Concert Review: Tool (2019)

The prog-metal quartet Tool exudes context, from its rich LPs, full of epic songs and epic phrasings, to its historiography as a band, which is ripe, unfortunately, with legal headaches and more than its share of silence. (More than a decade passed between the band’s last and newest LPs.) But the group largely avoided the…

Review: Fox Medicine – “Procedures Mystique”

No less an authority on sludge and the seedy intersection of punk and metal than Melvins/Tool board-helmer Toshi Kasai recently described Portland duo Fox Medicine as an amalgamation of “Black Sabbath with J-Pop vocals.” And, yeah, that sounds about right. (The band offers up a description of a fictional noise-genre: “bubblegum doom.) The nascent band’s…

Review: Horehound – “Weight” EP

Fifty words on Weight. Well, not counting those. Pittsburgh champions of dirgy doom-metal follow 2018’s Holocene with a two-song gem. (Sorry, vinyl’s sold out.) Slow and entropic, with serious shout-outs to early Sabbath. The chorus of “Unbind,” the “A side,” could melt Maynard’s face. B-side, with some icy vocals from Shy Kennedy, flirts with Kyuss-style…

Review: PAK – “Bestial”

I once wrote that Ron Anderson is the best kind of madman. Today, with Bestial, his trio PAK’s fourth LP, he again proves he’s worth all the breathless, rave reviews – and then some. Bestial is a very distant cousin of 2011’s Secret Curve, the mind-bending Tzadik Records release that led me to hail Anderson’s…

Review: The Elephant Parallax – “Loam and Sky”

There are two epic songs battling for your attention on Loam and Sky, the new EP from The Elephant Parallax out Friday, and either could launch a fit description of why the record is indispensable. First, there is the opener, “The Conscious.” Though it begins with “Bloody Mary”-style drums and a pixelated, Battles-ish guitar onslaught, what…