A weekly round up of the best (and strangest) action on Bandcamp from artists in and around Pittsburgh.
Admittedly, this album isn’t for everyone. In fact, I’d wager it isn’t for most people, but it is still damn good. IT IT meander through the surreal in their debut release, losing direction and sensibility along with the listener, betraying our expectations. There is so much going on in every single song on this album that is almost becomes overbearing, demanding multiple listens.
Each track is it’s own master. “Exits” is a creepy and beautiful melody that certifies IT IT’s familiarity with pleasantness, which leads into “The End of Pig Death,” a track that perfectly taps into the alt-psychedelic genre.
This college quartet has laid down the blueprint for Pittsburgh bands looking to experiment outside of their boundaries, and has recently teamed up with Pittsburgh indie extraordinaires Wild Kindness Records for their next release, joining an already stacked lineup of artists on the label. Whatever is coming next for these guys is going to be a fantastic confusion, and I can’t wait for it.
Hot track: The End of Pig Death
Arbitrary emoji rating: 4 out of 5 Japanese ogres
At first glance, Side Eye seems a little late to the “surf punk” phenomena that has swept small venues and row house basements across America for the past five-plus years. Bands like Best Coast, Wavves and Thee Oh Sees have come and gone, leaving aspects of the subgenre in their wake, eventually eschewing the sound for a more polished, tamer tone (looking at you, Bethany Cosentino).
Pittsburgh’s power trio struck a vein on their debut recordings, however, channeling the tone and structure of punk classics, adding touches of flair that help distinguish Side Eye from the rest of the herd.
The opening track “Bittersweet” busts out of the gates with Ramones-esque riffs with Patti Smith’s vigor, before the chorus morphs into a more traditional surf song. Side Eye’s second offering on their two-track EP follows the mold of 70s punk a bit more strictly, though the trio layers tiers of polyphonic vocals overtop the fuzzy dissonance of their instruments.
Side Eye’s two-track EP hits the mark for a debut release. The album, admittedly a little short, goes a long way in establishing the trio as a must-see punk act around town.
Hot track: Bittersweet
Arbitrary emoji rating: 3 out of 5 tropical fish
What the fuck did I just listen to?
Bandcamp allows any artist to upload whatever they want to the site. Some artists take that idea and run with it. Here’s the weirdest thing from Pittsburgh on Bandcamp this week.
We learn something new about ourselves every day. For example, today I learned that when I see a band use the words “coldwave” and “darkwave” to describe themselves, I see fucking red. Those are nothing words that carry less weight than a guy in a vest telling you his alt-rock band plays “folk”. It is all imaginary.
That being said, I learned a second thing about myself today, too. I learned that I can look past dumb, stupid, dumb genre classifications and put aside my conditioned, sarcastic criticism to actually appreciate music that I would have otherwise flippantly dismissed.
Fresh off a release with Berlin-based Black Verb Records, Pittsburgh duo Bring Her crank out blackened synth compositions that transcend goth or house music. This particular sphere of music typically rests on its laurels, but Bring Her found some new alleyways to explore on their self-titled release.
I went into this album totally expecting to hate it, but there were some aspects that I found straight up awesome. At some points Bring Her sounds like a mish mash of Windhand and whoever the composed the music for the Legend of Zelda games, and let’s be honest – that’s a pretty badass album cover, too.
Hot track: Carve the hour