There's been a spate of keyboard-rock lately, but local organ-guitar-drums trio Harangue doesn't fit the mold with its uncommonly weird debut. Produced by Jason Kirker of The Modey Lemon, the guitar and keyboard are both distorted, and vocalist Matt McDermott sports a rambling vocal style that's half American lo-fi and half British affectation, which is much more in line with current topsy-turvy Pitchfork influences than with the Coldplay fan club.
So it's not another Radiohead clone, which is good. Nor is it a typical single -- for one thing, the A-side has two songs, neither of which follow a radio-ready formula. On "Fragments," McDermott's highly reverbed voice shouts urgently over chunky, somewhat noodly guitar (a la J Mascis), and on "Home," slow-tempo shambolics with Pavement-style "woo-woos" suddenly become a rollicking, frisky number that bounces along like Tigger at the circus.
The mini-epic, though, is "Ad Infinitum" on the flip, which morphs through several rock 'n' roll mood changes before settling on a darkly tinged acid-drenched freakout, adding the spectre of Japanese psych to Harangue's list of formatives from the past decade. Unlike far too many musicians in Pittsburgh, these guys were paying attention.