Under the Gun Review http://www.underthegunreview.net Entertainment news for today's generation Sat, 20 Dec 2014 05:05:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Paradise Fears Announce 2015 Spring Tour http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/20/paradise-fears-announce-2015-spring-tour/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/20/paradise-fears-announce-2015-spring-tour/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 05:05:45 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141203 Alternative pop outfit Paradise Fears have announced that they are kicking off 2015 with a US spring tour.

The tour will run from February to April hitting places like Dallas, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York City.

Accompanying Paradise Fears on this tour will be acts Andy Grammar and Alex & Sierra. Check out the band’s Facebook page for updated information on the tour and ticket sales.

You can view the list of tour dates below.

Feb 24 Showbox at the Market Seattle, WA
Feb 25 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
Feb 26 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
Feb 28 …

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Alternative pop outfit Paradise Fears have announced that they are kicking off 2015 with a US spring tour.

The tour will run from February to April hitting places like Dallas, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York City.

Accompanying Paradise Fears on this tour will be acts Andy Grammar and Alex & Sierra. Check out the band’s Facebook page for updated information on the tour and ticket sales.

You can view the list of tour dates below.

Feb 24 Showbox at the Market Seattle, WA
Feb 25 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
Feb 26 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
Feb 28 House of Blues Anaheim, CA
Mar 01 Marquee Theatre Tempe, AZ
Mar 03 House of Blues Houston, TX
Mar 04 House of Blues Dallas, TX
Mar 08 Beacham Theatre Orlando, FL
Mar 10 Music Farm Charleston, SC
Mar 11 Lincoln Theatre Raleigh, NC
Mar 12 Masquerade Atlanta, GA
Mar 13 The Fillmore Charlotte, NC
Mar 14 The Fillmore Washington, DC
Mar 15 Altar Pittsburgh, PA
Mar 18 Port City Music Hall Portland, ME
Mar 19 House of Blues Boston, MA
Mar 20 Webster Hall New York, NY
Mar 21 Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia, PA
Mar 22 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield, CT
Mar 25 20th Century Theatre Cincinnati, OH
Mar 26 Crofoot Pontiac, MI
Mar 27 House of Blues Chicago, IL
Mar 28 Old Rock House St Louis, MO
Mar 29 Varsity Theatre Minneapolis, MN
Mar 31 GOTHIC THEATRE Englewood, CO
Apr 01 The Complex Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 03 House of Blues Los Angeles, CA

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Stream Tyler Carter’s New Single, “Tears On The Runway, Pt. 1″ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/stream-tyler-carters-new-single-tears-on-the-runway-pt-1/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/stream-tyler-carters-new-single-tears-on-the-runway-pt-1/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 01:31:56 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141199 Only a couple of days have passed since Tyler Carter revealed the lead single off his solo album, Leave Your Love, and he’s already streaming the next song. His newest track is “Tears On The Runway, Pt. 1,” featuring Nylo. You can stream it below.

I do enjoy this song, but I have to say that I like “Georgia” quite a bit more. This is still a stellar song nonetheless, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of the EP. Leave Your Love is going to be released Jan. 13 via Rise Records. The EP is available to …

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Only a couple of days have passed since Tyler Carter revealed the lead single off his solo album, Leave Your Love, and he’s already streaming the next song. His newest track is “Tears On The Runway, Pt. 1,” featuring Nylo. You can stream it below.

I do enjoy this song, but I have to say that I like “Georgia” quite a bit more. This is still a stellar song nonetheless, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of the EP. Leave Your Love is going to be released Jan. 13 via Rise Records. The EP is available to pre-order on iTunes and MerchNow.

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Watch Jonah Hill Interview James Franco In The Trailer For ‘True Story’ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/watch-jonah-hill-interview-james-franco-in-the-trailer-for-true-story/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/watch-jonah-hill-interview-james-franco-in-the-trailer-for-true-story/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 00:41:48 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141196 Bummed out about James Franco and Seth Rogen’s The Interview being shelved by Sony? So are we. Lucky for Franco fans though, they will get to see him in the upcoming film based off the memoir of New York Times journalist, Michael Hinkel.

In 2001 an Oregonian man named Christian Longo was wanted by the police when the bodies of his three children and wife were found. Turns out their suspicions were spot on, and he was subsequently found guilty of their murders. While he was on the run though, he stole the identity of Michael Finkel, a New

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Bummed out about James Franco and Seth Rogen’s The Interview being shelved by Sony? So are we. Lucky for Franco fans though, they will get to see him in the upcoming film based off the memoir of New York Times journalist, Michael Hinkel.

In 2001 an Oregonian man named Christian Longo was wanted by the police when the bodies of his three children and wife were found. Turns out their suspicions were spot on, and he was subsequently found guilty of their murders. While he was on the run though, he stole the identity of Michael Finkel, a New York Times journalist. Finkel met Longo in person, and eventually wrote a memoir on his experience.

In the upcoming film based off that memoir, titled True Story, Michael Finkel is played by Jonah Hill, and Michael Longo is played by James Franco. The movie follows Finkel as he tries to find out more about Longo’s story. You can watch a new trailer for the movie below. It’s scheduled to hit theaters April 10, 2015.

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Sledding With Tigers Premiere “Quit YR Job,” Announce Vinyl Release http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/sledding-with-tigers-premiere-quit-yr-job-announce-vinyl-release/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/sledding-with-tigers-premiere-quit-yr-job-announce-vinyl-release/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:53:36 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141189 Southern California-based acoustic, heart-on-his-sleeve punk Sledding With Tigers is bringing his record, Not The Beatles Yet, to vinyl via Antique Records. The record, which is limited to a press of 300 copies, consists of 14 occult tracks from the scene’s favorite acoustic act.

Along with the announcement of the new pressing, Sledding With Tigers have officially released a song, “Quit YR Job,” off of Not The Beatles Yet, via PropertyofZack.

Check out the pre-order for Not The Beatles Yet here and stream the new track, “Quit Yr Job,” after the jump. Be sure to leave your …

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Southern California-based acoustic, heart-on-his-sleeve punk Sledding With Tigers is bringing his record, Not The Beatles Yet, to vinyl via Antique Records. The record, which is limited to a press of 300 copies, consists of 14 occult tracks from the scene’s favorite acoustic act.

Along with the announcement of the new pressing, Sledding With Tigers have officially released a song, “Quit YR Job,” off of Not The Beatles Yet, via PropertyofZack.

Check out the pre-order for Not The Beatles Yet here and stream the new track, “Quit Yr Job,” after the jump. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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I The Mighty Are Entering The Studio http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/i-the-mighty-are-entering-the-studio/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/i-the-mighty-are-entering-the-studio/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:35:25 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141174 San Francisco post-hardcore band I The Mighty have recently announced their return to the studio to record their second full-length album early in the new year.

The band released a statement over Facebook that they will be working with producer Mike Green, who has produced albums for artists including Paramore, Pierce The Veil and All Time Low.

With the announcement came the exciting news that their brand new album would arrive sometime in 2015 on Equal Vision Records. We’ll look out for more updates from the band. In the meantime you can read the band’s official statement …

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San Francisco post-hardcore band I The Mighty have recently announced their return to the studio to record their second full-length album early in the new year.

The band released a statement over Facebook that they will be working with producer Mike Green, who has produced albums for artists including Paramore, Pierce The Veil and All Time Low.

With the announcement came the exciting news that their brand new album would arrive sometime in 2015 on Equal Vision Records. We’ll look out for more updates from the band. In the meantime you can read the band’s official statement below:

We’re very excited to announce that we’re going into the studio in January to make our 2nd full-length record with Mike Green (Paramore, Pierce The Veil, All Time Low). Mike has been one of our favorite producers for a very long time and we’re beyond thrilled to be working with him. The new album will be out in 2015 on Equal Vision records. Thank you all for being on this crazy ride with us! – Brent, Blake, Chris, Ian

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Watch Foo Fighters Perform “I Am A River” Alongside A String Orchestra http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/watch-foo-fighters-perform-i-am-a-river-alongside-a-string-orchestra/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/watch-foo-fighters-perform-i-am-a-river-alongside-a-string-orchestra/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:33:56 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141162 A little over a week after the last episode of Sonic Highways aired on HBO, we find Foo Fighters still heavily promoting their documentary and their most recent album of the same title worldwide.

