Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by jb » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:46 am

You guys are ruining song fight
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by GravityJohnson » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:49 am

Hoblit wrote:...It's always easier for a third ear to note things that ears one and two get numb to....
100% agreed! Lovin' the feedback from Songfighters. :)
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by Hoblit » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:40 pm

jb wrote:You guys are ruining song fight
Uh hem, excuse me, I think you mean Songfight!

And of course...

....................../´¯/)
....................,/¯../
.................../..../
............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`·¸
........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\
........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by Generic » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:25 pm

Hoblit wrote: Jon Eric: This is my favorite entry this week and if we had to go back to the 'only one vote per fight' format, this would have gotten that single vote. I really love the guitar parts and the execution. But what really stands out is the lyrics and vocal delivery. I love the "I Don't Know"s and the way they build up. I feel like you'r 'bottling up your thoughts' and right when you are about to let them spill over, you catch yourself. You have really gotten a lot of control over your voice these days and my God did you put out there in this fight. I don't want to leave out the shakers...and how all of this came together. I am not usually this crazy about this type of music, I listen to folk, but I often relegate it to back ground music on Sunday mornings. This peice stands out and I guess that is why I'm so happy with it. Thank you for giving this to us. This one makes my ye-ole collection and gets a vote. Good work, man!
I was going to wait until I finished my reviews (tonight, hopefully) before I commented on my own song again, but this review touched me.

Hoblit, I don't know if you remember this, because it was twelve years ago and on the old Dumbrella boards, but when I was in high school and working with my friend Andrew, we entered a song as Silver Rush, for the title "Need Stilts." It was treacly and poorly-mixed, just not a good song in general, and I made it worse by trying to sustain a long vocal hold at the end of the bridge. I wasn't much of a vocalist then (I still don't consider myself much of a vocalist, but my reviews have gotten better), and in retrospect that attempt at an emotional moment by holding a long note was pretty embarrassing. Your review called me out on it, and you went so far as to suggest I take some time off. I don't remember if you meant from singing, or from music altogether, but I definitely recall you recommending that I try not recording (or maybe it was just not singing) for a full year.

I was perplexed and a little crushed at the time. I couldn't picture distancing myself from my art and my passion for that long. And yet I did recognize the wisdom in your advice. I mean, when someone tells you to give up and never record anything again, it's easy to brush them off as a hater. But when someone says "Don't record anything, but only for like a year, then come back to it," that's a lot harder to dismiss. Especially when it comes from someone like you, whom I respect a lot (then and now).

Well, a few months later, I was in college, and I found I had almost no time for recording. Over the next four years, I think I recorded a grand total of six songs, including summer breaks. I had inadvertently taken your advice, taken time off from recording, and given myself a lot of perspective. And you were right: spending that time on self-reflection and careful observation of how music works (especially the kinds of music that spoke most strongly to me) turned out to be immensely good for me. I got better at being self-critical of bad ideas and bad takes, and pushing myself to sing not just until I got the notes right (or close to right), but until it actually sounded good.

Since then, I've even had some reviews that focused almost completely on my vocals, and in a positive manner. It catches me off-guard every time, because it's usually not what I'm going for. To read this from you, twelve years after you advised me to take some time away from the microphone, is immensely fulfilling, Hoblit. I know my song isn't perfect and that I've still got a lot to learn, but sometimes I can't help but be proud of how far I've come, and it's largely thanks to Songfighters like you (and blue, and JB, and Spud, and fluffy, and roymond, and Glenn, and Jim...). So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by BobandtheBoggles » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:36 pm

Hey Song Fight! community,

Thanks for all the reviews. It's really nice to get the constructive feedback. I don't think it will quite answer anyone's question about the familiarity of the clarinet sound at the beginning of the song, but I have been listening to "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John pretty much on repeat since I'm working on an embroidered patch of his likeness right now. You'll all have to let me know if you think of any of these songs that it reminds you of.

Now down to the nitty gritty:

Blue Rock Jazz Trio: This song would work perfectly if the title was "Waiting for Change." I just keep hanging on waiting for one of those guitars to break into a melody I can latch my ears onto, but it just doesn't happen.

Bob and the Boggles: Sounds like a hottie

Glennny: Love the guitar work. Nice solo. Took a quick break after your song to listen to some Sabbath. Nice.

Gregg Boethin: The drum machine makes me feel awkward.. Like robots are taking over the world and invading country music. I like the acoustic bass sound. I don't know your music so I'm not sure if you are a country musician or if this is just for the competition, but I'm into the outlaw revival style.

