I’m not much for gimmicks, but when a CD is sent to me with the ‘jewel case’ cut from a 12-pack of beer, and the track listing is printed on a Camels lights -pack, I’ll admit it: Well played, good sirs!

Delivering a proggy shimmery take of spacey, indie/alt rock/punk, mixed with some post-rock, some hardcore and lots of silky smooth vocals, Portland’s Microtia is musically a nice break from my usual breakdown filled, growly nun fuckery. At times I was reminded of Cave In’s Jupiter/AntennaCirca Survive and Codeseven. I also think fans of Baroness’ mellower moments might dig this and I’ve also seen Crime In Stereo thrown around as a reference, though, I cannot personally say so either way.

As I hinted, huge part of Microtia’s sound are the vocals of Jessie Torrisi. His svelte, evocative croons are neither emo or wimpy, but a whiskey smooth tone that matches the shimmering music perfectly. And the music, while probably not the regular fare for readers here, works well when you just want some metal that’s laid back, yet artistic and eloquent. Spacemaker is 45-minutes of spacious and loose music: A perfect background music for when you have your metal- and non-metal friends come over. The likes of “The Early Fish gets the Worm”, “Add Insult to Injury” and “That’s the Problem with Owning half the State of California” will borrow into your subconscious and have you humming their cascading strums and sugary choruses. But at the same time the Mastodon-ish drumming of Tim Steiner manages to remind you that you are listening to a rock/metal album (“Pocket Full of Bee Stings”).

I’m interested if anyone other than West Coast hippies and beard wearers get into this lot, as they deserve a much broader audience—including some of you lot reading this now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 22nd, 2010


  1. Commented by: thisblacksession

    This record is wonderful. I’d like to thank you guys for reviewing it as I’m not sure that I’d have otherwise found it. Another band that I seem to hear a lot of in their music is Burst, with some of the more shimmering guitar passages. Great, great stuff.

  2. Commented by: Bogtron

    good review, I like what I’ve heard so far. I hear a bit of a Dredg influence here and there too.

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