Passing The Torch: The End Of An Era For UTG

I started Under The Gun Review with a $10 loan from my parents that I probably never paid back. At the time, my only goals were to get free music, gain access to concerts I couldn’t afford, meet my heroes, and create something to further bolster my resume. All those things were accomplished in a relatively small amount of time, but here I am nearly eight years later still posting to the same blog I launched during my sophomore year in college while people I grew up with welcome their second or third child, get married, and/or wake every day to pursue a fairly routine 40-hour work week. Of all the things I was involved with at that point in my life, UTG has been the only constant until now. My friends have changed (my best friend actually died), my location changed, my job status has changed, my girlfriend has changed (I’m now engaged to someone I didn’t even know at launch), but through it all UTG has been here. It has been my home in music when I didn’t feel like anyone wanted me around, and if I have my way it will continue to house aspiring industry professionals for a long time to come.

That said, this will be my last major post on Under The Gun Review for the foreseeable future. After seven and a half years of making this site a primary part of who I am, I, James Shotwell, have resigned as Editor-In-Chief of the site. I will remain on board as owner and will continue to advise the current staff as my schedule allows, but from this point forward there will be a new person in charge of day-to-day operations. His name is Brian Leak (Lion to most), and he is probably familiar to anyone who really loves this site. Brian has been the second in command at UTG for a couple years now, and he’s essentially been leading our staff for the better part of that time. When I realized my time with the site was coming to a close, I knew he was the only person I could trust to keep the spirit and soul of UTG in tact. I told him I could only move on if he were ready to step up, and thankfully for me he accepted my offer to become the new EIC of the site. Read more »

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys’ 20-Year Anniversary Tour to Launch in February; Tickets Climbing in Price

Celtic punk rock band Dropkick Murphys have a major tour planned for 2016, as the band will be heading out on the road early in the year for their 20th Year Anniversary St. Patrick’s Day trek. The tour will kick off in Cleveland on February 18 and will end after four consecutive nights in Boston around St. Patrick’s Day. Both Tiger Army and Darkbuster will serve as supporting acts, and although the tour has only been on sale for a week, resale tickets to see Dropkick Murphys are already climbing in price for the band’s epic run.

Across all 25 scheduled dates, tickets are averaging $84 on the secondary market, with a high demand in markets like Houston, Cleveland and Charlotte. Dropkick Murphys will play their priciest show on March 11 in Uncasville, Connecticut at Mohegan Sun, where a resale ticket is averaging $132, with the cheapest ticket available for $56. Not far behind that date is the band’s February 18 stop at the House of Blues in Cleveland, where secondary tickets are averaging $107, with the cheapest ticket available for a pricey $92, according to data provided by TiqIQ. Although the band’s stops in Boston have yet to secure a venue, fans can expect to see tickets for those nights skyrocket as the dates grow closer. Read more »


REVIEW: I Love Makonnen – ‘I Love Makonnen 2′

Artist: I Love Makonnen
Album: I Love Makonnen 2
Label: OVO Sound
Genre: Hip-Hop, R&B

I Love Makonnen entered the national conversation with his Drake-assisted “Tuesday” in the summer of 2014, but his self-titled OVO Sound EP hinted toward a much broader vision beyond the overt quirkiness of the left-field club anthem. After a year spent exploring his boundaries with lower-key singles like “Look At Wrist” and SoundCloud exclusive gold like “Leave It There,” the Atlanta artist has concentrated his vision into a potent mixture of 808-laden trap and high-octave R&B with I Love Makonnen 2.

Case and point: on “Flipping All Night,” Makonnen boasts, “I be super greening like all my shit so bright,” with an unabashed level of cockiness in his voice that complements the menacing Richie Souf beat. Read more »

TheUsed banner

The Used to Launch Major Anniversary Tour in April 2016; Resale Tickets Already Expensive

The Used have something special planned for longtime fans, as last week the band announced they will be embarking on an anniversary tour playing their self-titled LP in its entirety on each first night and In Love And Death in its entirety on each second night in every city they hit. The tour will launch on April 5 with back-to-back nights in Seattle at The Showbox and will run until May 27 and 28 in Los Angeles at Club Nokia. With each online ticket purchase, fans will get a digital copy of the band’s Live and Acoustic at the Palace.

Tickets to see The Used went on sale on Friday, November 20 and tickets are already climbing in price on the secondary market. As it stands, tickets across the spring tour are averaging $90. The most expensive stop The Used is set to play is their May 10 stop at Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, Michigan, where secondary tickets are averaging $117, with the cheapest ticket available for $82. To compare, The Used will play their least expensive show on May 6 in Boston at the House of Blues, where tickets are averaging $72, with the cheapest ticket available for $56. With the least expensive show in Boston, it may be worth it for fans in surrounding areas to travel for the House of Blues show. Hipmunk.com has Boston hotels in the heart of the city to complete the road trip. Read more »

before the Streetlights

UTG PREMIERE: Before The Streetlights – “Private Browser”

Recent Antique Records signees Before The Streetlights recently asked us to lend them a hand in premiering a track from the upcoming label debut. We didn’t know at the time that the band planned to drop the track in question on Thanksgiving, but once we became aware of their goals we leapt at the chance to help.

2015 has been a crazy year for UTG. We finally broke ties with Spin Media after years of being stuck in development hell, but as soon as we had the site back we encountered a variety of technical issues that prevented us from running day-to-day operations the way we desired. Through it all, it was music that kept us going, and we’d be lying if we said Before The Streetlights were not among the groups we kept coming back to again and again for inspiration.

