Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by Chumpy » Mon May 06, 2019 7:40 am

Do you like to play music on your computer that lives on your hard drive? Are you passionate about metadata? Does an unordered mess of mp3s in your media player stress you out? Do you have feelings about spaces in filenames? Do you like to view your music collection as albums rather than songs?

If you answered 'Yes' to any of the questions above, you might be interested in downloading Chumpy's repackaging of all the mp3s from Nur Ein XIV Round One! Enjoy!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by arby » Mon May 06, 2019 8:20 am

Chumpy wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:40 am
Do you like to play music on your computer that lives on your hard drive? Are you passionate about metadata? Does an unordered mess of mp3s in your media player stress you out? Do you have feelings about spaces in filenames? Do you like to view your music collection as albums rather than songs?

If you answered 'Yes' to any of the questions above, you might be interested in downloading Chumpy's repackaging of all the mp3s from Nur Ein XIV Round One!
Damn it, I literally just finished doing this. I figured you wouldn't have had time to do it yet. I underestimated you, Chumps! Uggghhhhhh should have checked the forums first!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by grumpymike » Mon May 06, 2019 8:26 am

If someone wants to write the PHP to put somewhere in the site, we can make this easier.

There's also this option for Mac and Linux and saavvy Windows users:

Code: Select all

wget --content-disposition -i https://songlander.com/rest/titles/9BBD38DC9ABF6A226F87462E302AC291/playlist\?format\=m3u
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by Pop Machine » Mon May 06, 2019 8:32 am

glennny wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 4:22 am
BYD- This is very cool. I really enjoy the chorus. This is another one where I think the challenge hurt the song. I have to turn up the volume to hear the verses right. Is this the heaviest thing you guys have ever done?
Holy shit! Reviews already...color me impressed!

Thanks for the good words. Yeah, I tweaked the mix on this to make the jump between the verses and choruses more dramatic; if not for the challenge, it would have come out more...um, listenable?

This may not be THE heaviest we've ever been, but it's close. I actually like this kind of stuff. My heavier tendencies are normally subsumed for the BYD "concept", so I was glad to get a chance to let that through a bit.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by Chumpy » Mon May 06, 2019 8:52 am

grumpymike wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 8:26 am
If someone wants to write the PHP to put somewhere in the site, we can make this easier.
I don't think the built in PHP id3_set_tag function supports id3v2, so I'd just shell out and exec id3v2 which works great. I don't think the hard part is going to be setting the tags, but having all the information you need available in one place.

Here's all the stuff I do manually.
  • Set the track number (TRCK) "1/23"
  • Set the title (TIT2) "Shock Value"
  • Set the Artist (TPE1) "Abominominous"
  • Set the Album Artist (TPE2) "Various"
  • Set the Album Name (TALB) "Nur Ein XIV Round One"
  • Set the Year (TYEAR) "2019"
  • Set the album art (APIC) (whatever art Niv selects)
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by truth » Mon May 06, 2019 8:55 am

Just so you know the other talented singer who is now contributing:

Mandibles
Shock Treatment credits
:
Cybronica: Bass, Piano, Vocals
Estaphonia: Vocals
Truth: Guitar, Mandolin, Bass, Drums, Vocals
Zidong: Admirable Restraint
Last edited by truth on Mon May 06, 2019 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by grumpymike » Mon May 06, 2019 8:55 am

@chumpy To clarify - I meant for the zipping. I do have tagging code in place but for whatever reason am not calling it at the moment. I wanted to fully figure out a migration strategy with the old tags before enabling it, I believe.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by ariskofrain » Mon May 06, 2019 11:09 am

really really solid round, gotta say, there's a lot of a-game being brought. some i had thoughts on.

agony sauce: i didn't want to enjoy this one? but i did, though i wish that intro section was just a smidge tighter. when it gets into it, though, i think it hits all my favourite jellyfish-ian vibes, and that is no easy thing to do & succeed at.

frankie big face: i enjoy songs that sound like they're a b-side or track 15 on a deluxe edition album, and i mean that in an entirely sincere way.

grumpy mike: my number one this time round. this track is exactly my thing, but i will call you a coward for not rhyming the couplet "my first word was fedora" with "my first steps were out the door-a". but that chorus, you are absolved. and a tasteful tubthumping reference, so so good.

