Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

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UTG LIST: 10 Must-See Undercard Acts at Outside Lands 2014

Northern California’s premier, eco-friendly music and arts festival is nigh! The unsurprisingly sold out Outside Lands is set to take place August 8-10 in the historic Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA, and Under the Gun Review will be on-site to cover all of its glorious offerings.

We’ll cover Outside Lands’ various food, drink, comedy and art attractions in a followup feature soon, but in this installment of pre-fest coverage, we’re focusing on the tunes. With massive headliners the likes of Kanye West, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and The Killers (not to mention the slightly lower-billed acts including …

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘I Origins’

Film: I Origins
Directed by: Mike Cahill
Starring: Michael Pitt, Steven Yeun, Brit Marling

What if you experienced something in your life that would result in shattering your preconceptions about it? That’s what Mike Cahill, director of 2011’s mystifying Another Earth, is asking with his new film I Origins. Luckily, that overlying theme is just a backdrop to an intimate story about obsession as a scientist is challenged to believe that there might be a higher power than scientific logic. I Origins paints an achingly beautiful portrait about love, loss, redemption, and the struggle to believe in the …

the otter years

REVIEW: The Otter Years – ‘Singles Collection’

Artist: The Otter Years
Album: Singles Collection
Genre: IDM
Label: Little League Records

When listening to The Otter Years‘ work for the first time, one would not be foolish to suspect the musician behind it has focused their career efforts on experimenting with all facets of electronic music. Alas, they would be wrong, as The Otter Years is none other than the brainchild of TTNG’s percussionist Chris Collis, a man known for existing as the backbone of mind-bending math rock rather than utterly relaxing dance music. Allowing listeners to fully wrap their mind around the concept of Collis’ 180 …

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Sex Tape’

Film: Sex Tape
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel
Directed by: Jake Kasdan

From beginning to end, Sex Tape feels like a film that arrived in theaters a decade too late. There is not a single frame that is in any way sexy or sensual, and very few offer any substantial laughs. There is a sex scene or two, sure, but they’re handled so poorly (like much of the film) that all humor and romance is completely sucked out of the scene, leaving a slew of well known Hollywood talent looking like people who foolishly signed on to create an absolute …

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REVIEW: RX Bandits – ‘Gemini, Her Majesty’

Artist: RX Bandits
Album: Gemini, Her Majesty
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: Mash Down Babylon Records

When it comes to bands similar to (and comprised of members from) The Sound Of Animals Fighting, I find myself amidst the conclusion that progressive-sounding genres are either automatically bewildering or strangely fascinating. The latter can fortunately be said about Gemini, Her Majesty, RX Bandits‘ eighth full-length album, out now via the band’s own MDB Records. Five long years after the release of their last record, Mandala, these California natives are finally back with new material that they’re currently supporting on tour …

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STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Steve Byrne

Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Steve Byrne’s comedy career. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Comedian Steve Byrne‘s latest special, Champion, is the focus of this week’s Stand-Up Tuesdays, and I can’t think of a more fitting title. They may say that nice guys finish last, but Byrne is clearly on top of his …

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UTG PREMIERE: The Most Dangerous Animal – “Snack”

Earlier this year — in May, to be specific — we had the chance to premiere a live music video for The Most Dangerous Animal, a promising punk outfit hailing from Flint, Michigan. A few months later with the band still going strong on our radar, we’re excited to bring the Save Your Generations Records outfit to your attention once more in the form a brand new track.

Entitled “Snack,” the cut is yet another shining example of the group’s ability to make one powerful piece of music as all the raw energy one could ask for courses through …

joyce manor

REVIEW: Joyce Manor – ‘Never Hungover Again’

Artist: Joyce Manor
Album: Never Hungover Again
Genre: Pop punk, alternative
Label: Epitaph Records

A lot can change in 20 minutes. Clients could fire you. You could find true love. You could lose it. People can die. 20 minutes of reading can teach you something you’ll always remember. Your first kiss, touch, and love can fully bloom within 20 minutes. Liam Lynch famously wrote “United States of Whatever” in less than 20 minutes. You can finish any Joyce Manor album in under 20 minutes.

And that’s how I want to spend my 20 minutes.…

real friends

REVIEW: Real Friends – ‘Maybe This Place Is The Same And We’re Just Changing’

Artist: Real Friends
Album: Maybe This Place Is The Same And We’re Just Changing
Genre: Pop-Punk
Label: Fearless Records

“Easy on the eyes, heavy on the heart.”

Real Friends‘ lead singer, Dan Lambton, perfectly describes their new record with their own lyrics. Maybe This Place Is The Same And We’re Just Changing channels so much of their previous material, so much so that I wouldn’t have been surprised if they threw in a line or two about sleepy eyes and boney knees. This did not happen, thankfully, although I must admit it almost felt fragmentary.

Going into this record …

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘And So It Goes’

Film: And So It Goes
Starring: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton
Directed by: Rob Reiner

Rob Reiner has made an art out of telling simple stories with relatable characters. In a time where every film tries to be bigger and more extravagant than the one that came before, Reiner’s work exists to remind cinemagoers that the only thing a movie needs to be a hit is a good story with a few solid laughs. Big name stars help, too, of course, but they’re not a prerequisite for success.

And So It Goes is the latest work from Reiner, and like many …

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Purge: Anarchy’

Film: The Purge: Anarchy
Starring: Frank Grillo
Directed by: James DeMonaco

A year after The Purge proved audiences were still interested in home invasion horror, The Purge: Anarchy has arrived with a mishandled attempt at franchise expansion that will likely be forgotten before the end of the year.

I was incredibly excited for The Purge: Anarchy after the initial trailer debuted online at the end of 2013 because it looked like the film I had hoped the original Purge would be. It always seemed strange to me that a film with a premise about all crime being legal for twenty-four …

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VINYL REVIEW: The Story So Far – ‘Songs Of’

Artist: The Story So Far
Album: Songs Of
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Label: Pure Noise Records

After much delay, the 10-inch vinyl release of The Story So Far’s five-track acoustic EP, Songs Of, has finally arrived.

Following the success of the band’s lovely “Clairvoyant,” an acoustic cut that was released on an excellent 7″ split with Stick To Your Guns, the California-based pop-punk front runners decided to release an all-acoustic EP featuring new, stripped down versions of tracks from their highly popular 2013 release What You Don’t See, along with a new song and a …