Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

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Ross
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by Ross »

How is WreckdoM not in this fight?
"I don't like this song, but at least it's good." - veGetar Ianra Ge
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the panna cotta army
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Sober wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:40 am

The Pannacotta Army: Doing the prom-rock thing really well right out the gate. Can't decide if I want to hear a little more air in your vocal or if I like it as dark as it is. There is a slight imbalance in the highs - the tambourine brings some much-needed high end, but it's mostly in the right channel, and when it goes away, we're back in the dark. Boost that left-channel hihat against it, or automate a high shelf boost in the synth when the tamb is gone. Something. Kick gets overwhelmed outside of the verses. Could be a minute shorter. This is great.
Thanks. I particularly appreciate your mix notes and critical ear as listening to your songs, it's obvious you know your stuff.
I knew there were issues but it's not always easy to be objective and put a finger on what they are without some distance.
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by jpnickolas »

Trying to give more criticisms in this one. Let me know how badly I'm shoving my foot into my mouth with these. Really good entries with this one, and welcome to all the new folks! The newbies especially are putting up a strong fight.

Brown Word and the Big Whine
- Vocals are a bit quiet at 1:00-1:18 after the 3-2-1.
- Bodacious hit on the word "skull". There's a similar drop around 2:18 and they're real good.
- I love the chord change and slowdown at 1:46
- Very loungy, and the following interlude is a real fun juxtaposition to the song.
- Very high highs and low lows in this song that work really well together.
- nit: At 3:41, whatever instrument is wailing on its whammy suddenly cuts out (with a delay on the cutout, which makes me think it was intentional?). I would have preferred a fade out to match the vocals.
- I'm still having trouble what the lyrics are getting at. Seems like a fever dream, which matches the musical tone, but I think it's going above my head.

Pigfarmer Jr
- Nice intro solo, even has the tasteful feedback on the fade-out too - excellent!
- Solo is also well supported by the rhythm of the backing chords which makes it feel doubly tasteful.
- nit: The word covid feels repetitive in the song and could use a synonym.
- The mix feels tight in this song, I really like how it all comes together.
- nit: 1:22 the guitar solo goes artificially quiet. Could have used a more gradual volume drop.
- The lyrics feel like the weak link in the song. The lines don't really grab me. Chorus feels fine, but the health department stanza feels like a first draft. The specifics in that one make me sympathize, but don't do much to make me /feel/ if that makes any sense.
- The "And I can't help but think about" having the hollow, distant effect really lingers nicely for the lead in to the chorus.
- I appreciate the distorted guitar during the chorus. I don't think much would be missing if you removed it, but it gives the song a dark texture that is really fitting and evocative.
- Hope you're doing ok and the quarantine isn't as rough as this song makes it out to be :'(

Gaping Maw
- What an intro. Are you using an effect to get some extra grit in the word "shit", or is that the reverb's doing? It sounds good, real motorhead vibes.
- Good flow and internal rhyming in your lyrics. Would have liked to see them posted to the lyrics archive.
- Autotune feels a bit strong at the 1:00 mark. Maybe intentionally so?
- Claps at 1:20 seem to change in volume a lot, could use some manual volume correction.
- Everything coming in at 2:30 feels great, nice head bop moment. I think the solo guitar just before that overstays its welcome, though. I think you could more interestingly/quickly bridge into that big moment.
- The 3:05 "screaming into the void" comes in a bit harshely and suddenly, like you cropped out the first half of the "s" sound where the sound fades into full volume (or started recording /just/ after you started singing the word). Should just need a quick fade in to compensate.
- I'm finding the tremelo on the synths at the 4 minute mark a bit annoying, but that may be a matter of taste.
- Good job overall, I like the multitude of instruments, and the overall flow of the song sounded great.

Sober
- Uggggghhhhh, I want your voice. I want to take it, lock it in my closet, and only crack it out on special occasions. You're a better person than I would be for sharing it with the world. Jesus that grit and deepness.
- How many banjo takes did you do? 162? Worth every single one. Those came out great. No notes (ok, many many many notes, but they were all perfect).
- There are some points where the grit is coming on stronger than the tone of your voice. Around the 1:00 minute mark, words like "hope", "tell", "settling down", and "bottom" feel like they're drowning in the grit and could be cleaned up a smidge. While I'm noting them, "service" at 1:45, "bottom" at 2:05 (especially), and "well" at 2:10.
- I really like these lyrics. My vocab for describing why is unfortunately not up to par, but for sure evocative. I appreciate all the reference links.
- Mmmmm, that light snare crescendo at ~2:30. You really come in strong, and I love how the chorus never repeats itself tonally.
- This feels like a clear winner for me.

Robyn Mackenzie
- The distorted guitar sounds squeaky as you're picking it. I'm not sure if that's stylistic, but I don't love it. If it's unintentional, gripping the pick tighter and using a thicker (~0.8mm+) pick should clean up that squeaking.
- Whatever high synth snuck in at 3:00, I do love that. I need more of it. Maybe not in this song, since it punctuates the song so tastefully as it is.
- The chorus at 0:45 seems a bit bright and pop-y compared to the dark guitar and bass behind it. It might fit better if you brought the guitar riff an octave up and made it bouncier. Maybe would need more would need to change to glue it to the previous verse. Otherwise the singing here sounds really good but out of place with the slow and trudging backing.
- I like the catchiness of the chorus - all the "it" rhymes are fun!
- nit: The backing vocal that comes in at 1:51 seems either off key or conflicting with another note, which is odd because it seems to be the same note as the one at 1:58. I don't think I'd normally notice it since it's deep enough in the mix, but it's just a smidge off somehow/
- The vocal doubling came out really nicely. I feel like I'm saying that every week, but I mean it. The vocals themselves are stellar.

