Tag Archives: Review

Film Review: Bad Times at the El Royale Wears Its Influences on Its Sleeve

The Pitch: Writer-director Drew Goddard applies the byzantine plotting he mastered in The Cabin In the Woods to the crime-thriller genre. When an assortment of colorful guests descend on the El Royale — a novelty hotel split along the state lines of Nevada and California — it becomes clear that no one is quite who they say they are.

Album Review: Piano & A Microphone 1983 Makes for a Fascinating First Release from Prince’s Vault

The Lowdown: “Is that my echo?” Prince asks of the empty space that opens Piano & A Microphone 1983, before unloading both barrels into a propulsive, syncopated version of “17 Days”. The nine songs on Piano & A Microphone are not mere echoes of the late icon’s power; instead, this recording offers further glimpses of

Live Review: Modern Life Is War refuse to grow old at Denver show (9/15)

Setting the Stage:  Modern Life Is War may just be the most accessible hardcore band of all time. To the cultists of heavy, that might sound like a bad thing; a big appeal of punk and metal subgenres is their inaccessibility to the larger music culture, a secret shared by weirdos in sweaty basements all

Album Review: Carrie Underwood Balances Comfort and Risk-Taking on Cry Pretty

The Lowdown: With apologies to Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood is the only female superstar in country music today. There are some might-have-beens. Taylor Swift changed lanes. The Dixie Chicks went up in a patriotic bonfire. The generation of Reba, Faith, and Shania Twain are enjoying various degrees of retirement. In 2016, the percentage of purely

Album Review: Aphex Twin Simmers and Boils on the Remarkable Collapse EP

The Lowdown: The latest release from the reclusive and prolific Aphex Twin finds the producer moving away from the more straightforward approach he has been dabbling in on recent work, turning up the heat on his slippery, electronic anthems, bringing them from a simmer to a rolling boil. The Good: The music on Collapse takes

Album Review: Pig Destroyer’s Sonic Evolution Continues on Head Cage

The Lowdown: After a six-year gap between albums, Pig Destroyer’s sixth disc, Head Cage, acts not just as a followup to their previous LP, Book Burner, but also to all the various experiments guitarist Scott Hull has undertaken between then and now, both in Pig Destroyer and his other grind band Agoraphobic Nosebleed. With the

Classic Film Review: True Romance Remains A Sweet, Distinctly Male Movie

When True Romance was released in theaters 25 years ago this week, “a Tarantino movie” wasn’t something audiences and critics could rely on as shorthand. You say that now, and it evokes a very particular kind of image: dialogue packed with references to pop cultural arcana, brutal-yet-stylish violence with a particular emphasis on the body-ripping power of