Current Kayo Dot guitarist and former guitarist/vocalist for So is the Tongue, Ron Varod, creates sprawling and haunting compositions for his solo endeavor, Zvi. The Brooklyn musician’s first foray into this dark, guitar-centered realm was the project’s self-titled debut, which was released back in 2014. The album featured eight, dense tracks that were sonically arresting and defied categorization. Varod’s skill as a songwriter and his unique utilization of his six-string instrument made Zvi‘s very basic setup multifaceted and enthralling. Despite being involved in a multitude of acts, Varod returned earlier this year with the faithful follow-up to that imaginative first full-length. Zvi II: Death Stops Us All shows the project becoming more massive, dismal and experimental. With only three tracks, this record plummets listeners into a cold aural abyss of which there is no escape.
Two eclectic Pittsburgh acts, T-Tops and Cyrus Gold, come together to deliver a brief but bludgeoning split release that is sure to garner new potential fans. T-Tops is a three-piece powerhouse that collects former members of The Fitt and influential math rock group Don Caballero. The band’s sound is a dirty, Amphetamine Reptile-inspired noise rock sound with a bit of early grunge thrown into the mix. Cyrus Gold is an erratic quartet whose only release besides this split is a three-track, 2013 demo that clearly paved the way for their sound now. The band play a sort of frenzied, angular post-hardcore style with a bit of noise rock added in for good measure. Both bands deal out three tracks on this 23-minute release, and both of their respective sides are hard-hitting and infectiously heavy.
Syracuse, NY’s Bleak are set to release their new album, No Light, No Tunnel, this summer and are offering up a taste with a stream of the first single, “Teeth.” Following several releases over the past year alone, No Light, No Tunnel marks the band’s second full-length and sees Bleak delving into more chaotic territories. The band still maintains their dark and overtly harsh, sludge-filled aggression while incorporating even more distressing visceral intensity, as displayed on the exceptionally frantic and angular “Teeth.” Continue Reading