This week, because of the large number of entries, I decided to try Jim of Seattle's approach and record reviews while I drive. Not so much for everyone else's benefit as for my own. The idea was to kind of make notes that I could elaborate on in my written reviews later. I did them JoS style, like I was speaking to each of you just in case they came out coherent enough to post for all. Well, they came out pretty rough but I'll post them anyway with written reviews to follow. You can listen or read, it's all about the same.
Bearded Clam Duo
The Hip Cola
Reviews for I Know My Rights
Bearded Clam Duo
- This is the perfect intro for this set. Some may not like it, and I guess technically it's not a song, but I found it funny and a nice way to start this week's fight. This sounds like a typical trip to the music store, the clown plunking away at Stairway (something I used to back in 5th grade), another guy showing off his drumming skills nearby. And everyone increasing the volume in order to compete with each other. You missed the tone-deaf guy trying to tune a guitar, and the background (crowd) noise was a bit too much. Bonus points for telling off the salesman with a reference to SongFight!
- Very nice, great first entry for SongFight! Props for posting reviews right away, it's appreciated by all. Excellent guitar and bass work, really solid stuff. I would like to hear a little more definition on the bass, not sure if adding a little high EQ would solve that, but it would be great to bring out the bass a bit. Personally, I like your voice, high and clear with good enunciation. The verses are excellent, but I think you should get a little nastier with the vocals on the prechorus and into the chorus. Great song and already on the boards, this is a sign of good things to come. Voteworthy
- Sega! Me, I'm a Nintendo man but that would have been harder to fit into the song. I really like your songs, and yes that includes the stuff in the archives. I love the straightforward acoustic stuff, nothing over-produced just the song, take it or leave it. I tried for that this week, but couldn't pull it off and had to add a second part to keep it interesting. You have quite the song writing talent for someone so young, at 15 I was playing Ozzy and Black Sabbath covers in a crappy garage band. Great take on the topic and a nice song, not your best but still good. Note: Muffed chords in the bridge have been overlooked on account of your short time playing guitar
- Another week, another genre, awesome. Okay, the talking doesn't get it for me, sounds like Crocodile Dundee joined a band.
The first verse, between the talking parts, sounds like your going for something a bit heavier than what you've got. The OY!s remind me of AC/DC, probably intentional but irritating for those who don't like AC/DC. Now then there's the chorus or hook, this is what I like. It's catchy, and it sticks with you even after the song is over. In the car I couldn't make out most of the lyrics, but listening again at home they're quite clear. You're a badass! Great playing on all instruments, especially your soloing throughout the end. This is the first CR song in a style I like, very well done. Voteworthy OY!
- Great intro, now where's the song? The first listen through this I thought it was a damn long intro, and must have been distracted when it went into the next song as I thought that was part of the same track. Then I realized the track number had incremented, so I went back to listen again. This is really cool, freaky stuff. As I said in the recorded review, reminds me of something you'd hear from Radiohead, which is good IMO. I guess I like it as an interlude between tracks, but I was hoping for something more.
- Another new fighter on the boards, this is great. This song reminds me of something (in the style, not so much content) but I can't place it right now. Nice song overall, it didn't seem to go anywhere though. The music could stand to be brought forward a bit, I liked what I could hear but I couldn't hear much under the vocals. I felt you used too much reverb on the vocals, but that's just production nitpicking. Pretty good for a four track recording, I know how hard it can be to get a good mix on those. I like the foundation of this song, you could build on it with some parts to change it up a bit and have something really nice.
- You recorded the song, damnit you deserve a review! (Granted it doesn't mean much coming from me, but it's the thought that counts)
This is nice, it's kind of mellow but I like it. The vocals start out a bit on the timid side, but drums come in and give the song a boost that cancels out the weakness of the beginning vocals. Nice break at the end of the chorus, and the harmonies beginning in the second chorus are awesome. I didn't catch the length of the song, but it seemed short or like something was missing. What, no solo? Oh well, it starts off a bit weak but it all comes alive at the end. The ending the last impression we're left with anyway, right? Voteworthy Got the [good] vote on somesongs
- I'm not a blues man myself, but this is well done. Like I said on the recorded review, I wish I would have gone to SF Live just to see songs like this performed live. I am kind of disappointed that no live recordings have shown up yet (that I am aware of), and I would still like to hear this done with the harmonica bit. Back to the song, it's seems to be the standard blues riff with no real surprises. This song shines, however, thanks to the excellent performance and the great lyrics. You have a great voice and great timing, you do a great job of getting gritty with your singing in a few spots. An excellent production, simple and clear , and the audience bit at the end was a nice touch. I hope you got a better response in Boston.
This is definately Voteworthy.
- They said it couldn't (or was it shouldn't) be done, but you did it. Now, what exactly is it? I haven't taken enough music lessons in my life to be introduced to 5/4 timing. Is that just 5 beats per measure? Well, anyway, the coolness of it was wasted on me.