Ozro Falls
- Oh, piano! Classy - I feel like I don't hear enough of that.
- Guitar solo at ~1:20 is lacking treble and has too much reverb to sound good on its own. It blends beautifully into the mix when the vocals come in, but you should record/edit a brighter track for when it needs to hold the spotlight.
- Good drums leading into the chorus, and I like the bass doodly doop right before "The walls have been destroyed"
- Overall great song, I like how it comes together. I thought I'd have an issue with the same piano riff repeating so much, but it's kept pretty interesting.
- Sounds like you're struggling a bit hitting the high notes at 0:45.

Sweeney Toad
- Short song! I'm impressed that you get the whole story told in such a short amount of time.
- Vocal doubling at 0:21-0:30 came out great, giving the narrator an unhinged vibe that's really fitting.
- Are you moving thye panning from left to right during that doubled section? I normally don't like that, but it's subtle and works here.
- The bass at full velocity works well at 0:39+ when it's mixed with the distortion, but sounds a bit too mechanical when it's solo-ed for the intro. I think you could vary the velocity while the bass is solo-ed, then bring it back up to max as the rest of the mix comes in.
- The song ends a bit suddenly. Not sure if fitting it to exactly 1:00 was a goal. It could have used a bit more of an outro.

SunLite
- The esses cut through a bit harshely at the beginning. Could use a (harsher?) de-esser. 0:00-0:20
- I like the vibe of this song. Your voice is good, and all the instruments feel like they support each other nicely.
- The hard cut away at 1:12 is real good, especially when the upbeat guitar comes.
- The distorted guitar seems a bit loud at 1:19-1:50. It's taking up more of the spotlight and distracting from your vocals. You may be able to back off the palm muting a bit to get the same effect without hogging the center stage. It mixes very nicely in the parts afterwards, though.
- I just noticed that the distorted guitar sounds panned to the right. Bringing it back to center may also work to tame it.
- Guitar sounds out of tune at 2:44-2:47. Seems like it's just the one string, but it unfortunately distracts at a pretty big moment in the song.
- Mmmmmm, those synths coming in at 3:30 are good. Really kicks the song up a notch as it leaves without overshadowing the earlier song.
- Damn, this was a well put together song. Only nitpicks here. Awesome job!

ShoehornTC
- Nice modulation in the background. Gives a very nice texture to the whole song.
- Oh, I missed that solo at ~1:00 the first time around. Sneaky! I dig it! It complements the solo at ~2:20 and outro at ~3:20 very nicely. You really got your mileage out of that riff!
- I think everything at 3:30+ could be removed. I was ready for the song to be over and already had a nice outro, and I'm not sure this part added much.
- I like how the first line ends with the same word as the second line's start. It would have been cool to see more of that in the song, but for sure not necessary.
- Overall composition here was great. I really liked the dynamics of this song. You very smoothly modulate between higher and lower energy parts without me feeling bored at the sparser (relatively) sections.

add
- Synth (horn?) at 0:22 is fun, feels like a carnival.
- Instrumentation here is great. The guitar and synth all have simple parts that layer very nicely and distinctly with the vocals. For example, 1:10-1:30 shows this off well.
- That "Screaming into the void" you belt has great energy! It hits a nice register that's untouched for the rest of the song, and I really dig it.
- That bridge fits well. Not so different that it feels out of place, but for sure different enough to keep things interesting.

Galoshy
- Nice sparce guitar. Have you listened to Hadestown at all? This gives me strong Orpheus vibes (Epic III for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c05EMeY2E8&). As much as his character was a complete nub in this musical, I mean this as a compliment :)
- Vocal doubling at 1:50 is just enough out of time to be distracting in left ear. It's good by ~2:10, but could use some more manual adjustment to make sure the important syllables match up (D in digging, C in carrion). Also sounds like you said "Searching for" in the main track and "Looking for" in the backing track.
- Same feedback in the ending verse, but for the W in which and P in please. These ones weren't nearly as bad, though.
- Nitpick, but the guitar having the same riff repeated four times feels a bit boring for me. Varying it ever so slightly on the fourth repeat would go a long way for making it feel less repetitive. For example, harmonizing the last 4 notes (C#, D, C#, B with an E, F#, E, D).
- The lyrics are really good and evocative (one day I'll improve my vocab for lyrics so I can compliment them better). It really matches the desolate vibe of the sparse song.

Phlebia
- Is that a guitar!? It has to be, you can't get that kind of chime playing a bass above the 13th fret. No feeling me again for the third time in a row. The guitar sounds good, and the chime of these open notes really does add a good shimmer to the song.
- I'm really loving this chord progression, very creepy and eerie - making good use of those open strings.
- The chanting vocals are nice, although as others have said I can't figure out the lyrics without looking them up. I was hoping they were more of an intro than the whole shebang, but that for sure feels like a taste difference.
- That thunder was suprising. Really filled up my headphones.
- These lyrics are really good when I read them.
- I was expecting a touch more to change than adding strings at ~1:10 for the clean half of this song. I have a similar critique with the second half of the song, where it feels repetitive to me, but I don't think much would need to change to fix this.

Balls To Monte
- Man, this one's really good. I don't think I'll have much in the way of critiques. From lyrics to execution, this feels great.
- The chorus reminds me lightly of Gangsta's Paradise. I was certain they were identical until I played them side by side, and realize my memory was just being dumb. Still, the backing vocals really lift this chorus nicely.
- The guitar loses a bit of follow through at 1:45, like it's losing its voice and needs to whisper the ends of the longer notes. Not sure if this is a noise gate that's too aggressive or if you need a touch more gain. Real nitpick there, though.
- The chord change at "Can you hear the echo? I can hear only silence" is particularly good.

The Pannacotta Army
- Another really good track. I'll have trouble coming up with anything useful here.
- "It's hopeless" is particularly catchy in this song. I like this chorus a lot.
- I like the backing synths. They fill up the background nicely. I'll have to steal that ;)
- The solo/bridge from 2:00-2:40 felt like it went on a bit too long.
- The split second of silence at ~3:00 is real good.