mandibles: this is pristine, perfect goofy nerd-rock territory. that distorted bass electric-shock section is fun as heck.

max bombast: not my number one, but almost certainly the one that will win this time round. max, you're incredible, the dialogue snippet is so tasteful, and i'm a sucker for a minor third becoming a major third, and that chorus!!! i am jealous of you.

now i'm off to go write round 2's entry, and be mad that my entry this time was also a diss track. maybe i'll write this next entry about the same dude.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by grumpymike » Mon May 06, 2019 1:12 pm

ariskofrain wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 11:09 am
this track is exactly my thing, but i will call you a coward for not rhyming the couplet "my first word was fedora" with "my first steps were out the door-a".
I'm glad you like it, Rain! Makes it worth the past few days, as I was honestly struggling just to get done on time! I originally had "door-a" but figured my lyrics were weird enough!
ariskofrain wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 11:09 am
tasteful tubthumping reference
I'm not sure if I should be proud or ashamed. :)

Your song is pretty dang catchy, too. I love the quiet part building back up. My first guess is that it's not about Milo Yiannopoulos but maybe someone like him?

I'll have more feedback for you and everyone on the podcast! But everyone did a great job. Something I noticed is that many people took the challenge to mean "be less melodic/more percussive", I'd be interested in hearing how people ended up along that path.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by ariskofrain » Mon May 06, 2019 3:16 pm

grumpymike wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 1:12 pm
I originally had "door-a" but figured my lyrics were weird enough!
aha! knew it!
grumpymike wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 1:12 pm
My first guess is that it's not about Milo Yiannopoulos but maybe someone like him?
my specific muse was chad felix greene, who's not quite the yiannopoulos type, but a way more mundane kind of nuisance. honestly, it's not really about him, but every person like that, it just so happened to be him that i saw most recently being a twat.

also i was gonna name drop chad, but it's such a joke name and has some troubling internet slang meanings, i decided against it
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by vowlvom » Tue May 07, 2019 6:36 am

Apologies in advance for some negative-skewing comments here, I was really looking forward to hearing these songs but I think I have a genre bias against... erm... songs that employ dynamics? I'm not sure, but I struggled with a lot of these. I also found it to be an interesting challenge because I would say that it would be far more difficult to find an example of a song that DOESN'T use dynamics in some way, I think it might be more difficult to fail at this challenge than to succeed? That said, I thought some people came at the challenge in really interesting ways, and for other people it kinda felt like an afterthought, and although I'm not judging I found myself enjoying some songs less as a result. I'm probably overthinking absolutely everything.

Abominominous - really struggled with this one at first, but after a few loops through these tracks it grew on me quite a bit. I think I have "riff bias" against the kind of quick, busy bass riffs you're employing here and I kinda hate the muffled double-kick-drum rhythm thing, but there are some impressive vocals and melodies and this probably worked its way up into the upper-middle of the pack for me. Dynamics? There's a brief quiet bit at one point, I guess?

Agony Sauce - the take on the dynamics challenge here seems to be "make everything too quiet until the drums come in" which didn't really do it for me, although it does sound pretty sweet turned up! Not crazy about the retro classic-rock-with-some-funky-elements style you're working in but you're clearly doing it well and I DID really like the callback to the spelling challenge though, that was cool!

Berkeley Social Scene - this starts off reminding me of Red Hot Chilli Peppers for some reason and I hate RHCP so that didn't really get me on board. The "we are the best at rock 'n' roll" lyrics were offputting to me, it didn't do too much with the challenge, and I didn't care for the Song Fight title being stuffed in there late on really. As ever this is tight, well recorded and well performed though, it just... bugged me.

Boffo Yux Dudes - OK, this one has some dynamics at last! Those choruses really kick in. And it's at an overall better volume level than your lovely Zamboni song, too. I enjoyed the retro drum machine sounds in the quiet verse but on the whole the song didn't really draw me in, the rhythm and melody of the chorus vocals in particular didn't really work for me.

