Steel Hollow's new 'Lightning'
• It's hard to describe the band Steel Hollow without using the word "gritty."
There's grit in the vocals of Michael Poremski and in the grungy Southern rock sound he creates with bassist brother John and drummer Joe Thomas.
The trio, which formed in 2006, released its "Quiet Desperation" EP three years later and now returns with the full-length "Lightning for a Loner," led by the single "Kiss My Yeah."
Part of the record's Southern flavor comes from John living in Nashville from 2010-12 and the band going there to record tracks for "Lightning for a Loner."
Appearing on three tracks is steel guitar ringer Cowboy Eddie Long, who played with Hank Williams Jr. for 15 years and is now with Jamey Johnson.
"This added a country sound to our music that we have never experimented with before," John says.
Adding his touch to the Pittsburgh session at Soundscape Studios is Bob Banerjee.
The release show is at 9 p.m. Saturday at Altar Bar in the Strip. Admission is $15; www.thealtarbar.com.
• Old Head has something new on the brain. The psych-rock band -- featuring Phil Boyd and Jason Kirker (Modey Lemon) with Mike Layton and Bill Wehmann (Frizz) -- is featured on the Mind Cure Records Single of the Month with "Brain Bruise" and a cover of the Kinks song "Brainwash."
The release show is at Gooski's, Polish Hill, at 10 p.m. Saturday with Dirty Faces and Nic Lawless. Search Mind Cure on Facebook.
Cynics and Sonics
• The Cynics will play a rare hometown gig at Cativo in Lawrenceville on March 1, but if you're a true garage-rock connoisseur you might want to travel.
The Cynics are teaming with '60s garage kings The Sonics ("Have Love Will Travel") at Double Door in Chicago on Feb. 27 and the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland on Feb. 28.
Details: at www.facebook.com/thecynics.