Tomdg
- Good lyrics. Your vocals sell them well. Impressive given how free form they are.
- I find the delay a bit too strong here. Especially when both guitars are playing at once (1:13-1:30), they don't seem to sync up well. Too chaotic for my taste.
- Related, but when you are strumming the chords at 1:13, each strum sounds inconsistent with the others, which is accentuated by the delay. A few more takes would have cleaned this up.
- I like the synth that comes in around 1:20, it adds some nice texture.

JP Nickolas
- I challenged myself to, as many reviews have mentioned in the past, "just go for it" vocally, and throw a bit more caution to the wind. Still exploring what kind of singing I like and want to get better at. This was fun, but probably not something I'll do often. I saw Iron Maiden mentioned, although I was hoping to channel more Megadeth with this one.
- Very happy with that intro and laugh. It was meant to be a placeholder take for something better, but it really grew on me by the end.
- Oof, many flat notes in the vocals between 0:30 and 1:00. I fixed that up in the second half of the song, but it murders me every time I listen to the song.
- I'm happier with this mix than with others. I tried layering fewer guitar parts on top of each other so the vocals would have more space to itself, and that for sure made mixing easier.
- The chorus (0:42-1:00) is particularly weak, and I wish I had come up with something catchier. Either way, I drop a lot of energy when singing it, so it sticks out as the weak point in this song.

Lichen Throat
- Mmmmm, I really like this intro a lot. I just took a break to go learn how to play it since I liked it so much. A real head bopper, I wish you would bring it back in the middle of the song, like at 1:08.
- As others have mentioned, the synth strings sound off since they swell slowly with each note. Having a faster or eliminated swell on all but the first note would make them sound excellent. They really add a lot to this part of the song otherwise.
- I think this is my favorite of your songs so far (although I've only listened to your last 5 songs).
- The slowed down intro riff as an outro is fun.
- "So dumb that everyone's annoyed" stuck out to me as a line that could be improved.
- The topics you choose for your songs are always fun and creative. The frustrations of anything woodwork is relatable.
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sleepysilverdoor
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

jpnickolas wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm
Trying to give more criticisms in this one. Let me know how badly I'm shoving my foot into my mouth with these. Really good entries with this one, and welcome to all the new folks! The newbies especially are putting up a strong fight.

Phlebia
- Is that a guitar!? It has to be, you can't get that kind of chime playing a bass above the 13th fret. No feeling me again for the third time in a row. The guitar sounds good, and the chime of these open notes really does add a good shimmer to the song.
- I'm really loving this chord progression, very creepy and eerie - making good use of those open strings.
- The chanting vocals are nice, although as others have said I can't figure out the lyrics without looking them up. I was hoping they were more of an intro than the whole shebang, but that for sure feels like a taste difference.
- That thunder was suprising. Really filled up my headphones.
- These lyrics are really good when I read them.
- I was expecting a touch more to change than adding strings at ~1:10 for the clean half of this song. I have a similar critique with the second half of the song, where it feels repetitive to me, but I don't think much would need to change to fix this.
It's an acoustic guitar for the first half of the song. If you're talking about the heavy bit though, nope, all bass. It's mostly 2nd, 2 1/2th, 3rd,4th, and 5th fret harmonics through through a ton of overdrive. I own an acoustic guitar and an electric bass, but an electric guitar is something that is missing from my collection.

The strings are my son's cheap keyboard run through a chorus pedal. :)

Also, regarding your reviews in general, these are very well done! And I really dug your song. "Just going for it" is always rewarding...
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
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genecawley
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by genecawley »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:25 am
genecawley wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:09 pm
Are people really stopping you from kissing your wife? That seems odd.
Yeah, well, the advice is to basically not be in the same room as anyone else for the duration. That means 'No huggy, no kissy..." not even with a wedding ring. :x
Now that I've re-read your lyrics, I realize that you actually HAVE COVID. Somehow I missed that. Really sorry for being insensitive, and I hope you're feeling better soon.
"...and it ain’t a fit night out for man or beast!”
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the panna cotta army
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Sober - At this pace I can hear now why the banjo took so many takes. I can’t decide if the tempo is just a bit too hurried. Up to your usual high standard of production, arrangement and performance. Although classically American in theme and style, there's also something Pogues-ish about this and that's not just the phlegmy timbre to your vocals in the chorus. I also get a little Andrew Bird vibe from somewhere. I really like that repeated staccato two chord turn.

Ozro Falls - The excess of reverb adds a nice dreamy texture but perhaps the mix does get a little bit swampy. Would have preferred a subtler intro but I like the song with it's big, reaching-for-epic chorus and melodic vocal lines. I think I might have laid off the main piano motif somewhat, at least in one of the verses. Good to hear some clean lead guitar. Al Stewart tones in your vocals

ShoehornTC - I like the jaunty pace and folky-rock arrangement. There’s a essence of 70s about the music - perhaps a Jethro Tull kind of feel or something of that ilk, although the vocals and simple rhythm do a great job of steering this more towards something new wave sounding. I’d have liked a bit more variation or even ambition in the twiddly acoustic bits. The “huh”s are cool.

Robyn McKenzie - This is cool and catchy, especially the chorus. You sound like you’re pushing the depth limit of your doable vocal range in the verses but that’s okay; it works like it does for Debbie Harry. The oo-woo-oos in the chorus are great. The bass is very bassy. The guitar rather clangy and scratchy - not sure if it’s nasty in a good way or just plain nasty. Perhaps the arrangement needs something in between them in the tonal spectrum.

JP Nikolas - I’m not sure what you were going for but the effect for me is overtly camp and theatrical. I feel I walked into a number from a metal/showtime musical - all very Rocky Horror Picture Show. The vocals sound a bit detached from the music - partly a level/balance thing but the differing reverbs are also part of it.

Sweeney Toad - On hearing that opening sound, I had to check I hadn’t clicked on Lichen Throat’s song, but no! I have that joy still to come. I refer you to Sober’s review. He says it much more eloquently than I can.

Balls To Monte - I want this to have a more organic Jayhawks type of sound (I reckon you could nail it really well), but you clearly love that original 70s vibe. You’re vocals are excellent as always, including the aaahs. One of the acoustics sounds okay but I think one of them at least has a DI-ish tone. It’s a tidy song with a nice clean, sharp production.

