Empire Art Gallery
Phil Boyd returns with an EP issued on 10-inch vinyl; his work here more closely resembles what he's done with TM Eye and Minister Squid (drum machines, synths, electric guitars) than early Hidden Twin, which involved more acoustic guitar. Psychedelic and slightly sinister, but with undertones of '80s pop -- some shades of Liars-era Liars as well. Slow-burner "Alright to Claw" is the standout track.
HIDDEN TWIN EP RELEASE with GANGWISH, LORD GRUNGE. 10 p.m. Thu., Oct. 27. Gooski's, Polish Hill. 412-681-1658
Shimmery guitars color this new release from experienced local rockers. There's a Brit-pop vibe for sure; Radiohead would be an easy comparison in a way, but a more straightforward band like Travis might be a better fit. Throw in a little Achtung Baby/Zooropa-era U2 for good measure. Ryan McElroy's kind but commanding vocals are standout; recommended.
BLACK CRASH CD RELEASE. 10:30 p.m. Fri., Nov. 11. Club Café, South Side. 412-431-4950
Acid Rock Noise Cowboys … Just Playing the Blues.
This five-piece includes current and former members of some notable bands from the local fringe: Macronympha, Young Men's Department, Motorpsychos, Lord Bird Golden Cobra. The 17-track CD, comprising lo-fi studio and live recordings made in 2009, challenges notions of rock music while keeping within the basic idiom and instrumentation of a psych-rock band. Not for the pop fan, of course, but it has its moments of melody and, dare I say, prettiness. Mostly extended, aggressive guitar jams.