Mt. Trashmore
Clown Ethics Recordings

Chicago math rockers T’bone make complex grooves for the kids who just barely passed Algebra II. Mt. Trashmore tracks tend to fall into one of two categories: pulsating jams with fairly conventional structures and completely or largely instrumental exercises punctuated with bellowed non-sequiturs.  The trio–Ed Bornstein on drums, Pat McPartland on guitar, and Leland Meiners on bass–pack a lot of ideas into a song, time signature and key changes abound, but they went for the populist jugular on the lyrics. (more…)


Iowa’s greatest musical treasure*, William Elliott Whitmore is less than a month away from unleashing his fifth full-length offering, Field Song. (more…)

It’s been five years since Ed Gray last laid tracks to tape. That resulted in one of my favorite albums of the last 10 years, the lo-fi stunner The Late Gray Ed Great. The long-awaited follow-up to Gray’s 2006 masterstroke, Old Bending River is considerably more polished. Before you start bellowing “sell out” or some such nonsense, that doesn’t mean Gray is penning tunes for Train or Matchbox 20; River is still dark and gruff, it’s just recorded on some better microphones. (more…)

(Photo: John C. Schlotfelt)

Iowa City’s premier punk outfit, Supersonic Piss, has itself a serious slab of shellac about to drop. The dirtiest quartet that the city has to offer is about to scramble some brains and blast through some ear drums with their debut full-length Umbilical Noose–out soon on Rotted Tooth Records. (more…)

(screenshot from Alex Body’s “Blood Orange” video)

Alex Body is poised to stake a claim as the most consistent and prolific songwriter in Iowa City–a title currently held by Samuel Locke Ward. On Thursday, Body announced a Kanye-esque roll-out for his latest album, Cutting Down Camelot. Friday he declared that he’d release “one track every day or so” leading up to the album’s release, which “will be available on 12″ [LP] by the time [he goes] on tour.” (more…)

Cedar Falls, Iowa has had some bruisers in the past. In fact, Cedar Falls has almost always been the Hawkeye state’s stronghold for tight, intelligent music with an edge. Continuing in that tradition is the fist-pumpingly good Former Thieves.
Yesterday, the normally indie-leaning AV Club posted a stream of the quartet’s upcoming jam, The Language That We Speak, dropping courtesy of  No Sleep Records on Tuesday, April 19th.
The Cedar Falls hardcore group’s full-length debut is pretty darn impressive. It’s lean–10 tracks clocking in under a half an hour, it’s muscular with enough riffage to keep the Converge-cravers sated, and it has just enough swagger to stomp around to. (more…)

Iowa City’s Brooks Strause is back with another collection of dark, demented folk, My Foreign Right Hand. Strause posted his latest effort on his new bandcamp site a mere 9 days ago. With that posting, Strause has radically redrawn his musical boundaries. My Foreign Right Hand certainly treads familiar ground with the opening pair, “An Autobiography” and “Identity Crisis Blues,” both clinging faithfully to Strause’s rasp and penchant for whiskey-soaked folk blues. However, the Juke-joint rave-up of “Can’t Remember” might sooner find itself on a new Devotchka LP than the raspy, mid-tempo melancholy which occupied Strause’s previous effort, the wonderful The Misanthrope and his Doubtful Faith. (more…)

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