Add - As Sober mentioned in his review, this just instantly smacks of The Doors and the Soft Parade album period which I know many think is a bit of a naff phase but I’m quite fond of it, which is no doubt why I really dig this. Jim lives on.

Phlebia - There’s a low/mid resonance coming in about 0.50 that's a bit distracting. At the very least a tighter grip on the reverb is needed. I think the ideas and concept of this are great and it could be an epic track in the hands of someone who knows how to wrestle all the difficult elements into a cohesive mix. As it is though, it’s all rather too mushy.

Brown Word & Big Whine - This is pandemonium, like a Hieronymus Bosch painting put to music. You don’t have time to take in one part and establish a feel before it moves on. And another track with a slurry mix. Too many sounds all competing in the same frequency range. It’s like you’re cramming in as much as you can which means nothing has any room to breath. Serious question - Do you improvise this as you go along?

Galoshy - Nick Drake vibes with the guitar tone. Touches of Sufjan Stevens with the vocals. The mundanity of the lyrics do somehow suit the sound. This is so intimate. I don’t mind the dry guitar but perhaps the vocal needs some subtle reverb? It works better when the vocal doubling comes in. Lovely minimal stuff though and a balm for the ears after the bedlam of BW&BW.

Tomdg - I like the elements you’ve used - the rimshot beat, the twangy bass and delayed guitar but perhaps you’re trying a bit too much to sound like Bauhaus. With the vocals, I think you’d have been better off embracing a wholehearted sprechstimme approach rather than trying to sing. It’s quite extraordinarily off key.

SunLite - The opening piano chord/vocal melody sounds a bit familiar. The lyrics are somewhat wordy - the scansion feels awkward in several places. Perhaps some more elaboration in the piano rather than one chord on the bar? The clean guitar of the first verse is nice. I’m not convinced the chugging in the second works, it’s more appropriate in the chorus. You build things up well to the big finale.

Gaping Maw - I never really get these portmanteau songs. It’s like a musical CV or showcase advertisement. I guess bands like 10CC carried it off but somehow their’s were more coherent. Yes it’s put together perfectly okay and I like some elements such as the Washed Out/Tame Impala type section at 1.00 but it’s promise is snuffed out after only a few seconds. All the jumping around and vocal histrionics are not for me.

Lichen Throat - So the opening riff (a sample?) is actually quite cool and the beat, although not banging, is kind of okay. But then the bass comes in and instead of following and bolstering the riff’s chord sequence like any sane individual would want it to do, it just drones away on one note slightly out of tune. And then the opening riff disappeared never to be heard of again and in its place came a period of time that from henceforth shall be known as “The Era of Great Discord” but which mercifully only lasted for about 3 minutes before all the light and harmony which had been sucked out of the universe was restored and the birds started to sing again and children ventured out of their underground bunkers and asked “Mummy, will the The Era of Great Discord be coming back?” to which the reply was “yes darling, I’m afraid so”.
This is a kind of weird therapy for me.

Pigfarmer Jr - The acoustic guitar is nice and bright and cuts through the mix well. I’m not so keen on the fuzz solo stuff which has a jarring timbre that I don’t think suits this arrangement. The song drives along nicely and the rhythm and pace are sweet. The vocal melody is perhaps a little predictable, though I like minor switch on the “I can’t think about” line . Vocal timing could be smoother but the lead guitar aside, overall everything works pretty well.

the pannacotta army
- I think perhaps I could add myself to the muddy mix offenders this week. I had in mind a Vaccines kind of thing and found it hard to balance the necessary level of reverb while trying to get a big guitar sound and keep some clarity
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the panna cotta army
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

jpnickolas wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm
- I like the backing synths. They fill up the background nicely. I'll have to steal that ;)
Go right ahead.
I stole it from someone myself ;)
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

genecawley wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:21 pm
Now that I've re-read your lyrics, I realize that you actually HAVE COVID. Somehow I missed that. Really sorry for being insensitive, and I hope you're feeling better soon.
No worries, no reason to apologize. I'm feeling much better and was back at work yesterday after being cleared by the medical professionals and a bunch of (frustrating) paperwork.
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WreckdoMelle
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

jpnickolas wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:02 pm

- I'm still having trouble what the lyrics are getting at. Seems like a fever dream, which matches the musical tone, but I think it's going above my head.
I kind of had trouble with focusing what the lyrics are about and I wanted something vague. It's sort of the controlled chaos of life, lots of people going through the motions of living these work-a-day lifestyles, obsessed with stuff and products and occasionally altering their consciousness through booze and/or pills, and right now all that stuff has been interrupted and they're screaming into the void wondering what to do with the discomfort of the unexpected. I've seen people on social media lamenting a lot that things aren't how they were when we were kids and I always think it seemed better since we didn't understand wtf was going on, but possibly we still don't. I don't :D Hence, keep cathartically screaming but in all your screaming start to listen as well?
Last edited by WreckdoMelle on Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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WreckdoMelle
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

the panna cotta army wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:54 am
Brown Word & Big Whine - This is pandemonium, like a Hieronymus Bosch painting put to music. You don’t have time to take in one part and establish a feel before it moves on. And another track with a slurry mix. Too many sounds all competing in the same frequency range. It’s like you’re cramming in as much as you can which means nothing has any room to breath. Serious question - Do you improvise this as you go along?
I think this is perhaps one of my favorite comparisons of my music ever, even better than being compared to Stevie Nicks singing karaoke to a lesser Steely Dan song (which was also very awesome to me) and I know this probably is not your cup of tea, but I am immensely flattered and feel I have accomplished my mission on this title. Except the mix part - I'm still learning and I had about 8 instrument tracks and 15 various sample tracks to work with. I really didn't improvise at all. It was carefully plotted out, and actually started with a drum pattern I wanted to suddenly and violently incorporate and from there I laid out all drums first. Yes, as Sober points out the toms could've used a little something something and as far as sax goes, I used to play sax in a band that sometimes gave me money but that was five years ago and I recorded with a directional mic, not ideal for a woodwind so there's that. But as I was saying, all parts were intentional and all instruments/vox were several takes in.

