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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘God Help the Girl’ Is A Melancholy Music Drama About Emotional Issues

Film: God Help the Girl
Starring: Emily Browning, Hannah Murray, Olly Alexander
Directed by: Stuart Murdoch

Using music to avoid and/or get over emotional problems in life has played an integral part in musical cinema in the past and present. Whether it was a loner with headphones on or a longhaired Slayer fan bouncing through the mosh pit, music has always been a vessel for character development. In God Help the Girl though, music is front and center, overtaking the slim plot with its sad but lively soundtrack destined to have your foot tapping.…

Mint murder ep

REVIEW: MINT – ‘Murder’ EP

Artist: MINT
Album: Murder EP
Genre: Progressive Rock

MINT, Des Moines, Iowa’s finest progressive rock band, have released a overtly catchy and experimental record with their new Murder EP.

Providing a snapshot into where the band is headed, the three-song release contains three aurally diverse, yet still unmistakably MINT tracks. It’s like dipping your hand into the cookie jar and knowing you’re going to get a cookie, but coming out with three different, yet equally delicious treats. That’s how the band’s new record plays out upon first listen.…

life of crime

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Life of Crime’ Is A Sporadically Fun Little Crime-Comedy Romp

Film: Life Of Crime
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Yasiin Bey, John Hawkes
Directed By: Daniel Schechter

Elmore Leonard, a genius writer who passed away earlier this year, once again has had one of his properties adapted. Life of Crime (based on Leonard’s novel The Switch) can now join the ranks of Jackie Brown, 3:10 to Yuma, and Out of Sight as one of the most functional of Leonard’s adapted material. Decently recreating the rich-to-lower class caste system in 1980s-era Detroit (with country clubs, social events, etc.), Life of Crime spins a sometimes funny tale about trust, love and …

the drop

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Drop’ Is A Lingering Human Drama

Film: The Drop
Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini
Directed By: Michaël R. Roskam

Dennis Lehane, the author behind Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island, and Mystic River trades violence in for humanistic subtlety with The Drop, based upon his short story Animal Rescue. Starring Tom Hardy (Warrior), Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) and James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), this new story about mobs and money in Brooklyn waxes about a man breaking his innocence in life more than anything. With an oft-times operatic and been-there-done-that representation of a crime-gone-awry in a seedy …

side saddle

UTG ALBUM PREMIERE: Side Saddle – ‘The Astorian’

With a now defunct This Old Ghost in his rear-view mirror, frontman Ian McGuinness is continuing on down the road with his new enterprise, Side Saddle. What originally began as a solo side project has become a full-blown band, and McGuinness and friends are all set to release their excellent debut full-length, entitled The Astorian.

Full of lush layers, varied instrumentation and McGuinness’ welcomingly engaging vocals (which have never sounded better), The Astorian is overflowing with beautiful songwriting and impressive production that elevates the band’s addictive folk-pop tunes to a new level.

We couldn’t possibly be more thrilled …

Spillway As Astronauts Or Atoms

REVIEW: Spillway – ‘As Astronauts or Atoms’

Artist: Spillway
Album: As Astronauts or Atoms
Genre: Experimental Rock

There’s a new noise coming from the depths of Connecticut — it’s distraught to the point of interest, yet collective to the point of cohesiveness. Spillway, one of the most intriguing unsigned acts to grace the East Coast, has released its debut EP, As Astronauts or Atoms, and the record does little to disappoint.

Full of diverse numbers that engage listeners and transcend boundaries of traditional alternative rock music, it’s clear upon first listen that Spillway is a band not afraid to push the limits in its songwriting. …

riot fest map

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: 10 Cover Songs We Hope To Hear at Riot Fest Chicago

Nothing gets a festival crowd going like a good cover tune, so it’s no surprise that many of my favorite memories from Riot Fest 2013 involved covers. The festival opened on Friday afternoon with Hatebreed paying tribute to fallen Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman with their cover of “Ghosts of War,” during which Jamey Jasta made the proclamation that you should “never marry a woman who doesn’t like Slayer,” and it’s hard to argue with the man. The festival ended on a high note as well, with Sunday performers AFI offering their take on The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” just before …

Riot Fest 2014

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: The 10 Must-See Acts At Riot Fest Chicago

Most decisions in life are hard. Where should I go to college? What should I eat for lunch? What career path should I take? How should I cut my hair? Do I like Dumbledore or Gandalf better? Deep dish or thin crust?

The most pressing question bothering us over the last week is which Riot Fest Chicago acts can we absolutely not miss. By absolutely, we mean getting there if it means passing up every other band on the bill — even if, by some miracle, the festival curators talk Led Zeppelin into finally not being a bunch of …

sleepwave

REVIEW: Sleepwave – ‘Broken Compass’

Artist: Sleepwave
Album: Broken Compass
Label: Epitaph Records
Genre: Alternative / Hard Rock

Everyone has their demons. The demise of something that made you who you are and picking up the pieces afterwards is never easy. No matter what it is. For Sleepwave‘s frontman and leader, Spencer Chamberlain, the break-up of his former band, Underoath, was that demon. It left him on his back, questioning everything. It came from his own mouth.

When you put on Broken Compass for the first time, and just hear the desperation and anxiety and all kinds of emotions in his voice, …

hail the sun interview

UTG TV: Hail The Sun Discuss Upcoming Album and Blue Swan Records

UTG TV sat down with progressive hardcore foursome Hail The Sun on the second stop of the highly-anticipated Blue Swan Records Tour at Thee Parkside in San Francisco. The tour features the band’s close friends and label-mates, Stolas, as well as support from Icarus The Owl, and numerous local acts including the most recent addition to Blue Swan Records, Adventurer.

Hail The Sun will headline the tour through the release of their upcoming full-length album, Wake, which comes out September 23. The band has already released singles “Human Target Practice,” and “Missed Injections

me and the trinity

UTG VIDEO PREMIERE: Me and the Trinity – “Judge”

Abrasive southern hardcore act Me and the Trinity are back with a new record, Crux, and video for the new single “Judge.” The song is a blazing boost of boastful metal worthy of acts the likes of The Chariot and Norma Jean. The song is heavy, raw, and complicated the way fans expect hardcore music to be. It’s the type of track that tries to break your neck with intensity. The band had this to say about the new release:

“The idea behind the song ‘Judge’ is there will come times in life where you question your identity…who …

riot fest map

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Riot Fest Chicago’s Best ‘Under The Radar’ Acts

Part of the beauty of going to a music festival is finding your next favorite band. You know, the next act that is going to truly change your life. This could happen to many who attend Riot Fest Chicago. Sure, the main stages are packed with fimilar and unforgettable names like Taking Back Sunday, The Cure, The Used, Rise Against, Slayer, Die Antwoord, and many, many more. But what about those bands playing earlier in the afternoon or on the smaller stages? Don’t those acts deserve some credit? They certainly do. And we’ve created the guide for you to …