Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

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Pigfarmer Jr
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Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Let's hear what you gotta say.. but do it quick, my phone is about to die.
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Thanks for making the review thread!
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

If your song didn't get posted please let me know here and we'll figure it out.
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by The_Grim »

Good Lord there's some outstanding entries this week !!!!..I'm excited to do reviews. I'll be posting them soon

P.S. Pepper Jane if you ever want to collaborate on some heavy music pleeeeease hit me up !!
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by Sober »

Haven't participated in.. three and a half years. I know Paco and BSS, but I don't believe I'm familiar with the rest of you. Howdy, I'm Sober. Good to be back.

Reviewing songs on bass-heavy gaming headphones, which tend to be flattering to any decently mixed track. I usually listen to a track 2-3 times in the course of my review. I'm not the gentlest reviewer, but hey, my hearing got fucked in the military - if you don't like my feedback, blame it on 60mm mortar rounds.

Berkeley Social Scene: Cool space created by the panned guitars. The vocal style and performance isn't my cup of tea, but it may be that I'm just far outside the indie rock loop. The "intentionally missed/imperfect notes" thing doesn't do it for me, but that's all I'll say on that. Would like to hear the drums do something a little more expansive in the chorus. Maybe ride a crash. Would also like to hear more aggressive patches. Solo feels like someone who's learned their modal scales really well, but is using it as a crutch. Could use some more bottom end on the bass. Some minor groove/rhythmic misses from pretty much every instrument at one point or another. The cleaner guitar in the left channel sounds really nice. Writing-wise, nothing really hooked me. Did like the one line where the bass and clean guitar mirrored each other for a little melodic run. 6:21 is definitely too long for what's here. All of that sounds like really negative feedback, but this is not a bad track by any means. Nice work!

The Grim: Cute intro, I guess. Gimmicky skit intros didn't work on rap albums in the 90s, either. I like what comes in after the break a lot better. Snare sounds really thin. Good click out of the kick, but not much bottom. Not a lot of bottom on the bass, either (with the exception of the dives). Everything about the guitar sound and performance is exactly what it needs to be. Vocal performance is good enough to not need to hide behind a wash of reverb. Dial that back and bring vocal up a touch, maybe. That ride sample is god awful. Let the final hit ring out. Not at all my style, but a clearly well-executed entry with a fair amount of polish. Well done.

JRS2: This is solid. Not sure how much of this instrumentation is sampled, but everything fits well. Bass is well-programmed. I'd like a tiny bit more sub boom along with the buzz, though. Vocal is a bit dark - some more high end will help with intelligibility. Great scratch, curious as to how you achieved this. Hook needs something arrangement-wise to give it more impact, not sure what would help here. Track cuts off the ringout of the last note (this is the second song I've noticed this on, maybe Chrome's mp3 player is ending songs a second early or something). Really well-executed nerdcore.

luntar: This is weird. Like someone trying out all of the sounds and effects that come bundled with their keyboard and DAW. The writing isn't quite funny enough to make this a proper joke song, though there are some funny moments. Silly and sort of fun, but not something I'd listen to again.

Macaque Attack: Dynamic mic? That's a very muffled, plosive-prone sound you're getting. Interesting drum programming. I like the unexpected melody line, but it seems like you're a little unsure of it yourself sometimes. Where's the bass? From a performance standpoint, I'd like to hear you sing louder. You have a Thom Yorke quality to your voice at times, but it gets buried by the "sing quietly so my housemates don't hear me" delivery. I like the way you write and arrange, and I think with some work you could really be a standout.

Paco del Stinko: Bass is mixed really hot. There's something about the swingy hihat/shaker rhythm hard panned to the right in the chorus that irks me. Guitar solo is cool, but super out of place. Synth solo fits much better. Hearing the guitar solo refrain at the end makes me change my mind. Now it feels more like Jonathan Mann style rock opera. The bridge in particular feels like Mann. Snare fill is off. Do more vocal takes putting emphasis on different words, and holding notes differently, then play them back to find which delivery sounds the most natural. Fun.

Pepper Jane: You clearly have an excellent voice - don't hide it behind effects. A really close vocal capture (with a pop filter!), a guitar, and a piano - all clean - would be great. Crazy potential here, hope to hear more from you in the future.