Thanks for the reviews all!
Brown Word and the Big Whine on Bandcamp:
http://brownwordandthebigwhine.bandcamp.com
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by Sober »

the panna cotta army wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:54 am
something Pogues-ish about this
💚💚💚

Huge Pogues fan. The trashcan crash from Waxie's Dargle certainly came into my head when doing the double stops. Maybe I'll add it at some point.
🤠
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by jkelver »

Apologies to all for any wildly inaccurate comparisons I make here.

add – First of all, I love this song. I played it Thursday as the intro music for all of my classes. I mean, the guitar coming in and out. The bass line. When the synth pops in and out during the verse. The jazzy drums and that circusy pre-chorus. My favorite is that one-line chorus. I love a one-line chorus. I can’t write a decent bridge to save my life, so I really enjoyed this one. It’s very seamless. I suspect I need to listen to more of your music.

Balls to Monte – First thing I’m drawn to is those ahhs in the chorus, and I’m all about them. It took me awhile to latch onto the chorus melody itself, but I’m into that now, too. Something about this song (I think a combo of the lyrics and spacious instrumentals) makes me think it will be about seven minutes long, so when it ends, I’m just a little surprised is all. I like the solo. A little confused how in the chorus, the speaker can hear the echo but then seemingly can’t, as they can “hear only silence”.

Brown Word and the Big Whine – “Greetings from the void!” This is bold, you lean into it, and that’s awesome. It’s a lot of cool stuff together! Your voice, and a lot of the music, gives me Amy X Neuburg feels (like maybe “Stone”?). I also hear some frenetic Karen O in the chorus. Love them both. I like this more every time I hear it. Update: I listened again, and I liked it more again. Is there a TMBG-style horn in there somewhere?

Galoshy – Well, I’ve known you since we were eight, and this is something new for us both! I’m very glad you submitted. This song is, like much of your work, haunting. I’m not sure I can name even one of my own songs that uses so much as a seventh chord, so it’s always great hearing the combinations you come up with, of which this song doesn’t even touch the surface (though I like the chords here very much). Love the melodrama here. I don’t really know much about cars, but I’m pretty sure if a washer is missing, nothing will explode before you are able to drive to the hardware story to buy another washer, so the fact that void-screaming appears is gold. I’d like to see some harmonies instead of the vocal doubling. Galoshy is among the best words I have ever heard.

Gaping Maw – I like all of the songs here, especially the softer parts. I’d like to see each of these ideas developed into their own songs; with it all together, the song kind of exhausts me by the end. Beetlejuice voice in the middle is great. Dig the slow clap. And don’t let anyone go after that sax.

JP Nickolas – I like the lead guitar work and the ghoulish backup vocals. I don’t have a great ear, but I feel like you’re not always singing the notes you’re intending to.

Lichen Throat – Vocal delivery is reminding me of Silver Jews. I like them during the first verse when you’re half-singing, half-talking. You sort of lose me once you start singing the chorus. I’m just not convinced you’re singing the notes you’re intending to sing. I have the same problem myself. But hey, if you hit the notes, your voice has a cool timbre. This song sounds like an ‘00s pop punk song at first, and that never comes back, so I feel like it doesn’t match well with everything that comes after it. I like the band name.

Ozro Falls – Lots of nice stuff in here. I like the vocal harmonies and the atmospherics. I really love that lead guitar that kicks in after the first chorus. It has a great timbre and fits in there great, really building more atmosphere. The outro, even if it didn’t fade out, is the weakest part for me.

The Pannacotta Army – This is my other favorite song of the fight; I may need to look up more of your work. Such a smooth energy throughout. Maybe my favorite part is how the main riff is split between the low and high guitar parts. It’s simple but so effective! Makes me want to try something like that. This will be the “walk-in” music for my classes on Monday.

Phlebia – How do you say Phlebia? I had to listen to this a few times but I feel like I’m into it, really. I mean, there’s a lot of production stuff that has to happen to make it work, but the low echo-y Gregorian chant-style vocals are cool, and once everything explodes into that undulating overdrive, I’m cool with it. Listen while scrubbing blood off the walls of your ancient catacombs.

Pigfarmer Jr – I hope you’re feeling better. The opening guitar is my favorite bit in this song. I’m not sure if the lyrics are deliberately designed to highlight the juxtaposition between your COVID experience (which sounds similar to own this summer) and that of the 1.3M fatalities (and of their loved ones), but the lines “seems more like a tomb” and “I just hope that I can leave someday” are either dark jokes or just a little tone deaf for me. Otherwise a pretty nice, sunshiney track.

Robyn Mackenzie – I’m pretty new here, so I didn’t write any reviews last week, but I wanted to point out that your HICA entry was my favorite. Has anyone mentioned The Donnas in relation to this song yet? Pre-chorus and chorus (which I love) evoke them for me. I like that. During the verses, I find that I’m mostly waiting for the pre-chorus to come in. The second verse has some nice melodic changes, but I would consider adding (or subtracting) something or changing the instrumentation there to add interest. That’s… pretty much what I always do, anyway. I love the punk “you think you’re so tough dontcha?” in that second pre-chorus!

ShoehornTC – Sounds like something I would discover listening to college radio, a jangle channeling The Raveonette’s Love in a Trashcan and Jefferson Airplane’s Somebody to Love. All good things! I first listened to this on my phone’s speakers (apologies to all of you for whom that’s the only medium I listened to your song— that’s just what life affords me most weeks), and it did nothing for me, but when I got in the car, it was a whole new world. I’ll do my best to re-listen to everyone’s work on less shitty speakers.

Sober – Are you secretly famous?

SunLite – Hello to my second-oldest friend! Also delighted to see you join the fight. As I’ve told you, this is among my favorites of your songs. That largely rests on the chorus, I think, especially the later ones, which are very nicely built up. I like that at the onset of this song, you can almost see your breath; the atmosphere of the music matches the imagery of the lyrics. And your voice sounds good! Even a stranger on the forum here said so. How about that?

