REVIEW: Basement – ‘Promise Everything’

basement promise everything

Artist: Basement
Album: Promise Everything
Label: Run For Cover Records
Genre: Rock

Basement return from a hiatus that lasted shorter than most people imagined, thankfully, with their third full-length, Promise Everything—a powerhouse rock record that continues the band’s deep roster of solid tunes, even if it feels a little less alluring than 2012’s Colourmeinkindness.

Beginning with “Brothers Keeper,” Basement open to more alt-rock roots from the grunge and emo-tinged past releases. Melodies are more soaring, guitars are brighter, though the percussion and bass still provide a static foundation, giving everyone else the room to soar. Read more »

Edward Cuozzo

REQUIRED LISTENING: Edward Cuozzo offers poignant, acoustic beauty on ‘The Silvia EP’

Edward Cuozzo is likely an unfamiliar name, but if the Scranton, Pennsylvania singer-songwriter’s newest EP gains the traction it deserves, “Cuozzo” will be on the tongue-tips and turntables of every alt-acoustic music lover with a taste for everything from Elliott Smith to Brand New.

Over the course of six tracks and 23 minutes, the former Social State frontman emits a lot of darkness, both in his music and lyrics. Lines like “Always, the good get hell / We’re like run-down motels” and “It’s hard being but an option, among better / When I’m bleeding out a river of honest blood” show Cuozzo with his heart on his sleeve, fighting the good fight. There’s positive love and light too, though. “When I’m with you, love, entangled in your touch / It don’t take too much to see that even heaven’s envious” should serve well as a deeply affectionate note on a significant other’s Facebook wall or hand-delivered card this fast-approaching Valentine’s Day.

Recorded and mixed at his own home on a Tascam DP-02CF 8-track recorder, the album has a very organic, bedroom softness to it. It feels vulnerable yet comforting, relatable in theme—whether it be painful love lost or love at its best. It’s an accessible, easy listen overflowing with heart and humanity. Listen through below and let us know your thoughts. Read more »

Joseph Sant

Joseph Sant’s debut EP is top-notch, dreamy indie rock

Brooklyn’s Joseph Sant has just released his inaugural EP, titled Sea White Salt. As impressive a debut as any in recent memory, the four-track release is packed full of lush, ofttimes haunting textures and hypnotizing tones that transport you to another place entirely. It’s almost visual in its delivery, evoking imagery in the listener’s mind of various rich landscapes and soothing scenarios. The ethereal atmosphere paired with Sant’s comfortingly lulling vocal is sure to provide many a much-needed stress reliever.

With a mere 14-minute runtime, what Sea White Salt lacks in length it more than makes up for with replay value and genuine talent via its creator. This of course only leads us to a heightened anticipation for whatever Sant may provide our ears next—hopefully in the not-too-distant future.

Sea White Salt can be purchased on vinyl through Sant’s webstore. The album’s lead single, titled “Nor’easter,” can be streamed below. Read more »

Pinegrove

Pinegrove stream introspective new track, “Cadmium”

In anticipation of their impending Run For Cover debut, New Jersey’s Pinegrove have joined forces with The Fader to premiere a slow-building new single titled “Cadmium.” Check it out below, and let us know what you think in the replies.

“The song’s a lot about correspondence and communication,” frontman Evan Stephen Hall explained. “There’s a book called I Send You This Cadmium Red by John Berger and John Christie that collects the letters the two Johns sent to one another. The first letter sent was just a square of that color. I was writing a lot of letters with my friend out west at the time, and we liked the idea. We started sending colors and art sometimes and found it to be a different and good (and sometimes more direct) way to say what we were feeling.”

The foursome’s new LP, Cardinal, hits shelves on February 12. Pre-orders are ongoing. Read more »

alice cooper

Alice Cooper Tickets On Sale Now for Spring Tour; Resale Tickets Rising

Alice Cooper recently announced a 2016 spring tour, dubbed ‘Spend A Night With Alice Cooper,’ with several stops planned for top venues across the country. The tour will kick off on April 29 in Biloxi, Mississippi and will continue into late May. Tickets to see Alice Cooper are on sale now, and have already hit the secondary market with big demand.

Currently, tickets for the tour are averaging $118 across all scheduled dates, according to the data provided by TiqIQ. Some of the stops with the lowest get-in prices include the LC Pavilion on May 6 in Columbus Ohio, where tickets are available for $50, and the Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio where tickets are available for just $67. The first date of the tour at the Beau Rivage Theatre in Biloxi, Mississippi currently has tickets that average $125.63, with a get-in price of $80. Fans traveling outside the area can find affordable hotels and flights for Biloxi at hipmunk.com, as well as plenty of other stops along the way. Read more »

Idle Empress

REQUIRED LISTENING: Idle Empress craft fantastic, homegrown folk on debut EP

Hailing from Justin Vernon‘s hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Idle Empress are here to make folk fun again. Comprised of vocalist Lauren Anderson, guitarist Josh Frederick, and drummer Elliot Heinz, these intuitive up-and-comers have turned countless heads throughout the Badger State, and now look to take their talents far beyond the Chippewa Valley with the arrival of their fantastic, self-titled debut.

