A weekly round up of the best (and strangest) action on Bandcamp from artists in and around Pittsburgh.
The debut full-length of Unsung’s hip-hop compositions is quite the coming out party for the “Young Man”.
I just want to give everyone a moment to appreciate what just happened there.
A product of Morgantown, Unsung admittedly takes his inspirations from Flying Lotus and MF Doom, and it shows. His beats are just jazzy enough to craft a cohesive song, but are still off-the-wall, fucking bonkers as to keep you guessing, and his words are meandering fevers.
Unsung outkicks his coverage at several points throughout “Young Man,” though. He has a tendency to definitely get too aspirational on some songs (Anamnesis) and the oddity of the production distracts from his talent – and he has serious talent.
Unsung’s flow is clean and imprinted with perfectly placed accents. His style is unique and engaging and if I had to make a comparison, it would be Earl Sweatshirt. The guy also knows how to design a damn good album. There are some incredible in-track changes, but the transitions from track to track are mostly flawless. I love what he did to link up Mermaids and Greygolden.
The sky is the limit for Unsung if he learns to balance out his aspirations (some songs sound like they were produced by Captain Beefheart) with aesthetic pleasantry.
Hot track: Sacrifice
Arbitrary emoji rating: 4 out of 5 fax machines
Pittsburgh producer and singer/songwriter Jonathan Russell has released his newest collection of compositions, “MERTZANIDES,” his first album since 2012.
Russell has built lavish, ornamental songs off of the foundation he has been working on crafting for years, weaving together layer after layer after layer of synth production. Tracks like Perfume and South Ocean are expertly crafted songs built around structured chillwave beats, allowing the rest of the production to cascade around the skeleton of the song.
Occasionally throughout the album, though, Russell seemingly loses interest and the tracks fade away into the void of monochronistic dullness. That is the fatal problem with this album – the first half “MERTZANIDES” is so slow. Russell will lose a lot of listeners’ interest before the payoff hits at Nova, which is essentially a deconstruction of Of Montreal’s bread and butter.
Beginning from Nova on, the album is full of bangers. It’s a shame that the album is a flickering flame up until then.
Hot track: Nova
Arbitrary emoji rating: 2.5 out of 5 ears of rice
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.
Let this be the last time anyone has to say this – metal bands shouldn’t, for ANY reason, put a “Parental Advisory” warning sticker on their album. It is a look that has all the nuanced taste of a biker rally at the beach, but Windosill – whoever they are – went ahead and decided “Yeah, we’re too edgy to NOT let parents know.”
Yet, they aren’t. “AUTUMN” is a two-track Halloween–day release about, uh, a haunted house or something? Who knows. I just don’t care. I just don’t fucking care.
The first track? It is a purely instrumental album intro that goes absolutely nowhere. The industrial-style intro is so boring and neutered that it completely negates the reason for an introductory track in the first place. If you’d like a prime example of what an instrumental metal intro can achieve, please refer to exhibit Vader.
The second track? Just absolute hogshit. Windosill have made it their hell-bent mission to mishmash nu-metal, industrial music and deathcore, which is like having a drug dealer that wants to combine heroin, meth and mercury. It’s like if Cradle of Filth was really into Cher. Autumn has absolutely no direction or originality, and it is a song made for “Call of Duty” highlight videos on YouTube.
“AUTUMN” is a garbage release, and I hope the members of Windosill have problems going to sleep at night.
Hot track: Autumn