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….

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…