Ian Martyn: Reminds me of getting my first microphone and a big bag of pot. In the immortal words of my coworker whom I showed my music to back in the day, "I like the effects."

Ice Weasels: I like this song. I've been listening to this band called Beulah a lot. Your song reminds me of them in a good way. Nice happy poppy sound mixed with dark lyrics. My favorite kind of song. I'm gonna vote for you this week.

Jerkatorium: This song feels like Seattle to me right now. Constant changes all over the place. I can look out the window and experience this song. Good stuff. I like the harmony parts that keep time with the lead vocal in the background during the song. Has a nice rockabilly/doo wop feel.

Joblito y el Banditos: I was waiting for someone to mention Trump this week and you guys answered. Punk just never seems as hard when it's coming through a macbook speaker as it does when you're standing in a mosh pit getting knocked around.

Johnny Cashpoint: I like the theremin. Is that the real deal or a computer version? I like the slow arpeggiator synth thing on the chorus part too. Overall nice instrumentation, I've just never been into that Clash singing style.

Jon Eric: Woah.. I thought this was gonna turn into a Fleetwood Mac song when I heard the intro. I guess now that I'm listening to the whole thing it's not that far off haha. Like the chorus with that little high note "I don't know" a lot of emotion in that note. Nice job.

Macaque Attack: I love the instrumentation. I just wish the vocals weren't so robotic. I love the guitar solo part. I can just picture David Hasselhoff slo-mo running on the beach in Baywatch. The drums were infectious to the point where I couldn't hear the lyrics. Ah, whats in a word anyway?

Paco del Stinko: The intro reminds me of a Flogging Molly tune. That's nice as it kind of lends itself to a politically motivated tune. I really dig that change-up with the "Sheep content to flock line" it gets very calm before the guitar solo kicks in again. Nice work on the vocal harmonies within the chorus. Jealous of your tuned ear. I'm thinking a vote for you this week as well.

Pepper Jane: Very nice voice. If this was produced a bit more it could really be a good track.

Pigfarmer Jr.: I love that into guitar. The verse vocals are good in their sternness, but that cutthroat vocal cuts out during the chorus to make way for the harmony. Bummer. That's where you need to shove those political sentiments down the listener's throats!

Rio Mondo: Reminds me of something from a Toonami commercial break. I'm sorry to say that I'm personally biased in my dislike of the swing revival/ acid jazz type of music. The instrumentation was done well with the horns, but it just kind of floats and doesn't have a motive or an end-game which I in my close-minded way need to stay interested in a song.
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by Hoblit » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:15 pm

"Hoblit, I don't know if you remember this, because it was twelve years ago and on the old Dumbrella boards..."

Ah, those were the days...that of course, I barely remember. :)

"Your review called me out on it, and you went so far as to suggest I take some time off. I don't remember if you meant from singing, or from music altogether, but I definitely recall you recommending that I try not recording (or maybe it was just not singing) for a full year."

Wow, I do not remember that. But that is something I recognize. I often employ this advice to myself and whenever I'm training someone at work. We can all get in a rut of doing something wrong. Without out pulling yourself back far enough to see it from another perspective, you'll continue to deepen the groove you're stuck in. So I can see myself saying something like that.

...and allow me to apologize if I was too harsh at the time. And I'm very glad that what I said wasn't so discouraging that you'd stop making music. I cringe a little at that thought.


"Especially when it comes from someone like you, whom I respect a lot (then and now)..."

Hey man, that goes two ways. Perhaps even more now, considering we've met, even.

"...and I found I had almost no time for recording. Over the next four years, I think I recorded a grand total of six songs,"

This pretty much happened to me too. I got into a band, then two and then life happened to me and then I met a girl...married her, etc... I'm still trying to find consistency in my Songfight! participation.

"And you were right: spending that time on self-reflection and careful observation of how music works (especially the kinds of music that spoke most strongly to me) turned out to be immensely good for me. I got better at being self-critical of bad ideas and bad takes, and pushing myself to sing not just until I got the notes right (or close to right), but until it actually sounded good.

...

To read this from you, twelve years after you advised me to take some time away from the microphone, is immensely fulfilling, Hoblit."


Again, I'm really glad that it turned out to be good advice and that I wasn't taken as a snot (or hater!).



"I can't help but be proud of how far I've come, and it's largely thanks to Songfighters like you (and blue, and JB, and Spud, and fluffy, and roymond, and Glenn, and Jim...)"

YOU SHOULD BE PROUD. I went back and listened to the song you referenced and while I won't focus on that, I will state that you have indeed come a long way, as all of us have.

