A weekly round up of the best (and strangest) action on Bandcamp from artists in and around Pittsburgh.
THE MINERAL GIRLS
“SEVEN INCHES OF RELEASE”
Broken World, Pittsburgh’s best damn record label, is back at it again in November, releasing math-indie geniuses Taking Meds’ debut full length earlier in the month before rolling out a new seven-inch from North Carolina’s the Mineral Girls.
The record, appropriately dubbed “Seven Inches of Release,” is a quick and fun jaunt to thumb through, clocking in at just over eight minutes in length. Don’t become deterred by the album’s duration, though – the Mineral Girls craft dark and poppy indie jams that weave and in and out of your ears, and the replay value is incredible.
Neither of the tracks on “Seven Inches…” seems like the same song the second time you listen to it, as you forget cues and your expectations get suffocated, and the Mineral Girls just do everything really well. Their guitar tones are dialed in, the drums shatter and shake and the vocals are just “emo” enough to tolerate. Their compositions are simultaneously proggy and classic, and you just can’t stop tapping your feet.
Perhaps most curiously of all, there’s an unplaceable sense of familiarity in this record. If “Seven Inches of Release” were a hat, it would be made out of corduroy. If it were a boat motor, it would be an Evinrude, you know?
Hot track: Scooby Doo Bookshelf
Arbitrary emoji rating: 4.5 out of 5 pagers
Buffalo Rose is Pittsburgh’s newest AppalachiaN folk band, setting themselves up for years of playing in backyard cider houses, beer releases and outdoor festivals where deep fried butter is served out of a hot dog cart.
And that’s fine, really, because it is everything that this band should accept as its core. The folk troupe is part of the new-school trend of country artists that combine the rustic appeal of Old Crow’s slower bluegrass classics with the Infamous Stringdusters’ contemporary jam-band elements. What you get from Buffalo Rose are soulful strings (and goddamn, especially that dobro) singing off of each other, while the vocalists narrate you through the album.
The debut record’s shortcomings are rare, but glaring. Buffalo Rose couldn’t help but steer themselves into the overplayed Americana “Whiskey and Cigarettes” trope, even naming a song after the American Gothic motif. Sometimes the harmonic vocals seemed forced, like a wild pitch, but for the most part every arm of the band is refined and well shaped.
“Red Wagon” is a great debut from a young band, all things considered. The folk genre itself leans towards favoring the misery of old age, so any lively first step from a fresh string group is a sure sign of good things to come.
Hot track: Countryside
Arbitrary emoji rating: 3.5 out of 5 fine Rockingham County turkeys
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.
“THE LIFE OF BIRDS”
Just in time for the new season of Planet Earth, Brock Amoroso has brought us “The Life of Birds,” a song that is just everything birds. The three-minute track is an ambient, soothing composition that is almost certainly destined to end up in the background of a nature documentary.
There’s really not much more to say about the song, other than it simply is. There are some piano notes floating throughout the song and a gentle hum contributes the melody’s spine while birds sing along the whole goddamn time. That’s it. That’s really it.
Is it tasteful? No. Not at all.
But is it necessary? Fucking of course it is, dude, back off.
Hot track: The Life of Birds