Pigfarmer Jr: Alright, a genre I can talk about. Scoop some lows and mids out of that acoustic. The bass part could use some work - it lacks some of the 1-5 motion and passing lines that would add some authenticity to this country vibe. Nooooo fake cellooooo. This is begging for chorus harmony. I get the desire for simplicity, but I'm desperate for more drum action. Rhythmically, we seem to be drifting between a straight three and a swung three. Make a decision and stick with it. I'm sure some people will write this entry off as "just another dumb 'ol country song," but there's flashes of soul in here. Embrace your inner Old Crow Medicine Show - get drunk and belt this out. Really want to hear you progress, because all the right ingredients are here, even if the recipe isn't perfect yet. If this is a "joke," consider taking it seriously.

Praise Muzak: 30 seconds is too long of an intro. No-effort vocal performance, toy guitar, and three-note drum track? This is vintage Songfight. This isn't good, bro. Everything about this screams lack of effort. Two minutes would have been plenty to ask of a listener; over five is just rude.

Sober: Should have done more vocal takes. Need to figure out what the hell I'm doing in the mix. My EQ and compression process is a mess. That said, I'm really happy with the writing and arrangement (though I wish I'd had time for harmonies) and the guitar work. Mostly, I'm just happy to finally have gotten my recording setup and workflow running to the point that I could Songfight again. I won't be in every week, but it certainly won't be 3 years until my next submission.

Not a bad fight. Would like to hear more concentrated efforts from Pepper Jane, Pigfarmer Jr, and Macaque Attack. Solid genre examples from JRS2 and The Grim. Paco's tune is endearing. Gonna listen to the top 7-8 songs a few more times before voting.
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by The_Grim »

Hows about some reviews??? Like i said before a lot of good entries this week. I am not a professional critic and I am barely a competent musician. I just like to put out my two cents on songs so dont get bent out of shape if i say something negative .Though there wasnt too much negative to say this week. So on with the thoughts and please forgive my spelling



Pig FarmerJr- I dig the acoustic tone and and the entire vibe of the whole thing.It has that modern Folky feel to it like Langhorn Slim or something.It doesn't go to many places musically, but I dont think it really needs to. Not a huge fan of the lyrics but overall I like it. : 2/5

Pepper Jane I love the effects on your voice. I appreciate when people who can really sing mix it up with vocal effects.Reminds me of the Mars Volta and It gives your voice this otherworldy quality.Short and sweet this week, the song seems to end a bit abrubtly but your soft vulnerable delivery instantly catches your attention. The acoustic is simple and carries well ..love the swells : 4/5

Luntar quirky and kinda cool. You clearly know what your doing and i give you props for doing exactly what you want to do. Not really built for repeat listens but I think its lovely. Reminds me of the movie Frank in a way that you are on your own thing and forget what everyone else does. 2/5

JRS2 WHOA THAT PRODUCTION!! ..my theory is the serious..etc that's a killer flo right there !! Both guys are excellent rappers. Props for the first song fight entry Ive heard that puts "songfight" in the chorus. One of the best Hip hop entries Ive heard. Killer Scratches Also I think of all the entries they KILLED the topic ..really went at it dropping references and samples from pokemon to the "Can you here me now?" guy to the ADHD that grips the modern generation. Love this one ..probably my favorite of the week 5/5

Berkeley Social Scene Intro grabs me immediately and i loove the feedback. I also like the changes. The transitions are rough but once in the part it goes well. I'm trying hard to get into the vocals, but I don't think I quite can. I DO LOVE the guitar on this one, the solo is awesome and and that grungy tone works for me. Sounds a bit like your channeling a little U2 on this one. Overall probably my favorite entry by you guys 3/5

Paco del Stinko Paco my man , Some of those chord changes are unexpected and i dig that ..another solid entry from Paco tight jam and well written song. Along with JRS2 really tackled the topic. I hear a lot of influences in your stuff. I would love to see your record collection . OOOOH THAT GUITAR LICK !1..Yeah this is just cool, keep it up man ..great climb up ending 4/5

Macaque Attack this i was looking forward to based on your previous submission. This one doesn't dissapoint ..That electro back track is great. I like the chaotic percussion juxtaposed to the melancholic vocal.Speaking of the vocal for me its somewhere around 75% really good ..it loses me in a couple spots but overall I like it. I like the accapella ending 3/5

sober Great production. The vocals are really over the top but I kinda like em. Well written song, and great sounding instrumentation. Seeing how upfront your vocals are I can see why you feel mine are too low lol!!!...You're sound would play well at festivals and the like. Overall i cant really say much negative about it .Lyrics are a bit cliche but thats just personal preferance .outstanding entry 4/5

