I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Pigfarmer Jr
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I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:14 am

"Round" Get it? Square States? Right? Oh, never mind.
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:49 am

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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:54 am

Songs posted!

And if you did a live fight song but still haven't had a chance to record it, go ahead and record it and submit it. I am feeling lenient, not only because I myself still hope to record my song and submit it. :)
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by neutronflow » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:00 am

My song appears to have been lost in the ether. I'm sending it again.
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:12 pm

Sorry about that. My laptop, that I normally use to check the Song Fight email and update the site, died a couple weeks ago. I haven't been checking the emails for a bit. There is also some kind of setup that auto expires the emails in the Inbox that I don't quite understand. So when I checked this morning the oldest one was from two weeks ago. If you sent your entry before that it definitely got expired or something before I got to it. But anyway, send it again and I'll get it posted.
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:26 pm

OK, song added.
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by neutronflow » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:15 pm

Lunkhead wrote:OK, song added.
Thanks!
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:41 pm

Late Lunkhead entry added. I wrote this for the live fight. In the spirt of "live recording" I attempted to play it and sing it and play harmonica and stomp a foot box and play strap-on foot tambourine all live. Turns out that is actually very difficult! I think after about 40 tries I gave up and wound up editing together two bits. Oh well.
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:14 am

Big batch of songs! I'll get some reviews kicked off...

Berkeley Social Scene - really like the smooth mix of guitars and synths, and the lyrics made me smile. There are a few rough edges I found a little offputting (and not in a "live performance" way - some odd glitchy clicking sounds, and the transition between the (excellent) synth solo and the second guitar solo feels a bit awkward) but this is pretty good, and feels like it could be very good with a couple of tweaks.

duckman - not really my thing, I struggle with super-gruff vocals and the lead guitar sounds a bit flat or something.

Edwin Gormley - unusual vocal! I like the lo-fi drum sound and the fuzzy bass, and this definitely meets the bonus "live recording" challenge. It gets a bit repetitive, but... I dunno, there's something about this I found weirdly appealing.

John Benjamin Band - pretty pleasant acoustic pop, didn't really grab me but well done and enjoyable.

Ken's Super Duper Band n Stuff - I like the acoustic riff here, solid protest-song lyrics, didn't quite love the end result but I did like it.

Lunkhead - vocals are a bit quiet but that's live recordings I guess! This is well performed, I like the tambourine and the key change.

Paco del Stinko - the intro made me laugh an uncomfortable amount (listening in the office) and the song is easily my favourite so far. Great fun, excellent performance, deliciously insane.

Pigfarmer Jr. - solid rock sound, I like the rhythmic change in the chorus. Not entirely sure how I feel about the lyrics but you perform them with excellent energy.

Sparetooth - really like the musical arrangement, new collaborator gives this an interestingly different feel from your Lichen Throat stuff. Both vocals feel like they could be a little tighter in places but I enjoyed this overall.

Third Cat - this is pretty cool. Thoughtful and interesting guitar work as usual and I really like the doubled vocals at the end.

Tim Hinkle - really like the quick-fire lyrics although it gets a bit too busy when the other vocal layers kick in, maybe? Good stuff though, you crammed a lot into 60 seconds.

Tuners Union - another rich and intriguing Tuners Union production! I love your weird arrangements, the percussion in particular here is nuts.

WreckdoM - good live sound, solid riffs, loads of energy. Enjoyed this.

Vom Vorton - it's me (and Owl)! Most of the time I was working on this I didn't think it was going to turn out that well, but it all came together once I got those bonus Owl vocals. And put distortion on absolutely everything. And played it (ahem) live, in a stadium, or whatever.

Paco > Tuners Union > everyone else for me. Will hold off on voting in case there are any more late entries to come...
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by neutronflow » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:25 pm

Sparetooth: I quite like most of the instrument sounds. There are bits that feel harpischord-like and others koto-like. The vocal melody seems to mostly meander and doesn't stick with me much, though.

Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff: I like this one. It got me grooving along. This is my Old Grey Whistle Test runner up.

Edwin Gormley: Reminded me of the White Stripes, at first. After a minute or so, I was thinking Public Image Ltd. This seems like the kind of thing I'd probably like more than I actually like this. Whatever happens at about 3:07 works for me, but I couldn't say why.

Vom Vorton: I like the sound of the recording. I like the chorus. I like some of the lyrics in the list-style verses. There was a sense of wanting the verse to be over more quickly so I could get back to the chorus again the first time through. Enjoyed the verses more on a second play through.

Tuners Union: The drums on this are super fun. This may be my favorite of the fight. It doesn't stick in my head the way Ken's and John Benjamin's do, but I really love it when it's playing.

Third Cat: This may be my favorite of the songs of yours that I've heard so far. I particularly like the sound of the guitar solo starting around 50 seconds. The fade out ending seemed very abrupt.

John Benjamin Band: Playing cello in the marching band? Like Woody Allen in Take the Money and Run? I like this. It's got a kind of tossed-off vibe, but in the making-it-look-easy way rather than the can't-be-bothered-to-do-something-that-doesn't-suck mode. This song aces the Old Grey Whistle Test; I still remember the melody after listening to all the other songs and it keeps popping back in to my head.

Duckman: I like the way this sounds. The guitar is cool, the vocal is cool.

Pigfarmer Jr.: I had written down that I didn't like the chorus when I first listened on Sunday. It's working for me today though, so go figure (right now it seems really catchy). The lyrics in the verses are difficult for me to connect with. Wouldn't nice and neat borders be the most arbitrary while borders that followed some natural geographic feature would be more irregular?

Berkeley Social Scene: I like the chorus a lot. The instrumentation throughout the arrangement sounds lovely.