Faster Jackalope - another one with some big dynamic shifts, but the verse to chorus shift here didn't feel quite as effective as BYD, maybe because the quiet bits are already pretty compressed and loud. I quite enjoyed this one, more so the verse than the chorus and I wasn't crazy about the lyrics, but mostly I've just gotten used to Faster Jackalope blowing me away with nearly every track and this one didn't match your usual level for me.

Frankie Big Face - total genre shift from your previous track! This is really interesting and stands out from the pack, although it didn't end up being one of the tracks from this round that I thought about much when I wasn't listening. The combination of the two songs I've heard so far (and knowledge that you're a former champ obvz) makes me intrigued to hear more.

Grumpy Mike - the first song from this round that I'd put in my top tier. It has a Weezer vibe to it (I don't like Weezer but I like literally every other band who sound like Weezer, which I've never been able to figure out) but your vocals remind me of Built to Spill on this one and I guess there's a vaguely Nada Surf kinda vibe to the lyrics. All of which adds up to a really enjoyable track - fun lyrics, really catchy chorus. I didn't think the dynamics were as well used as some of the entries but they're solid.

Inflatable Vegetables - I don't really get what you were going for here to be honest. It's another one that sounds less "dynamic" and more "badly mixed", a disappointing follow up to your strong round zero entry for me. Not without merit but one of my least favourites from this round.

Lichen Throat - I think technically this is the Best Ever Lichen Throat song. Vocals are on time throughout, music is interesting and well produced and I love the bass / muted guitar melody thing you've done in these last two songs. The lyrics and vocal melody don't quite grab me like my favourite LT songs do and the dynamics don't feel particularly different from your usual fare to me, but this is really good work!

Lucky Spoon - this is pretty roughly mixed and I have some genre bias against it BUT it uses dynamics really well, is very well written and the harmonies are fantastic, so I'd rank it among the best entries for this round even if it isn't one of my personal favourites.

Mandibles - as you may have guessed from my first reaction post in this thread I absolutely loved this one. It really pushes the Mandibles theatrical qualities to amazing new levels, and the electric shock heavy sections are so good. Love the quiet, high vox section (which I'm guessing is your other member?), definitely an excellent take on the challenge and a really memorable experience of a song!

Max Bombast - this is another one where there are dynamics present but the production feels like it squashes them so much that they don't really FEEL dynamic any more. It's impeccably performed though and I really like the instrumental melodies going on behind the vocals in the chorus.

Merisan - same comment as the previous round really, it's slick and enjoyable but this style is about 5% as personally interesting to me as your synthpop stuff was. I guess the breakdown section is dynamic but it didn't feel like an inspired take on the challenge to me.

Mike Lamb - another one that is just TOO QUIET but after a lot of tracks with solid rock vibes I really enjoyed hearing a bit of country every time I got to this song. Some of the melodies feel familiar but in a good way, this has a nice sense of melancholy to it. Not hugely impressive in terms of the challenge but I liked the song.

Mousehole - another total genre switch from the previous round! I guess this was mostly motivated by your holiday restrictions but musically this is really cool, especially the drum programming. Lyrics fall into the political trap of just feeling like a rant, it's a powerful message but very straightforward and specific. Some nice dynamic ebb and flow to the music but again it doesn't really feel like a stand-out feature of the song.

Nick Soma - I feel like you always take the challenge by the throat and purely on "dynamics" I think maybe this is the best of the round. It has the big chorus but also those awesome guitar / synth swells in the verses. The vocals don't quite get there on the soaring choruses for me though which I found a little distracting, and so I didn't like this as a song quite as much as I did an entry for this specific challenge, but I did still like it quite a bit.

Paco del Stinko - this is Nick's rival for best use of dynamics IMO, this is absolutely masterful - and in addition I think it's one of my favourite Paco songs to boot, really well written and performed and one of my favourites this round. The harmonised lead guitar riffs on the first louder section are great.

Rachael Layne - impeccably produced and performed, and another smart lyric. Like your last round entry I found myself admiring this more than loving it and I'm not really sure why that is, but it's SO well done, uses dynamics very well indeed, and I'd expect this to be right up there at the top of the table.

Rain Watt - well my only criticism of your previous song was that it didn't really fit with the title, this one does and so I've got nothing. One of the things I sometimes find myself thinking while listening to these songs is "this is a good song but would I listen to it outside of the challenge?" and in your case both of your songs so far have been "100% yes, and I'd buy the album". Ranked purely on the song this would be my clear #1 of the round, in terms of dynamics it's really excellently done too.

