Flame On! (Flamethrower Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.

Moderator: Mods

User avatar
ken
Notable Hylian
Posts: 3166
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:10 pm
Instruments: Guitar, bass, drums, keys
Recording Method: BLA modded MOTU 828mk2, Cubase 5, UAD-2
Submitting as: Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff
Location: berkeley, ca
Contact:

Flame On! (Flamethrower Reviews)

Postby ken » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:40 am

Flame on, I'm gone
I'm so sweet like a nice bon bon
Came out rapping when I was born
Mom said rock it 'til the break of dawn
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - Berkeley Social Scene - Tiny Robots - Seamus Collective - Semolina Pilchards - Cutie Pies - Explino! - Bravo Bros. - 2 from 14 - and more!

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
Lunkhead
Princess Zelda
Posts: 5191
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:14 pm
Instruments: many
Recording Method: cubase/reason/mac/tascam4x4
Submitting as: Berkeley Social Scene, Merisan, Tiny Robots
Location: Berkeley, CA
Contact:

Re: Flame On! (Flamethrower Reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:38 pm

Songs posted. Sorry for the longer than usual delay.
User avatar
AJOwens
Skull Kid
Posts: 727
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:50 am
Instruments: bass, guitar, keyboards, drums, flute
Recording Method: Reaper, Reason Adapted, M-Audio 1010LT + 2496 (Windows XP)
Submitting as: James Owens
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Flame On! (Flamethrower Reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:14 am

Thank you, Lunkhead! We appreciate what you do.
User avatar
irwin
Fortune Teller
Posts: 491
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:09 pm
Instruments: insecurity
Recording Method: scotch
Submitting as: suckweasel, kasper, nutwalls
Location: Woodland, CA

Re: Flame On! (Flamethrower Reviews)

Postby irwin » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:36 am

Chtonic Doom - Man this is great. I particularly enjoy where it really kicks in around the minute mark. My only complaint is that I want the drum samples to have more OOMPH.

James Owens - I would have enjoyed another verse or two. Maybe an escalation of the absurdity? Burn more things. A breakdown verse would have been nice.

Jerkatorium - The arrangement is great. I love the pauses, the changeups. There is a vocal effect that I am not particularly into, particularly obvious in the choruses. Huge shout out for the accordion playing.

Lichen Throat - I enjoyed the synth drums and the guitar-ish sound. The bass sound not as much, I wanted more growly synthy meatiness. Wasn't a huge fan of some of the couplets, dunno what to tell you about that. Lower/thrower/slower and thrower/bolder/over stuck out to me.

Older Brothers - Bass breakdown is great. Loved the guitar riffage too. I don't quite buy the vocals. Almost, but not quite. A little bit more juice and you'd have it. I wanted the drums to be looser, a little more unhinged like the rest of it. Would not be disappointed to mosh to this at a SongFight! live someday.

Soundsword - Takes a little while to get going, get to the point faster. I liked where it built back up again around the 4:30 mark. I wasn't a fan of the phase-y guitar tone (productionfight, I know) but the rest of it the tone is spot-on.

Tuners Unions - Man, what a groove. The vocal melody drifts a little too close to the organ chords in places. Wouldn't mind hearing the chorus amped up even further. The ending was weak sauce. The title is 'Flamethrower', yo. Burn it down at the end!

WreckdoM - Unhinged in a great way. Bring the vox up. MORE FIRE.

zczero - There's a cool vibe here. Hard to understand some of the vocals and I don't see lyrics posted. I don't hear much movement in the story arc, but this could be something with a little more work!
"Ouch. I wonder if this guy sounds like this when he speaks." -- Puce
User avatar
AJOwens
Skull Kid
Posts: 727
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:50 am
Instruments: bass, guitar, keyboards, drums, flute
Recording Method: Reaper, Reason Adapted, M-Audio 1010LT + 2496 (Windows XP)
Submitting as: James Owens
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Flame On! (Flamethrower Reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:18 am

Chthonic Doom -- Fiery vibe. This has an awesome menacing guitar wall-of-sound thing going on, and the vocals are like demons emerging from the Marshall speakers. An effective vision. Nicely paced arrangement.

James Owens -- The conceit was that the singer could yell out, "Hey kids, what would you do with a flamethrower?" and they would yell "Toast the teacher!" or whatever, but I didn't get around to it. Musically a total toss-off. I was surprised by the request for more verses -- I didn't want to wear it out. I could see it with a breakdown, though, good call.

Jerkatorium feat. Micah Sommersmith -- An eccentric collection. One part is so suggestive of Sultans of Swing that I keep expecting it to go elsewhere. Where it does go is interesting. Then there's the pop part, somewhere in the space of That Thing You Do (not too much like it, just the same sweaters-and-tidy-haircuts space), and then there's the comical rap kind of thing, which feels obligatory. I'm not getting the cohesiveness here; one third is straight, one-third ironic, and one-third comedy. All the performances are good, as always. The background vocals in the guitar solo stand out. Some nice arrangements, the sound is well built. The recording is clean, but does not leap off the turntable (so to speak).