Before The Streetlights play a unique take on pop-punk that draws from a variety of modern and classic genre influences. The immediate comparisons most draw are to groups like All Time Low or 5 Seconds Of Summer, but even if you’re not a fan of those bands we urge you to take time to discover the music of BTS.Their sound is what genre fans of all ages will be seeking in 2016, and we are proud to play a role in sharing their latest material with the world. You can stream the world premiere of “Private Browser” below. Read more »

Harriet 2015

Harriet Share New Single, “Bent”

LA-based four-piece Harriet have graced fans with “Bent,” a glistening new track that will almost certainly conjure quick comparisons to The Tallest Man On Earth, The Shins, and other like-minded acts. Stream it below, and let us know what you think in the comments section.

The group’s newest single is taken from their upcoming LP, American Appetite, which is set to arrive this coming January through Harvest Records. Pre-orders are available now.

Minus a one-off affair at The Fonda Theatre next month, Harriet’s upcoming tour schedule is pretty sparse, but we’re confident that that will all change once the masses catch wind of their undeniable indie edge. Follow UTG on Twitter for future updates. Read more »

Western Daughter

UTG PREMIERE: Western Daughter – “Downtown Again”

We highlight a lot of unique artists on this site, but I can safely say that we’ve never come across an act quite like Western Daughter. Born amidst the foothills of Boise, Idaho, these intuitive up-and-comers readily blur the boundaries between a wealth of different genres, resulting in an exceptional sound that will surely appeal to even the broadest musical palettes.

Today, we’re stoked to bring you the world premiere of the outfit’s brand new single, “Downtown Again,” a vibrant, toe-tapping number that walks the line between indie, post-rock, and everything in between. The track is taken from the band’s impending EP, As The Sun Went Down, which makes landfall on December 8. Listen in below, and share your thoughts with us in the replies.

“Like many of the songs on this release, ‘Downtown Again’ deals with psychological struggles, specifically indifference and loneliness,” the band said via email. Read more »

foo fighters

Foo Fighters Release Surprise EP, ‘Saint Cecilia,’ For Free

On this week’s installment of “Foo Fighters Once Again Continue To Champion For Rock & Roll,” the iconic Seattle five-piece have just announced the release of a new free EP, which paid tribute to those affected by the attacks in Paris.

As soon as the mysterious countdown on the band’s official website hit zero this past Sunday night, five new tracks under the compilation entitled Saint Cecilia became available to the public for free. These tracks were reportedly recorded at the Saint Cecilia Hotel in Austin during the Austin City Limits festival this past October.

Along with the new EP, frontman Dave Grohl also delivered a heartfelt message to all those affected by the recent terror attacks in Paris. In the letter, Grohl also discusses his leg injury from playing a show in Sweden, hints at the band potentially taking a much-needed break, and thanked all of their support, among many other things. Read more »

Controller feature

UTG TRACK-BY-TRACK: Controller – ‘No Future’ EP

We first became acquainted with Controller back in September, and were instantly taken aback by their undeniable ear for all that is catchy and upbeat. The NYC quartet’s monster melodies are fun, fluid, and infectious, and at any given moment, possess the uncanny ability to completely turn around even the crappiest of days.

This powerful panache for pop is wonderfully showcased on the outfit’s latest EP, No Future, so much so that we felt obligated to highlight it in detail. Hear what frontman Jon Bellinger had to say about the group’s latest batch of tracks below, and if you’re a fan, grab a copy of your own here. Read more »

Thrice 2012

Thrice Will Release A New Album In 2016

Hang on to your hats, folks; this is not a drill.

From the band’s social media pages, Thrice has revealed a teaser image that states the band will have a new LP out in 2016. While there is no more information from that, I think it’s safe to say we are all very, very excited.

While the band has reformed for some festivals and shows, this is the first time we have been informed of new tunes from the band. Singer/guitarist Dustin Kensrue released a fantastic solo album this year titled Carry The Fire, though otherwise most of the band’s members have been quiet on the sonic front.

Check out the teaser image below, and let’s hope new music comes sooner rather than later. Here’s to 2016! Read more »

Monterrey feature

UTG PREMIERE: Monterrey – ‘I’m To Blame’ EP

Indiana emotional hardcore-punk band Monterrey have an undeniable appeal and potential, evident on their brand new EP, I’m To Blame, streaming exclusively at UTG today. Melding elements of mid-aughts emo/hardcore acts like Boys Night Out and Moneen with newer post-hardcore, scream-heavy affluentials like Aviator and Octaves, Monterrey’s material is raw and visceral and real. It’s effective, and it’s only the outset of something that shows tremendous promise within the scene.

On getting this EP in the hands of listeners, Monterrey tells us, “The beginning of this band was rough but after an interesting start and some hard work, we can honestly say that we are stoked to put some music out and can’t wait to see where we go from here.”

Produced by the band’s own bassist, Austen Backe, you can listen through the four-track effort below and purchase it digitally or on CD through Monterrey’s Bandcamp. Read more »

Koncept and J57

UTG PREMIERE: Koncept & J57 – ‘The Fuel’

Today, UTG is elated to bring you the world premiere of The Fuel, the latest dual-effort from Koncept and J57, who over the past seven years have lit the East Coast ablaze with their boundless energy and remarkable rhymes. Armed with eight brand new tracks and an undying devotion to their craft, the NYC duo have rapidly been gaining momentum, and we’re confident that after just a taste of their latest offering, you’ll very quickly realize why. Give it a spin after the break, and let us know if you’re a fan in the replies.

“There are very few artists/producers who are bringing to the table what we’re bringing, soundscape-wise,” J57 told UTG via email. “It’s creative, unique, and has a lot of heart. I think we’ve created the perfect formula. I think it might take a little bit of time for it to really reach people, listeners, and future fans, but when it does, it’s game over.”

Snag your own copy of The Fuel here, and keep an eye out for Koncept and J57′s debut album, Flight, when it hits shelves next year. Read more »

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