Set to embark on a massive world tour, hitting parts of South America, Europe, and North America starting in January, the rock icons made a few stops on a couple late night shows, with the most recent being The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

On last night’s episode, the Seattle quintet graced the audience with a performance of their song “I Am A River” off …

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A little over a week after the last episode of Sonic Highways aired on HBO, we find Foo Fighters still heavily promoting their documentary and their most recent album of the same title worldwide.

Set to embark on a massive world tour, hitting parts of South America, Europe, and North America starting in January, the rock icons made a few stops on a couple late night shows, with the most recent being The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

On last night’s episode, the Seattle quintet graced the audience with a performance of their song “I Am A River” off of Sonic Highways. The band was accompanied by a full string orchestra and it resulted in a majestic performance.

You can check it out below.

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Miguel Just Dropped Three New Tracks, Stream Them Now http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/miguel-just-dropped-three-new-tracks-stream-them-now/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/miguel-just-dropped-three-new-tracks-stream-them-now/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:30:27 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141167 Grammy Award-winning artist, Miguel, just took his fans by surprise and put out three new tracks via SoundCloud. We haven’t seen anything at all from the R&B star since his incredible release of Kaleidoscope Dream in 2012, which brought tracks like “Adorn” and “Do You…”

From track one, “nwa,” to the closer, “Coffee,” which ends very abruptly, this untitled collection of songs was something you didn’t know you needed, and it’ll make you want more. The three new tracks are guaranteed to be heard blasting in everyone’s cars pretty soon. Let’s hope that this finally leads to a new …

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Grammy Award-winning artist, Miguel, just took his fans by surprise and put out three new tracks via SoundCloud. We haven’t seen anything at all from the R&B star since his incredible release of Kaleidoscope Dream in 2012, which brought tracks like “Adorn” and “Do You…”

From track one, “nwa,” to the closer, “Coffee,” which ends very abruptly, this untitled collection of songs was something you didn’t know you needed, and it’ll make you want more. The three new tracks are guaranteed to be heard blasting in everyone’s cars pretty soon. Let’s hope that this finally leads to a new record. Everyone’s “Anticipated Music For 2015″ list just got a little bit longer.

Check out Miguel’s surprise new tracks below.

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Stream letlive.’s “Dreamer’s Disaster” Featuring Chris Conley http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/stream-letlive-s-dreamers-disaster-featuring-chris-conley/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/stream-letlive-s-dreamers-disaster-featuring-chris-conley/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:28:10 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141171 Earlier this year, post-hardcore outfit letlive. announced that they would be putting out Renditions, a compilation album of songs they’ve previously released in the past. Renditions will be special because this time around, all the tracks will feature a guest vocalist. They have already put out two “renditions” with “27 Club,” which featured Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die, and “The Dope Beat,” which featured Soupy Campbell of The Wonder Years.

Today, the band brings us “Dreamers Disease,” off of The Blackest Beautiful from 2013. The Renditions version features Saves The Day‘s very own Chris …

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Earlier this year, post-hardcore outfit letlive. announced that they would be putting out Renditions, a compilation album of songs they’ve previously released in the past. Renditions will be special because this time around, all the tracks will feature a guest vocalist. They have already put out two “renditions” with “27 Club,” which featured Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die, and “The Dope Beat,” which featured Soupy Campbell of The Wonder Years.

Today, the band brings us “Dreamers Disease,” off of The Blackest Beautiful from 2013. The Renditions version features Saves The Day‘s very own Chris Conley.

Regarding Renditions, the band shares: “We presented them one song off of our latest album and asked them what they would do with a certain section if I (Jason Aalon) never sang in said section. We asked them to explore with free reign utilizing their particular style and prose. The point of this was not only to share our gratitude and adoration for other bands/artists, but to work with other artists we appreciate in new methods of collaboration and provide listeners with an exciting approach. In doing this you will hear the same song with different artists providing their artistic signature in the same section. The contrast, we believe, will not negate any single performance, but enhance all of them.”

You can check out the new song below.

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Watch La Dispute’s New Music Video For “Woman (Reading)” http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/watch-la-disputes-new-music-video-for-woman-reading/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/watch-la-disputes-new-music-video-for-woman-reading/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:20:52 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141173 Post-hardcore moguls La Dispute always take a great visionary direction when releasing new music videos, often having actors or specialized performers being part of them. This is shown very clearly in one of their latest videos, “For Mayor In Splitsville,” which comes off their latest studio release, Rooms of the House.

Today, the band released a new music video for their song “Woman (Reading),” premiering over at NPR. The video shows dancer/choreographer Julie Ann Minaai dancing emotionally throughout London to the music of the band, in various settings; a park, on rooftops, on sidewalks with people …

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Post-hardcore moguls La Dispute always take a great visionary direction when releasing new music videos, often having actors or specialized performers being part of them. This is shown very clearly in one of their latest videos, “For Mayor In Splitsville,” which comes off their latest studio release, Rooms of the House.

Today, the band released a new music video for their song “Woman (Reading),” premiering over at NPR. The video shows dancer/choreographer Julie Ann Minaai dancing emotionally throughout London to the music of the band, in various settings; a park, on rooftops, on sidewalks with people watching, and empty parking lots.

Stream the video for “Woman (Reading)” below.

Be sure to catch La Dispute on a mini-tour this coming spring with Title Fight and The Hotelier.

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I Guess You Could Say I Enjoyed Some Music in 2014 http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/i-guess-you-could-say-i-enjoyed-some-music-in-2014/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/i-guess-you-could-say-i-enjoyed-some-music-in-2014/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:30:09 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1139411 This year, I’m throwing convention to the wind. I tend to spend too much time deliberating, trying to narrow things down to a set amount of this or that. For 2014, much like any other year, I’m sharing a [very] large collection of what I enjoyed most in the world of music, except these lists will feature no valued ordering and no limitations such as the obligatory and ubiquitous ‘top 10.’

As noted, all the releases below are in no particular order. They’re simply the records and videos I enjoyed the most and spent the most time with this year. …

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This year, I’m throwing convention to the wind. I tend to spend too much time deliberating, trying to narrow things down to a set amount of this or that. For 2014, much like any other year, I’m sharing a [very] large collection of what I enjoyed most in the world of music, except these lists will feature no valued ordering and no limitations such as the obligatory and ubiquitous ‘top 10.’

As noted, all the releases below are in no particular order. They’re simply the records and videos I enjoyed the most and spent the most time with this year. At the very least, I’d be thrilled to turn even one reader on to something new — and hopefully you’ll all share with me some things I may have overlooked as well.

I typically preface these year-end lists with some sentimental blather that’s best left for a yearbook I’ll never sign. I’m forgoing all that this time. Just read on and enjoy some good music with me in honor of another year that’s come and gone in a hurry.

full-lengths


Artist: Lantlôs
Album: Melting Sun
Label: Prophecy Productions
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Listen to “Melting Sun II: Cherry Quartz

Lantlôs is my favorite new find of the year. Melting Sun is an expansive musical edifice of post-metal, emanating hypnotic, shoegaze-y mists that form into clouds around the listener. It’s monumental really.

