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New releases from Joe Matzzie, Nathan Marshall and Louis Con Carne

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Joe Matzzie
This Box Makes Noise
(U.S. Records)

Singer-songwriter rock from a former Pittsburgher, now living in Los Angeles. Nice stuff here; Matzzie's gritty vocals — sometimes bordering on a harsh whisper — are pleasant to hear, and his songwriting is better than many. Matzzie excels on rock tunes like "Run to the Beach"; the almost-rap on "Houndstooth," on the other hand, was maybe a questionable decision. Good album!

 

Nathan Marshall
What Ships Are For
(Self-released)

Nine tracks of faith-informed country-folk (and a little spoken word) from the relative newcomer, who made his debut locally via the 48 Hour Film Festival a couple years back, working with the Greensburg band Essential Machine. That band accompanies him some here, along with Jim Avett, the recording artist known widely for siring the Avett Brothers. Marshall's tunes are generally sweet and sentimental, his vocals steady if not always strong. Simple, steady tunes like "Red Slippers" (which recalls Jim Croce and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" at once) are catchy and suit Marshall well.

 

Louis Con Carne
Untitled
(Self-released)

I'm calling this one Untitled because there's no real identifying information; the cover features a drawing of a weird penis (which I'll spare you) and it came with a photograph of some rusting farm machinery, so maybe one of those things is the title? Anyway, more nightmare soundscapes from the Waynesburg-based artist — industrial noise collages, occasional synthetic beats, samples of insane sounds. Recommended if you like harsh noise, Throbbing Gristle or having a nervous breakdown.

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