PopMatters: Music Blues – Things Haven’t Gone Well

I reviewed the Music Blues debut for PopMatters:

The bad dreams and bad vibes continue, track after track. That Cheshire Cat smile – wry, knowing and disturbing – guides the listener, if only for a while. “Trying and Giving Up” is as cheery as the title sounds, but when the knowingly inept guitar solo kicks in it’s easy to think Tanner is taking the piss out of both himself and his audience. But all too soon the smile fades, and, like a children’s story, is put aside for more serious matters.


Steel for Brains Podcast, Episode 12: Joseph D. Rowland and Chris Alfieri

Jonathan and I talked to Jospeh D. Rowland of Pallbearer about “Dad Rock” and the rigors of pre-album press, and then we called Chris Alfieri of Vattnet Viskar to join in the fun. Based on this talk the Pallbearer/Tombs/Vattnet Viskar tour this Fall is going to be a fun one.

Steel for Brains Podcast, Episode 12: Joseph D. Rowland and Chris Alfieri

Last Rites: Pord

I reviewed the latest from French noise rock band Pord for Last Rites:

“What Are Tuesdays For?” they ask, and all music fans respond with, “new releases, duh!” (though maybe that isn’t true in France. I honestly have no idea). For PORD, Tuesdays are for inciting swirling violent pits, for churning charnel fires, for bass and drum workouts par excellence. There is someone yelling in the maelstrom, but fucked if I can figure out what it’s all about. Not that you or I should care; keep your elbows down and rage. Reap the whirlwind if you dare.

PopMatters: Spider Bags – Frozen Letter

I reviewed the new Spider Bags record for PopMatters:

The question now is can Spider Bags continue to improve with release after release. Frozen Letter cements their prior strengths while pointing toward new and potentially more impressive sounds. It’s been a steady climb, and McGee and company could easily rest after such a feat. Let’s hope whatever rest is short and, for inspirational purposes, bittersweet. Another two years would be two years too long for more songs from their distinctively caustic and jangly mire.