Machine Gun Kelly – Tickets to My Downfall

Neo-pop-punk is dead. Sure, there are “bigger” bands still out there like Blink-182, Fall Out Boy (do we still consider FOB pop-punk?), and the like. But there’s so much disparity in pop-punk, you’re either huge or no one seems to care. So, rapper Machine Gun Kelly, because of his higher profile and known persona, can… Continue reading Machine Gun Kelly – Tickets to My Downfall

Peter Laughner – Peter Laughner

Ain’t it fun when you’re gonna die young? Tragedy has always been an integral component of the rock ‘n’ roll equation, having experienced its share of unsavory ODs and twisted collisions and hapless chaps simply boarding the wrong charter flight. It’s a magnet for gifted fuckups, and its history is littered with them. Peter Laughner,… Continue reading Peter Laughner – Peter Laughner

Clearing Out the Avant-Garage: Pere Ubu Says Goodbye?

Pere Ubu is signaling that its forthcoming album The Long Goodbye (due June 12 on Cherry Red Records) will be the band’s last. We’ve seen no shortage of faux retirements in rock, but this one feels like it could stick. Ringleader David Thomas has been wrapping up affairs for some time, issuing a series of… Continue reading Clearing Out the Avant-Garage: Pere Ubu Says Goodbye?

Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch

Bad Witch is the horribly titled ninth studio album, and third “EP-length” release in the last two years, by Trent Reznor’s project, Nine Inch Nails, who in case you may have forgotten about is essentially a pretty generic (at least at times) American industrial rock outfit that uses experimental elements occasionally. NIN/Reznor have always been… Continue reading Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch

Obnox – Murder Radio

Lamont Thomas squeezed out two more albums in 2017 than his hometown Cleveland Browns did wins. He’s got the Brownies beat over a three-year horizon, too. Recording as Obnox, Thomas is a one-man lo-fi cottage industry, ricocheting between damaged rock and reimagined basement hip hop, inciting an occasional collision between the two. Last May’s more… Continue reading Obnox – Murder Radio

Pere Ubu – 20 Years in a Montana Missle Silo

My faith in Pere Ubu as an ongoing entity was rebooted by their June 2016 EARL show. Touring behind a pair of box sets spanning their fertile 1975-82 period, the motley fivesome (Ubu Roi David Thomas being the only remaining founding member) delivered something verging on a theater piece, retaining the heart of the originals… Continue reading Pere Ubu – 20 Years in a Montana Missle Silo

Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else

Dylan Baldi is quickly becoming Cleveland’s finest musical export since Pere Ubu’s David Thomas.While that bold claim says a lot about the Mistake by the Lake’s lack of post-1980 output, it nonetheless points to quite an emerging talent (I’m excluding Trent Reznor on a technicality, by the way). Baldi’s first full-band outing, Cloud Nothings’ 2013… Continue reading Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else

Human Switchboard – Who’s Landing in My Hanger? Anthology 1977-1984

Location, location, location! Even though once he used L.A.’s Gold Star Studios, Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” maintained its east coast formalism. Psychedelics fueled Austin’s music scene in the ’60s. Near-fatal confrontation found its way into power chords from the MC5 and Sonic’s Rendezvous out of Detroit. But Cleveland, Ohio has always been the cloistered… Continue reading Human Switchboard – Who’s Landing in My Hanger? Anthology 1977-1984

Rocket from the Tombs – Barfly

Dead at 27, in 1977, Cleveland rock musician and junkie alcoholic Peter Laughner casts a giant shadow on punk and alternative music. One of the most important pioneers of the 1974-1977 punk era who did not hail from New York, Laughner had his fingers in everything that mattered in Cleveland. His legend – except for… Continue reading Rocket from the Tombs – Barfly