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,…

Review: Same – “Is Midnight”

Pittsburgh alt/indie quartet Same has released the digital-only single “Is Midnight” and the surprising thing about it isn’t its glassy-eyed beauty, but how different it sounds from the more driving refrains of a song like the band’s “Camp Vacation,” which opened 2016’s excellent Weird As Hell EP. The new track, available on Bandcamp, is pure…

Review: Pachyderm – “Verge”

Pachyderm’s turning out to be a tough band to pin down. While the obtuse single the group dropped in January, the aptly titled “I’m Not Happy, I’m Just High,” was epic stuff on the order of The Sea and Cake, the Pittsburgh-based quintet also traffics in a lighter, sometimes alarmingly straight-forward brand of indie-pop, powerful…

Review: The Lampshades – “Astrology”

The Lampshades, a trio of Pittsburgh-by-way-of-Altoona ne’er-do-wells, is nothing if not ambitious. It hasn’t always entirely been this way. Sunshine, its 2005 debut, was more of a catalog of by-the-numbers power-pop than the loose-limbed junk-rock these guys have perfected on records like Arena Punk and Numbskull Nothinghead. Even after a good number of outings, though…

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: Painted Eyes – “Demo 2018”

Talk about modesty. The Pittsburgh trio Painted Eyes quietly dropped its debut release, the appropriately titled Demo 2018, on Bandcamp Wednesday, not making a fuss or even providing so much as a cursory biography about the band. And the thing is pretty damn incredible. For punks addicted to Damaged-era Black Flag or even early Bad…

Profile: The Gotobeds (2018)

“It’s always the easiest and least interesting route to have a preconceived notion of what band you want to sound like and then go do that.” Eli Kasan’s riffing again. And I’m listening close for clues. “We were terrible early on ‘cause we wanted to sound like too many things, and weren’t sure which suited…

Review: Barlow – “In A Stranger’s Car” (Reissue)

Lo-fi fuzz-pop – think The Cure coalescing around the guitars of Les Thugs – is the name of the game on In A Stranger’s Car, the 2017 outing from Pittsburgh’s Barlow that gets the re-release treatment on cassette and streaming formats from Crafted Sounds Monday. The new edition features outtakes and promises of things to come….