I did these in reverse order, to make it a bit more fair to people who are stuck at the end of the alphabet. Did about half of them earlier in the week, and half during a marathon session tonight. I feel like the "winner" of a hot dog eating contest.
The Worldly Self-Assurance - Some of the vocals are better than others, which makes it sound a bit uneven. It's well recorded, of course, and E-bowed guitar is always a treat. The song itself is nice, but not something that will stick with me.
The White Hat - Hmm, sounds like bog standard banjo pickin' to me. Is this what you mean by an "open-minded" approach to your instrument? It feels like I've heard this a thousand times before, and that's saying something because I don't tend to listen to this style of music. Ok, so there's some harmonica, and again... nothing new here.
Wet Towel Society - I kinda dig these cheesy drums. When the bass comes in it's overpowering. Vocals remind me of Tom Petty, and not in a bad way. I like the tinkly synth. Bass is still too loud. A good amount of changes and variations. Slightly too long, maybe. Nice ending, though.
Weakest Suit - I mentioned it before, but this really seems like a dramatic step up in quality. It still sounds live, but less lo-fi. All the elements are coming together for me, it's well mixed, the song is catchy and it doesn't wear out it's welcome. I'd like to hear a bit more consistency from the tambourines, but if they were TOO consistent it might wreck some of the live feel. This is one to be proud of.
A Tribe Called Quoons - You're probably going to lose votes because of the theme, but I, for one, am grateful that you didn't write Yet Another Sensitive Love Song, and the humor is welcome. The story kept me interested in what was going to happen next. The bootythump bass is nice, especially with that percussion groove. My favorite part is probably the bridge. I wish the muted trumpet was real, but what'ryagonnado? We're can't all have a brother named Steve Durand, so you made the most out of what you had.
Todd McHatton - I know the Beatles have been mentioned, it reminds me a bit of the Polyphonic Spree as well... I'm a sucker for this style, and that makes this is my favorite of yours. All the different instruments, the arrangement, great great great! There are a few recording nitpicks that detract from my enjoyment. The pickup buzz on the guitar solo is so loud it's distracting. The microphone is bumped into, loudly, from around 2:13 to 2:17. There are some scattered plosives (oPen the door). I know, these are minor issues, but for some reason they really stand out to me. The song itself is charming and eclectic, and that's what really matters.
Swillington - I guess I'm in the mood for vocoder, because it's sounding pretty good. It might not be a standout for me, but it's nice in the background.
Steve Durand - If that's harmonica, you're the cleanest, most precise harmonica player I've ever heard. Not my favorite of yours, but good.
Squidbird - Like far too much hip hop, this is too repetitive. That particular synth patch isn't very exciting. I'd have to agree that Chadder's HAMN entry sounds more like what I'd expect "birdcore" to sound like, but props for getting creative with it instead of churning out Yet Another Sensitive Love Song.
Some Guy Called Noel - I'm envious of your fingerstyle. I've practiced the technique, but haven't ever been able to make it sound smooth like this. Maybe because I'm a lefty who plays righty, I don't have the right hand dexterity. Hmm. Anyway, that's impressive. I'd like to hear your vocals come up in the mix in the beginning of the song. It sounds like you gain confidence as you go, and your vocals near the end of the song are just about right.
Slats - How do you keep FINDING those cool guitar tones? I like the effects on your voice. Your mixing is getting better and better, I can tell. The bass sounds great this time. Definitely your best so far.
The Sky Looks Pissed - Harmonica, frantic guitar, and.... horror movies strings? That's kinda cool actually. Are you in an actual garage? You sound like the manic phase of how the weakest suit used to sound. I like some of these lines "flash without a camera, shaving without a beard". Hahaha, "that was angry". I have to admit, by the end you've won me over.
Signboy - I'm diggin' the fuzz bass. This is worthy. All my complaints are vocal related, and I think it could have been fixed with a couple more takes.
Roymond Feat. Billy - Vocal delivery at the start isn't helping me NOT picture you in Frank N. Furter drag (thanks a lot, Chris), but I like it in spite of that. As stated, there are some mix issues, and I think the guitars may be panned a little too heavily. Great random-sounding solo.
R. Mosquito - I always look forward to what you'll do next. I think this could be a bit less noisy without ruining your vibe. I love it, but I could be loving it a little bit more.
Rik Gerblick - Your voice sounds familiar. Blues Traveller, is that you? Actually, everything sounds familiar. Didn't I hear this several times a day on the radio in the 90's? This isn't bad at all, it's just too much like too many other songs.
Red Skeletons - Songwriting and arrangement are top notch. Great instrumentation and lots of changes... yeah, this really appeals to me.
Raisin Brain - A bit too long. Not bad, not a standout. The vocals are the main problem.
Quimby - Your vocals have never sounded better. Hey Hey My My, Rock and Roll will never die... oh, sorry, wrong song
. Is that you on lead guitar? It's good!
Plain Songs for Doves and Tigers - Wow... hmmm... it comes THIS close to being brilliant. The things holding it back are EQ issues (too muddy, no sparkle), and the fact that sometimes it sounds like you're flailing around trying to find the pitch. You're going in a great direction, keep working on it. This has an amazing texture.
Pigpen - This is FUN, and that's what you're going for. The dun-dun-dun and the quacking don't annoy me. Not something I'd listen to all the time, but it made me smile.
Pet Squirrel - Vocals need some processing to fit better in the song. Bass could come down a bit. My favorite part is when the strings come in.
The Pathetic Wannabees - This reminds me of that song that goes "hey babe, you wanna boogie? boogie woogie woogie with me". I think the music and background vocals are too low compared to the lead vocal. This would be fun to see live.
