Fresh off the heels of its second West Coast tour, local electro-punk duo The Lopez (made up of Steph and Jesse Flati) releases its first full-length album, Travel Fast, on cassette (and download) next week via Machine Age Records. The 12 songs clock in at about 37 minutes; the band has expanded its format choice to give its sound the breadth to show the strengths and flexibilities the musicians have gained through gigging relentlessly around town and on the road.
Once, a valid description of the band was: "Kind of like Kathleen Hanna fronting The Vaselines." While this made enough sense at the time, after Travel Fast, there are no proper analogies. The Lopez now sounds distinctly like itself, letting the dissonance and harmony exist side by side, with beautiful melodies sitting between driving beats and sheaths of abstract feedback.
Couple this with a firm DIY ethos that includes funding and booking its own tours, recordings and releases, and add a killer live show. What does it all add up to? Who cares? The Lopez should be the biggest punk-rock band on the planet, but probably never will. While the mainstream sucks on its Perfect Pussy, Pittsburgh's underground has The Lopez and is better off for it.
The band's release show Sat., Sept. 20, at Thunderbird Café, is also a CD-release show for longtime local favorite Lord Grunge, and a cassette/zine release for South Seas Sneak.