I too owe a lot to those same songfighters for all of the advice I've gotten over the years. Thats what makes this a community and not just some internet competition.

"So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you."

Considering that all of this resulted in this song you have shared with us this week, you sir, are welcome.

I'm really glad that this worked out and that I didn't end up swallowing my foot or something. I'm glad you did come back to it and that I didn't hurt you or discourage you from this community by saying something as delicate as I did.
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by j$ » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:24 pm

W.A.I.L. I.A.A.C. (some things, it appears, never change). A pretty good fight overall.

Blues Rock Trio – In all honesty, I’m bored at 1.30. Like the noodling but without a Beefheart vocal and some proper rhythm to hold this in place, it’s just dull. You come across as you can’t be bothered, neither can I. A bit more focus and I could probably focus on the lyric some more an find something to lock into – at the moment, it sounds like someone who’s heard Beefheart once and thought “I could do that” – which clearly is practically impossible. Sorry to be less than complimentary but really, over six minutes of this? Improvisation is great but the best improvisers are at least self-aware … skipped out at 4.40ish …

Bodger & the Badgers – (that’s a really funny joke if you’re British of a certain age, BTW. Honest) – same review as last time. Like the vocal and the phrasing. Like Gram Parsons, I can’t quite put my finger where I’ve heard the flute riff before, but I have. There’s not much to this beyond what it is. But what it is – fine! Nice little song but to be cruel, I voted for it last fight so not this time :)

Glennny – Is this is Friggian or somefink? Good song, sir. I do love it when you get over yourself and punk out a little bit. Great riffin’. Not sure if the chorus is big enough for a song of this nature but consider yourself considered for a vote. I do wish I could play guitar anywhere near as effortlessly as you do.

Glenn Boethin – Did I spell your name right? Apologies if not. Personal country ugh aside, this is very well done. I don’t have much to say. I like the slide guitar though it transforms into the solo it feels like it is a bit too omnipresent. The chorus could do with some BVs behind it to get that country rock feeling going a bit more. Should have wound down straight after the chorus at 2.20ish? Seems a bit of an odd observation when there’s only another minute to go – but there you go …

Ian Martyn – now I’m loving the bleep ‘n’ glitch of the opening. Yeah, I really like that apart from the over-effected vocals. Ends at a good point just when you think it’s going to boringly ‘change’ into a completely different song. Good work.

Ice Weasels – good vocals. Not sure about those drums or the synth bass, mind but not to a point they spoil the song. I like the literal changing going on but it does invite ‘I liked that bit more than this’ comparisions, I suppose. I’m not sure the very well sung melody is strong enough to carry on that loud over the synth parts … oh hang on all this changing up is getting a bit annoying now. Oh hang on, no, that’s the next song …

Jerkatorium – Jolly jump-along pop. Some of those words leave a heavy taste in the mouth ‘funny and it’s faint’? I mean, yes, that is a sentence that makes sense but who says that? Anyway, that’s by the by. I like the harmonies on the first half of the choruses very much. The music seems mixed a bit behind the vocals? Nothing wrong but not leaping out at me over the headphones. Like that really nice sounding piano towards the end is almost unhearable to me.

Joblito etc – The only things that I don’t like about this are that I have no reference points for the lyric and that the guitar is nowhere near dirty enough. Or maybe it just needs to be 10-20 BPM faster? Otherwise this a very good song especially when the drums go all tub-thumpy at 2.50ish. Goes on a little long but unbearably. I guess if I was picking up on the lyrical references I would not notice the length so much (matron). Oh and the last ten seconds fade-out are top-tastic.

Johnny Cashpoint - it’s me. I’ve talked too much about this already elsewhere in this thread. Read that for background. I still don’t like it very much but more than I did. The lyric is half pessimism half optimism about being active in campaigning on one side of the referendum. I think.

Jon Eric – voice sounds good, Jon. As always there’s some clunky portentous wordage going on. No-one says ‘heft’. If you’re standing at the bus-stop and there’s something on you that won’t wash off, it’s probably mayo. Mix is very good. It’s a very catchy song. Oh, those BVs are a mistake. It does feel like it’s nowhere near as emotionally charged as the delivery wants you to believe, tbh.

Big Mac Attack – Great drums and great vocal, so why is the former so quiet in the mix and the other so high? More than a bit meh on the words, frankly – but hey, this is a great song, so consider yourself considered for a vote. Oh and there is no song that deserves 5 minutes. Longer or shorter, fine, but 5 is just 3 that doesn’t know when to stop.

Paco – Yeah. This will do nicely. Jumps around an imaginary mosh pit a plenty. I love being sprayed in your fun. *ahem* VOTE for this.