A confluence of slow-burning metal and soaring post-rock, this album has the ability to appeal to and empower a vast scope of rock and metal music lovers. Fans of everything from Alcest to Deftones should find something to get lost in on Melting Sun, an aptly titled and sonically epic release that’s hopefully not as overlooked as it appears to be.


rxb
Artist: RX Bandits
Album: Gemini, Her Majesty
Label: MDB Records
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Listen to “Stargazer

When RX Bandits announced that they were to release a new album following endless rumors and misconstrued quotes regarding their “hiatus,” my excitement was brimming. However, with …And The Battle Begun and Mandala being two of my favorite albums, I was admittedly worried that the California quartet might not be able to bring quite the same level of excellence — or that the new RXB, five years removed from their last LP, with each member working on several other projects since, might sound entirely different. After spending much time with Gemini, Her Majesty, I’ve found that little bits of this might be true, but most of it was me being far too anxious and pessimistic.

RXB’s newest is a blast through and through, with their most commercially accessible jams and production to date. For that, it feels a little more straightforward than past works from the boys, but it’s still every bit RX Bandits and every bit groovy and impressive. Even being a tad more structurally simple as a whole than the mostly frenetic and unpredictable latter section of their catalog, Gemini shreds- well, Matt, Steve, Joe and C-Gak shred. Always.


pup
Artist: PUP
Album: PUP
Label: SideOneDummy
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Listen to “Reservoir

Debut LP of the year? You betcha!

It appears that most people who notice a mention of PUP pretty much ignore them initially due to their odd moniker. I can’t blame them; I did the very same. As soon as you give them one good chance, though, you’re stuck with ‘em. Like feeding stray cats on your porch. Or stray…pups? Whatever.

This album checks off every emotion on the list, even more so when combined with their handful of ridiculously awesome music videos (more on that later). Spanning every corner of punk and rock and grunge and fun and party and awesome, PUP have set the bar very high for their peers, but maybe more importantly, for themselves. Blame Canada.


tigers jaw
Artist: Tigers Jaw
Album: Charmer
Label: Run For Cover Records
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Listen to “Cool

I slept on Tigers Jaw for way too long. I’m ashamed of myself really. I checked out their “Hum” / “Cool” 7-inch early this year and was like, “Dude, what the hell? How did I miss this?” Then I finally listened to their contribution to Will Yip’s Off The Board comp, and with that in conjunction with the 7-inch, I was sold. I was highly anticipating Charmer.

Upon arrival, the album was everything I wanted and then some. It still warms me to no end. The dual vocal melodies, the fuzzy guitars, the pure catchiness and subtle yet raw emotion; it all melds so wonderfully. It’s an any-season album and those are hard to come by. It all sounds almost effortless and I love that. It’s grungy and beautiful and real.


ben howard
Artist: Ben Howard
Album: I Forget Where We Were
Label: Island / Republic
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Listen to “End of the Affair

Before this year, I knew next to nothing about Ben Howard. I had seen his name numerous times but I honestly don’t think I had ever heard a peep of his music.

Don’t be like me. Listen to Ben Howard as soon as you see his name. As in right now. Enjoy his gorgeously structured stories of love and woe and life and everything in between. Absorb the realness in his voice and in his words.

I Forget Where We Were is a warm blanket on an icy night. It’s a cool swim on a sweltering day. It’s simultaneously comforting and heartbreaking and altogether evocative. It might be my favorite album of the year but to nail that down would go against the purpose of the chaos of this list. Set aside some time to drink it in as a whole and see how it makes you feel inside.


aborted
Artist: Aborted
Album: The Necrotic Manifesto
Label: Century Media
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Listen to “The Davidian Deceit

The Necrotic Manifesto was the first metal album I fell in love with this year. It’s pure insanity. Ken Bedene’s drumming alone is worth traversing the lengthy track list.

The blast beats, the gutturals, the mosh-inducing thrash, the double bass, the breakdowns, the shredding solos — it all makes for one of the funnest tech-death releases of the year. It’s relentlessly chaotic, violent and heavy, and while the samples might be a tad cheesy in 2014, these guys have earned a pass with their twenty-year career. Eight full-length albums later and Aborted have still got it, maybe more so than ever before.


first aid kit
Artist: First Aid Kit
Album: Stay Gold
Label: Columbia
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Listen to “My Silver Lining

The Lion’s Roar made my top 10 in 2012, unexpectedly, and after countless listens, I felt like First Aid Kit would have troubles creating a better album.

Yet, somehow, with Stay Gold, it feels effortlessly more mature and cohesive, with a natural progression from the Swedish sister duo’s last effort. Stay Gold is a truly beautiful affair from beginning to end. The vocal melodies and songwriting never get old. There’s such confidence in the delivery. First Aid Kit are making the best music in the folk-pop world right now.

I can’t imagine the overwhelming presence of talent in these girls’ home as they grew up.


trophy scars
Artist: Trophy Scars
Album: Holy Vacants
Label: Monotreme Records
Release Date: April 21, 2014
Listen to “Qeres

Trophy Scars are in a league and world all their own. Any comparisons are reaching; plain and simple. This has never been more true than with the release of Holy Vacants, the band’s long-delayed but finally available fourth LP.

Jerry Jones’ distinctive vocals are front and center, telling an incredible, mythology-laden story fit for a Hollywood feature film, all backed by the band’s best songwriting to date. Perfectly chosen guest vocalists, extensive instrumentation, and expansive compositions all make for Trophy Scars’ most epic release yet, both in sound and scope. The merging of their post-hardcore roots with blues rock is undeniably impressive and memorable beyond belief.

My only issue with this album–which is hardly a complaint–is that it really works best when listened to as a whole, but at just over an hour in length, it’s not always an easy feat.


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Artist: Lyla Foy
Album: Mirrors The Sky
Label: Sub Pop
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Listen to “Honeymoon

This is a total sleeper hit of 2014.

Often with minimalist production, Lyla Foy explores indie-pop, folk, alternative rock and more on her full-length debut, all with an unforgettably haunting vocal presence and mesmeric flow.

It’s melancholic and lulling but picks up in all the right places, sometimes with subtle bleep-blooping electronics a la The Postal Service.

Perfectly balanced and arranged, Mirrors The Sky is a beautifully simple record from a true talent on the rise. I expect big things from Lyla Foy.


Manchester_Orchestra_Cope
Artist: Manchester Orchestra
Album: COPE
Label: Loma Vista / Favorite Gentlemen
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Listen to “Top Notch

COPE was settled in my year-end list shortly after its release before summer hit, but then Manchester Orchestra had to throw a wrench in my plan and release HOPE, a beautifully poignant and utterly redesigned counterpart to the former. So, in the end, I may have spent as much time deciding between those two albums as I did on this entire list, and I could have easily just included both — but even as irregular as this list is, I figured I’d have at least some kind of rule.

My reason for choosing C over H is that for one, I got to hear a lot of COPE in a live setting as Manchester Orchestra ripped through a lengthy setlist at The Fillmore in San Francisco to a sold-out crowd. Secondly, I really have to be in the mood for HOPE, whereas its companion piece really works for me at any time. To be fair, though, I did spend a lot more time with COPE this year, but that’s likely due mostly to the fact that it was released much earlier.


jenny lewis
Artist: Jenny Lewis
Album: The Voyager
Label: Warner Bros.
Release Date: July 25, 2014
Listen to “She’s Not Me

Before even hearing her music, there’s something noticeably affable about Jenny Lewis, something I still can’t place. Maybe it’s that jacket, or maybe it’s her confident smile placed just below her dark sunglasses. That likely doesn’t matter, but for me, it had me more drawn to The Voyager this year. I enjoy this album so much more than I ever expected to. I listened to it nearly non-stop once it was released, then I saw Jenny live just a couple weeks later and listened to it that much more.

The Voyager is overflowing with groovy indie-rock vibes and plenty of classic influence from some of the most important women in rock and roll music from decades past. Jenny balances the earnest and cheeky elements of her personality perfectly on the album, making it both fun and endearing with endless replay value. I see it growing into a classic. It has that kind of timeless feel.


pianos
Artist: Pianos Become The Teeth
Album: Keep You
Label: Epitaph Records
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Listen to “Ripple Water Shine

With an increasing amount of bands taking a shot at the La Dispute / Touché Amoré angle of scream-riddled emotional hardcore, I’ve actually already grown rather tired of the style. That’s one of the main reasons I couldn’t have been happier to discover the drastic change in Pianos Become The Teeth’s sound since The Lack Long After. Although “Hiding” from their split with Touché Amoré last year was a good indication of the transition, I don’t think anyone suspected that there’d be next to no screaming whatsoever found on Keep You. I’m confident in saying the album is all the better for it.