Sweeney Toad – I’m probably not offering up a fresh take when I say that this is pretty niche. It reminds me of Brown Word’s very bold style. I love seeing musicians lean into their style. I liked it a lot and wish it was longer.

Tomdg – How do you say Tomdg? The long chains of lyrics are pretty interesting. The lyrics themselves could do, I think, with more specificity. Almost every noun in there is abstract: dream, news, soul, nightmare, fears, terror, heart, pain, disbelief, hate, prejudice, lust, power, curse, state, power, nation, lies, people, death, time, void. That is a lot of abstract nouns in a small space. The other lyrics are split between hackneyed imagery (morning/night, dark/light) and some allusions. The allusions are good! But without anything to attach them to other than abstractions, they feel lost.
Last edited by jkelver on Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by Sober »

jkelver wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:48 pm
Sober – Are you secretly famous?
I could never keep such a secret. If I ever do make anything of myself, I will be 1000x more insufferable than I am now 😎
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

How do you pronounce Phlebia? Quickly and confidently.

But if you wanna hear it used in an academic setting, the mycologist Tom Volk suggests "FLEE bee uh". I say " Flehb ee uh" but I'm an internet musician and not a corticoid fungus.

http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/july2000.html
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by jpnickolas »

jkelver wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:48 pm
SunLite – Hello to my second-oldest friend! ... And your voice sounds good! Even a stranger on the forum here said so. How about that?
If I had know you were riding with Giraffes for Wings I would have told you how I really felt ;)

jk, your voice sounds great! Looking forward to more.
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by SunLite »

Man, there were so many great tracks for this fight! I’m excited to start trying this out as I’m able, and thankful to Giraffes for Wings for pushing me to do this. I definitely had a laundry list of things I wish I could’ve fixed or done better on my first entry, but don’t most and it’s a great challenge to just put it out there. I’m excited to learn in with this community and hope I’m able to humbly contribute to others musical growth as well. I look forward to getting involved in more fights in the future, but I'll have to add this "excuse" to the excuse thread I saw, and say my wife and I are expecting our second kiddo any day now, so I might be out a few for a while, but we'll see!

Brown Word and the Big Whine – There are so many great textures going on in this. This feels more demented trip down the rabbit hole / through the looking glass. You make some great vocal layering choices throughout. There’s some great early Gwen No Doubt vibes to your vocals in places (which I am a big fan of!). There are some great examples in here of using an “ear candy” sound just once or twice and letting it be that special because it’s not over used too. My one critique is that I think there are often times where the vocals could sit slightly more on top of everything. I would have loved to hear the vocals at 1:28-1:444 be a little bit wilder or have another layer or two under that were more wild. Great track that definitely matched what I heard when I thought about the challenge title.

Balls to Monte – Your guitars sound great! Your voice seems to be in a sweet spot for this song as well. This song is just so easy to melt into as your listening to it. Great song writing. The drums are a little dry for my taste (especially the snare). Great production on the whole.

Ozro Falls – So much to like about this track. You noodle and interject so well with your guitars. I don’t know exactly what grabbed me about it, but rewound and listened to that little guitar interjection at 1:46 about seven times before moving on. So tasty! My one suggestion for this track is maybe EQing a touch of the middle low frequencies out of the bass or something, at times I feel like it’s just a touch too much and pulls the ear too much. Your and melodies and parts just work so well together throughout this song. Great work!

Sober – Man, what can I say?! Such a complete package! Production is really impressive. I envy your musical ability on the banjo (and probably about 17 other instruments). Your voice has so much character too. I guess the one thing I’d wonder about hearing different is at the big moment at the end (2:46) if you had “ah’s” start right away with it or bringing up all of the harmonies around your lead voice just a little bit; your lead vocal seems a little bit too alone in that moment to me. I love hearing your voice at the settled down moment before the big finish too. My only other thought was that that all of the quarter note hits (like at :23) were a little tinny; I wonder if there’s another voice that could be added to those to thicken those moments. Obviously, these are me being ridiculously picky. So many great things about this. Definitely an easy stand out.

JP Nickolas – Much like Brown Word, I feel this caught some of the initial thoughts I had when I heard the challenge of the week. The beginning definitely grabbed my attention. I think overall, I’d bring all of your instruments up a bit and set your vocals into them just a touch more. Guitars could be more surrounding overall. I do always appreciate when you can hear the bass well too in the mix of metal music, and love that about this mix. I love the character you create through your vocal performance too. Lots of great ideas here!

Phlebia – Oh man, I’m a huge fan of the soundscape usage at the beginning. Some of this definitely feels like it could binaural music used for meditation with the way the frequencies push in different ways. There are some harmonies late in the development (1:48ish) that seem to be hovering in semi-tone tunings; intentional or not, I actually loved the tension that brought. To me this song has a lot of opportunity for exploration of tension and release. Right now, it feels like just constant building tension and I would love to hear you experiment with playing with releasing that tension and fading in and out in places, whether it be with the number of voices, chord development, or tunings. I enjoyed the journey this took me on and the gradual development.

Lichen Throat – There’s a juiciness to your tones in this that I enjoy a lot. That said there’s something pushing just a little too much pressure down there at times. I’d love to hear your voice more in its natural singing range too, seemed like you were a little low for its sweet spot. I like a lot of what you’re doing with your bass line here and your drums have interest and sound really nice. The melodic motion I think you could develop more here are all of the string lines; I’d actually love to hear more of a fuller string ensemble in these moments or at least a counter melody with a violin or viola sound. You’ve got a lot going for you with the timbres in this, just don’t forget about some of the higher sounds and don’t be afraid of the higher end of your voice (your singing voice rather than speaking voice).