Now, aside from the interesting time signature, I liked what you had going on here. All of the instrumentation was excellent, from the synth to the crazy little guitar bits to the percussion. All of it coming in and going out in different places, and keeping it interesting. Not to contradict myself, but the song itself didn't do much for me. I caught the bridge in there, but it didn't seem to impact the song that much. I would have liked a big change in the dynamics of the song at some point. Nice to listen to, and respect for the work put into this, but it just didnt grab me.
- Yeah, that's right. MELVIN
. This has already gotten my vote. Halfway through the first verse I knew this was going to kick ass. You certainly didn't let me down. Killer lead guitar tone, great singing that's perfectly fit for this style music. I could really go for a full CD of this stuff. What I liked: first verse guitar only, prechorus hits on 'already broken down...', second verse bass and drums only, the ooohs, hell the whole song. What I didn't like: there's nothing from you in the archive. Okay so first entry for Melvin, thanks for the great song. Looking forward to hearing more.
- I couldn't get into this song simply due to the vocals, and that's too bad because I liked what was going on with the music. It starts out dark and haunting, great production. That acoustic guitar sounds so cool layered over the lingering synth. Then the vocals come in and just kill it for me. I've listened to this several times trying to get into it, but I just can't get past the off key vocals that sound like they're too low for your range. To make things worse, the vocals are too loud (at least in my speakers) and drown out the intricacies in the music. The music has potential, but the singing was just too bad to handle.
- Production can do wonders for an average song, or ruin a great song. In this case, the production makes a bad song unbearable. Okay, now that I've gotten the senseless cruelty out of the way let's move on to the constructive part. I listened to this again later, thinking that I may have been a bit too harsh on my recorded review. The song starts off well enough, I like the way you go from the drums and guitar sounding like they're being played in a garbage can to the full opened up sound. That makes for a nice intro. The overdriven vocals and the general repetitve nature of this song really ruin it. But it's short, you get points for that.
- This song does nothing for me. I found the verse vocals amusing the first time around. Unfortunately, the only words I can understand are 'I Know My Rights' and that gets quite repetitive before the first 'chorus' ends. The music is all out of whack, the drums with their odd beats and off timing. As with all the songs, I listened a few times, but I really couldn't find anything good to say about it. I checked out some of your stuff on somesongs, it seems like being off-time is your trademark - that and crying. This stuff just isn't my style at all.
- This song is cool. I don't know what genre this falls under, emo-pop or something. Interesting. The music is great, I like the soloing guitar throughout. The doubled up vocals in the chorus work well, but you need a little more energy or punch on the higher notes of 'I Know My Rights'. A thought just occurred to me, the doubled voices might gain some substance and depth as an octave, or not. The drums are very cool throughout, some pretty unusual patterns that work very well in this style. I like this bit a lot. Voteworthy.
- Wow, this is just plain mean. If it weren't for Melvin you guys might have gotten my vote. Well, maybe not, too much repetitive screaming. But that is a minor distraction, overall this song is very good. Serious energy throughout. My complaints are: the kick drum, too much screaming, and the last 'Rights' and the end of each chorus. The kick drum sounds cheesy and out of place when the double kick parts go for more than a couple hits. I have a feeling that the drums were programmed due to the sound of those double kick parts. The screaming works well during the verses. The alternating singing/screaming is brutal, but the chorus/hook is too much. Maybe the screaming IKMR over the top of some singing part would make it a little less repetitive. Finally, the last Rights of each hook. Rrrrrrrrrrrights (They're Grrrrrrrreat! -Tony the Tiger
) That is so overdone and cliche for the genre, don't get me started. Still, a very powerful song. Voteworthy.
The Hip Cola
- This is the first I've heard of your solo work, not bad. Crickets, it's an interesting beginning. The production on this is great, I'm very impressed at how you make whispered vocals clear through the mix without boosting them above everything else. Your acoustic guitar tone is great, the crickets coming back in, and that weird sound that jumps across the room, all very cool. It took me a while to get the message of the song, then at the end it seemed like a current events lesson. Not neccessarily bad, I mean the goal of most songwriting is to elicit an emotion or a response and what better way than a story of people suffering suffering needlessly. The end did remind me of Empire a little, but that's alright. I wasn't crazy about the song, but respect is given for a powerful message. The Dali Lama would proudly vote for this
for it is Voteworthy.
- I am the kid who sits on the porch and watches his friends play down the street. I am the loser who isn't allowed to leave the front yard. Yeah, I am the Yardboy. The original idea here was to do an acoustic song live in honor of SF Live (which I could not attend, I'm the yardboy remember).
That came out really bland and proved to me that this is a really weak song. So I added a second 'live' part playing a lead-ish guitar and singing backup. I was pretty happy with the way that came out and decided I wanted to do more, so I may come back to this style eventually. Okay, after THC's powerful message my trite little song seems silly and pointless, but I had fun doing it and damnit it's my right!
This was a great fight, lots of great songs. For me the winner was Melvin, without a doubt. Funny thing having written out reviews as well, I didn't really save much time recording the reviews. I did, however, get more familiar with all the songs. I feel like the written reviews are better because of it. Sorry to Jim if I have infringed upon the trademark JoS review style. Just an experiment, it may not happen again.