Pepper Jane – Pretty. I like the bare bones minimalism when someone has the voice to carry it off. Which you do. Bizarrely it makes me think of Leonard Cohen, which must be one of the least accurate comparisons I’ve ever made. Go figure. I may well vote for this.

Pig Farmer Jr – Now here be riffing. Almost ridiculous but in a good way. Can’t decide if I like the vocal or not. It’s done fine but maybe it needs to be dropped a little into the mix? The bit where I think it’s perfect is 2.10-2.25, if that’s any help/a guide. I really like the tom triplets under the chorus (the ‘be free’ bit) – makes me think of Devo’s ‘Freedom of Choice’ – which is a compliment. Yeah, I think this a mix issue. The vocal feels to me like it’s floating atop the rest of the mix, which is not right for me for this kind of song. But that’s my prejudice.

Rio Mondo – 15 seconds in, I’m thinking ‘I bloody well hope so and soon’ … this keeps on building, I really hope it’s going to get somewhere. Nice brass. 1.30 in I’m ‘nah’ – you can be experimental and repetitious or you can just not have enough to support the song. I like all the bits here but this doesn’t feel like there’s very much change here and that’s disappointing. Oh and the meta-ending is fucking annoying not cute.

So I'm voting Paco, Glennny, Pepper Jane. I'm umm-ing and ah-ing about Macaque Attack (I'm not a size queen) and Ian Martyn (the stumpy vocal effects are disappointing) as well.

j$
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by GravityJohnson » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:56 am

j$ wrote:...there is no song that deserves 5 minutes. Longer or shorter, fine, but 5 is just 3 that doesn’t know when to stop...
An interesting theory :D
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by Vexed Simian » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:53 am

This is a really strong fight!

Blue Rock Jazz Trio - I guess it's better than spending six and a half minutes looking at pictures of how badly celebrities have aged. Kudos for the vocal hitting the brown noise around 3:04 to 3:08.

Bob and the Boggles - Really nice instrumentation, not keen on the solo though, like the lyrics, nice vocal and delivery. Like many other people have said, reminds me of something just out of my grasp...

Glenny - Guitar work is really good, the verse reminds me of Bleach era Nirvana somewhat, maybe Paper Cuts or something, I'm struggling to pick out the lyrics a bit though, otherwise liked this.

Gregg Boethin - Really liked this one, the drums lack a bit of impact and it would possibly benefit from backing vocals during the chorus, but a nice song.

Ian Martyn - I really like the synth sound, not really a song in my opinion though, I'd like to hear this developed with an actual vocal melody. After listening, I had Sparks This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us earworming me, would love to hear this developed into something similar.

Ice Weasels - This is probably my favourite song this fight. Excellent vocal, like the lyrics, like the melody. I'm not sold on the drums mind you, and it seems to end slightly abruptly to my ears. Great job though.

Jerkatorium - This immediately reminded me of the Lemonheads. Bass is a bit too prominent and a bit distracting to me, I like the thump and how it carries the song but it's just a little too much for me. Overall though I enjoyed this, good job.

Joblito Y El Banditos - Reminded me a lot of The Offspring. Liked this, made me think back to the Epitaph Punk-O-Rama compilations I have around somewhere which I used to listen to a lot.

Johnny Cashpoint - Pretty decent yeah, Clash like vocals, although they're are a bit difficult to pick out at times, but nice layering of the instruments.

Jon Eric - A really nice song, really like this. The bass sounds a little sort of subby if I'm being picky, and it would be picky.

Macaque Attack - Us, not my best vocal, we had to transpose this from the original key we'd written it in so that I could sing it more easily. And I still struggled.

Paco del Stinko - I look forward to and enjoy listening to your songs every week. This is really good, nice variation throughout, well produced, like this, another song that would fit great on a Punk-O-Rama compilation.

Pepper Jane - Lovely voice. Reminds me a bit of Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down). I could listen to this over and over, excellent.

Pigfarmer Jr - Mix could be a tad more level, drums more impact, nice guitar work, good song, another song that would fit well on an Epitaph compilation.

Rio Mondo - It's music, and the music is alright, the music is mixed well, there is no song though. Let's see what Rio Mondo next fight can produce.

Great work everyone!
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by Generic » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:32 pm

I listened to most of these once without worrying about reviewing. These reviews are written during my second full listen.

