Chuck Johnson is a Bay Area-based guitarist who has built up an impressive body of solo work over the last decade, moving from one quality label to the next: Three Lobed, Scissor Tail, Trouble In Mind. Refining and re-defining his approach to the guitar with each subsequent release culminated in last year’s Basalms. Showcasing Johnson’s mastery of the pedal steel, the record is a sustained work of soothing deep listening.
The young LA/Boston fourpiece Model/Actriz have previously aligned themselves with No Wave. While their noisy instrumentals do at times resemble that bygone punk era, the industrial-tinged sounds featured across their recent No EP flirt far more with actual dance music. 4/4 high-hats and martial-paced floor tom rolls provide the foundation as frontman Cole Haden’s guttural vocal runs take lead, shifting between gruff sing-speak and blood-curdling screams on a dime. Plus, if you can find some space in the pit, they make their disaffection pretty easy to dance to.