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Clip: Microwaves can push a crowd's buttons

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  • Carl Z.
    Microwaves can push a crowd s buttons Thursday, October 19, 2006 By Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Back
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 19, 2006
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      Microwaves can push a crowd's buttons

      Thursday, October 19, 2006
      By Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

      Back in the day, there were times when Pittsburgh punk pioneers
      Carsickness would play a place like the Decade and, in the midst of
      breaking the song down into noise, could practically clear the room
      down to about 10 people.

      "Maybe we're just continuing what they started," says John Roman of
      Microwaves. "We're here to get rid of those last 10 people."

      To say Microwaves is abrasive is understating the point. Think cat in
      the microwave with an ooze of sludge and you get an idea.

      As the band's bio states, "If the Pittsburgh independent music scene
      were a nursery, Microwaves would be the incorrigible 7-year-old who
      should have graduated five years ago, scrawling '[expletive] off' on
      the wall sloppily, in permanent ink."

      Crucial Blast records, which is releasing the band's third full-length
      record, "Contagion Heuristic," puts them in the genre of Avant Thrash,
      comparing them to the likes of Voivod, The Melvins and The
      Contortions. But Microwaves aren't really looking for any labels to
      put on it.

      "Terms like metal and No Wave," Roman says, "are just a way of filing
      us away in cabinets and therefore taking away our freedom."

      The band formed in 2000 after Roman departed as drummer of vaunted
      Pittsburgh punk band The 1985. "The 1985 wanted to take more of the
      pop route," he says, "and I wanted to experiment a little more."

      With guitarist/vocalist David Kuzy and bassist Steve Moore (now of
      Zombi, and replaced by Adam MacGregor of Creation is Crucifixion and
      Conelrad), they set to work on a reckless assault of grinding,
      metallic atonal rock with shrieking vocals.

      "There are a lot of made-up chords," Roman says. "There's not a lot of
      actual learned music in the typical sense. But it's still pretty much
      a rock band."

      Albeit one that blows up most of the conventions of rock.

      "We don't want it to seem like it's so much a diss on rock music,
      because there's a lot of it that we like and/or respect. We also don't
      want it to be like we're doing something that is so completely over
      people's heads that we're better than them."

      Roman says Microwaves, about to launch a national tour all the way to
      the West Coast, is practically the lone representative of its scene

      "A couple years ago there was sort of a scene for what we're doing,
      like No Wave and heavy rock. And lately there really hasn't been.
      Mainly, any band we play with pretty much has nothing to do with what
      we do."


      With: Mary Celeste, Lord Grunge, Harangue.

      Where: On Gallery, 5005 Penn Ave., Garfield.

      When: 8 tonight.

      Admission: $6.
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