Pigfarmer Jr - I commented on this earlier, but this isn't really my cup of tea (made worse through no fault of yours by the fact that it's very similar to two other songs this fight). The simple punk-rock arrangement suits the song, but I'd have preferred something a little more musically complex. And the lyrics, aside from not fitting the meter of your melody very well, are bluntly political. I could nitpick, but the message and the medium are so enmeshed that I don't think I can comment on them without also commenting on the substance of your politics. Don't mind me, though; I'm well aware that these criticisms indicate how badly I've missed the point. Your performance and mix are solid.

Hoblit - The sad truth is that I could almost copy my review of Pigfarmer's song word-for-word and it would apply. Not meaning to hate, but this isn't my bag. You did achieve more of that music complexity, particularly with that sweet guitar lick. I also appreciated your use of handclaps. There's a high level of energy throughout this, aided by a strong drum performance and some nice fills. But yeah, I'm just not a big fan of overtly (and specifically) political lyrics. Your voice is great for this kind of song, though!

Pepper Jane - You've got the fundamentals down, for sure. Your guitar playing is sweet and pretty, and the recording captures it properly, too, without sounding too muddled or letting the room sound interfere with it. And you're a very good singer, too! I'm not crazy about your lyrics, unfortunately. There's a lot of vagueness and most of the rhymes have been done to death (went/sent, lose/choose, ear/near, etc). I may vote for this nonetheless, because the strength of your performance carries this song.

Jerkatorium - Very well-executed! That high-energy pop-rock feel is right in my musical sweet spot, so I guess I'm predisposed to this. I also really appreciate the lyrics about a person with entrenched social anxiety. The backup vocals (both the harmonies and the "oohs") add a lot of texture, as do the sweepy synths. This kind of reminds me of Squeeze! Definitely one of my favorites this week. Let's nitpick: that lead vocal needs more pop to it, more oomph. Some of that is in the performance - you could sound more impassioned - and some of that is in the mix. Raising the lead vocal a notch would help, but I think it might be an issue of carving out some more space for the lead vocal in the EQ as well. Also, I would have liked a little more dynamism from the music - maybe one quiet section in the bridge or before a chorus. Overall though, this is a really good song. Voted with high honors!

j$ - This sounds a little busy to my ears, and I'm not sure if it's because there are a lot of elements in the mix, or more just because the multi-tracked lead vocals are ever-so-slightly out of sync with each other (I'm assuming intentionally, to make it feel a little off-kilter). I love some of these chord changes, but man do I wish there were just a little less going on so I could pay attention more easily. I liked this more on a second listen than the first time, and I bet it'll grow on me more if I give it some more chances.

Ian Martyn - Sorry, not much to say about this. It was over before it had time to make an impression on me. Watch out when you pile multiple effects on a vocal, because overlapping echoes can make it difficult to listen to.

Rio Mondo - What is this, a trailer for your next song? I guess it's cool that you kept a cohesive groove going through several disparate sample sources. This struck me as ultimately pointless.

Bob and the Boogies - Charmingly ramshackle. Your voice sounds a little like Stephen Malkmus. Really clever rhymes. It's short, maybe a little too short, but if it were any longer, you'd have needed to add more structural elements, which strikes me as something you wanted to avoid. That spring-reverb guitar solo that ends it was a canny arrangement choice, really cementing the slackercore feel. I liked this a lot; I even wanted more! Voted.

Ice Weasels - Hey, who told you you could do an acoustic-guitar-and-eggshaker song? :P The pacing of this arrangement really makes it stand out. I love the introduction of the full drum kit and the synths. Some of the vocals are a tad wavery, but on the other hand, that's appropriate for a song whose narrator doesn't sound accustomed to asserting himself. I liked your lyrics - the frustrated narrator gives the song a narrative arc and injects tension, but there's also just enough "poetic" language to keep this from sounding too self-indulgently emo. Voted.

Paco del Stinko - I appreciated that your lyrics weren't focused on, say, a specific piece of legislature or a specific political organization, but were more about a general political sentiment (even with an unobtrusive reference to Donald Trump's proposed Mexican Wall, I assume), and how the mood of the debate is just so dark. Really slick axmanship, but that goes without saying where you're concerned, Paco. I think it was unfair of me to initially lump you in with Pigfarmer and Hoblit, because this song isn't nearly as angry as theirs are. You don't seem to be lashing out, but rather observing with some concern. I like your ending too. Voted.