The Sunday Colors - again this is a solid vox+guitar track but it suffers in comparison to the competition. If you have any way of adding some extra instrumentation (even if it's just more guitar and vocal layers) then I really hope you do so! But I enjoyed it and you did a good job of adding dynamics considering the stripped down instrumentation.

Third Cat - enjoyed this one quite a bit, as usual you've got plenty of great ideas (that drop-out to sub-bass stuff is cooooool). Some of the rhythmical shifts early on felt a little clunky to me but I liked everything else about this one I think. Really interesting vocal layering and FX.

Ujn Hunter + Friends - your more metal stuff doesn't personally appeal as much to me as your punkier stuff but this is really well done and uses dynamics well. The double-challenge inclusion here doesn't work for me as well as your previous track either but also it doesn't bother me as much as BSS did. I don't think you've got much to worry about in terms of elimination (re: your comment elsewhere)!

Vowl Sounds - we put so. much. work. into this one! "Dynamics" immediately sent me off in a post-rock direction, surprising to me that nobody else went in this direction but maybe "slow and sad" is a tough sell in a competition like this. Owl's vocals really gave this a powerful emotional core and we had fun adding and removing layers of Every Instrument. I'm really proud of the end result.

Sorry to see Fisher & Diaz and Pigfarmer Jr leave the competition so early. Despite my grumpy comments above I think these are all solid songs, most of my objections are genre-based or personal in other ways.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by frankie big face » Tue May 07, 2019 9:13 am

vowlvom wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 6:36 am
Frankie Big Face - total genre shift from your previous track! This is really interesting and stands out from the pack, although it didn't end up being one of the tracks from this round that I thought about much when I wasn't listening. The combination of the two songs I've heard so far (and knowledge that you're a former champ obvz) makes me intrigued to hear more.
Ahem. Two-time champion, thank you very much. ;)

Yeah, I have a wheelhouse, but I leave it occasionally. I'll explain more after the results are posted, but circumstances beyond my control sent me in a different direction. I'm glad you enjoyed it when you were listening and it's okay that it didn't stick with you later on. I wouldn't really expect it to.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by frankie big face » Tue May 07, 2019 9:15 am

ariskofrain wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 11:09 am
frankie big face: i enjoy songs that sound like they're a b-side or track 15 on a deluxe edition album, and i mean that in an entirely sincere way.
"Strawberry Fields Forever" was a b-side so I'll take that as incredibly high praise. :P
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by frankie big face » Tue May 07, 2019 9:18 am

glennny wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 4:22 am

FBF- Welcome to Sprockets! This is cool. Awesome Reeves Gabrels lead guitar! Is that you Frank on lead guitar? It’s great! This is a really left field song for you. I dig it.
I'm glad my song had some shock value for you. See what I did there?

I love Reeves Gabrels. Comparing my goofball noodling to him is too kind, but yeah, that's me and my PRS shredding over some sick beats. :D
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by Niveous » Tue May 07, 2019 10:14 am

frankie big face wrote:
"Strawberry Fields Forever" was a b-side so I'll take that as incredibly high praise. :P
Not a B-side. Double A-side.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by mo » Tue May 07, 2019 10:48 am

Reeves Gabrels often gets forgotten in the lists of all the great guitarists Bowie worked with: Ronson, Alomar, Slick, Fripp, Belew, SRV, Nile, so it's good to see the dude getting Nur Ein/Songfight due :D

Since I'm here I just wanted to point out that there's a couple of different guitar things going on with dynamics in the Agony Sauce entry as well--my original idea was to have the dynamics be performance oriented, not production, so I did things like playing with the volume knob to change tone in the first half of the solo (or molo, if you prefer glenny!) and playing style, and of course the extra strings on fretboard noise in the 3rd verse. YMMV as to whether or not it worked/was a good idea, but that's what I was thinking anyway.

The thing I'll say that I do really like about our song is Glenn's (Case) backing vocals, the Prince-esque squeal/scream that leads into the last chorus and all that.

