With the warmer weather comes the slew of new releases from Pittsburgh musicians who've spent the winter holed up with recording gear. Here's advance notice on a few notable local discs out this month:
Garage-pop foursome Takeover U.K. makes its case as a Steel City success story with the brash, fiery EP It's All Happening. A while back, the band played a 15-date residency in Los Angeles, and eventually inked a deal with the Rykodisc label. Since then, it's been holed up in a New York City studio recording a full-length, Running With the Wasters. If the little taste the EP offers is any indication, you'll want to pick up your own copy at the band's release party, at 10 p.m. Thu., May 22, at Lava Lounge.
After far too long, shoegaze band Olympus Mons is releasing a self-titled debut. I'd pretty much given up on this great band committing anything to tape, but from what I've heard so far, it's been worth the wait. If Joy Division-esque bass melodies and washes of guitar and keys coupled with Cure-style melancholy vocals get you off, the release show is at 7:30 p.m. Sat., May 24, at the Rex Theatre, with longtime pals Shade and Donora. And The Seeing Eyeballs, who have proved surprisingly prolific, have a wild-and-woolly CD coming out this month called Who Always Puts Acid In My Coffee? (Bewareness), as well as a four-song EP, likely out as a 7-inch in June. Details are sketchy, but you can listen in at www.myspace.com/theseeingeyeballs.
Relentless touring band Once Nothing touches down in its hometown to celebrate the release of First Came the Law, on hardcore heavyweight label Solid State, with an all-ages party at Diesel at 6 p.m. Sat., May 31. Also on the bill are The Last Home, Failure to Fall and My Favorite Highway. Also keep an eye out for New Money, the new mixtape from rapper S. Money, of local crew The Govament, just released on Rostrum Records, the label that launched Wiz Khalifa's career.
While this particular recording probably won't be out for a while yet, I got a sneak peek at the second album from sprawling instrumental post-rockers Mandrake Project. I guess I should say, "until-recently instrumental," as there have been some surprising developments: New Invisible Joy's John Schisler contributes soaring vocals on some tracks. Keep an eye out for Mandrake at the end of the summer, when the band plays the 3 Rivers Progressive Rock Festival, Aug. 23-24 at the Pepsi Roadhouse, alongside The Flower Kings, Spock's Beard, California Guitar Trio, Gongzilla and several others. More info is available at www.3rprogfest.com.