Praise Muzak ooooh yeah loving that kick drum intro and dark feel .. I love the idea for this but I feel its a bit lacking in production to really capture it. Maybe some more atmospheric textures ?/..I like the layered vocal delivery .Some screws need to be tightened a bit I feel, but I really like the lyrics ..keep it up I look forward to hearing what more you got 2/5

The Grim This is me ...I appreciate you listening to it .. The "guest vocal" on the track is my five year old son and he wanted to make metal with his dad so thats that. Judging by the fact that I'm usually the only entry in the ' heavy metal/hardcore" genre I can assume its not a lot people on here's cup of tea so I thank you even more for giving it a shot

votes for Jrs2, Pepper Jane , and Paco
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by fodroy »

Sober wrote: Praise Muzak: *complaints about time* This is vintage Songfight. *bad/good judgment w/o consideration of intent*, bro. *I assume this part was directed at your kid or your pet or something* *more complaints about time*
:cry: but, it was all for you, bro... :cry:

Bro, just turn it off if you don't like it, bro. And, damn right this is vintage songfight, taking time out of life to be a part of something and then reading complaints about lack of effort. :?

Anyway, my reviews of the actual songs will come later this week. My reviews of the rest of the reviews will come next week or maybe later.
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by Sober »

Your review of my review screams lack of effort :P
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Tonights reviews constructed with the assistance of: Jack's Abbey - Hoponious Union Cheers!

Berkeley Social Scene - Sounds like a baritone or one of those Fender VI basses from the sixties. Nice to hear Martin, seems like it's been a while. I am digging the darker, for you guys, mood here and the lighter chorus feels more poignant after the dark. The atmospheric delay/e-bowish guitars are very sweet, excellent leads. Funny, the song is very long but doesn't feel overly repetitive although it doesn't really take off anywhere crazy or anything. Very band-like, this might be pretty gonzo if more studio-like. Dig it.

The Grim
- Ha! What's your kid going to end up creating or listening to, eh? You know, dad's music is so corny and all that, where will he end up? Monster riffage, my faves are the big low string bwaa bends. Nice. Dynamics make this all the more powerful, wise move, as are the atmospherics at the end of the song. There are times when I wish I could do vocals like this. There was a local band called the Scam, many years ago, sang like this but over a more punk thing. Scary, and mercifully short, but I like it.

JRS2 - Great energy musically and vocally. I love the guitar loop/hook. Tight arrangement, this grabs you quick and doesn't let you go. Changing but not manic layers keep this song fresh and exciting. I can not say that I am a rap/hip-hop guy, but I really like this. Usually, mentioning SongFight! in a song is kind of a no-no, but it works here and oddly brings out some sort of pride. Or something. Great work, I like this a lot.

luntar
- Cute family type song. Ain't nothing wrong with the G rating thang. This is the right length for this but still feels a bit incomplete somehow. Cute.

Macaque Attack
- I can not listen to this without hearing Robyn Hitchcock. Which is great, I dig his stuff a lot. Don't know that he ever did anything over such manic beats, but it works. Manic beats under the trancey vocals, bloopy loops, ping-pongy synth tones. Like RH, this would probably work well strummed out on a guitar, but I wouldn't want to miss the electronic yumminess . Melody is simple but engaging. I am a caveman, and have very little idea on how something like this is put together. Another good'un for your catalog.

Paco del Stinko - Manic get off of my lawn music. But really, you have no right to use your phone when you drive. None. Fuck you. Guitars are (mostly) direct here, a rarity thanks to a new pedal. Heh. ANOTHER new pedal.

Pepper Jane - Oh Jane, the places you will go. A real artist, not afraid to go...anywhere. This snippet of a dreamscape feels incomplete, not fully realized, perhaps, but still reveals so much. Intimate and personal, full of feeling, yet it falls apart at the end. I dunno, maybe it's better that way. A peek inside of a journal or diary, a midnight scrawl from a dream.

Pigfarmer Jr - I hear what Sober said about the feel. But disregarding that, this is a like a light hearted murder song of sorts. How fun this would be with a small but real combo. Heh. Probably get that rhythm right. too. Maybe a simple vocal harmony on certain lines, too. Regardless, I like the instrumentation, pacing, and story line here a bunch. Call Ross Durand, I think one of his songs is missing. Kidding, this is settled and your own.