Once again I liked a bunch of songs this time around--I think everyone here has such different tastes, which is what makes the listening interesting. Just a couple of things off the top of my head--I listened a couple of days ago, so this is just what I remember now:

FBF: kept waiting for Les Claypool to drop a fat bass line since the concept sort of made me think of Tommy the Cat haha
BSS: I love the guitar tones, so crunchy. Someday I'm going to steal that Marshall JTM you have up in there. I love the bass tone too.
Rachael: really beautifully sung
Abom: love the bass/guitar riffs, that got me pumped up walking the dog. He looked at me like I was crazy. Then again, he does that lot anyway.
Ujn Hunter+: great heavy riffage, very fun
Vowl: really enjoyed the lushness of the space in this song, good reverbs haha
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by frankie big face » Wed May 08, 2019 5:08 am

Niveous wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 10:14 am
frankie big face wrote:
"Strawberry Fields Forever" was a b-side so I'll take that as incredibly high praise. :P
Not a B-side. Double A-side.
Okay fine. "Rain" was a B-side. And so was "I Am the Walrus." You can insert those titles into my comment if it makes you feel better. :P
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by frankie big face » Wed May 08, 2019 5:12 am

Okay, so now that the results have been posted, I will reveal a bit more detail about why I made that song. I am so sick right now. I had pretty much decided to drop out of the competition because I could hardly talk, let alone sing. But I went to the studio and banged out something I could live with and hoped for the best. I actually kind of like it in retrospect but I didn't expect much in the way of positive feedback. But I'm still here and I have antibiotics now so let's see what happens this week.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by Lucky Spoon » Wed May 08, 2019 6:41 am

WEW!!! Thanks for the save, Spin.

Props to everyone who does this every year. I feel like I'm drowning with the one week turnarounds and it's only round 2. Hopefully forcing myself to record more will help me iron out my mixing and mastering kinks.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by vowlvom » Wed May 08, 2019 6:49 am

Some huge discrepancies in the judges votes this time, outside of the top four at least! Looking forward to some podcasts and reviews.

Congrats to Max Bombast on (narrowly) winning the first immunity! And to Rain for pushing Max close!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by thirdcatmusic » Wed May 08, 2019 8:50 am

lots of interesting songs this time around; I was relatively happy with my track although there are definitely things where I was like I wish I had another day to get the issues ironed out. happy enough to get another shot at it and have some ideas brewing for the next one. I've listened to all of the songs a couple of times, some reviews:

abom... - cool rocker with catchy melodies and some sweet dynamics. been very impressed by your songs so far. there are a lot of little touches here that keep the song interesting throughout. I'm not really crazy about the kinda spooky spoken bit, and if I have a complaint it's that there's almost too many parts.

agony sauce - this has a real classic rock vibe. vocals are maybe a bit buried on the verses. the "we keep moving the line" part is killer. great chorus. strong vocals, excellent guitaring throughout. if I were a judge this would be in my top 5 I think.

BSS - I mostly like this one, but the "high caliber rocking" bit kinda puts me off. has a cool groove and some nice rocking guitar. nice "bend the knee" tie in, so I'm assuming I'm gonna be hearing this one over on the regular songfight too.

buffo yux - the quiet bits are pretty nice, nice ballad feel, and I think the heavily effected guitar (I think) that you add on the 2nd verse is a nice touch. the loud bits don't work so well for me in comparison.

faster jack - I like the verses but I don't like the loud parts so much. the story is well done but not really the type of thing I get into, sounds too theatrical. maybe it'd grow on me with multiple listens. the instrumental break is pretty cool, I like the lead instrument there which I'm not entirely sure what it is. flute?