Gaping Maw – Love it! What a musical trip. Great diversity of sounds within this, and transitions between styles worked really well. Production is solid, bass (I think this is my favorite bass sound in this weeks fight) and sax recordings sounded really great. You made great production choices with your voice throughout as well. The only voice I think could’ve used some work in mix/timbre is some of the drum stuff; I think at the beginning section they weren’t forward enough, and I wasn’t a fan of the bass drum at 2:10. Man, this was such a great track for so many reasons. I want a whole track or EP from you in the style of the second section!

Tomdg – There are some good ideas you were creating in this with the bass and guitar parts. It sounds like you’ve spent some good time figuring out your voice and are on the right path for finding where your voice fits the best. I think for this one you could’ve hyper enunciated and done more spoken word in spots over blended singing/talking. I liked the higher sounds you started bringing in during the middle, would’ve loved more of this and maybe a few others at the end too.

Robyn Mackenzie – Really great song writing. I enjoy this song a lot. I would have loved to hear some different guitar sounds and more layering of those guitars. One weird harmony at 1:51. You have such a great voice I love listening to. I’d love to hear this song up a step or two, it sounds in some spots you were forced lower than you wanted to be. I also wanted more of you using your voice like at 1:33. Tapping into more of that “raw” voice for this style works well and you have the chops for it for sure, I just wanted a bit more of the rawness throughout in this one. I can tell I’m going to enjoy hearing your tracks often in the future!

The Pannacotta Army – Solid production. Felt really nice. Might’ve been something a little driving in the mids that could’ve been pulled back a touch, but overall very pleasing. Loved the development all the way though. Everything had its room and the colors and timbres felt really good together. I actually may have to call the favorite bass comment from earlier a tie here with yours. Great song here.

Sweeney Toad - Great! This is so fun to listen to. Your voice works so well for this too. You do a great deal in the matter of a minute here. As much as I’m not usually a fan of short songs and always feel like they need to develop more, I feel like you’ve made a complete song here that works really well. Nice job!

Shoehorn TC - Really great production on this one. This is another one that felt really good to listen to. I dig so much of what you’re doing with your guitar work and everything else complements this really well. I might bring the vocals forward just a touch and I would agree about the comment about ending at 3:30, but other than that, just a pretty fun solid track.

Goloshy – Well, you did it! You wrote a great track in a week and your voice as always sounds great! I just love your use of space throughout. In listening to this on headphones, I may have EQed a bit more of the low mids out to thin it all out just a bit, but at the same time I enjoy the lulling brought by timbre and frequency of those sustained notes. I would have also been really interested to hear you add just one or two more sounds/instruments in this somewhere and look forward to hearing you explore that in the future more. Great work Goloshy! Excited to be able to hear more of your stuff through this!

Add – Another great mix. Really solid production here. I will say my ear really wanted to hear the guitars more on the left and the key work on the right for whatever reason, but that’s just me. I was waiting for things to get less clear at each climax of “screamin’ . . . into the void!” but things stayed super clear throughout each of these. This was a fun track.
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by tomdg »

jkelver wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:48 pm
Tomdg – How do you say Tomdg? The long chains of lyrics are pretty interesting. The lyrics themselves could do, I think, with more specificity. Almost every noun in there is abstract: dream, news, soul, nightmare, fears, terror, heart, pain, disbelief, hate, prejudice, lust, power, curse, state, power, nation, lies, people, death, time, void. That is a lot of abstract nouns in a small space. The other lyrics are split between hackneyed imagery (morning/night, dark/light) and some allusions. The allusions are good! But without anything to attach them to other than abstractions, they feel lost.
Thankyou. I was trying to convey my feelings at a specific moment, 3am GMT, the day after the US election, waking up to the result from Florida and everything looking hopeless. I very much get the point about lack of specificity. It was a semi-conscious thing, semi-deliberate - whenever I came up with a word that was more specific, I felt uncomfortable with it, it felt tacky somehow, so in the end I just avoided it. Maybe I should have tried harder :)

And I'd say it as Tom dee gee but I liked the version in the last songfight live video too.
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by jkelver »

tomdg wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:28 pm
jkelver wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:48 pm
Tomdg – How do you say Tomdg? The long chains of lyrics are pretty interesting. The lyrics themselves could do, I think, with more specificity. Almost every noun in there is abstract: dream, news, soul, nightmare, fears, terror, heart, pain, disbelief, hate, prejudice, lust, power, curse, state, power, nation, lies, people, death, time, void. That is a lot of abstract nouns in a small space. The other lyrics are split between hackneyed imagery (morning/night, dark/light) and some allusions. The allusions are good! But without anything to attach them to other than abstractions, they feel lost.
Thankyou. I was trying to convey my feelings at a specific moment, 3am GMT, the day after the US election, waking up to the result from Florida and everything looking hopeless. I very much get the point about lack of specificity. It was a semi-conscious thing, semi-deliberate - whenever I came up with a word that was more specific, I felt uncomfortable with it, it felt tacky somehow, so in the end I just avoided it. Maybe I should have tried harder :)
I understand and echo those feelings. And I agree that it will probably feel hokey if you approach it too head-on. One idea is to pick a discrete moment or a small number of discrete moments to explore. They could be directly related to the election but (in my opinion) stronger would be things indirectly related but which evoke the feelings you’re trying to convey. If you still want to make it clear that the election is involved, then you can hint at it (like with the Wednesday line). I’m not trying to suggest this is easy or that I’m good at it. It is incredibly difficult and I mostly fail at it. My favorite lyricist is John Darnielle; he does this masterfully.

But you may have different lyrical ideals than I do!
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

add—For some reason I took a dislike to the descending instrumental melodies. In a way that I cannot entirely articulate, they seem to bring a lightheartedness to the song that seems out of place with the lyrics. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an issue specific to my subconscious, rather than an inherent property of the song. The performances all sound good, and there are some nice moments where everything comes together.

Balls To Monte—I like how you articulate the vocal; it’s subtly plaintive, emotionally resonant without being over the top. The song is on the slow side for my taste, but I think this is a good track overall.

Brown Word and the Big Whine—The tone of your vocal on the chorus is well suited to this style; it’s wild without a complete loss of control. I had difficulty getting into a groove on most of the instrumental. There was so much stuff going on that I felt like my attention was divided.

