A weekly round up of the best (and strangest) action on Bandcamp from artists in and around Pittsburgh.
“TOUR TAPE 2016”
The best damn hardcore band in Pittsburgh has released their 2016 summer tour tape, and the Steel City is a better place for it.
Concealed Blade has followed up on their wildly badass 2015 demos with a two-track sprint through the garden of hardcore history. Both tracks are unrelenting powerhouses that refuse to rely on bullshit, generic breakdowns. Make no mistake about it, this is hardcore with consideration. The Braddock quintet has pulled from the glory days of hardcore to stir up modern incarnations of Floorpunch licks, picking up where bands like Altered Boys or Direct Effect left off.
The tape is polished off with a surprisingly decent recording of their set at the Rock Room during this year’s Skull Fest, a 13-minute whirlwind of feedback, punches and oil-soaked riffs that does more than enough to compensate for the meager playtime of the prior demos.
This tape is awesome – just straight up awesome. Listen to it.
Hot track: Future Killers
Arbitrary emoji rating: 4.5 out of 5 sirens
The debut release from Pittsburgh-based singer/songwriter Lilian Traviato is as funky (and Jesus Christ, do I hate using that word) as it is unorthodox. Practically Civilized is an appropriately named album, a brash representation of the genre-jumps that Traviato employs to suffocate any redundancy throughout the release’s seven tracks.
Everything about this release is pleasantly awkward. Traviato finds a balance between Tinashe and Tears for Fears in both her vocals and production, as each track borrows something from the zeitgeist of Starbucks music.
Practically Civilized is a well engineered product of melodic, layered vocals and minor key synth creations. For the most part, Traviato’s vocals step in line with the recent trend among female vocalists that emphasizes vibrato, but Pittsburgh’s newest pop-singer at least has the wherewithal to reel it in from track to track.
Hot track: Let it Spin
Arbitrary emoji rating: 3.5 out 5 dark sunglasses
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.
“PIANO MAN JR.”
Let’s go to the Bandcamp comments to start this off, shall we?
Jackson really brought the lyrics and flow on this one. Seriously good shit. Cop it.
Cop it, indeed.
Mrs.Paintbrush is a self-described “tropical goth” rapper who appears to go by, like, seven different aliases. The last man to pull that off is Big Baby Jesus Dirt McGirt, the ODB himself, and while Mrs.Paintbrush is no BZA, he does spit out some pretty great bars in Piano Man Jr.
And you can’t say that Mrs.Paintbrush is derivative. The backing production on the track is indecisive, though cohesive, and a key change in the middle of the track grabs your attention.
Piano Man Jr. is fun, but it also not fun. Part of me likes it, but a larger part of me hates that first part for liking it. It’s hard to tell. I mean, fuck me, just look at the guy. He looks like Tormund Giantsbane moved to Lisbon to open up a nightclub.
Hot track: Piano Man Jr.