Expertly crafted and easy to swallow, the trio’s freshman outing is as enchanting as their rustic homeland, built upon memorable melodies and playful instrumentation. Anderson is electric throughout, and even the cover art—courtesy of Dairyland native Ella Strei—is marvelous and engrossing. It’s a simple release, but not in a negative sense, and what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in uncompromising quality.

Give Idle Empress a listen after the break, and feel free to swoon with us in the comments section. Read more »

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Finest Hours’ Leaks But Stays Afloat

the finest hours

Film: The Finest Hours
Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Chris Pine, Holliday Grainger, Casey Affleck

Heroic feats on the sea seem to be a bit of a trend nowadays at the theaters. With Ron Howard’s In The Heart of the Sea, we learned that even the most harrowing stories can get slighted by the search for a worthy story to tell. With The Finest Hours, we get a bit of return to form with such a seafaring tale by telling a story verbatim. Verbatim is fine, just not when the whole narrative has a hard time juggling nihilism and good, old-fashioned, gooey optimism.

It’s a bit unusual to see Disney release a movie so steeped in crushing the audience with messages like “We live or we all die.” Well, it was unusual until dashingly handsome Chris Pine gets the task of playing the runt of a Coast Guard crew, having to prove himself to his shipmates that he’s right for the suicide mission. Read more »

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Success of Broadway Shows Like ‘School of Rock,’ ‘Hamilton’ May Boost Counter-Genre Productions

Although Broadway productions got their start in the classical realm through classic operas or Shakespearean plays, Broadway has since expanded into more diverse plays and musicals, particularly within the last decade. One of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s earliest productions, Phantom of the Opera marked the beginning of the new wave of musicals on Broadway, and other productions like Les Miserables, The Lion King and Wicked sparked a change in popularized genres.

New hits like Webber’s School of Rock, based on the 2003 Jack Black film, have drawn in not just Broadway fans, but fans of bands like Tenacious D, Foo Fighters, Slayer and more. Similarly, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton has provoked a huge general public awakening through the popularity it has gained across the hip-hop and pop spectrum. Read more »

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Lady In The Van’ Pulls Out Of First Gear, Thanks To Maggie Smith

the lady in the van

Film: The Lady In The Van
Directed By: Nicholas Hytner
Starring: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings

Saccharine messages like “sometimes in life, you need a helping hand” litter the feel-good true stories we see gracing the cinema every so often. What those “feel-good” stories tend to do is err to the side of dramatic sop or end up being too cheery to land any intended poignancy. The Lady In The Van pulls off the admirable feat of avoiding those two pitfalls by drumming up a humorous story about authorial intent and weaving that “feel-good,” rhythmic fluff through the loose structure. It also helps that actress Maggie Smith is the one to deliver such fluff.

Playwright Alan Bennett (played here by Alex Jennings) housed the local cantankerous vagabond by the name of Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith) during the years of 1974-1989 at his home in London, England. After striking up an odd friendship with Shepherd, Bennett finally caves and lets her park her decrepit old van in his yard after his neighbors deny her shelter. Read more »

wildcat wildcat

Wildcat Wildcat share another perfect pop jam with “Straight To The Top”

Wildcat Wildcat continue to be one of the most promising purveyors of pop music, further evidenced by their newest single, “Straight To The Top”—fittingly titled as the group is well on their way there themselves.

Serving as the band’s first new material since 2014’s No Moon At All, “Straight To The Top” is presumed to be the first single from a forthcoming follow-up. However, no info on a title or street date has been made official. In the meantime, though, you can enjoy the newest single below, which boasts a smooth, chillwave vibe, great vocal melodies and an overall radio-ready production deserving of your attention. As with most of WW’s works thus far, there’s a lot of replay value here. You’ll be dancing and singing along in no time.

You can check out Wildcat Wildcat’s older material here and also check out their recent Audio Tree Live session below. Read more »

brandnew2015

Brand New To Tour With Modest Mouse This Summer

Take a few deep breaths, this is real. Shut up and take our money.

Brand New will be hitting the road this summer with Modest Mouse, recreating the awesomeness that was Brand New and Modest Mouse headlining Boston Calling a few years ago.

I’m not going to say it would be cool if Brand New was touring with new material, or that new material would be close by after this tour, so I won’t.

Starting this June in Utah and ending in late July in Portland, the tour will surely be a talked about event for this coming summer.

Pre-sale is available now (if you’re lucky), and the tickets officially go on sale Friday at noon. Be sure to not delay for this one, friends. Get your tickets here.

Check out the tour flyer for dates below. Read more »

PUP

The wait for new PUP material is finally over; stream “DVP” now

We’ve been awaiting the studio version of “DVP” for quite some time—since PUP‘s Audiotree performance a year ago, or maybe even longer since they started playing it on tour. It’s a two-and-a-half-minute blast of raw energy met with an equally gratifying melody—that winning combination PUP has mastered in a very short amount of time, the one that makes their take on pop-punk so refreshingly charming. The aforementioned wait is over, though, and the song is here. You can stream it hundreds of times below.

We know the Toronto four-piece’s follow-up to their wildly popular, self-titled debut is nigh. The band received the masters roughly 14 weeks ago (as seen in their Instagram post below) so it’s only a matter of time now. However, no release info or title for the new album was unveiled today with the stream of “DVP,” but the band’s second LP is expected sometime this spring.

Keep an eye out here at UTG for more info regarding PUP’s newest release in the coming weeks and months. Read more »

Under The Gun Review