Macaque Attack - That drum loop is sweet. I was hoping for something a little more energetic and engaged based on the strength of that loop, but this is more ambient and laid-back. Great for what it is, but I admit I'm a little disappointed. I liked the melody - it moves around enough to be interesting, without being too all over the place. And those long-held notes with the harmonies in the chorus really help it out. Nice instrumental drop for the solo. I like the reverb on your electric guitar, and those spot-synths accentuating the solo. I want to say this runs a bit long, but I'm not sure what I would cut. Maybe that last chorus?

glennny - In the time I've known you, your vocals have improved dramatically. They're not the main event here or anything, but you're definitely holding your own. Your guitar work is great, and I like that complex lick you built your verses around. You embody your genre well. The guitar and the drums interact satisfyingly, like you have a real band of people taking cues from one another. I like the solo, but it's a little discordant at times. The solo ends really well, though. One thing I'm not wild about in this song is the abrupt coda. It sounds like you maybe cut something else out of the middle, as there's a sudden cut before the last part, a wildly fast guitar fill, and then no musical resolution. I'm sure you were going for some kind of effect with this cut-off ending, but I didn't care for it. Nonetheless... Voted.

Gregg Boethin - A well-executed country song is a unique beast on Song Fight, because you've pretty much got the field to yourself. No one else did anything even close to like this for this fight. I like the crispness of your voice, though I would have liked it if you'd tried to hang on to the last word of each line in your chorus for just a little longer. That lead guitar sounds cool at first, but by the end of the song I was getting annoyed with it (I think it's a little too loud in the mix; fix this and it probably won't be as annoying). Still, this is refreshing in its straightforwardness. I like that you ended on the verse instead of stringing out another chorus for us. Voted.

Blue Rock Jazz Trio - Too long, too meandering, too sloppy, and your self-deprecating meta-jokes don't land with me. I could barely stomach this the first time through, and I did myself the favor of skipping during my second listen.


And, my own...

I wish I'd gotten a quicker start on this, because then I wouldn't have had to rush the recording process. This was my first time recording in the new house, so of course things kept going wrong. At one point I got ground hum so loud I thought my microphone was broken. At another point I thought I'd somehow ruined my recording configuration settings in Cubase. Then, once I finally got the recording going, I had to be happy with the first decent take I got because I honestly thought my little finger was cut and bleeding by the end of that take (it wasn't, but I guess I've gotten more sensitive since the incident). I did the guitar, vocals, eggshaker, and tambourine one night, and then added the organ and bass, plus some more detailed mixing, the following night. There remain things I like about it - the lyrics, most of the vocals, the chord progression, the distant reverb effect on the tambourine - but overall I'm surprised at the positive reception I've been getting.

Things I should have handled differently: My second-night mix is better than the first one I turned in, but I should have swept my vocals for those hard sibilants. It's only really noticeable when I listen on earbuds, but I assume anyone else listening on earbuds also gets overwhelmed in that first verse when I say "sir," and in that one-two when I say "change is" in the chorus. Ouch! For the bridge, I made the tambourine much drier and lowered the volume on it, but I should have lowered it more. I agree with j$ about the backup vocals not being well-suited to that moment. And I agree with Vexed Simian about the the bass. With maybe two more days, I might have caught and fixed that. Also, I'm hearing some timing issues on the eggshaker that I'm amazed no one has commented on yet.

Thanks to everyone who has reviewed, even the less-positive comments. In almost all cases, I agree with the criticisms, or at least can see where you're coming from.
Last edited by Generic on Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by j$ » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:53 pm

Generic wrote:j$ - the multi-tracked lead vocals are ever-so-slightly out of sync with each other (I'm assuming intentionally, to make it feel a little off-kilter)..
No, not deliberate, just lack of time and talent, as usual. Though I do like the idea of being able to get away with claiming it's 'deliberate' :)

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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by Enter It In The Art Show » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:28 pm

Just had to say that Pepper Jane's song was one of the best songs I've ever heard on Song Fight, and thought I should say so. (I actually like the recording quality, btw.) Also, I voted for Paco Del Stinko.
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by ice weasel » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:26 pm

sorry my reviews are so late! i went on vacation right after submitting. this fight is really impressive. i was surprised by how many songs i liked.

thank you for the comparisons to the magnetic fields and beulah, two bands that i love. :)


blue rock jazz trio - the length wore on me. not a big jazz fan, and no vocal melody really, so i'm gonna chalk this up as "not my style". the talking was muddy but i guess that was intentional?

bob and the boggles - you ended right before the repetition got annoying. the lyrics are clever. i would have had the singer multi-track, even if to go "ahhh", but this really isn't bad as is.

glennny - wow those drums. verse is great, but the verse-to-chorus bridge sounded off to me, like the singer and instruments were singing for different songs. the menacing tension is a good driving force though. love the layered vocals toward the end.