From beginning to end, backed by some of the band’s best instrumentation to date, vocalist Kyle Durfey shows that he can emit just as much emotional weight and resonance with a more relaxed vocal delivery. It’s impressive, and it’s just as heavy in an entirely different respect.


beyond creation
Artist: Beyond Creation
Album: Earthborn Evolution
Label: Season Of Mist
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Listen to “Abstrait Dialogue

Earthborn Evolution is my favorite metal album of the year.

With a fretless bass leading the charge, Beyond Creation rip through ten tracks of progressive, technical death metal. The weird thing, though, is that most of the album is actually somewhat sluggish in tempo. It’s smooth and jazzy but it sludges along with precision in its musicianship. This isn’t a complaint in the slightest; I just typically like my metal fast, and this mostly isn’t that. There are blast beats and driving guitar riffs and solos, yet it all flows steadily without haste.

There’s no reason to rush when your music is this good.


mo no mythologies
Artist:
Album: No Mythologies To Follow
Label: Chess Club
Release Date: March 7, 2014
Listen to “Glass

Considering Karen Marie Ørsted’s history with punk rock, the unabashed pop direction has been a somewhat surprising departure, but then again, she did have a common obsession with the Spice Girls as a child. Either way, the kid’s got swagger and soul and she’s having a blast; it’s all evident in her sound.

Following some stellar singles and last year’s Bikini Daze EP, No Mythologies To Follow features a lot of that same material with plenty more to satisfy our MØ needs. This album is overflowing with excellent production; some of my favorite beats of the year in fact. MØ’s powerful vocals and infectious choruses are complemented by inventive instrumentals and enough variation to keep the listener interested throughout. There’s even a surprising variety in her vocals, to the point where, at times, she doesn’t even sound the same from track to track. She’s got some pipes.

The Lana Del Rey comparisons will likely always be present, but frankly, MØ is more interesting, fun and exciting.


this will destroy yo
Artist: This Will Destroy You
Album: Another Language
Label: Suicide Squeeze
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Listen to “Dustism

With a three-year wait since Tunnel Blanket, Another Language is everything I hoped for in a new This Will Destroy You release. Having spent a significant percentage of my existence listening to TWDY nearly every single night while going to sleep from 2006-09, I anxiously await anything this Texas quartet puts out. Their music means a lot to me and their newest album is a perfect evolution from everything that’s come before it.

Continuously building with gorgeous ambience, fuzzy guitars and massive swells of aural emotion, Another Language is appropriately titled as it speaks to the listener, entirely void of a true vocal presence.


alt-J-This-Is-All-Yours
Artist: Alt-J
Album: This Is All Yours
Label: Infectious Records
Release Date: September 22, 2014
Listen to “Arrival In Nara

Ever since the first single dropped in June, Alt-J’s newest quickly climbed to the top of my most anticipated releases of 2014. Then, once it came out, I didn’t even listen to it till nearly two months later. I had been busy and distracted and saw some mixed reviews that were somewhat discouraging. With their debut, An Awesome Wave, placed toward the top of my 2012 ‘best of’ list, I was worried that I would be disappointed by the band’s second attempt.

The only thing I ended up being disappointed by was how long it took me to finally give the album the time it deserved. Now, I can’t stay away from it.

Featuring all the uniquely refreshing songwriting of their debut and then some, This Is All Yours picks up right where the band left off and adds even more gorgeous–and often peculiar– melodies and completely original instrumentation meticulously layered in perfect form.


perturbator
Artist: Perturbator
Album: Dangerous Days
Label: Blood Music
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Listen to “Humans Are Such Easy Prey

I watched Adam Wingard’s The Guest earlier this year, and immediately afterward I sought out the soundtrack and anything that resembled what was found on it. I inevitably came across Perturbator and his newest album, Dangerous Days. I was immediately transported to a dark, dystopian, alley and trash-ridden world not unlike the ones found in films such as Hobo With A Shotgun.

This album makes me want to roam the city at midnight with a hood up, seemingly searching for trouble but hopefully finding none too overwhelming.

“By the end of this journey you will meet your Maker, surrounded by all the desolation he created. A computer. Codename: Satan. Programmed to do only one thing: Erase all traces of the human race.”


armsandsleepers
Artist: Arms And Sleepers
Album: Swim Team
Label: Fake Chapter
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Listen to “Tiger Tempo

With a hiatus in the duo’s past, the prospect of a new Arms & Sleepers release had me endlessly excited, even without having heard a single bit of it at the time. Max and Mirza’s music has played a large role in my life for the better part of a decade, and if someone were to tell me that I’ve listened to their music more than any other act over the past ten years, I might not be able to argue it.

Swim Team is most certainly an A&S release, yet it might be their most accessible yet. Whereas most of their back catalog features complex layers of instrumentation, sparse vocals, and a hypnotic aural ether, Swim Team tightens things up with steady beats and a generally more uptempo nature. There’s a relaxed complacency to it all, and a genuine sense of contentment, sonically. It manages to simultaneously feel like reinvented and classic Arms and Sleepers.


Sling-Shot-to-Heaven
Artist: Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s
Album: Sling Shot to Heaven
Label: Mariel Recording Company
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Listen to “Hello, San Francisco

From 2006 till the middle of 2010, I was partially obsessed with Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s. The Dust Of Retreat, Animal! and Not Animal were constantly in rotation — whether listening to the albums in their entirety or putting numerous tracks from each on every mix CD I made during that time. Then, in the Fall of 2010, they released Buzzard, and I was torn. It, along with its 2012 followup, Rot Gut, Domestic, eventually grew on me, but still never filled the void left since their earlier works.

The Margot I loved is back, though. Sling Shot to Heaven is far more comparable to the band’s earlier works and I couldn’t be happier about that. Featuring more of the beautiful acoustic melodies and additional instruments I grew to love, their newest album showcases some of the band’s best material yet. Richard Edwards is at the top of his vocal game and his lyrics are as wonderfully insane as ever. However, this album also features much more straightforward writing as well, which will undoubtedly be more easily approachable for hesitant listeners.


code orange
Artist: Code Orange
Album: I Am King
Label: Deathwish Inc.
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Listen to “I Am King

I never expected to get as lost within this album as I did. Unrelentingly pissed off and assertive, I Am King delivers raw power and a furious presence, chock full of hardcore and death metal influences – all delivered by kids who are no longer ‘Kids.’

Simple-structured on the surface, I Am King is brutal and often raucous yet filled with obscure nuances in instrumentation that at times are smartly buried in the mix exactly where they should be. Many of the vocals are nearly indecipherable, due simply to the way they’re leveled, which ultimately adds to the eeriness and creative force of each track.

No Boxes. No Boundaries. No Fear. I Am King.


SomosAlbumCover_300dpi
Artist: Somos
Album: Temple Of Plenty
Label: Tiny Engines
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Listen to “Dead Wrong

Somos is another band I only discovered recently, to great excitement, as I personally didn’t love much in the world of pop-punk this year. Calling Somos pop-punk, however, is a bit of a stretch, but it’s apt. We’ll go with it.

Temple Of Plenty is an excellent debut and introduction to the band. While not overtly groundbreaking, it is wholly refreshing, offering enough originality to set it apart from similar releases this year, with Michael Fiorentino’s distinctive vocals, unexpected tempo changes, and lively, infectious choruses inherent to the genre. It’s fun and moving in equal measure, but most importantly, it’s memorable. Tiny Engines knows how to pick ‘em.


crosses
Artist: ††† (Crosses)
Album: ††† (Crosses)
Label: Sumerian Records
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Listen to “Bitches Brew

Despite being a collection of the band’s previously released three EPs, Crosses smartly chose to rearrange the order in which the tracks appeared on the LP version. That might not sound like much, but it actually adds a significant element to the experience of listening through the band’s debut. There’s more cohesion and flow than fans expected from tacking EPs , ††, and ††† together.

