Clip: Microwaves can push a crowd's buttons
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
With: Mary Celeste, Lord Grunge, Harangue.
Where: On Gallery, 5005 Penn Ave., Garfield.
When: 8 tonight.