album review

Big-Sean-Dark-Sky-Paradise-Review

REVIEW: Big Sean – ‘Dark Sky Paradise’

Artist: Big Sean
Album: Dark Sky Paradise
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Dark Sky Paradise is not one step closer to the record fans have been waiting for Big Sean to create, but five. Coming off the largely forgettable Hall Of Fame, the Detroit native spent the majority of 2014 crafting his most honest, ambitious, and creative record to date. It’s not perfect, but then again neither is he.

Opening with “Dark Sky (Skyscrapers),” Sean reintroduces himself while touching on topics like wealth, success, and the patience you need in order to attain either. His flow flip-flops from slow to fast and …

styg

REVIEW: Stick To Your Guns – ‘Disobedient’

Artist: Stick To Your Guns
Album: Disobedient
Genre: Hardcore Punk
Label: Sumerian Records

Even though they may have taken the world by storm with their critically acclaimed 2012 release Diamond, an extra step was needed in order for Stick To Your Guns to solidify their place in the punk rock and hardcore world as one of the most important acts in the scene. That step is showcased in Disobedient, a punk outcry filled with uplifting lyrics and genre-changing melodies. While keeping relentless riffs and screaming vocals intact, the band has evolved to a more polished overall sound with …

dodos

REVIEW: The Dodos – ‘Individ’

Artist: The Dodos
Album: Individ
Genre: Indie Rock, Folk
Label: Polyvinyl Records

This is a confession I am willing to make: I have never really listened to The Dodos, or at least given them the attention they deserved. But after listening to their past albums, especially Visiter and Carrier, I didn’t have to think twice about embracing the creations of this fantastic duo from San Francisco. It was awe-inspiring to dive into unfamiliar territory and feel comforted by the indie-folk this duo has put out. This is where the band’s newest album Individ comes into play. Their sixth …

the decemberists

REVIEW: The Decemberists – ‘What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World’

Artist: The Decemberists
Album: What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World
Genre: Indie Rock
Label: Capitol Records

Now in their fifteenth year as a band, The Decemberists have released their seventh studio album in What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World.

Fans of their previous release should feel right at home with the new record, especially because many of its stylistic elements pick up right where The King Is Dead left off. This is especially true with regards to tracks like “Mistral” or “12-17-12,” which is even dated appropriately.…

author

REVIEW: Author – ‘Of Brighter Days’

Artist: Author
Album: Of Brighter Days
Genre: Indie, Alternative
Label: Unsigned

Minneapolis’ Author have been riding a wave of praise since the release of their debut EP, People Are Alike All Over, a lush offering that left alternative music fans weak in the knees and hungry for a follow-up. Now, two years later, the four-piece is back with a well-rounded LP that not only meets, but exceeds all expectations.

Carefully crafted from start to finish, Of Brighter Days is a record defined by details. From the glassy opening of “Fiction” to the tender closing of “Find The Words,” every …

fob

Here’s Why It’s Okay To Think That Fall Out Boy Song Isn’t All That Great

This James Shotwell-opposing diss track began as a joke and gradually got a little heated. I was heckling him about his swooning over Fall Out Boy’s newly-released “Fourth Of July.” He gave me the title and suggested I write an anti-piece based on things I said. So here I am, probably more scathing and critical (and nonsensical) than I truly intend to be. Regardless, shots fired.

I’m not opposed to change. At all. In fact, I encourage and often embrace it. For the sake of this article, in terms of music, I’ll throw out recent examples like Pianos Become The …

panda bear

REVIEW: Panda Bear – ‘Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper’

Artist: Panda Bear
Album: Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
Label: Domino Records
Genre: Indie, Chillwave

By now, if you’re not into the whole Animal Collective scene, I’m not sure you ever will be, unless you start from the beginning and you work your way to this point, which I totally encourage. The innovation and importance that the four distinct members of this group bring to each effort is outrageous and game-changing in a different way on each album.

Up to this point, Panda Bear‘s releases have strategically (as it would seem) progressed to where he ended up on …

chains

REVIEW: Chains – ‘The Sorrow, The Sadness’ EP

Artist: Chains
Album: The Sorrow, The Sadness EP
Label: Calaveras Records
Genre: Metal, Hardcore

Let’s be honest: you miss Set Your Goals. I miss the band as well, for the sole fact that they are the pop-punk outfit that gave the genre an aggressive edge. This Will Be The Death Of Us is one of my favorite anthem-riddled, pop-punk releases, for it’s the prime example of the passionate personality and delivery inherent to the genre. However, following 2011′s Burning At Both Ends, the band went into a quiet state, seemingly without any intent of letting the music world …

Tyler-Carter

REVIEW: Tyler Carter – ‘Leave Your Love’ EP

Artist: Tyler Carter
Album: Leave Your Love EP
Label: Rise Records

The Internet has been demanding a Tyler Carter solo album since 2010, if not longer. Several songs surfaced in 2011, including the popular “Side To Side,” but no release ever came together. Demand returned following the rise of Carter’s latest project, Issues, and now we’re kicking off 2015 with a new collection of solo tracks that prove Carter could easily have an entirely different career in music.…

the cinema

REVIEW: The Cinema – ‘Talking In Your Sleep’

Artist: The Cinema
Title: Talking In Your Sleep
Label: 8123 Records
Genre: Indie Pop

In 2011, a new musical force was brought upon the music world when Lydia’s frontman Leighton Antelman and producer Matt Malpass created The Cinema. This resulted in their debut album My Blood Is Full Of Airplanes the same year, which was met with critical acclaim and showed a new direction in Antelman’s musical endeavors. Fast forward three years and the collaboration brings us Talking In Your Sleep, which takes My Blood Is Full Of Airplanes and sprinkles layers of vocal transformations and epic …

FOB

SINGLE REVIEW: Fall Out Boy – “The Kids Aren’t Alright”

Artist: Fall Out Boy
Song: “The Kids Aren’t Alright”
Album: American Beauty / American Psycho

The rumors of Fall Out Boy’s plans to release a follow-up to Save Rock And Roll in 2015 have recently been proven true, and now we find ourselves in the midst of a promotional campaign that has encountered its fair share of criticism. We have made it a point to review every new song that has surfaced thus far, and today are continuing those efforts by taking a look at “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” which premiered online earlier this week. If you missed the …

sullivan

REVIEW: Sullivan – ‘Heavy Is The Head’

Artist: Sullivan
Album: Heavy Is The Head
Genre: Alt. rock
Label: Spartan Records

To the excitement of many fans, including some of us here at UTG, Sullivan announced the end of their hiatus, as well as details for a new full-length album. They were officially on hiatus for seven years, starting in 2007. During that time they did self-release an acoustic EP featuring songs from their previous work, but at the time they did not make public any plans to get back together. Lucky for us though, they did decide to release some brand new music, and I think it’s …