I was originally drawn to Crosses like most, simply due to the fact it was a side project of Deftones’ Chino Moreno and Far’s Shaun Lopez. Once immersed in the eerie, spellbinding themes of the first EP, I was hooked. That feeling hasn’t left throughout the course of the subsequent two EPs and this full-length. It’s like all the best mellow parts of Deftones’ discography, with electronic beats and what appears to be a heavy horror influence. For me, there’s nothing to not enjoy about it.


side saddle
Artist: Side Saddle
Album: The Astorian
Label: Cedar Lodge Records
Release Date: September 15, 2014
Listen to “Halcyon

With the saddening loss of This Old Ghost, Ian McGuinness carries the torch under a new banner, one that’s not enough of a departure to alienate old fans, but offers enough variation and style to welcome new ones into the fold.

Conjuring a folkier sound than in his time with TOG, Side Saddle boasts beautifully layered instrumentation, striking choruses, unforgettable melodies, and McGuinness’ perfectly apposite vocal prowess. Fans of Good Old War should feel comfortably at home within the sounds of Side Saddle. As a fan of GOW myself, I feel all right saying that Side Saddle might actually offer more in way of depth, musically. The vocal harmonies are on point, too.


fallujah
Artist: Fallujah
Album: The Flesh Prevails
Label: Unique Leader Records
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Listen to “Sapphire

I’ve always been drawn to ethereal metal. Well, ethereal anything really. But, when technical death metal is integrated with spatial elements in sound, it makes for a juxtaposition unlike anything else in music. It’s dark and light existing concurrently; brutality and elegance, hand in hand.

Fallujah really pushed the envelope with this idea on their newest release, The Flesh Prevails. I was initially drawn to the album’s cover art, which perfectly represents the sound Fallujah have mastered in 2014, but was pleased to discover the music to be everything I’d hoped it’d be. It’s heavy and progressive, but alluring all the same. There are sprawling instrumental sections and bold, orchestral swells nearly drowning out the ferocious vocals of Alex Hofmann. There are shredding solos, brutal percussion, and driving riffs all complemented with soothingly delicate keyboard work. The Flesh Prevails is intense and dreamy and altogether satisfying.


rtj2
Artist: Run The Jewels
Album: Run The Jewels 2
Label: Mass Appeal
Release Date: October 27, 2014
Listen to “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)

Kanye West and Jay-Z are watching the throne from a distance. Killer Mike and El-P have usurped it; ‘RTJ’ etched into their crowns with cats flooding the throne room. They’re meowing in unison–in worship–along with the rest of the world.

It’s no secret at this point that when El-P and Killer Mike join forces, the rest of the rap game buckles at the knees. RTJ powers activate and listeners are in for El-P’s masterful production and the aggressive bars from both emcees, melding together to form bangers almost too explosive to allow near your ears. The duo’s second offering somehow trumps their first in most ways, which almost has me worried for the effect RTJ3 will have on what’s left standing of hip-hop.

If you’re sleeping on Run The Jewels, shame on you. If you’re trying to ignore Run The Jewels, good luck.


eps

cloudkicker
Artist: Cloudkicker
Album: Little Histories
Label: Unsigned
Release Date: December 1, 2014
Listen to “Chameleon

Whether he’s crafting driving prog metal or soothing ambience, Cloudkicker mastermind Ben Sharp seems to always deliver. On his newest EP, he explores both ends of the spectrum, ultimately resulting in an effort comprised more of post rock slow-burns than heavy riffage or airy hypnotics. Including the bonus track, “Signal/Noise,” Little Histories serves up 26 minutes of some of the best rock music this year.

Ben Sharp just keeps getting better, and unless it’s in a live setting, he needs no helping hands to evolve or keep fans interested in his ever-progressing creations.


tap slip away
Artist: The Appreciation Post
Album: Slip Away
Label: Unsigned
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Listen to “Auxiliary Floor Toms

2014 was my first year with The Appreciation Post, a band that came as a pleasant surprise. They showcase all the things I love about pop-punk: huge anthemic choruses, undeniably catchy melodies, clever and often self-aware lyricism, and solid musicianship. The synth addition is just a bonus, but a much welcomed one.

This EP reminds me of high school, taking road trips with my best friends, listening to The Starting Line and Motion City Soundtrack. These four dudes from Boston are having a great time and I’m tagging along.


zella day
Artist: Zella Day
Album: Zella Day
Label: B3SCI Records
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Listen to “Compass

I’ve written about Zella Day at length this year, professing my love for both her voice and her music on numerous occasions. I’m yet to have any doubts that she’ll be one of the biggest names in pop music within the next couple of years, likely headlining festivals and scooping up awards by the armful.

She came out swinging with this EP, following a couple singles that surprisingly haven’t taken over top 40 radio (to my knowledge). With great production, songwriting, and a voice to be reckoned with, Zella Day is yet to disappoint me. This EP is as strong as a debut can get and my sole complaint is that it didn’t include her excellent single, “1965,” that served as the B-side to this effort’s lead single, “Sweet Ophelia.”


cardinal cardinal
Artist: Cardinal Cardinal
Album: Distant Lover
Label: 6131 Records
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Listen to “The Distance

I don’t mind Dads but they’re not a band I ever find myself seeking out to listen to. So to my surprise, I found myself gravitating to Cardinal Cardinal…over and over. For those who aren’t familiar, this is Dads drummer/vocalist John Bradley’s solo project. Distant Lover is his debut EP, and it’s really good. It’s not an unimaginable departure from Dads but it’s definitely smoother. I’d call it acoustic-driven emo/punk I suppose. It’s easily accessible and endlessly enjoyable.

John Bradley, I sincerely hope you continue working on this project.


little may
Artist: Little May
Album: Little May
Label: Capitol Records
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Listen to “Hide

I first discovered Little May late last year when they released the gorgeous video for “Hide,” and I was pretty much waiting for this EP ever since.

These three Aussie ladies released some of the best material this year, with beautiful folk-pop gems that fans of City and Colour and Lord Huron will eat up and beg for seconds. Stellar songwriting and layered vocal melodies are only a couple aspects of Little May’s music that make this EP great. The lyricism, production, instrumentation and visual accompaniments are all impressive, too. I can’t wait for more Little May.


diamond youth
Artist: Diamond Youth
Album: Shake
Label: Topshelf Records
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Listen to “Red Water

Last year, for me, Topshelf Records was a dominant force in my year-end decisions, and while that’s not quite the case in 2014, it should come as no surprise that at least one TSR release would feature on my list.

Diamond Youth have this fantastic melodic rock thing going on, in the vein of earlier era Foo Fighters, and I for one can’t get enough of it. I still can’t believe they’re not blowing up the radio like Foo, or Queens of the Stone Age, or Muse honestly. Diamond Youth are destined for big things and I hope this EP is getting them some of the attention they deserve. Whatever attention last year’s Orange didn’t at least.


sianvar
Artist: Sianvar
Album: Sianvar
Label: Blue Swan Records
Release Date: January 5, 2014
Listen to “Sick Machine

Anyone familiar with the works of A Lot Like Birds, Hail The Sun, Stolas and Dance Gavin Dance likely knew exactly what to expect when the Sianvar project was announced. And for the most part, Sianvar is exactly what everyone thought it would be – only better…somehow.

