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Contagion Heuristic

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Album Review

Contagion Heuristic is the third full-length by Pittsburgh, PA's Microwaves — a trio of instrumental virtuosos whose stated career goal has been to create blues-free music built on non-traditional song structures, which they attack with the fury and abandon of an extreme metal band. Spearheading the cacophony is guitar abuser Dr. David Kuzy, which may explain why most of the album's predominantly brief, utterly unpredictable, and severely warped musical math exercises (bringing to mind avant-garde improv outfit Massacre and industrial music pioneers Chrome, among others) appear to be testing listeners like lab rats — both in terms of endurance and intelligence. These short bursts eventually give way to the more sustained and gratefully less abusive (they just have more space) pairing of "Codex Vortex" and "Ruins the Night," which suspend the sensory overload long enough to layer cascading guitar chords and volume knob twists atop semi-regular percussive punctuations and electronic burps. They also represent the only mildly "pleasant" pieces of music to be found on Contagion Heuristic, but then, these are sounds created specifically for people who get pleasure from escaping the ordinary and breaking with the music traditions and clichés affecting 99 percent of the planet's musical output. To that end, Microwaves are wildly successful in achieving their goals.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An experimental noise rock enterprise hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Microwaves have been active since the year 2000, and are comprised of David Kuzy (guitar/electronics/vocals) and John Roman (drums/ electronics/vocals). Bassists have come and gone over the years, but the group's commitment to performing non-structured blues-free music has stood firm over the course of several releases, including 2001's Professional...
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Contagion Heuristic, Microwaves
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