Five-track EP from the local four-piece that emerged from the breakup of The Hitchcock Curse. These tunes are effects-laden, proggy and sprawling, sometimes calling to mind Muse, sometimes leaning more toward metal (as on the upbeat and driving "Highway to Middle Earth"). The rhythm section here is especially strong — Ben Chiarini' s bass work is masterful, yet he' s able to rein it in when necessary. I' m not sold on the vocals throughout — the louder George Stevens' bellows get, the better, but on the quieter tunes, they can start to feel same-y and a bit put-on. But they' re a far cry from bad, and for a first EP, so is Fragments.
— Andy Mulkerin
THEIA COLLIDES CD RELEASE. 9 p.m. Fri., June 28. Perrytowne Drafthouse, 1002 Perry Highway, North Hills. Free. 412-367-6910
All for the Love
The smooth-flowing, mellow-voiced rapper offers rhymes about the hardships of his Wilkinsburg upbringing while introducing his ambitious persona on this debut album. On "Forbes Ave.," Ali shares his story of finding solace while walking along the road that spans many of Pittsburgh' s eastern neighborhoods. While reflecting on some less-fortunate life experiences, the MC preaches aspirations on "Pioneer," rapping: "Acquainted with the struggle but I can' t embrace poverty / generate funds and build my hood up properly." In addition to Ali' s introspective lyrics, the album includes great production from Baka, Depo Shot, PLAN and Sven Diamond.
— Rory D. Webb