Galoshy—I got a bit of a Mountain Goats vibe from this, more from the guitar than from your vocal. Your voice sounds good, but I think you might want to punctuate the gentle tone with moments of greater forcefulness. I like your guitar playing; it really brings the right atmosphere to the song.

Gaping Maw—Excellent vocal delivery as usual. I like the muted guitar. I’m not sure the jazzier parts fit well with the rest of the song, but it’s an innovation worth trying. There’s an interestingly epic quality to the song.

JP Nickolas—Very Halloweenish feel. I like it in that context, but I’m not sure how much I’d like to listen to it the rest of the year. I like your vocal confidence and commitment to concept. The guitar performance is good, which I knew before listening to the song. (By the way, I’m honored that you learned the intro to my song.)

Lichen Throat (me)—This week’s goal was improved vocal melody. I failed. My plan was to record an instrumental melody, sing along to it, and the delete that track. The little bits of strings were the melody I tried that with, but I couldn’t sing along to it at all. Not even close. So what you’re hearing is my after-the-fact salvage attempt. Complaints about the second verse lyrics are acknowledged; that part was a reference to a real-life incident to which I didn’t have space to give adequate context.
Spoiler
Show
One day in my 8th grade woodshop class, another student and I were talking the teacher, Mr. Pierce. Repeatedly, a loud buzzing noise cut through the rest of the equipment din, and we all looked over to see a student, Aaron, who had consistently shown disinclination to learn proper techniques, using a dado blade (which cuts a wide groove) on the table saw. He was going much too fast, which was producing the noise and would inevitably have caused ragged edges in the wood. Mr. Pierce yelled, “Hey Aaron, why don’t you go faster and rip more wood out.” Aaron gave a thumbs up and then made another cut, even faster, which produced an ear-splitting noise and caused the rest of us to burst into laughter. Mr. Pierce called out “Aaron—go slow!” and then Aaron nodded embarrassedly and finally started cutting at a more reasonable pace. I can see how this might be a lot more amusing to observe at the time than to hear an oblique reference to in a song.
I’m glad I can provide therapeutic opportunities, I suppose.

Orzo Falls—The piano sounds good, and I like your chorus. Very mellow, but still kind of vigorous too. The fade out is a nice touch. Pretty good song overall.

The Pannacotta Army—80s arena pop with Bishop Allen-ish vocal melodies. I never would have thought of that combination, but it works pretty well. This is among my favorites of yours. I like the pause before the chorus.

Phlebia—You could probably back off a little on the effects on your vocal, but otherwise this sounds good. Sort of a tone poem. I like how the second half is so different but still clearly sounds like the same song.

Pigfarmer Jr—I’m glad you’re feeling better. This is one of your better mixes, particularly with respect to the acoustic guitar. The lyrics are disconcerting. Some of the rhymes, like “alone/home” and “inside/hide”, seem a little simple for the gravity of the subject matter, but since I know you actually were sick and the lyrics are true, the simplicity makes them seem even more touching. I’m not sure I’ve explained that very well.

Robyn Mackenzie—I’m not completely sold on the “want it, want it” and “got it, got it”, but the rest of this is awesome. Grungy but still melodic. The variability in your vocal cadence keeps thing interesting, too. Good work. Were you any in any previous bands in New Mexico?

ShoehornTC—This belongs in the soundtrack to a Wes Anderson film. I like the hint of psychedelia. Fun song. Everything fits together well.

Sober—I’m a sucker for fast-played banjo bluegrass, so I like this a lot. The mix sounds good. I like the contrast of the lyrical gravity with the lively instrumental. The internal structural variability is a nice touch and is particularly appropriate to this genre.

SunLite—This hooks me immediately. I like how there are points where I’m expecting an exuberant breakout but get a particularly quiet moment instead. There’s a lot of stuff in here that I don’t expect, in a good way.

Sweeney Toad—Okay, I’m nodding my head. This is one of your best, I think. I like the greater variability in your vocal delivery within the song. I wish it was a little longer.

Tomdg—I like the overall feel and sound of this, but I think it could use more variability. Each individual moment sounds good, though. I like the lyrics.
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by robynmackenzie »

Robyn Mackenzie—I’m not completely sold on the “want it, want it” and “got it, got it”, but the rest of this is awesome. Grungy but still melodic. The variability in your vocal cadence keeps thing interesting, too. Good work. Were you any in any previous bands in New Mexico?

Tbh I'm not sure I was sold on it either, lol. It felt like there was something missing for some reason. I used to be in a country band called Southwest Wind--we mostly played covers John Denver, Neil Young, John Prine, etc. with a few originals thrown in here and there.
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

robynmackenzie wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:56 pm
Robyn Mackenzie—I’m not completely sold on the “want it, want it” and “got it, got it”, but the rest of this is awesome. Grungy but still melodic. The variability in your vocal cadence keeps thing interesting, too. Good work. Were you any in any previous bands in New Mexico?

Tbh I'm not sure I was sold on it either, lol. It felt like there was something missing for some reason. I used to be in a country band called Southwest Wind--we mostly played covers John Denver, Neil Young, John Prine, etc. with a few originals thrown in here and there.
I was just curious if I might have seen you in concert, but I don't think I ever went to a Southwest Wind show. That sounds like it would have been a good band to hear, though.
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Sober
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Re: Aarararrrargh! (Screaming Into the Void reviews)

Post by Sober »

robynmackenzie wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:56 pm
Robyn Mackenzie—I’m not completely sold on the “want it, want it” and “got it, got it”, but the rest of this is awesome. Grungy but still melodic. The variability in your vocal cadence keeps thing interesting, too. Good work. Were you any in any previous bands in New Mexico?

Tbh I'm not sure I was sold on it either, lol. It felt like there was something missing for some reason. I used to be in a country band called Southwest Wind--we mostly played covers John Denver, Neil Young, John Prine, etc. with a few originals thrown in here and there.
Pls bring this energy to songfight 🤠
🤠
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