gregg boethin - the singer has a great voice, and the chorus is really catchy. also i'm a sucker for bottle guitar, so i'm into this. classic country sound.

ian martyn - i have descended into a vortex. interesting concept but there's not a lot going on.

ice weasels - n/a

jerkatorium - intro says "hate me", but then it hits a groove that reminds me of Too Much Joy and i'm humming. i really like this. the chorus keeps it interesting. i'd like to hear more about why you think an oncoming train is "humming and strange". ;) but this is solid!

joblito y el banditos - i'm not ready. this week, someone was asking me what "punk" sounded like. i will now point them to this song. oooh i love the "hoorah" call/response. i only listened twice and i can tell this will be stuck in my head. so so good! can we get angry punk songs like this and still win the election? i want it all. haha, love "eating our bootstraps". you have done a stellar job here, so hoorah to you.

johnny cashpoint - i like all the weird noises and sounds effects. i'd differentiate the different song segments more in the first half, but i like the part that goes "change is coming, you won't like it much!" i almost want that part to be more menacing/sinister. the guitar solo section is really a highlight. ended in a fizzle.

jon eric - this feels great right from the start. omg the chorus "i don't know when change is coming" gave me goosebumps. this is amazing, and the lyrics are raising the bar even more. i want to quote some lines and say "this is great writing" but there are too many. organ in the last third could be a bit lower in the mix, it wants to chew the scenery a bit. ok this is my favorite.

macaque attack - i like the wistful mood, and the chorus hook grows on you as it goes. your mixing is perfect as usual and makes me jealous. singing is a bit pitchy in places. long but anthemic. my only real criticism is that it didn't go far from it's starting point.

paco del stinko - this is well-done for what it is. short, but never quite hit for me, for whatever reason. the folk intro probably put me off, but on re-listening, it's a nice setup for the punky main song.

pepper jane - i like the ambient noises. they give this song an intimate sound. i can also imagine this being sung by a lounge/torch singer in a nightclub in the 20th century. there's a bit of clicking at the end, and i think i would've replaced it with a few more seconds of ambient noise or maybe someone coughing far away in the club. pretty song.

pigfarmer jr - solid intro, A+. singer sounds authentic, but could practice more. music is perfect, reminds me of skate parks. could take or leave the interlude. whenever the guitar is by itself i'm grinning.

rio mondo - this song is unlike anything else submitted this week. atmospheric but didn't quite take it past "intro level" for me. the recording of your friends talking doesn't add anything. honestly, i wanted to hate this, because i feel like i'm being punked, but the horns and shouting would've worked on me if it was only about 30 seconds.
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by Chumpy » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:52 pm

Blue Rock Jazz Trio - Noodling starts off soulful, but ends up starchy. Vocals are often flat when sung, occasionally OK when spoken. I stopped listening at the 5 minute mark, which is probably farther than most people got. This needs more focus, and I think you may owe Jazz an apology.

Bob and the Boggles - That melody does sound familiar, kinda reminds me of Coke commercial. I'm a fan of your deadpan singing style, which comes off as charming in no small part because of clever and engaging rhymes and lines. "She says jump, before pronouncing 'p' I'm up in the stratosphere." Love that line.

Pigfarmer Jr. - The opening riff starts out really well, great guitar tone. Some of the vocal phrasing in the first verse is awkward, like "god their government" and the transition from verse to chorus is abrupt. That riff stands out again nicely when you return to it. Lyrical content comes off a bit heavy handed, and I'm turned off a bit by that, even though we probably see eye-to-eye politically.

Greg Boethin - I'm liking the sound of this right away. Your voice is nicely suited for this kind of music. There is something about the first time you sing the high 'change is coming' sounds off somehow on the word 'change', not sure exactly why. I didn't realize that Calliope is the Greek goddess of muse, I always associate that word with carnival music. Anyway, strong entry and a nice sound.

j$ - Really like how this starts out, with the drum, bass, and then when the theramin-like synth line kicks in. That synth line that goes throughout the song is engaging and really holds all the other elements together. The distorted guitar solo with the distorted vocals is another high point. I can make out the first part of the bridge, but after "you won't like it much" it starts to get muddied with the rest of the music and hard to make out. Overall I quite liked this.

Glenny: The riff you play in between verse lines has this dark spooky sound to it, way to put Locrian to good use. The playing on this is just top notch, very tight. The interplay between that funky bass, drums and guitar is excellent. You've got the technical chops to pull off legit sounding prog rock -- the production is really solid here too. The solo doesn't quite do it for me though, it sounds more technical than melodic if that makes sense. I like you you bring in the long-held backing vocals at the end and the final guitar/drum freakout is a cool way to end.

