Movie Review: The Witches

By Maddie James, Contributor
[Warner Bros. Pictures; 2020]
Rating: 3/10
The last thing that some movies should have is a good cast, and The Witches is one such movie. With performances from Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Anne Hathaway and Kristin Chenoweth, The Witches holds a lot of promise for people unfamiliar with the story, but falls short of its star cast. The Witches is a 2020 adaptation of the book of the same name by Roald Dahl, following the first adaptation in 1990. Aside from a more diverse cast and the updated graphics, the 2020 adaptation hasn’t grown much from the previous version, let alone the book.

Album Review: Father – Come Outside, We Not Gone Jump You

By Kiah Easton, Editorial Director
[Awful Father; 2020]
Rating: 6/10
Key tracks: “Spell Book”, “Fist of the North Star”, “Come Outside, We Not Gone Jump You”
2020 has been a suboptimal for most but Father seems to be unphased in terms of productivity, putting out his second project of the year. Contrasting Tha Thingz I Do For Money’s stripped-back, dirty pallette, Come Outside, We Not Gone Jump You has a much more meshed sound, with each element glued tightly together making singular waves of sound.

Movie Review: Happiest Season

By Ben Lindner, Staff Writer
[Hulu; 2020]
Rating: 7/10
It is rare for a movie to be added into the holiday movie canon, or the kinds of movies you watch every year with your family during the winter. The movie has to capture the holiday spirit and remain accessible to everyone, and at least on that basis, Happiest Season deserves consideration to be added to this group of movies.

Album Review: Gorillaz – Song Machine

Gorillaz returns with what is perhaps their most ambitious project to date, Song Machine. Instead of a traditional album release format, the album is essentially a collection of singles, as each song is accompanied by an “episode,” lyric video or both on YouTube.

Album Review: Sinai Vessel – Ground Aswim

By Ethan Bloomfield, Contributor
[Single Occupancy; 2020]
Rating: 8.5/10
Key tracks: “Where Did You Go?”, “All Days Just End”, “Antechamber”
The rise of maximalism in music is an arms race soon to come to a close, but being as blown out, loud and abrasive as possible can only go so far. It is a spectacle, but one with a firm ceiling until noise becomes a Merzbow-esque discordance of sound and static. All that to say this: understatement in music is almost unfashionable in the modern zeitgeist. The meteoric rise of the likes of 100 gecs might seem like a death knell for the stripped-back, contemplative sounds of Sinai Vessel, but this contrast works to the North Carolina indie rock outfit’s advantage; this true alternative manifests itself in their second studio album, Ground Aswim. It’s an understated and expressive piece of indie rock that’s full of bare-naked lyrics and poignant instrumentals to achieve a captivating, though quiet, forty-seven minutes.

Album Review: EP!

No one would have blamed JPEGMAFIA for having a misstep in 2020 after his track record of fantastic albums. The man is due for a flop at this point, but it seems like Peggy is incapable of slipping up. Over the past few months, Peggy has released a slew of singles back to back, and now, he’s stitched them all into a beautiful Frankenstein’s monster of a project. EP! proves that Peggy is a master of his craft. Who else could add a few flourishes to previously released tracks and have it stand as one of the most coherent, satisfying projects of the year?

Movie Review: On the Rocks

I’m not sure I watched On the Rocks properly. I watched it on my couch on a Wednesday morning, but I feel like it was intended for middle-aged wine moms who, after finally putting their kids to bed, are just waiting to scream “OMG, that’s so true” every time the movie shows how hard marriage is. Outside of that lens, this movie, while functional, is not able to do anything particularly remarkable.

Album Review: clipping. – Visions of Bodies Being Burned

By: Kwase Lane, Features Editor
[Sub Pop Records; 2020]
Rating: 5/10
Key Tracks: “’96 Neve Campbell”, “Looking Like Meat”, “Eaten Alive”
clipping.’s commitment to fictional perspectives could be really interesting if Daveed Diggs bothered to put any energy into his delivery. Visions of Bodies Being Burned is a testament to how flaccid an album can be if the artist sounds terribly bored by the concept of making music. Every featured artist rides the beat far better than Diggs ever allows himself to, much to the album’s detriment. This project’s production is as unique as ever, but I can’t help but find myself wishing anybody else was responsible for rapping over it.

Album Review: boy pablo – Wachito Rico

By Maddie James, Contributor
[777 Music; 2020]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “honey”, “te vas // don’t go”, “mustache”
Wachito Rico sounds like either incredibly well-produced brain candy or sexy elevator music. The newest release from boy pablo, Wachito Rico is the debut album of the indie-pop project headed by Chilean-Norwegian artist Nicolas Muñoz.

Album Review: The Mountain Goats – Getting Into Knives

By Ethan Bloomfield, Contributor[Merge; 2020]Rating: 6/10 Key Tracks: “The Last Place I Saw You Alive”, “Bell Swamp Connection”, “Getting Into Knives” What can be said about The Mountain Goats that hasn’t been? John Darnielle and company have created 13 studio albums and some of the biggest indie classics for the better part of three decades….

Album Review: Ariana Grande – Positions

By Lauren McCain, Columns Editor [Republic Records; 2020]Rating: 7.5/10  Key tracks: “positions”, “34+35”, “safety net (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)”, “pov”  After the whirlwind of her albums Sweetener and thank u, next less than five months apart in 2019, in 2020, Ariana Grande brings a more intimate, sultry R&B sound to the table with Positions. Positions makes…

Movie Review: The Trial of the Chicago 7

By Ben Lindner, Contributor
[Netflix; 2020]
Rating: 7/10
From the opening minutes of The Trial of the Chicago 7, a story of the aftermath of the riots at the Democratic National Convention in 1968, it is clear exactly what the film is trying to be: an acting showcase with a fast, exciting script. It’s a movie made for people, like myself, who enjoy pointing at the screen and saying, “Hey, isn’t that the guy from that thing?” In that sense, the movie works extremely well.