The Anthony Green comparisons will never dissipate when it comes to Donovan Melero’s vocals, but that’s okay. This dude has a great vocal presence and it works flawlessly with the frenetic post-hardcore style found within his bands’ creations. There’s a lot of The Mars Volta/At The Drive-In influence here as well, which I’m sure no one is complaining about.


chrome sparks
Artist: Chrome Sparks
Album: Goddess
Label: Future Classic
Release Date: April 28, 2014
Listen to “ZzzzzZ

Jeremy Malvin makes some killer jams, and watching him totally vibe out to his own music is really something. You can’t blame the guy, though. He makes some of the most relaxing and groovy beats out there.

I listened to his Sparks EP a lot last year, and luckily he had another 6-tracker ready for this year in Goddess. Chrome Sparks gives you two options to choose from when listening: 1) sit back and lose yourself to the music peacefully with little to no action, or 2) stand up and lose yourself to the music in fervent dance. Either choice is the right one.


music videos

I don’t think the energy of this track could have been better expressed visually than with the video below. I might have watched this more than any other video this year and it’s still as hilariously absurd with each revisit.


Ben Howard’s directorial debut perfectly accentuates the title track off his newest album. Visually beautiful and chock full of metaphors, the video explores the things that can come between two people and what must be done to mend the rift.


PUP are seemingly incapable of making a bad (or boring) music video. I love pizza. I love reptiles. I used to play a lot of Destruction Derby 64. This video is super fun…and slightly sad.


This single smashes. This video is hilarious. I don’t have anything else to say. Just enjoy.


It’s such a simple and brilliant concept that I’m not sure how the hell it hasn’t been done before. Shot after shot of laughs. I’d never think to meld the worlds of Jason Voorhees and Lloyd Dobler. So many cover photos and wallpapers to be pulled from this.


I’m sure the star power is the carrying force of this video, but regardless, it’s simple and highly enjoyable. Seeing Kriston Stewart loosen up and let go a bit is pretty refreshing. Jenny Lewis is great and so is her sense of humor.


Ever since their first mysterious videos began appearing online around this time in 2009, Jonna Lee and her crew have continually impressed me with their ability to create gorgeous videos for each and every song they’ve recorded; over 40 at this point. Nearly all involving some form of nature theme, the visual quality is second to none (apart from maybe Sigur Rós’ Heima), with stunning shots of European landscapes and Lee’s consistently intriguing attire. Of all the videos they’ve released this year, it was hard to choose a favorite, but I knew at least one had to make the list.


This one’s brief, but again, such a smart and simple idea. A helluva ride.


I always love to see people at complete peace, doing something they appear to love. This video is so sweet, and filmed at some of my favorite locations near the Golden Gate.


This is one of the most cinematic videos of the year; beautifully shot and open to interpretation.


The one continuous shot effect in this video is a huge draw but it also has good editing, and it all lends itself to the simplicity otherwise present.


HAIM are having all the fun they deserve to and this video is evidence of that. Perfectly accentuating the ’80s-influenced jam, the sisters crafted a video flashback with choreographed dancing and an excellent stage setup. The song was catchy enough on its own, but when watching the video, it’s that much easier to get into it and feel as if you’re watching MTV as a child again.


As mentioned before, PUP make great choices when it comes to their music videos, and that’s precisely why they’re on this list twice. Whereas the video for “Mabu” was a little more fun and wild, this video is reminiscent of a coming of age story, a la Stand By Me. It’s a story of friendship, growing up, and the formation of the one and only PUP.

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MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Annie’ May Be The Worst Film Of The Year http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/movie-review-annie-may-be-the-worst-film-of-the-year/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/movie-review-annie-may-be-the-worst-film-of-the-year/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:15:16 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141161 Film: Annie
Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx
Directed by: Will Gluck

In a year riddled with horrible misfires and unnecessary sequels, it’s a little shocking that the worst film of all is a remake of a musical that has long been thought to be timeless.

Will Gluck has delivered the updated version of Annie no one asked for and very few thought would ever exist. It’s a tech-friendly, modern retelling of a story that never comes together quite as well as its predecessor. The songs are weak, the acting is atrocious, and there is rarely a single sequence that offers …

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Film: Annie
Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx
Directed by: Will Gluck

In a year riddled with horrible misfires and unnecessary sequels, it’s a little shocking that the worst film of all is a remake of a musical that has long been thought to be timeless.

Will Gluck has delivered the updated version of Annie no one asked for and very few thought would ever exist. It’s a tech-friendly, modern retelling of a story that never comes together quite as well as its predecessor. The songs are weak, the acting is atrocious, and there is rarely a single sequence that offers anything audiences typically look for when seeing a musical on the big screen. There are no huge dance scenes, nor memorable hooks. It’s just a mess, and it looks like someone spent a lot of money to make it a reality.

The basic premise of Annie remains in tact: Annie, an orphan living with a mean foster mom and several foster sisters, sees her life change overnight when a business tycoon and current NYC mayoral candidate, Will Stacks, offers to take her in. It’s a thinly-veiled campaign move, which is only made possible by Stacks’ team of assistants, but it’s enough to give Annie hope that her days of wishing she had a family were finally behind her. Of course, that isn’t really the case, and before long Annie finds herself once again being tricked by adults for their own personal gains.

Quvenzhane Wallis, best know for her role in Beasts Of The Southern Wild, takes on the lead role with little-to-no singing ability and next to zero charisma. She seems as lost in the film as Annie does in the world of wealthy people, and though that confusion may come across as charming at first it quickly turns to disappointment. It’s bad enough that the producers had to use an obnoxious amount of vocoder to help Wallis sing in tune, but by removing 90% of the dance elements from the original show, Wallis also has very little to do with her physical self for a good portion of the film’s runtime. We see Annie hanging out on her bed, roaming the streets of New York, attempting to cook, and slowly winning over the heart of everyone, but she doesn’t really sing or dance. For a musical, especially one where she is supposedly the main character, this all makes for a very uninteresting viewing experience.

It’s not all Wallis’ fault; however, very few members of the supporting cast bring anything to the table themselves. Cameron Diaz, filling in as the mean foster mother, overacts to the point you almost expect her to pull off her face and reveal that Nicholas Cage is actually playing her role. Likewise, Bobby Cannavale does not know how to be a villain, especially in a children’s film, and his attempts at seeming ‘evil’ come across far more comical than intended. We also cannot forget the great Rose Byrne who, in a surprising turn of events, feels unusually restrained in her turn as Stacks’ go-to assistant.

The one good thing in Annie is Jamie Foxx, and even he falls short of his usual glory. The character of Stacks has been manipulated to be a bit more modern, yet still clueless when it comes to children. This is made hard to believe by the fact Stacks owns a giant cell phone company, which almost assuredly pushes their product to the youth of America, but as soon as he’s one on one with little Annie his understanding oh how to interact with anyone under five feet tall goes right out the window. Even his big song, the wonderful “The City’s Yours,” has been digitally tweaked to the point it has lost all heart. It comes and goes just as forgettably as the rest of the songs, except for perhaps “Tomorrow,” but even that doesn’t hit the high notes you might expect.

Speaking of the music and the way it’s handled in the film: I’m not sure Will Gluck has ever actually seen a musical. His universe is one where Katy Perry exists (she tweets about her love of Annie), as well as the ability to track a person’s whereabouts through social media in real time while flying a helicopter through New York City, but whenever people start to sing or dance everyone else in the room remains motionless. There is one instance in the first rendition of “Tomorrow” where everyone on screen is singing and/or dancing, but the rest of the film is filled with sequences where people do one or the other, and anyone standing by watching simply remains still. It’s a surprisingly dull way to capture a movie that is supposed to ride high on a wave of hope, and it never ceases to be at least a little bit awkward. How many musicals can you name where two characters start singing and dancing in a room surrounded by people, yet no one else joins them in any way? The bystanders in the film might as well be the audience in the theater, and by that I mean they’re so removed from what the main characters are doing their presence matters very little to the central narrative. This has never been the case in musicals before, especially those that feature songs sang in public places, but Gluck apparently thought it was time to try something different. It did not work, but hey, at least he tried (I guess).