Paco: I really like how the folksy part of the song is dispelled by the pounding 4-count of ROCK, which gets me into the song. By the chorus I'm totally into this. Ch-ch-ch-ch-change is coming. Best title hook of the fight so far. The solo fucking SOARS and leads us into the triumphant final chorus. Ending makes up for the longish Kumbaya start.

Ian Martyn: Nice use of glitchy sounds, I'm less into the vocals though, and I think think the way the sibilance in the voice is amplified and bounced around is not very pleasing to the ears. I think with a prettier more focused vocal this would have earned my vote.

Ice weasels: I'm really sold on the chorus, 'change is coming, not for us' is a sweet melodic line, and another great use of the title. You repeat the first verse two more times times though, which is a bit much because it started to wear on me and I began to wonder if it was an artistic choice or if you just ran out of lyrics. The harsh sounding percussion starting 0:34 sounds good on headphones, but distractingly crappy on my shitty laptop speakers. I like what you did with that clanking sound, it adds nice color.

Pepper Jane: Nicely intimate sounding live recording with pretty playing and singing and a strong performance. That background hum becomes annoying as the song gets quieter at the end though. This has the feel of an traditional folk song which I quite like.

Hoblit - I think I listed to the same Punk-O-Rama CD that another reviewer mentioned, and I totally hear it -- this would fit in nicely with other standout punk tracks from the 90s. Your vocal performance here is very convincing. You have that Johnny Rotten / Jello Biafra high vibrato sound down pat, which sounds punk as fuck. The hand claps and the A cappella ending is a great touch. If I could only vote for one song, this would be it.

Jon Eric: The dual acoustic guitar sound is sadly pretty and sets a nice melancholy feel for the rest of the song. Lyrically this is really strong and the singing conveys a feeling of desperation and sadness slightly tinged with hope. Great singing too, not just technically but the way it conveys the emotional content of the lyrics. I really like the sweet bridge vocal harmonies. There is a beautiful moment at the end of the bridge when the electric piano drops out and you you quietly return to the verse guitars. Unfortunately that moment is slightly marred by an audible pop from an edit not done at a zero crossing right around 2:15.

Jeraktorium: Thanks for all the comments folks. That bass is a bit much, once it was pointed out I can really hear how prominent that bum-bum-bum-bum rhythm is. I really appreciate the EQ advice from Paco and Jon. Next mix I'll try to make the bass more subtle and see if I can make the vocals pop.

Macaque Attack: Really big sound here. Maybe it's the reverb on the drums and those snaps, but I'm liking how deep and rich it sounds. Nice changes in dynamics at at around 1:30, it feels like a natural breather before you return to the verse. Marking transitions between different parts of the song using that high swooshing sound is effective, but I feel like it was slightly overused. Overall this is pretty and atmospheric, and sounds amazing, but at over 5 minutes it's a bit long and I'm not really left with a strong feeling of what it's about.

Rio Mondo: I liked a lot of this -- the repeated horn loop, the 'change is coming' spoken word bit, the atmospheric music. It would have been better if the conversation in my left ear was more audible and/or more interesting. It worked as texture, but could have been a lot more. I liked how you name checked your band name and Song Fight at the end.
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by Generic » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:21 pm

Thanks for the review, Chumpy!

That reminds me. I said I would upload the rougher mix so you could compare. Here it is!
joneric_cic-v1.mp3
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by Hoblit » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:44 am

Chumpy wrote:

Hoblit - I think I listed to the same Punk-O-Rama CD that another reviewer mentioned, and I totally hear it -- this would fit in nicely with other standout punk tracks from the 90s. Your vocal performance here is very convincing. You have that Johnny Rotten / Jello Biafra high vibrato sound down pat, which sounds punk as fuck. The hand claps and the A cappella ending is a great touch. If I could only vote for one song, this would be it.
THANK YOU!

And a particular thank you for the JR & JB, I always appreciate that comparison whenever I hear it.

Take care and I do appreciate the listen and vote.

Now I gotta' go find this Punk-O-Rama CD everyone is talking about.
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by ice weasel » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:40 pm

Whoa! Thanks for the votes and the tie! I never thought I'd actually win one of these, especially not with the competition this week. ((And I thought "Incandescent" was a better song.))

I promise to use my new fame & accolades to help burn it all down.
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Re: Who's Change, And Why Is It Coming? (Change Is Coming Reviews)

Post by Chumpy » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:45 pm

Hoblit: I was thinking of Volume 3.

But what I think in particular reminded me of your song was Gotta Go by Agnostic Front.
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