Review: Big Weather – “The Lightest Darkness”

Well, turns out climate change – for those rational people who agree with the science behind it – might not be all bad, after all. Big Weather, the latest effort from musician/composer/drummer Ryan Rumery, posits itself as an experiental response to “ever-intensifying natural phenomena.” The Colorado-based outfit’s new record, The Lightest Darkness, is an interesting point…

Review: Altar Boy – S/T

Pittsburgh label Crafted Sounds recently Tweeted out the following in response to a request to drink PBR with members of Altar Boy, a group of post-something Pittsburghers releasing their debut EP Friday on said label: “Altar Boy does not have a Twitter but they got a tighttttt EP coming out.” Tighttttt? Now, that’s an understatement….

Review: Ampline – “Passion Relapse”

If you like your underground rock jagged and rugged and raw, you’d best tune in for Ampline’s Passion Relapse. Out last week on Sofaburn Records – sometimes you plan to review a record “on time” and sometimes you get the flu, y’know? –the new LP from this guitar-driven Ohio trio is vintage Ampline: dirgy and…

REVIEW: Watter – “History of the Future”

Watter – a Louisville post-rock band that’s high in promise due to its parentage, if nothing else – simply fails to deliver on the oft-disjointed but occasionally ambitious History of the Future, its sophomore full-length, out today on Temporary Residence. It’s not that there are not great moments on the record. It’s just that their…

PROFILE: King G and The J Krew

Twenty five years ago today, the beat was born. It was the sound of young adults from Louisville – a sprawling collection of collaborators, most of them close friends since childhood – surging with ideas, and busting out with a declaration that they intended to live an unfiltered, untethered life of art and music. It…

REVIEW: Radon Chong – “I Keep On Talking To You”

Captain Beefheart devotees, rejoice! Shape-shifter Don van Vliet might be deceased but his spirit – and that of his ever-evolving Magic Band – is alive and well in Pittsburgh. Local band Radon Chong channel the Captain with passionate precision, vibrant originality, and colorful flare on its nine-song debut, the mind bogglingly good I Keep On…

REVIEW: Alder & Ash – “Clutched In The Maw of the World”

The cello flirts lovingly with you, then roars and lunges forward, bearing its teeth. The composition in question is “A Seat Amongst God and His Children,” the second song and most transfixing moment on Montreal artist Alder & Ash’s sophomore release, the appropriately titled Clutched In The Maw of the World, out July 28 on Lost Tribe Sound. It starts…

REVIEW: BATTLES – La Di Da Di

It’s been a handful of weeks since Warp Records released BATTLES’ La Di Da Di, the experimental outfit’s third full-length LP proper, and we should all still be shouting from the tenement rooftops about it. It’s that kind of record – part demented dance mash-up, part math-rock/post-rock opus, part Slick Rick-dropping, year-defining mythos – and it…

REVIEW: HC-B – “Rough”

It takes a great record to remind me how awkward it can be — yes yes, like dancing to architecture — to write about really good instrumental rock music. For the moment, the band putting me in said position is HC-B, the record is the group’s latest Hidden Shoal release, Rough, and both are terrific, sometimes bordering on breathtaking….

Welcome To Pittsburgh #1: Broughton’s Rules – “Anechoic Horizon”

In this fine, first edition of Welcome To Pittsburgh, a new, somewhat-irregular Popdose column dictating the independent musical pulse of the Rust Belt’s cultural capital, we find ourselves saddled with a quirky little record bearing an interesting lineage and a sense of composition writ large. The record in question? Broughton’s Rules’ Anechoic Horizon. Released by…