A weekly round up of the best (and strangest) action on Bandcamp from artists in and around Pittsburgh.
Artists face an uphill climb in satisfying avid listeners when creating follow up albums to their initial successes, and I think that’s why so many artists have chosen to just simply release new tracks without fanfare or publicity.
The follow-up release to “Boisterous” from JDP Thee Official doesn’t contain any “true” club bangers, but the album still does more than tread water on its own. What the album lacks in bass thumping ignorance it makes up for in thoughtful and dynamic production, with JDP varying flow and rhyme scheme throughout the tracks. He nails some of his targets (meme references, great flow) and whiffs on others, (They trying to cut me out the picture like paper mache) but “Sunday Service II” is still a solid album worth listening through.
Hot track: Charismatic (I’m Up)
Arbitrary emoji rating: 3.5 out of 5 yachts
Wheeling, WV’s MANGE have released their remastered 2016 demo tapes, which seems like a curious decision, (if not restless) considering the initial release only came out in February. Regardless, the trio have released an impressive collection of debut tracks to get their name out there.
MANGE showcase their penchant for balancing sound, songwriting and self-control in their demo, qualities that young bands can often struggle to get a hold on. At no point does one instrument supersede another, and verses, choruses and bridges are all given appropriate time to thrive before the band forges ahead to their next movement.
The band’s genres range from 90s alt-rock, to lo-fi emo, to a more modern fuzzy surf rock sound. To summarize, think Rilo Kiley if they never got out of the garage.
Hot track: Thin Air
Arbitrary emoji rating: 4 out of 5 lollapaloozas
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 Stolen Stitches start their split album (with Ugly Muggz out of Gatlinburg, TN) with an introduction to a circus freak show and end it with a song about Hank Hill selling cocaine. Or about selling propane? Or mixing cocaine and propane? I’m still not exactly sure, but this group certainly bookended their tracks to an… interesting effect.
It looks like The Stolen Stitches are in the middle of a U.S. tour, and good for them, I guess. The group is a touring circus sideshow (i.e. fire breathing) with burlesque performances, and I suppose that’s enough to make this whole “circus folk” genre a little easier to swallow, but between the tasteless lyrics and the, you know, clown makeup, I find it hard to consider The Stolen Stitches as anything more than ICP with banjos.
Follow Iain Oldman on Twitter @iainoldman.