Paco Del Stinko - Musicianship out the wazoo, as is to be expected. This one doesn't especially stand out in the Paco catalog, but it's a pretty sweet catalog. Just keep doing what you're doing.
Ocho Del Culo - Hearing this makes me appreciate Chadderandom more. It's really difficult music either way, but his is way better.
Melvin is God - Those cheesio-tone instruments. That vocal delivery. Would have been a perfect fit for Half A Million Nerds... it's nerdtastic. If this is intentional satire, it's good.
Melvin - The usual radio-friendly Melvin entry. Nothing wrong with it, just not my bag.
McRamalamastein - This starts out sounding really promising, with that organ and timpani. Then the vocals come in, way too loud, and disappoint me. Then the music gets too loud, too. I really want the enjoy this, but the clipping makes it difficult. You've got some great ideas and a cool sound, you just need to work on your levels. I'm not in love with the pitch shifted background vocals, but I am in love with the solo.
Max The Cat - I think someone mentioned Paul Simon before, and he's the first thing that comes to mind. Maybe a bit TOO much like him, but I enjoy his phrasing, so of course I like yours. Too much panning on the bass. Nice harmonics!
Mar La Alma - Ah, A deetak parody which makes me appreciate him more, because he's way better. I see what you're doing here.
Manhattan Glutton - I actually dig the slow pace (some would call it plodding) and the seasick sounding guitars. I REALLY like when the distortion kicks in and you start to rock it, reminding me of Live back when Live was good. I know the soft/loud/soft thing has been done a lot, but I've still got a soft spot for it.
Maggie Kanuka - This makes a little movie in my head. A high school girl playing the song in a darkened auditorium after everyone else has left, and she thinks nobody is listening. It's got emotional authenticity, and the lo-fi recording actually adds to it. I wouldn't change a thing.
LSK - Do you need a doctor? It sounds like you're in distress, probably something gastrointestinal. Yep, definitely gastrointestinal.
Jon Eric, etc. - The mix is really bass heavy, and that makes the whole thing feel murky and oppressive. Subjectively, it feels like it's too long. Sometimes the guitars obscure the vocals. I like the theme.
Jonathan Mann - I'd like to hear the drumming sound more organic, but that's probably not your fault, we have to work with what we have. For some reason I'm picturing this being sung by a wedding singer. Maybe it's the small-room reverb. Applause at the end wouldn't sound out of place. Pretty cool song.
John Kloberdanz - It's a good folk song, and it satisfies my need to hear gigantic sounding reverb sometimes.
Jimmy Jet and his T.V. - Ukulele songs almost never fail to please me. It's got the live, rough, weakest suit sound that makes me feel like I'm there while you sit on the couch and play, and in this case "there" is a beach house in the afternoon.
Hostess Mostess - Genre bias alert! Must.... stick.... with... this.... ok, I like one of the chord changes you do, during the part you sing "I've never seen you feel the way you feel". I can tell it's well recorded and performed and all that. I feel like I should be watching a montage in a romance movie.
Hell Yeahs - Whoever said Veruca Salt choruses was right on. I always loved them. I think this is my favorite of yours so far. Just the right length, too. Reminds me of the best parts of the 90's.
Heine - I don't care if it does sound too much like the scorpions, I like it! Guitars could be a little tighter, that's the only thing that sticks out. I can hear your recording skills improving.
Evil-E - Nice wah! Too much bass. Vocals not always on pitch. I like reverb, but this particular metal box sound isn't doing much for me. Ring mod is an unexpected treat.
Eric Storm's Daily - This really choppy feel is different, and it appeals to me at the moment (despite the fact that, by the end of the song, I can feel a headache coming on). I love the chipsynths. Yeah, very cool.
Embers of Autumn - I'm genre biasing, but I like the melodica.
Dutova - Bass is a hair too loud. I like the vocal style, and the song itself. When the synth comes in it's unexpected in this kind of song, and I like it.
Durand Durand - Great energy, it's nice to hear you guys rockin' it out! Very well done! I think the voice is too dry for this style, but it's a minor complaint, and it's all I can come up with. I'm loving the "cool down" in the middle with the sax, before it all kicks in again. I'm predicting win.
Deetak - Aw, man, what happened? I know your recording setup didn't have this much noise in it before. Unless you're recording this with different gear in a different place, something is broken and you need to check it out. I usually enjoy your stuff, but it's hard to review the song itself because of all the buzz and hum.
Country Martyrs - The synth is hella loud, and I wouldn't use a term like "hella" lightly. Hey nice guitar! Best rone ever.
Cock - Darker tone, very ominous, very cool. Nice beat, too. Great sounding synths.
Cobalt Stomach - Full on headache... not your fault, but those drums aren't helping it. I like the sounds you chose. Well put together, I just can't finish it right now.
Chopped Live Meat God - New Waveish. I'm starting to lose my ability to review, so I don't know what to say about this. I can't find anything wrong with it. Not bad at all.
Chadderandom - I would have rather heard the track you were more emotionally attached to. I know, sucks to be unappreciated, but it's a terrible thing to have to bottle yourself up out of fear of rejection. Whatever it takes to get past that, you've got to.
Cabin Fever - Not appealing to me as much as your previous entries, but I can't say why. Hey, at least it doesn't make my head pound worse!
Berkshire Social Scene - I don't think the different vocals on the verses are "together" enough. Feels kinda scattered and random, so not a standout in the Berk*** Social Scene catalog.
babylonhoruvfeatpandamonieumandatryom - The extreme panning on the voices + headphones = making the room spin. Have I been doing this for too long, or are the voices hard to make out, making it difficult to discern the story? I hear "Another woman was in-tarred-up like a ball". Leaves me interested to hear what you'll do next, though.
Whew... done! Ow.