Praise Muzak
- It's like Cracker meets Prince somehow. I was a little off-put by the change in drum patters initially. Like, they should have continued pumping like at the start, but I got it as it went on. The dissonant sounds are mixed well and become like a shamisen or something. I like the imagery from the lyrics, even if I don't understand them all. Not a catchy song by any means, it still becomes a folk song of less than typical origin. If I covered it for some reason, I'd have it done in three minutes. Not that that would make it better.

Sober
- Some seriously spanky guitar work there, son. If it ain't a Tele, it sure sounds like one. I thought the vocal was too enthusiastic at first, maybe needing to be reined in a bit, but not after repeated listenings. The lyrics present better in the song than they do when just reading, some good lines there. If based on truth, how much more can you mine. Anyway, good energy, nice lively feel, would kick ass with a live band although this doesn't feel 'fake' by any means. Welcome back, again, Sober. Stick around!
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

That was funny, Paco.
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by fodroy »

Quick reviews begun on the front porch during a light, afternoon rainstorm.

Pigfarmer Jr.: I like the sick joke sung in a happy manner style of song. I forget what this melody reminds me of. There's something very Magnetic Fields about the arrangement and instrumentation. Enjoyable, if not enduring.

The Grim: Sonfight needs more experimental metal. I love how the digital drums clash with the guitars. I love the programmed blast beat. I get somewhat of a Wreck and Reference feel because of that. This hops all over the metal spectrum in a really fun way. I wanted this to be longer and to really let itself expand into some weird territory.

Sober: Well-played and executed. Feels like Lucero or Drive-By Truckers or something. Given that there are a lot of songs that sound like this, I would love to see some more risks taken. I don't have any suggestions. I just wanted to find a sonic surprise lurking somewhere.

Paco del Stinko: The song is super-catchy in a TMBG kind of way. I wish the lyrics were more story, less preachy. I want to see the rotted mind, etc. I want to see their stupid despair drawn out throughout the song in a non-judgmental way. However, this was a very enjoyable song.

After a disruption, I am now writing reviews several nights later while a large thunderstorm occurs outside. Hopefully, I don't lose power or internet because the thunder's really cracking.

Macaque Attack: This is reminding me of a band that used to Songfight, State Shirt. I really enjoyed their contributions here and on somesongs. This is in that same spirit. It's very serene. I really like the drum programming. Nothing bad to say about this one.

luntar: Ok, so this is actually the most-TMBG thing in this fight. The dialogue and silly vocalizations aren't really working for me, but hey for a song that's made for kids or something, what do I expect? Also, "This is song about etiquette" feels very much like a teacher delivering learning objectives prior to a lesson.

Pepper Jane: I agree with all who've questioned the vocal effects. The melody is great and tender and it simply feels blunted by the effects. I really wanted this to be part I where part II is an instrumental that really develops the themes and swells and layers in a Sigur Ros kind of way, but that's just where my mind went with it. I definitely think it needs a part II and then even spill into a part III where you return to the vocal melody. This has a lot of promise.

Berkely Social Scene: How many times have guys been called SF's GBV? I really like the guitar solo. The vocals are a little rough, but I think it's the kind of rough that grows on me.

JRS2: Oh man, I've been gone from SF for too long. I didn't know nerdcore was still a thing. Also, I can't believe this is the only song that references Pokemon Go. Good flow. Good production. Not my thing. However...major cheese points for "it's a Songfight. We bought to throw down." I might borrow that for every future chorus I write for Songfight. 8-)

Having finished my last review, my phone just freaked out and told me there's a flash flood warning in my area. I think my votes will go to Grim and Macaque.
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Re: Powering Off (Turn Off Your Phone Reviews)

Post by Sober »

fodroy wrote:Comments about storms
Pretty sure that was the same super-system that delayed my flight from NJ to Houston by 3 hours. Eat a dick, weather.
fodroy wrote: Macaque Attack: This is reminding me of a band that used to Songfight, State Shirt. I really enjoyed their contributions here and on somesongs. This is in that same spirit. It's very serene. I really like the drum programming. Nothing bad to say about this one.
State Shirt happens to be in the next fight.

Happy to hear the Drive-By Truckers reference - thanks for that. Turnpike Troubadours have been in heavy rotation lately.
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