Review: Wet Fruit – S/T

The songs just skitter away in a delightful pop of Roman candles on Wet Fruit’s self-titled, debut LP, out last week on digital and cassette via Seattle’s Halfshell Records, each composition uniquely frenetic and painted with minute detail to texture and tone. But to write off the ascending Portland quartet as some incantation of art-rock…

Review: Fox Medicine – “Procedures Mystique”

No less an authority on sludge and the seedy intersection of punk and metal than Melvins/Tool board-helmer Toshi Kasai recently described Portland duo Fox Medicine as an amalgamation of “Black Sabbath with J-Pop vocals.” And, yeah, that sounds about right. (The band offers up a description of a fictional noise-genre: “bubblegum doom.) The nascent band’s…

Profile: Wild Kindness Records relaunches

Wild Kindness, the Pittsburgh label that once defined the city’s alt-pop aspirations through records by Andre Costello and Chet Vincent & The Big Bend, is back. Chief operating officer Jeff Betten relaunched the dormant label June 12. Betten, a 10th-generation Pittsburgher who flirted with a City Council run this spring, became general manager of Misra…

Review: Robin Bacior – “Light It Moved Me”

Ah, the sophomore outing. What more vexing way of testing an artist’s mettle than seeing if they can replicate the magic of their debut, while not leaning on the former so much that they trend formulaic? It’s a difficult balancing act, and many have gone to the guillotine for their inability to pull it off….

REVIEW: Wilt – “Hand Mirror”

Portland’s Taylor Malsey presents listeners with some warbled tunes and an inviting, warm blanket of melancholia on the excellent Wilt debut Hand Mirror, out now on Good Cheer Records. And, though it’s mostly a record for people who like their music with bumps and cracks in it, all in all, it’s pretty enveloping stuff. The…

REVIEW: Portland Cello Project – “To E.S.”

Elliott Smith’s transubstantiation into a string ensemble is something wondrous (yet subtly shaded) to behold on Portland Cello Project’s LP tribute to the late artist, titled, simply, to e.s. Songs like “Pitseleh” and “Tomorrow, Tomorrow,” both arranged here by project founder Doug Jenkins, retain their charm, while “Shard,” a riveting original composition by Nancy Ives,…