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CD Reviews

New releases from The Chad Sipes Stereo, Slices and Matatu

The Chad Sipes Stereo
Less Than or Equal To


New full-length from the power-pop band fronted by its namesake singer-songwriter. At its best -- like on "Do Your Worst" and "Young Man's World" -- the record showcases jangly Tom Petty-style pop-rock with masterful guitar work performed by Erik Cirelli. The downtempo tracks tend to hold a bit less appeal, shifting too much of the focus onto weak, whispery vocals. In the context of the upbeat numbers, though, Sipes' voice melds better with the music, recalling the wavering indie-rock heroes of the ‘90s.

The Chad Sipes Stereo Less Than or Equal To CD-release party. With Triggers. 8 p.m. Fri., July 29. Thunderbird Café, Lawrenceville 


"Modern Bride" b/w "Chump Change"

Seven-inch single issued by the Brooklyn indie whose roster includes bands like Xasthur and Saviours. The noisy local foursome returns with two tracks in the Black Flag vein; Greg Kamerdze spits out growling vocals over driving guitar punk. This band continues to grow more melodic with time without losing its sinister undertones. Recommended for fans of older Fucked Up tunes and the like.


"The Light"

Not a local release per se, but a new EP from a Los Angeles-based band fronted by former Pittsburgher Jesse Guberman. Guberman creates easygoing pop songs informed by his interest in, and travels to, Africa. Djembe and African percussion figure prominently, but don't dominate the direction of the songs (except in the case of the cover of the traditional Ghanaian "Se Enya Wa"). Subdued and pretty.