Between the wasted talent of the cast, the horrible remixes of songs long-proven to be great in original form, and a complete lack of understanding as to how musicals should be presented on the big screen, Annie is a strong contender for the worst film of the year and, quite possibly, the worst musical of all time. It’s a complete mess from beginning to end, lacking all heart and doing very little to keep the audience engaged. I never thought the world needed to see Annie brought to life again, but now I’m convinced it’s a story best left for the Broadway state and the home video collections of people who like old movies. Annie is not a story that today’s youth can relate to, and it’s definitely not one they – or anyone else – needs in their life. Don’t waste your money on this disaster. Act like it never existed and move on. You’ll be better off.

GRADE: F

Review written by James Shotwell

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UTG INTERVIEW: After Nearly Two Decades, SNOT Still Bring Energy To The Stage http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/utg-interview-after-nearly-two-decades-snot-still-bring-energy-to-the-stage/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/19/utg-interview-after-nearly-two-decades-snot-still-bring-energy-to-the-stage/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1140845 Unmatched and unmarred by any other act in the hardcore music scene, SNOT have reunited and returned to the touring scene in celebration of the band’s groundbreaking record, Get Some.

Although the band’s recording career was cut short due to the untimely and tragic death of frontman James Lynn Strait in 1998, because of their unique and undeniably influential fusion of punk, metal, and hardcore music, the legacy of SNOT is as strong as ever. The band has reunited for a second time since Strait’s death — this time tapping Carl Bensley to fill in on vocals for the …

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Unmatched and unmarred by any other act in the hardcore music scene, SNOT have reunited and returned to the touring scene in celebration of the band’s groundbreaking record, Get Some.

Although the band’s recording career was cut short due to the untimely and tragic death of frontman James Lynn Strait in 1998, because of their unique and undeniably influential fusion of punk, metal, and hardcore music, the legacy of SNOT is as strong as ever. The band has reunited for a second time since Strait’s death — this time tapping Carl Bensley to fill in on vocals for the band’s current world tour.

Guitarists Mikey Doling and Sonny Mayo both show energy and enthusiasm at the idea of playing SNOT’s prolific brand of unabashed music to a new generation of fans.

“The reason [we're doing the reunion tour] is because we all like playing with each other,” Doling said. “We all have lives where we do other things, you know? It just so happened we had time on our hands, which is rare. We blocked out some time and decided that we would do this tour.”

The band is playing Get Some in full from front to back. For some artists, a decision to do a record in full can be cumbersome or difficult, but with Get Some being SNOT’s only studio LP, it’s simply a matter of selecting how they’d like to play the material.

SNOT live 1

“Instead of playing the record mixed up, we can just play it in its entirety,” Doling said. “It just seems like the right way to go.”

Although playing a record in full all but fills in the fans’ idea of what the band’s setlist will be for the coming show — SNOT throws in a few surprises to keep it interesting.

“We tag a song on the end,” Mayo said. “It’s the last full song we recorded together, ‘Absent.’”

It took 10 years after the death of Strait for the band to decide to play more shows together — which happened when they played a handful of shows in 2008-09 to much surprise.

SNOt live 2

“To me, this tour is way better,” said Doling. “Last time, we were all kind of scattered. I don’t think we were on the same page. There was some immaturity going on with some of us, including myself. We are completely on the same page now.”

Mayo admits the mood for this tour is different than the last — which was the 10-year anniversary of Strait’s passing.

“We’re lighthearted this time too, man,” Mayo explained. “Last time was a little bit heavy, emotionally. This time we’re just enjoying each other’s company and playing these songs we wrote together. It’s very smooth, this time.”

The songs off Get Some, which Mayo said the band wrote together in 1995, are a testament to the longevity of what he, Doling, and the other members of SNOT created. Tracks like “Stoopid” and “Joy Ride” still provide the same emotional reaction in fans as they did over a decade ago.

Doling said he realizes the importance of the tour for fans who have never had the chance to see SNOT in the past.

SNOT 4

“A lot of bands still do it [after a singer passes],” Doling said. “We waited a long, long time — we waited a decade before we even stepped on stage without him. 10 years later we we’re like, ‘Let’s do something,’ and now we have this longing to do it every once in a while.”

When not carving out time to recreate the aggressive magic SNOT captured on Get Some, the members of the band are busy with other, full-time projects. Doling plays full-time in Channel Zero and Mayo has been part of acts such as Sevendust, Amen, Hed PE, and now works for Rock To Recovery — a music therapy program that travels to drug and alcohol treatment centers and starts bands with patients, using music to help the healing process.

Doling said the group isn’t opposed to doing more music together but is unsure of how to title and release the music to the public.

“We might do some more music together but I don’t know if we’re going to call it SNOT or what. The voice of SNOT, he’s gone, man. We may write more music together but we’re not sure how we’re going to time it. It’s hard.”

2015 will bring SNOT to places the band has never played before. Doling said SNOT has never played shows out of America, which is set to change when the band goes overseas to the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Australia, Denmark, and more next year.

“It’s the timing,” Mayo said.

Doling said the band is excited because, although touring other nations with later acts, it will be their first time on foreign soil as SNOT.

“We’re going to go hit Europe and play 30 shows, go to Australia and New Zealand, and hit southeast Asia. I’m very excited.”

SNOT 3

Check out all the upcoming SNOT tour dates here:

Dec 19 Club Red Mesa, AZ
Dec 20 The Rock Tucson, AZ
Dec 22 The Soda Bar San Diego, CA
Dec 23 The Glass House Pomona, CA
Feb 06 De Kreun Kortrijk, Belgium
Feb 07 Podium Duycker Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Feb 08 La Maroquinerie Paris, France
Feb 10 Joiners Southampton, Uk
Feb 11 The Hub Plymouth, United Kingdom
Feb 12 The Exchange Bristol, United Kingdom
Feb 13 The Underground Stoke On Trent, United Kingdom
Feb 14 The Cluny Newcastle, Australia
Feb 15 Audio Glasgow, United Kingdom
Feb 16 The Parish Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Feb 17 Rock City Nottingham, United Kingdom
Feb 18 The Crauford Arms Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Feb 19 THE GARAGE London, United Kingdom
Feb 20 Audio Brighton, United Kingdom
Feb 21 Matrix Bochum, Germany
Feb 22 Alte Seilerei Mannheim, Germany
Feb 23 Schlachthof Kassel, Germany
Feb 24 Hansa 39 Munchen, Germany
Feb 25 Headcrash Hamburg, Germany
Feb 26 Loppen Copenhagen, Denmark
Feb 28 K17 Berlin, Germany
Mar 01 Hirsh Nurnberg, Germany
Mar 02 Le Grillen Colmar, France
Mar 03 Les Trinitaires Metz, France
Mar 04 Cité de la musique Romans, France
Mar 05 Le Molotov Marseille, France
Mar 06 LE CONNEXION LIVE Toulouse, France
Mar 07 Le Ferraileur Nantes, France
Mar 08 Coven Garden Eragny, France

Interview by Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt)
Photos shot by Colt Coan of Colt Coan Photography in Kansas City, Kansas.

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Incubus Will Be Releasing Two New EPs in 2015 http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/incubus-will-be-releasing-two-new-eps-in-2015/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/incubus-will-be-releasing-two-new-eps-in-2015/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 04:06:32 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141091 After a quiet couple years, with side/solo projects taking over much of that time, renowned alternative rockers Incubus are ready to make a big comeback for 2015. This is the newest material the band has recorded since 2011′s If Not Now, When? which was released on Epic Records.

This time around, the band has signed with Island Records and will be releasing two EPs through the course of the year, with production done by the band themselves. The two EPs will contain enough songs on each release to combine into an album, with the first one coming out as early …

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After a quiet couple years, with side/solo projects taking over much of that time, renowned alternative rockers Incubus are ready to make a big comeback for 2015. This is the newest material the band has recorded since 2011′s If Not Now, When? which was released on Epic Records.

