Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh in tune’

Knowlton Bourne at Pittsburgh in Tune

The music of 23-year-old newcomer Knowlton Bourne might take a little while to grow on you. The Mississippi native plays a type of Southern shoegaze that might put off listeners looking for catchy, hook-filled melodies.

Bourne ‘s debut full-length, “Songs From Motel 43,” didn’t do much for me on the first spin, but I found myself enjoying it a little more each and every time I listened. He’s a talented guy with a bright, bright future and patient listeners will be rewarded.

If the opening salvo of “Summer Sun” and “Hangin’ Around” tickles your fancy, chances are the rest of “Songs From Motel 43” will, too. Bourne impresses n “Done Movin On,” “Motel 43,” “The River (For Nels)” and terrific set closer (and second single) “Glow.” With a bit more seasoning, I have little doubt that Knowlton Bourne has a truly great record in him yet.

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Presents for Sally at Pittsburgh in Tune

British trio Presents for Sally have a noticeable fondness for the guitar-fueled indie pop/shoegaze sound of the 1990s, yet the band manages to put their own spin on a familiar sound. Presents for Sally earned kudos for their 2010 debut album “A Touch of Joy a Touch of Sadness” and build on that solid foundation with sophomore slab “Colours & Changes.”

Click through for the rest of the review!

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Static Daydream at Pittsburgh in Tune

You should probably know going in that unless you are a fan of distortion and reverb — and I’m talking LOTS of distortion and reverb — you might enjoy the self-titled debut album from noise pop duo Static Daydream. Comprised of Paul Baker (Skywave, Ceremony) and girlfriend Jamie Casey, Static Daydream have unleashed an exhausting sonic assault.

Click through for the rest!

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Marshmallow Coast at Pittsburgh in Tune

As an avowed fan of the Elephant 6 Recording Co., a collective of indie pop musicians that spawned the likes of The Apples in Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Elf Power and Of Montreal, it should come as no surprise that I dig the music of Marshmallow Coast (aka singer/songwriter Andy Gonzales). The sublime “Vangelis Rides Again” is the ninth Marshmallow Coast LP and ranks among the most mysterious, yet entertaining offerings of Gonzales’ career.

With nine tunes clocking in at a brisk 24 minutes, there’s no wasted space on “Vangelis Rides Again.” The songs here are laid back on the surface, but there’s a sense of dark urgency weaving its way throughout the platter.

Marshmallow Coast soar highest on bookend tunes “Hash Out Cash Out” and “Forever,” but there are some assorted goodies in between. Among the keepers are “Hills Are Alive,” the title track and “Foreign Denial.” As a valued branch on the Elephant 6 musical tree, Gonzales/Marshmallow Coast deliver another winner.

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Bunnygrunt at Pittsburgh in Tune

Indie outfit Bunnygrunt have been at it, off and on, for more than 20 years without ever capturing the mainstream’s fancy. Matt Harnish and Karen Ried are the guiding creative forces behind the trio’s blend of 90’s-era indie pop and DIY punk and fifth full-length “Vol. 4” is their first album since 2009’s “Matt Harnish & Other Delights.”

It’s a 16-track, 44-minute slab that sounds very rough around the edges — not unlike a collection of demo recordings — but an album that I find growing on me each time I give it a spin. The centerpiece of “Vol. 4,” without question, is seven-minute opus “Chunt Bump.” It’s a remarkable tune that offers a glimpse into just how good Bunnygrunt can be.

Unfortunately, the rest of the record can’t quite measure up, though Bunnygrunt manage to impress on “I Quit, Mr. White,” “Still Chooglin’ (After …),” “He’s About a Leaver,” “1000% Not Creepy (Tweepop Version)” and “Don’t Forget Who Your Friends Are.” This one merits some attention.

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Marshmallow Coast at Pittsburgh in Tune

As an avowed fan of the Elephant 6 Recording Co., a collective of indie pop musicians that spawned the likes of The Apples in Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Elf Power and Of Montreal, it should come as no surprise that I dig the music of Marshmallow Coast (aka singer/songwriter Andy Gonzales). The sublime “Vangelis Rides Again” is the ninth Marshmallow Coast LP and ranks among the most mysterious, yet entertaining offerings of Gonzales’ career.

With nine tunes clocking in at a brisk 24 minutes, there’s no wasted space on “Vangelis Rides Again.” The songs here are laid back on the surface, but there’s a sense of dark urgency weaving its way throughout the platter.

Marshmallow Coast soar highest on bookend tunes “Hash Out Cash Out” and “Forever,” but there are some assorted goodies in between. Among the keepers are “Hills Are Alive,” the title track and “Foreign Denial.” As a valued branch on the Elephant 6 musical tree, Gonzales/Marshmallow Coast deliver another winner.

[Link]

Frog at Pittsburgh in Tune

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t yet heard of New York-based based indie rock duo Frog. Their 2013 self-titled debut EP failed to make much of an impact in the United States, though Scottish music blog GoldFlakePaint and British webzine Drowned in Sound heralded the album as one of the year’s best.

Frog — Dan Bateman on guitar and vocals, Thomas White on drums — spent most of 2014 fine-tuning their sound with countless live performances and have seen fit to make their full-length debut with the rock-solid “Kind of Blah.” Recorded in an old bowling alley, the 11-track platter shows a great deal of promise.

Notes Bateman: “(The new record) was an attempt to engage modern musical ideas from a 1950s style of arrangement, and was a complete failure in that respect but a success in most others.”

Things get of to a so-so start with middling opener “All Dogs Go to Heaven,” but Frog soon find their stride with standouts like “F***king,” “Wish Upon a Bar,” personal favorite “Knocking on the Door,” “Catchyalater” and “Judy Garland.” Keep an eye on Bateman and White.

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Fireworks at Pittsburgh in Tune

With a noise pop sound that drew inspiration from bands like My Bloody Valentine, The Shop Assistants and Buzzcocks, British outfit The Fireworks made a nice first impression in 2013 with the release of a self-titled EP. With the reverb-soaked vocals of Emma Hall and Matthew Rimell and plenty of fuzzy guitars, The Fireworks seemed poised for bigger and better things.

A minor lineup shuffle ensued with Shaun Charman coming aboard on drums, joining Hall, Rimell and bassist Isabel Albiol, and the furits of their labor is dynamic full-length debut “Switch Me On.” There is no filler to be found on the 13-track, 37-minute release, with The Fireworks serving up one high-octane tune after another.

After a so-so start to the proceedings with “With My Heart” and “Runaround,” the quartet hits their stride with a series of keepers that include “Let You Know,” “Which Way to Go,” “Switch Me On,” “Stay Here” and “Corner of My Mind.” Can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.

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Hobbes Fanclub at Pittsburgh in Tune

British shoegaze trio The Hobbes Fanclub are looking to make a name for themselves in the United States with the release of “Up at Lagrange.” It’s solid gathering of 11 tunes that are positively awash in distortion and reverb.

Leon Carroll (vocals/guitar), Louise Phelan (bass/vocals) and Adam Theakston (drums) are clearly influences by fellow U.K. outfits like Teenage Fanclub and The Jesus and Mary Chain and I’m guessing “Up at Lagrange” might have been an acclaimed release back in the early 1990s.

As it stands, there are some nice moments to be found on the record — notably “Stay Gold,” “Your Doubting Heart,” “How Could You Leave Me Like This?” and “Sometimes” — but I’m guessing that the appeal of The Hobbes Fanclub is going to be limited to those who still dig shoegaze.

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