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….

Review: Blankets For Laura – “Orange” EP

Thank you, Shay Park. While much of the Pittsburgh underground is awaiting the debut EP from Soda Club, the local dream-pop quartet Park fronts with saxophonist Jarrett Krause, Park quietly released on Bandcamp a four-song gem of an EP from her now-defunct solo project Blankets For Laura. And it’s a reminder of why we fell…

Review: Expires – “Fake Sigils”

Pittsburgh has never been known, particularly, as a hub for post-rock, that fluid genre of “music for people who read books” that flirts with everything from shoegaze to math-rock. (We leave that to Louisville.) But Burgh-based multi-instrumentalist Mike Layton has been plugging away quietly in the regional SWPA scene for a few years now, most…

Review: Denzell – “Tour Tape” EP

I don’t need some punk-rock band to hand over the verdict that, yeah, things are pretty bleak. Even if the Pussy-Grabber-In-Chief weren’t trying to run the show – let me just pause on that for a second and enjoy the thought – the world has no shortage of proof that we’re hurtling toward the eye of the…

REVIEW: Aaron Myers-Brooks – “Conduits”

Experimental guitarist Aaron Myers-Brooks, on loan from Pittsburgh post-metal outfit Night Vapor, slants toward the “avant” in avant-jazz on Conduits, the third EP he has self-released in the past 14 months. Musical notes seem to trip over their own feet on the three-song recording, where Myers-Brooks’ angular guitar work is pristinely accompanied by piano, bass, synth and prepared…

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…

PROFILE: Soda Club (2017)

It starts with the muted, chikka-chikka strum of a Fender Telecaster electric guitar and the clacking metronome of drumsticks, while riffing on a slight, but healthy case of secret identity. “I show up to your Halloween party / without a costume on,” singer/guitarist Shay Park coos, her voice caressing the syllables of each word. “Everyone…

CONCERT REVIEW: Horehound/T-Tops/Del Rios/Old Dream – Gooski’s, 1.08.16

Welcome to the firecrackers-strapped-to-your-Rust-Belt column “Welcome To Pittsburgh,” as today we find ourselves entranced by stars yet lamenting another fine night of noise at the Polish Hill dive bar/cheap beer institution Gooski’s. It’s been a week and change now and we just barely got sober enough to write this ourselves. Well, there was no clear…

REVIEW: The Turbosonics – Tres Gatos Suave

Inconsistencies, dagnammit! I want to really, really like, to love, to adore The Turbosonics‘ new CD, Tres Gatos Suave, a meaty slab of surf from one of Pittsburgh’s mightiest purveyors of the form. But, for every track like opener “Ricochet,” a real classic 60s rocker, there’s a dud like the trying-too-hard-to-be-Floydian “Meat Slicer From Outer Space.” For every surprise…