Lichen Throat -- I like the instruments a lot - the tasteful palette of curious sounds, the way they collide, the unconventional, spacious rhythmic treatments. The singing is - well, it isn't, but it blends in with all the other strangeness.

The Older Brothers -- This reminds me of someone, but I don't have an older brother, so that can't be it. An idiosyncratic take on a rockin' mood, with some pretty tricky drumming and bass work going on, and lots of energy all round. Not a hit song, but different enough to be interesting.

Soundsword -- This sounds like it was recorded live, which in the studio-infested world of modern music is a welcome event. The song is loosely structured, presumably a jam, but I won't complain; I lived through a lot of this rock trio kind of stuff in my youth, and it takes me back. I have a vivid memory of doing almost exactly this for whole sets in a youth drop-in centre set up in the YMCA, while people in the audience drank coffee and doodled on the paper that covered the tables. You guys sound like a pretty good band for that kind of atmosphere.

Tuners Union -- Tight, crisp, funky groove. Great vocals and harmonies as always. Wonderful textural contrasts, some sweet moments, all with an underlying unity to the song. Quality stuff.

Wreckdom -- Good grunge, lots of punch in the delivery. Somewhat insistent and repetitive, but short, so that's OK; you make the point and then wrap it up.

zczero -- I haven't run into anything like this since Rone Rivendale, who (weirdly enough) always reminded me of my old friend Rono. As with their adventures in creativity, it's way too out there to be anything but art, so that's the spirit in which I'll appreciate it. And taken as such, it's kind of interesting. I like it. I wouldn't play it every day, but it has the merit of pressing the reset button on my expectations.
User avatar
lichenthroat
Tingle
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:54 pm
Recording Method: MuseScore & Audacity on Linux
Submitting as: Lichen Throat, Dimetrodon
Location: New Mexico

Re: Flame On! (Flamethrower Reviews)

Postby lichenthroat » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:25 am

Chthonic Doom—I inadvertently listened to this at 1.5x speed the first time through, and it sounded awful. It’s much better at its proper speed, however. Nice guitar work. I’d like more of an explosion of sound after the “burn, burn, burn” part, but there are parts of this that I quite enjoy, even though it’s not really my style.

James Owens—Amusing, certainly. Obviously much of the appeal is in the novelty, but all the performances are reasonably good, as well.

Jerkatorium feat. Micah Sommersmith—I’m not sure what to make of this, but overall I like it. The juxtaposition of the verses and the TMBG-like chorus is unexpected, but each part sounds good on its own. I really like the “jerks behind me in the neckties” line.

Lichen Throat (me)—This was written to be a Dimetrodon song, but David and I were never both available on the same day. I agree that “thrower/bolder/over” is awkward, but I feel okay about “thrower/lower/slower.” Overall, it seems like there’s a little something missing here. The song isn’t quite boring, but it’s creeping toward that direction.

The Older Brothers—I admire the unrestrained performance. The bar-band aesthetic works well here.

Soundsword—I like the unrolling tape sound at the beginning. I’d like to hear a tighter focus; pick out all the best parts and edit them together. I agree with Irwin that the stuff beginning at 4:30 or so is a highlight. I was very surprised the first time though when the vocal started.

Tuners Union—I usually despise guitar wah, but it fits very well here. As usual, your performances and production are very good. Diggin’ the late-70s vibe.

WreckdoM—Very much agree with the sentiments of your lyrics. The vocal goes well with the rest of the music. This might be my favorite of yours, actually.

zczero—Hey, dragon buddy! Once again, you’re obviously headed in an experimental direction. I’d be interested to know your thought process behind this. Adding a little more melody to the stringed instrument would be welcome.
User avatar
MicahSommer
Kokiri
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:09 pm
Instruments: Voice, accordion, keyboards, guitar, euphonium
Recording Method: StudioOne Artist / AudioBox USB
Submitting as: Micah Sommersmith
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Re: Flame On! (Flamethrower Reviews)

Postby MicahSommer » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:43 am

Chthonic Doom - Some nice riffs and pretty good heavy vocals, but for me I don’t think it lands as hard as you want it to, and in particular the constant crash cymbals just create a bed of white noise that I find really irritating.

James Owens - You really doubled down on the “sing-along” challenge and the result is fun. I wouldn’t have wanted this to go on much longer than it did; to verses and you don’t overstay your welcome. It leaves the listener free to go back and listen again, which I have done several times.

Jerkatorium feat. Micah Sommersmith - As has been noted, this is a bit scattershot, the result of different sections being conceived entirely independently. I think that ultimately it came together pretty well through the production and mixing. It was fun to lend my accordion playing across the whole song. I do wish that I had toned down my delivery for portions of the rap verse - it was not particularly intended as strictly comedic, and I think most of the lines wouldn’t be taken as such in a more straightforward hip-hop setting, but the combination of my delivery and the contrast with the rest of the song definitely rendered it as such.

