You don’t hear much about the music coming out of Pittsburgh these days. You’ll hear about their sports teams, the fact that the city is still the heartbeat of America’s steel industry and those famous sandwiches from Primanti Bros. If you do your research you’ll actually find a good amount of talented acts that call Pittsburgh home. One of those bands from the outskirts of town in Johnstown is Endless Mike and The Beagle Club, and they have a stellar new album out titled Saint Paul — a jubilant and orchestral record based on folk rhythms.
Mike Miller and his band have a sound that melds the styles of Arcade Fire and The Violent Femmes. It’s classic folk punk with upbeat structures and countless dimensions weaving in and out. With all of this going on, Miller strums his acoustic guitar and sings his heart out with intensity. The album goes by the timeless philosophy that we’re all in this together and things will get better. It’s somewhat optimistic while the lyrics Miller croons reflect life and struggle, but also hope for a light at the end of the tunnel.
There’s something to be admired about bare bones acoustic-based music. If it’s pulled off correctly, the band will unleash as much energy as a rabble-rousing punk band. Endless Mike and The Beagle Club do that in excellent fashion, so let’s get a closer look and dive into the top tracks off of my Album Of The Week.
You know a track is good when it starts with organic clapping and chanting. “The Road To Unmasking” is an excellent example of that with contagious energy feeding off of Miller’s guitar. An electric tune that absolutely kicks is “Try to See Your Life as a Hole;” that drumbeat is seismic and it sets the tone perfectly. The best way to enter into the optimism and reflection on struggles is the ballad “Monitor.” Miller plays a hauntingly sonic piano along with a cello being played to add a fantastic element.
Endless Mike and The Beagle Club will be performing at the Commonwealth Beer Barge in Pittsburgh on April 23 for a night that could be pure madness. There’s a bunch of independent breweries involved along with live music and art exhibits. While you’re there, get a copy of Saint Paul. It’ll give your ears a jolt of unrivaled jubilance.