MICROWAVES’ newest LP, Discomfiture Atlas, is being released by Three One G Records on October 14th. This album features guest appearances by Eric Paul (Arab on Radar, Doomsday Student, Psychic Graveyard), Sarah Quintero (Spotlights), Rebecca Burchette (Exosus), and Todd Rittman (Dead Rider), and today we’re pleased to give you their new track “Regular Magic”, a wild blend of noise rock, post hardcore, experimental rock and math punk that gives you a good example of what to expect from the whole thing.
Discomfiture Atlas will be available through Three One G Records on limited edition of 300 color vinyl, 200 black vinyl, and 50 cassettes, as well as digitally.
Of innumerable bands that traffic in dissonance, the musick of Pittsburgh, PA’s Microwaves shears clean and hot as an oxy-lance through the defenses of even the most cynical noise rock aficionado.
In this iteration of the band, which has been in existence now for 20 years, core members John Roman (drums, vocals) and David Kuzy (guitar, vocals) round themselves out with 2006 alum bassist/vocalist Adam MacGregor on one side (“Pyroclast”), and founding bassist/vocalist Steve Moore (Film composer and member of Zombi, Lovelock, Miracle, and more) on the other (“Plasma”).
Over the years, Microwaves continues to pick up the loose ends left by Voivod, MX-80, Snakefinger, and some of their own Pittsburgh-area “math-rock” contemporaries, twisting them into a Gordian knot that at once rages and confounds.
Who among us doesn’t long for a “do-over” of our wreck of recent history? Maybe it’s that attitude that accounts for the ascendancy of multiverses, parallel dimensions, the “Berenstain/Berenstein” debate, etc., in public imagination. Whatever the reason, contemplating other planes of existence is no longer exclusive to the hard sci-fi wonk set. Apropos of all the above, Microwaves manifests their own twin realities over the two sides of Discomfiture Atlas, its second album on San Diego’s vaunted Three One G records. Though distinct, both sides of the album, “Pyrocast” and “Plasma,” salt the band’s terse alloy of thrash metal, no-wave, brutal prog, noise-rock, and math rock with a hint of pop brevity, if not the melody to match.
Even at a curmudgeonly 20 years of age, (both versions of) Microwaves lean into the new material with the desperate enthusiasm of a 50-something peeling out in a midlife-crisis Corvette.
Roman delivers his usual cyborg clatter, careening through odd meters and deconstructing rock drumming according to plans laid out by Beefheart and Devo.
MacGregor complements with tortuous lines that invoke eastern melodic ideas at times, though they seethe with distortion and gurgle queasily through analog filtering. His vocal palette has widened to include an unhinged/unschooled falsetto and a Teutonic metal shriek, used to great effect on “Hammerspace” alongside Kuzy’s wavering, town-crier bark.
Kuzy executes his trademark spindly atonalities with a draftsman’s precision, alternately ratcheting through all of the first-wave thrash-metal riffs he probably ever wanted to hear.
Moore’s performances on side “Plasma” present a tighter and more reeled-in quality, focused on timbre and monolithic repetition over the flash of the past. In an all-time first for Microwaves, the standout “Your Dumb Guts” finds Moore serving up a vocal melody with stunning earworm potential.
A far wiser band once sang of “40 Versions”; Microwaves hopes that Discomfiture Atlas satisfies listeners with two. The “Pyroclast side” version of the band will tour in Fall 2022, with hopes for future performances by the “Plasma” lineup.
“For the past eighteen years, Microwaves have been doing their part to make Pittsburgh’s music scene exponentially louder, and their brand of tangled noise rock only seems to be getting better.” -Post Trash
“Microwaves’ latest single, “Antibody,” is math-punk genius through and through, employing guitar and saxophone alongside vein-bulging screamed vocals to create a wild ride that demands repeat listening in order to grasp what’s actually going on.” -Revolver
“For about 18 years, Pittsburgh, PA’s Microwaves have been melting faces with an aggressively mathy, aggressively tricky, just plain aggressive noise rock attack that variously or simultaneously recalls Voivod, technical death metal, prog, and Waves No- and New-, played with an emphasis on chaos and catharsis, as easily evoking the Load Records catalog as King Crimson.” -Dangerous Minds
“We tend to think of microwaves as a clean radiation force, but maybe it really is disguised chaos. That’s the way the Pittsburgh band Microwaves plays it — without the disguise. The band, which formed in 2000, has no use for the niceties of pop or rock, attacking with a furious blast of angular, chopping guitars, aggressive free-form drumming, lurching time signatures and shouted vocals. Whether you file it under noise, thrash, avant-rock or no wave — they don’t like labels much — it’s a turbulent yet exhilarating ride should you dare to buckle in.” -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
MICROWAVES’ 2018 album, Via Weightlessness, tones down their previous effects-heavy approach, charging lean and unabated toward their dystopian vision.
Kuzy’s guitar chimes through the mix with spindly atonal runs more akin to data streams spat from an outdated mainframe, alternately careening into chugging, crossover-thrash riffs. The Roman/Arlett rhythm section is much more than the sum of its parts: Beefheartian clamor served up with cyborg precision underpins overdriven bass, rumbling forth frenziedly as a DMT-dosed rhino.
Kuzy, the paranoid town crier, and Arlett, the unhinged shrieker, deliver a twin-vocal assault covering most topics previously found in your local video rental shop’s cult/sci-fi section.