FBF - I kinda loved this one and I think the main "where there's shock, there's value" bit is really sweet. the crazy news stories are interesting the first couple of times but I don't think would have great relisten value. the lead guitar is really cool sounding.

grumpy mike - the spoken word parts are pretty interesting but again one of those things where it cuts back on the relisten value. the song itself is catchy and pretty charming. very catchy chorus which yes, reminds me a lot of a lot of '90s songs. (and nice chumbawamba shoutout)

inflatable veggies - the song itself is pretty cool and is kinda catchy, the mix/production is a bit spotty compared to the competition.

lichen throat - I said last week that it was the best LT song yet, I think this one is even better. vocals are much stronger than used to with LT and are almost tuneful in places, pretty rhythmically solid. I really like the main instrumental riff. that was one of my favorite musical phrases of this whole round.

lucky spoon - another one where I like the verse more than the chorus, the chorus kind of puts me off - I think it's just in a style I don't like, but the verse is really nice.

mandibles - this is definitely in the "theatrical" area that I don't generally like but this is so well done that I have to say it's pretty great. I can imagine this on a soundtrack for a rock style theatre show (something like "hedwig and the angry inch") . the heavy bass that comes in is really face melting. love that bit. both vocalists are very impressive. if I were a judge I think I'd have to put this in my top 5 as it's just really impressive and I think nails what you are going for.

max bombast - you sound like a pro. I have to stretch for something critical to say; I don't love the synth bass sound on the intro. vocals are very impressive. the song in general reminds me of Placebo. maybe it's the vocals. as good as this is, it's not really the type of thing I listen to so it's not my personal favorite - that said; I'd have to put it in the top 5 if I were a judge and I can hear why you won the round. that chorus is very catchy. and the mix/production is excellent.

merisan - to me this sounds like a '70s rock thing and you've pretty much nailed that sound. great vocals. cool groove. another one that'd have to put in my top 5. I'm not sure, maybe I've put more than 5 in my top 5. being a judge must be hard.

mike lamb - mix/production could be better but the song is pretty nice. not a standout for me, but not bad.

mousehole - interesting & creative with some wild sounds. I don't think it totally works as a whole, but I enjoyed listening to it.

nick soma - another one where I liked the verse more than the chorus. I really like those dynamic swells in the verses.

PDS - this arrangement is really cool, brilliant use of dynamic control in the verse. another top 5er for me (I might be at 5 of those now). great stuff. I really like the "I feel so alive" part right before the guitar solo.

rachael layne - catchy and impressive production. the chorus sounds a bit like Nirvana. strong vocals. I don't love the lyrics, the whole "you gotta love yourself" bit just comes off as a bit cheesy to me. save for the lyrics this is another top 5er. very impressive vocals, instrumentation, production.

rain watt - catchy with lots of personality in the vocals. a bit lo-fi compared to much of the competition but that seems to fit your style well. the lyrics pull you really caught my interest with your lyrics which is rare for me. this is another one I'd have to put in my top 5. this is probably my personal 2nd favorite of the round.

the sunday colors - this is good and might be a grower with multiple listens. you do a pretty good job of keeping my interest with just vocals & guitar. that said; maybe it goes on a bit long.

third cat - I wish I had done this faster, I kinda locked myself into this tempo and didn't have time to do it again, I think it kinda drags. also the sections are kinda pushed up next to each other in a way that feels rushed. it both drags and is rushed at the same time. I do love my choir sound at the end though. I'm a sucker for choirs. putting a choir on everything from now on.

ujn hunter - this is pretty rocking but not the type of thing I jam to personally. still; objectively - it's quite good.

vowl sounds - y'all should want me as a judge because I'd probably put you #1 every time. pretty easily my favorite this round despite the strong competition, this one is just really up my alley personally. really beautiful production. I don't actually love all of the lyrics (the listing of "shocking" things kinda put me off, especially 2 girls 1 cup. nice visual ! ) but ... it just sounds so good I don't care really.
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lichenthroat
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round One "Shock Value"

Post by lichenthroat » Wed May 08, 2019 10:20 am

Abominominous – This feels very rich and fully realized. I don’t usually like noodley guitar bits, but they fit well here. The bass/piano rhythm works well.

Agony Sauce – I’m pretty heavily genre-biased against this—sorry! The performances are good, though. You’ve also incorporated the challenge in a way that enhances the song.

Berkeley Social Scene – The bass is strong. This is a solid song that kind of stands out among all the weirdness that the dynamics challenge brought out in the other entries. I like the bridge/outro a lot.

Boffo Yux Dudes – I like the departure from your usual style. The tuneful vocal fits well in the song, especially in the “out of here tonight” parts. I liked the quiet sections more than the loud ones.

Faster Jackalope – I like the quieter acoustic parts a lot better than the loud parts; they seem a little too incongruous. The acoustic parts are great, though! Your round zero entry was one of my two favorites, by the way.

