the seat-of-your-pants garage-rock on which the band cut its milk-teeth. By the end of opener…

Review: Dizzy Blip – “Laundry” EP

50 words on Laundry EP– a capsule of sorts. Pittsburgh’s Sam Yeaton, a.k.a. Dizzy Blip, direct descends from Brainiac/Enon’s John Schmersal, writing angular noise-pop on detuned guitars but lacing them with reverb-polished vocals. New three-song EP, out last Monday, is a kiss on the cheek while treading unsteady boards. “Upper Fixer” is the take-away. Name…

Concert Review: Melvins (2019)

Melvins know no years. They’re just too fucking good to be bothered with them. So, seeing the trio, now nearing its fifth (!) decade in existence, destroy a stage live is a bit like hovering above the historiography of it all. All content, no context. The trio – Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover, and Steven McDonald…

Andre Costello and The Cool Minors – “Brighter Than Before”

Fifty words on Andre Costello and The Cool Minors new one-song shot. Minus those, wise guy. Catchy indie pop, out Oct. 2, with all the right strut and inflection. Some of these bridges will knock you off your feet. “I/ know the way to your light.” Great textures, rousing yet contained close. Costello’s voice is…

Review: Horehound – “Weight” EP

Fifty words on Weight. Well, not counting those. Pittsburgh champions of dirgy doom-metal follow 2018’s Holocene with a two-song gem. (Sorry, vinyl’s sold out.) Slow and entropic, with serious shout-outs to early Sabbath. The chorus of “Unbind,” the “A side,” could melt Maynard’s face. B-side, with some icy vocals from Shy Kennedy, flirts with Kyuss-style…