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…

Profile: Old Game (2019)

Brenda Leeds knows about the feeling. The vocalist and rhythm guitarist of Pittsburgh underground rock band, Old Game, has felt it sneak unsuspectingly, like a disconnected whisper, into the deepest crevices of her ear. When she’s not paying attention, it sometimes can knock the wind out of her. She first encountered that gray, sinking sensation as…

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…

Review: Night Vapor – “1,000 Miles of Mud”

“Dirtminer,” and its inherent sense of grime and mire and dischord, is the template. The opening song on Night Vapor’s 1,000 Miles of Mud — out last week via Corpse Flower and the much-anticipated follow-up to the band’s 2015’s S/T full-length — starts with frontman Albert Hall’s guttural utterances, disorienting fits of aggravation that fall somewhere between a…

Profile: Microwaves (2018)

Microwaves is at a crossroads. The Pittsburgh trio, which has been soldering together noise-rock, no wave and art-metal for 18 years now, has a new record out September 28 – a barn-burner titled, Via Weightlessness on Three One G, a label run by The Locust’s Justin Pearson. And while the band has been down this road before…

Concert Review: Richard Buckner – Live In Pittsburgh, 06/07/18

It was 1998 when I first heard Richard Buckner, and I instantly was transfixed. The record in question was Since, his MCA collaboration with stalwarts like Syd Straw and David Grubbs, and it was breathtaking stuff, alt-country (or post-country) at its finest — but also overflowing with engaging song-gems beyond the boundaries of the genre….

Review: Cousin Boneless – “Possession”

When they talked about making a transformation, they were talking about an ALL CAPS TRANSFORMATION. On last year’s Revel In The Rubble, the final installment in a “garbage parties” trilogy, Pittsburgh’s Cousin Boneless plied its bizarre and infinitely unique form of freak folk – think a mélange of antique-garde musings, Andrew Bird ambition, and the theatricality…

Review: Aaron Myers-Brooks – “Multilinear Smatterings”

Pittsburgh-based guitarrorist Aaron Myers-Brooks summons up precision-lined metal shredding and keyboard-thrusted polyrhythms on his excellent, new one-man/one-song instrumental single, “Multilinear Smattering,” out last week on Bandcamp. Now, the entire “single” runs less than two minutes but, that, for a descendent of Orthrelm, is more than enough time to make a hell of a racket. Myers-Brooks,…