This time around, the band has signed with Island Records and will be releasing two EPs through the course of the year, with production done by the band themselves. The two EPs will contain enough songs on each release to combine into an album, with the first one coming out as early as February or March and the latter coming out in the summer. According to an interview with Billboard, guitarist Mike Einziger stated that, “most of the music we’ve written is high energy [but] we’ve written our slowest song, but also our heaviest song.”

At this past weekend’s KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas, the band performed a new song named “Trust Fall” for the first time and you can watch the performance below. Be sure to stay close with UTG as more updates come in.

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MUSIC VIDEO: Chris Farren – “Like A Gift From God Or Whatever” Feat. Jenny Owen Youngs http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/music-video-chris-farren-like-a-gift-from-god-or-whatever-feat-jenny-owen-youngs/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/music-video-chris-farren-like-a-gift-from-god-or-whatever-feat-jenny-owen-youngs/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 03:59:27 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141090 In the spirit of the holidays, Chris Farren has teamed up with Jenny Owen Youngs to release an original Christmas song titled “Like A Gift From God Or Whatever.” The duo took some time to record a festive music video, which is available to watch below.

The song is taken from Farren’s holiday album of the same name. The album features twelve original Christmas tracks, each featuring a guest vocalist. It is available for purchase for $5 on Bandcamp.

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In the spirit of the holidays, Chris Farren has teamed up with Jenny Owen Youngs to release an original Christmas song titled “Like A Gift From God Or Whatever.” The duo took some time to record a festive music video, which is available to watch below.

The song is taken from Farren’s holiday album of the same name. The album features twelve original Christmas tracks, each featuring a guest vocalist. It is available for purchase for $5 on Bandcamp.

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Never Shout Never Announce Acoustic Tour http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/never-shout-never-announce-acoustic-tour/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/never-shout-never-announce-acoustic-tour/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 02:44:36 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141086 During the months of February and March in 2015, indie group Never Shout Never will be heading out on a US acoustic tour, dubbed the ‘Mid Winter’s Nights Dream Acoustik Tour.’

Although they have yet to be announced, special guests will be joining Never Shout Never on this tour, so follow up on their Facebook page for these upcoming announcements.

Check out the dates for the tour below.

Feb 20 – The Troubadour – West Hollywood, CA
Feb 24 – Club Sound – Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 25 – Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
Feb 28 – Bottom Lounge …

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During the months of February and March in 2015, indie group Never Shout Never will be heading out on a US acoustic tour, dubbed the ‘Mid Winter’s Nights Dream Acoustik Tour.’

Although they have yet to be announced, special guests will be joining Never Shout Never on this tour, so follow up on their Facebook page for these upcoming announcements.

Check out the dates for the tour below.

Feb 20 – The Troubadour – West Hollywood, CA
Feb 24 – Club Sound – Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 25 – Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
Feb 28 – Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
Mar 1 – The Loft – Lansing, MI
Mar 3 – Grog Shop – Cleveland Heights, OH
Mar 4 – The Mod Club Theatre – Toronto, ON
Mar 6 – The Marlin Room at Webster Hall – New York, NY
Mar 7 – Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA

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Frnkiero andthe Cellabration Announce Headlining Tour http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/frnkiero-andthe-cellabration-announce-headlining-tour/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/frnkiero-andthe-cellabration-announce-headlining-tour/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:38:05 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141078 After releasing his first solo album, Stomachaches, this year and momentarily hitting the road in the US, Frank Iero (ex-My Chemical Romance) will be officially headlining a tour with his group Frnkiero andthe Cellabration in 2015.

The band is scheduled to do a full run across the United States with acts The Homeless Gospel Choir and Modern Chemistry.

The tour will start on February 18 in New York City and circle all the way back to Iero’s hometown in New Jersey on April 2. See all the dates below.

02/18 – New York, NY @ The Studio …

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After releasing his first solo album, Stomachaches, this year and momentarily hitting the road in the US, Frank Iero (ex-My Chemical Romance) will be officially headlining a tour with his group Frnkiero andthe Cellabration in 2015.

The band is scheduled to do a full run across the United States with acts The Homeless Gospel Choir and Modern Chemistry.

The tour will start on February 18 in New York City and circle all the way back to Iero’s hometown in New Jersey on April 2. See all the dates below.

02/18 – New York, NY @ The Studio at Webster Hall
02/19 – Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East Upstairs
02/20 – Albany, NY @ The Hollow Bar + Kitchen
02/21 – Buffalo, NY @ The Waiting Room
02/24 – Montreal, QC @ Underworld
02/25 – Toronto, ON @ Sneaky Dee’s
02/26 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre
02/27 – Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop
02/28 – Detroit, MI @ The Magic Stick
03/01 – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Rock Club
03/03 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
03/04 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
03/05 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
03/06 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court Gallery
03/07 – Boise, ID @ Shredder
03/10 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
03/12 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
03/13 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
03/14 – West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour
03/16 – Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock Live
03/24 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
03/25 – Orlando, FL @ The Social
03/26 – Tallahassee, FL @ Pug’s Live
03/27 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
03/28 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
03/30 – Vienna, VA @ Jammin’ Java
03/31 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
04/01 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
04/02 – Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony

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Veil of Maya Post Cryptic Teaser Video http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/veil-of-maya-post-cryptic-teaser-video/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/veil-of-maya-post-cryptic-teaser-video/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:22:39 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141067 If you asked Santa for some burly breakdowns, he most definitely read your list.

Earlier today, Veil of Maya posted a brief teaser to their various social media outlets promising some type of announcement on January 1, 2015. View the 40-second clip at the bottom of this post, and let us know if you’re excited in the replies.

Having recently parted ways with longtime vocalist Brandon Butler, many are speculating that the outfit’s coming announcement will serve as an introduction to their newest member. If this is the case, VOM’s timing couldn’t be better, as they are slated to kick …

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If you asked Santa for some burly breakdowns, he most definitely read your list.

Earlier today, Veil of Maya posted a brief teaser to their various social media outlets promising some type of announcement on January 1, 2015. View the 40-second clip at the bottom of this post, and let us know if you’re excited in the replies.

Having recently parted ways with longtime vocalist Brandon Butler, many are speculating that the outfit’s coming announcement will serve as an introduction to their newest member. If this is the case, VOM’s timing couldn’t be better, as they are slated to kick off the Slow Your Troll and Know Your Role Tour on January 8 in Atlanta, GA.

Follow UTG on Twitter to stay in the know.

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Hostage Calm Announce Five Farewell Shows http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/hostage-calm-announce-five-farewell-shows/ http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/12/18/hostage-calm-announce-five-farewell-shows/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:08:17 +0000 http://www.underthegunreview.net/?p=1141033 Not too long ago, Hostage Calm announced their departure from the music scene.

Since then it has remained very unclear as to why the band has come to this decision. Early next year, however, the band will embark on a series of shows to bid their fans goodbye.

Check out the five tour dates below with their corresponding vendors.

2.25 – Philadelphia, The Barbary http://ticketf.ly/1x2u8Oz
2.27 – New York, Santos Party House http://tktwb.tw/1GUNXXk
2.28 – Boston, Brighton Music Hall http://bit.ly/1sJy1Xf
3.04 – Chicago, Schuba’s http://bit.ly/1w2AjuR
3.06 – New Haven, Toad’s Place http://bit.ly/1zzZny9…

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Not too long ago, Hostage Calm announced their departure from the music scene.

Since then it has remained very unclear as to why the band has come to this decision. Early next year, however, the band will embark on a series of shows to bid their fans goodbye.

Check out the five tour dates below with their corresponding vendors.

2.25 – Philadelphia, The Barbary http://ticketf.ly/1x2u8Oz
2.27 – New York, Santos Party House http://tktwb.tw/1GUNXXk
2.28 – Boston, Brighton Music Hall http://bit.ly/1sJy1Xf
3.04 – Chicago, Schuba’s http://bit.ly/1w2AjuR
3.06 – New Haven, Toad’s Place http://bit.ly/1zzZny9

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