Lichen Throat - The chorus is nicely catchy, with its “I’m a … (dun dun dun dun) flamethrower” hook. You might start thinking about expanding your palette of instrumental sounds (says the guy whose every song is accordion, drums and guitar) - you have good instincts for instrumental arrangement and composition and it would be interesting to hear what you do with a wider variety of sounds. Finally, I’m a little bit disappointed in the lack of narrative closure to this song - the line about knights getting bolder seems to hint at further developments but it ends before anything actually happens. Given the short length of the song, I think you could have added an extra verse or two.

The Older Brothers - Good guitar playing throughout - I especially like the sneaky guitar or bass interlude at 0:50, which gets expanded and developed nicely at 1:37. I would like to hear more contrast between the verse and chorus in the instrumental. And the voice is straining past its limits especially on the chorus, which I think is an intentional effect but is hard to listen to.

Soundsword - Solid musicianship on display here. I don’t mind the length, but the fact that the bulk of it is devoted to repetition of a single not-very-interesting descending riff bothers me. I really like the stuff you do after around 3:00 - and then was a bit dismayed when the riff came back after 5:00. I will give you props for putting it in an irregular time signature, but it doesn’t make up for the repetition. The vocals are good, and the instrumental at the end is engaging too. Basically, if there was an abridged version of this song I would be really into it.

Tuners Union - Nicely funky, and as crisp and well-produced as one must expect from Tuners Union. Great vocal and instrumental performances and a nice variety of sounds. The chorus doesn’t pack as much punch as I want it to - the fuh-fuh-fuh-fuh hook is great but when the instruments kick in, there’s something missing. Maybe it’s just the mix, or the fact that the drums don’t do much different from before, but I want it to really kick into high gear for the chorus and it’s not quite there.

WreckdoM - Surprisingly direct both musically and lyrically, compared to the typical WreckdoM contribution. The vocals are solid, the instrumental is well put-together, and the chorus hook is memorable. The lyrics go for pretty low-hanging fruit, but the turn at the end with “I’m gonna burn,” etc, caught my attention and gave be a bit more to think about.

zczero - Hey, a new instrument! You definitely create an atmosphere different from everyone else’s songs. This song is hard to get a handle on - it’s definitely not random but it’s hard to grasp and hold onto the melodies - it’s a combination of the vocal performance, the sparse arrangement, and the lack of any regular rhythmic pattern (e.g. drums).
"you did a skillful job pulling off the sexy" - RangerDenni
User avatar
vowlvom
Tingle
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 3:29 am
Instruments: guitar, keys, "other"
Recording Method: PC, reaper, ableton
Submitting as: Vowl Sounds, Vom Vorton
Contact:

Re: Flame On! (Flamethrower Reviews)

Postby vowlvom » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:42 am

Flamethrower reviews
The Older Brothers - I like the upbeat vibe, and the mix has a nice mix of clean and crunchy sounds. Just sounds like it could do with a bit more work on the vocal melody, especially on the chorus, or maybe a harmony line or something? The bass / guitar interplay on the solo is cool.

Lichen Throat - really enjoyed this one, your best for a while I think! Really atmospheric, and I found the lyric interesting.

James Owens - great fun. Loads of charm in very little time. I’d have been happy with a longer version but definitely nothing wrong with a little “leave ‘em wanting more”.

WreckdoM - really like the dissonant guitar riff, and this has a lot of energy and bite. I feel like the bass is a bit out of sync at times, but this rocks out enough that it doesn’t matter too much.

Chthonic Doom - really cool. Love the build-up, when the group vocals kick in there’s a real punch to it. Really fits the title well. Curious as to whether the fairly lo-fi sound was an aesthetic decision or a necessary one, as I’m torn between “I’d love to hear this with better sounding drums” and “I like that this reminds me of 90s experimental rock bands” (but either way, I liked it a lot).

Soundsword - a solid jam, but not really MY jam, sorry - the pay-off at the end is fun (especially those garagey vocals), but the long build didn’t really do it for me. I do really like this kind of live, gritty drum sound though.

zczero - interesting to hear some new sounds from you, but I have the same issues with this one as your others, it all just feels a bit too randomly thrown together to capture my attention.

Tuners Union - so many great little instrumental flourishes in this one, and it’s beautifully produced. A real treat for the ears, especially when that sweet organ comes in for the pre-chorus and the harmonised guitars on the bridge (?). For some reason I usually hate that kind of affected stutter in vocals but I actually really like it here. Definitely my favourite from this fight.

Jerkatorium feat Micah Sommersmith - I’m torn on this one. The chorus is *so* catchy, but I think there’s just a bit too much going on elsewhere. I really admire the way this is packed with ideas but I find the end result slightly grating. That chorus really does get stuck in my head, though.
Lunkhead
Princess Zelda
Posts: 5191
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:14 pm
Instruments: many
Recording Method: cubase/reason/mac/tascam4x4
Submitting as: Berkeley Social Scene, Merisan, Tiny Robots
Location: Berkeley, CA
Contact:

Re: Flame On! (Flamethrower Reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:28 pm

Congrats to Jerkatorium and Micah!

Return to “Fight Discussions and Reviews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest