Single Review: Sinai Vessel – “Swimming”

North Carolina rock trio Sinai Vessel are no stranger to doing a lot with a little. Last year’s excellent and understated Ground Aswim feels like a master class in the use of sparse instrumentation and minimal production to achieve an impactful sound. Track after track is carefully composed and executed beautifully, culminating in what is undoubtedly one of the best indie rock records of 2020. Great news: there’s more. 

Q&A: Beach Girl (Marcy Adams formerly of Athens)

Former Athens-based EDM producer Beach Girl, AKA Marcy Adams, is set to drop three singles in June, starting with their reimagining of Alice Deejay’s “Better off Alone” on June 2. “Let U Down” drops June 17, followed by “i can’t stop myself” on June 30. The singles follow two tracks Adams released in March, “I Do It Like That… You Love It?” and “SADNALONE” in addition to their recent move from Athens to Atlanta. ACRN spoke with Adams to inquire about the move, the new songs, the new place and how Krewella’s “Alive” fits into all of that:

Album Review: Giant Claw – Mirror Guide

By Kiah Easton, Editorial Director[Orange Milk; 2021]Rating: *_??//@@#$*&/10 Key tracks: “Earther”, “Disworld (Vocals: NTsKI)”, “Mirror Guide, Pt. II (you and me)” Published by am spritzer and ACRN Media Experimental electronic music often finds itself positioned opposite to the idea of organic sound. While electronic production has allowed for the abstraction of “traditional” sounds, it has…

Movie Review: Malcolm & Marie

By Ben Lindner, Staff Writer
[Little Lamb Productions; 2021]
Rating: 4/10
The first 10 minutes of Malcolm & Marie are pretty interesting. The two characters have a realistic argument with strong performances from Zendaya and John David Washington. The black and white cinematography is cool. The title card hits and I thought “maybe I’ll like this.” Then it was the same 10 minutes I had just watched over and over again for another hour and a half.

Movie Review: One Night in Miami…

By RJ Martin, Contributor
[Snoot Entertainment; 2020]
Rating: 8/10
One Night in Miami… is the newest film from director Regina King and writer Kemp Powers, finding both of them honing their craft. This is only Powers’ second big-screen feature after co-directing and writing Pixar’s acclaimed Soul from late last year. The film is adapted from his original 2013 stage play, and it recounts the events of a meeting between four titans in black history: Malcom X, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown and Cassius Clay (later to be Muhammad Ali). They met in celebration after Clay’s legendary victory over Sonny Liston in Miami, Florida. 

Movie Review: Zack Snyder’s Justice League

By Ben Lindner, Staff Writer
[Warner Bros.; 2021]
Rating: 8/10
The time has come. Zack Snyder’s behemoth, a 4-hour director’s cut of Justice League has arrived after over 3 years of calls from fans. After the immense hype and speculation, with the film being stitched together under the worst circumstances, Zack Snyder’s Justice League miraculously delivers a satisfying and engaging epic that is sure to be a hit for the fans who waited so long for it.

Album Review: Weezer – OK Human

By: RJ Martin
[Atlantic Records; 2021]
Rating: 6/10
Key tracks: “All My Favorite Songs”, “Here Comes The Rain”, “La Brea Tar Pits”
What if after Green Day proudly proclaimed their most recent album had “no features, no swedish songwriters, no trap beats, just 100% pure uncut rock” it actually turned out to be pretty decent despite the overwhelming snobbery? Well, you don’t have to imagine, because after a lackluster performance on their most recent records, Weezer seems to have done just that. A few weeks ago, ahead of the release of OK Human, the band took to Instagram to explain that the album was made with a time “when humans really mattered and when the dark tech-takeover fantasy didn’t exist” in mind. The album was made all analogue with a ’60s/’70s sound in mind, which isn’t a new concept. 

Movie Review: Soul

By RJ Martin, Contributor[Disney; 2020]Rating: 9/10 Over the last year, we’ve had our fair share of eyebrow-raises and eye-rolls at various media trying to make some sort of statement about society in the wake of the pandemic. Pixar’s Soul is a film that actually does it well without even trying to in the first place. …

Album Review: Black Country, New Road – For the first time

By Jonah Krueger, News Editor
[Ninja Tune; 2021]
Rating: 9/10
Key tracks: “Athens, France”, “Science Fair”, “Sunglasses”, “Opus”
Black Country, New Road accomplished something incredible—they released an album that got noticed. After forming from the ashes of a promising band ruined by the actions of a single member, the seven-piece’s trajectory seemed pretty straightforward. Gain a quick cult following off the basis of live performances, work out new material, put out a single or two, sign to a label, release a debut album—all the while remaining mysterious and developing an idiosyncratic aesthetic.

Movie Review: Pieces of a Woman

By Ben Lindner, Staff Writer
[Bron Studios; 2020]
Rating: 9/10
Empathy is hard to generate in a movie. It requires a perfect tone, rock-solid performance and brilliant direction to really get the viewer into the characters’ shoes. Luckily, Pieces of a Woman checks all of those boxes to create a fantastically devastating character piece.

Preview: ACRN LobsterFest with Jetty Bones, Sun Boats, Warp and Wastemen

Rock Lobsters, what could that be lingering around the station at ACRN? Is it hope? We’d like to think so. The music world seems to be slowly on its way back from the standstill of the pandemic due to the massive vaccine rollout and the joy that summer tends to bring to everything. Unfortunately, we won’t be back in person for this year’s Lobsterfest. Instead, we’ll again be sticking to the virtual format that we adopted for the Battle of the Bands and ACRN Prom. Four artists will be featured on the bill: Jetty Bones, Sun Boats, Warp and Wastemen. You won’t want to miss what these groups will bring to the table. The sets will be released one at a time on ACRN’s YouTube channel, starting on April 23 and going until May 1.

Album Review: Xiu Xiu – OH NO

By Venus Rittenberg, Contributor
[Polyvinyl; 2021]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: “One Hundred Years”, “A Bottle of Rum”, “OH NO”
Xiu Xiu’s 15th album is an album of duets that sees them returning to the sounds that frequent their discography prior to 2019’s experimental Girl with Basket of Fruit. A perfect example of this return to the olden days of Xiu Xiu is the title track, which sounds like something from Xiu Xiu’s fifth album, The Air Force, but with a poppier hook.