Frankie Big Face – Sorry to read about your illness; I hope you feel better. Under the circumstances, I can see why you recorded your song the way you did. The spoken-word stories are interesting (and speaking fast was a good idea), but I didn’t care that much for the underlying music.

Grumpy Mike – I know you need the spoken-word parts to realize the concept of the song, but they really disrupt the flow, at least for me. The rest of the song, however, is excellent; you’ve somehow satirized the 90s sound while simultaneously creating an example of everything good about it. Your mix is great, too.

Inflatable Vegetables – You managed to make “dead babies” funny. The lyrical take is a good idea, strangely subtle in its treatment of this topic. I like the chorus melody.

Lichen Throat (me) – I was happy with the main verses and chorus, less so with the intro/interlude/outro. I think it’s one of my better vocal performances. I was unpleasantly surprised to be in last place, but thus is life.

Lucky Spoon – This is fun and sounds good. It doesn’t stand out a lot, but I was happy to hear it every time it came on. The “come home, come home” melody is good.

Mandibles – The uninhibited, unrestrained nature of this song is impressive; I feel like this is unlike anything I’ve heard before. Both the male and female vocal performances are excellent. It has a bit of a novelty feel, but the uniqueness triumphs.

Max Bombast – Very technically impressive, in all phases of performance and post-production. Not my favorite style of song, but you’ve definitely thrown down the gauntlet to the other competitors. I particularly like the vocal melody in the chorus.

Merisan – I’m not sure whether I like this or love this, but either way, it’s a strong entry. Lots of good stuff and no complaints.

Mike Lamb – I’m not keen on the staccato vocal at the beginning and in parts of the verses. The rest of the song is pleasant though. The recording seems lacking in fullness, but I like the songwriting and most of your vocals. The way you sing the backing vocals is a nice contrast to the main vocal. I might like this song to be a little longer.

Mousehole – This sounds kind of like an extended intro, rather than an independent song. The strings sound good, as do the echoing vocals. I found it difficult to get into the rhythm, however.

Nick Soma – Ooh, that low vocal! Your lyrical take is interesting—both heartbreaking and disturbing, but somehow retaining an element of sweetness. I don’t think I quite like the dissonant guitar chords at the start of the louder sections. Your vocal is very expressive. There’s a lot going on here, in a way that’s a little hard to swallow at first but which I think will hold up very well over the long haul.

Paco del Stinko – The performances are really tight, even by your usual high standards. The weirdness of the song structure inhibits listenability, at least the first few times through, which may be a side effect of the dynamics challenge. I’d like to see a Jack the Ripper musical in which this song appears.

Rachael Layne – The vocal at the beginning is threateningly ominous, and that threat is carried out in the chorus. Some of the vocal phrasing seems a little awkward (as in “all out of stock”), but this is simply a good, hard-rocking song. Nice work.

Rain Watt – This is good—excellent songwriting and arrangement. Lyrics are intense without being off-putting. The song keeps getting better as it goes along. By the way, your round zero entry really, really, really reminded me of The Weakerthans (whom I quite like), to the extent that I felt compelled to verify that someone hadn’t submitted one of their actual recordings.

The Sunday Colors – This is like a Mountain Goats song with a more pleasant vocal. The sound of the pick on the strings is strangely prominent in the recording. This might benefit from another instrument, but the performances and songwriting are very good. Overall, it’s very aesthetically cohesive, and I liked it a lot.

Third Cat – I love the vulnerability of your vocal in the quiet sections; the vocal melody meshes intriguingly with the instrumental music, too. I think the electronic bits could be toned down, but this song sounds good and is really interesting (which I mean in an entirely positive sense). Could be a little longer.

Ujn Hunter + Friends – I loved your round zero entry, which was stuck in my head for days, but this one is a bit too heavy for my tastes.

Vowl Sounds – I feel like I can really relax into this, and then I start thinking about the lyrics and am a little disturbed. I suspect this exactly what you’re going for, and it’s effective. Just the right amount of drippy reverb. Vocals are excellent, as always, as is the buildup to the crescendo. I’d like a more distinctive chorus, but overall this is great.
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