Paco del Stinko: The "live" recording sounds pretty impressive. I like this a lot, it's really fun.

WreckdoM: There's an attitude/vibe necessary to pulling off a song like this. You've got it going on.

Lunkhead: This is quite pleasant. I like the harmonica. I remember enjoying this song in the live stream from Denver as well.

Tim Hinkle: My song. I think it turned out kinda neat. I wrote it after getting home from seeing Kimya Dawson, which I think influenced the chord pattern and main vocal part.
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:13 pm

turner's Union - I like the texture of the music but the vocal didn't quite fit in the mix/arrangement as well as I'd have liked. I love that music at 1:10 ish. The rhythm track is cool and interesting and doesnt' really fit the feel or atmosphere of the rest on that second verse. Suits the chorus quite well, though. And that music again at 2:00+... killer. This song is pretty cool but crazy odd at times... just enough to make it feel off kilter, but that's a cool effect. It's like a less offensive/jarring version of a Captain Beefheart tune... which means it must be good.

WreckdoM - That intro guitar riff kind of makes me remember that one classic rock song... that one song.. WHAT SONG IS IT???!?? *grrrrr* I like the straightforward rock vocal and the cool guitar and the live sounding drums.... That last bit of distorted guitar reminds me of hendrix... if a bit updated in tone. Yeah, this is cool.

sparetooth - I like most of the music throughout. Vocals are a bit loose and don't really sit in the mix that well. Little things kind of stand out. Singing "unpack" with the emphasis on UN instead of Pack. Just little things that keep me from really getting into the song.

Ken's ... band... stuff - I like the attitude/performance of the vocal right from the start. I like the melody well enough. This is a solid if not spectacular song. Don't take that as a hit, it's good.

Paco - Cool right from the start. Vox down just a hair in the mix for me to hear what the hell is being singing at the start. I really like the music and would say the vocal melody doesn't grab me, but it's not a dislike for me, either. This music is FUN to listen to.

Edwin Gormley - Cool arrangement... I like the sparse arrangement, the use of the synth pad and the overall sound of the track. The vocal is either grating on the ears or genius. Possibly both. I love the "Your listening..." bit.

BSS - Cool delayed guitar to start. Dig the panned guitars. The melody is good, especially on the chorus which works well for me. That 80's synth break/bit kind of came out of nowhere, but I like this song.

John Benjamin - Melody is likable. Pretty good for mainly GnG. The guitar might be a bit heavy volume wise in a few places, but I enjoyed listening to this song.

Duckman - I'm digging the rock n roll. A nice, slow burn. I like the vox well enough, the guitars are cool. It maybe doesn't do much differently to create any dynamics, but I liked the song well enough.

Third Cat - I enjoyed listening to this song. Nothing stood out as needing much improvement. On the other hand, not a whole lot reached out and grabbed me as being brilliant, but then... how often does that happen? This song works for me somehow... I mean, it isn't bad, but nothing is like THIS IS GREAT. And by "isnt bad" I mean pretty good. This ranks up pretty high on my entry list.

Lunkhead - The melody is light hearted and enjoyable. I'm not a huge harmonica fan, but it works well enough here. Another song that has no glaring faults or problems and works well. I like this lyrically a lot. The bridge bit works very well at setting up the last chorus... almost makes it sound like a modulation but I don't think it is.

Tim Hinkle I like the fairly rapid fire lyric/vocal. The bass fills this out nicely. The layered vox is... umm.. not bad? I like them at first... not sure how well they'll stand repeated listens. But I liked the song. Plus it's only 1:00 long so I was able to listen twice without getting bored or hating it. That's gotta be good, right?

Vom Vorton 80's rave? I can see how the female vocal would make this come alive. The dynamic contrast is nice, it works very well for me. This is another song that is climbing into the handful of favorites from the fight. Man, when you add fake crowd noises you go for the win, eh? That's a full fledge concert extravaganza, there.

Pigfucker Yeah, I don't know. I tried not going to the political apsect that this title obviously inferred and by the third verse I failed miserably. I should either rewrite the first two or leave this in the dustbin... I vote the latter.
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by thirdcat » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:12 pm

Arrows / Underlines for my Favorites/Votes.

JBB: This is quite nice especially for a simple guy & guitar recordings (not generally my thing). I'd like to hear the vocal a bit higher in the mix. Cool storytelling with the lyrics.

Edwin Gormley: This is plenty weird, it has a bit of a '70s German rock feel to it but a bit sloppier and with the crazed vocal. Cool synth pad. I think with some tightening and maybe less vocals (just let the instrumental carry it I think... I'm thinking like Neu! or Can) this could be pretty good.

:arrow: Vom Vorton: Pretty great crowd noise. Dig the distortion fx on the vocals. Catchy, love the mix of synths and guitars. Like the lyrics too. Really cool track. Definite vote. 2nd favorite of the round.

Paco del Stinko: Pretty sweet groove. I like the guitars. This is one where I'm more impressed by the instrumentation than drawn in by the song. The slower bit is pretty cool. The instrumentaling is really good. And the production is tight too. Good stuff.

BSS: I like the spacey feeling of the instrumental. Lots of nice guitar/synth bits. Nice delay effects, cool mix. But I don't like the vocal part as much.

Lunkhead: The tambourine and the harmonica brings a nice bit of life / interest to this guy & guitar song. There's some catchy ideas in the vocals but I'd like them to be a bit more upfront in the mix.

:arrow: Ken's Super Duper Band: There's some cool stuff going on here instrumentally and there's something kind of appealing about the vocal part (kind of reminds me of Mac Demarco.) But there's something kind of low energy (Jeb!) about the mix - feels like a rough mix a bit. Stiil; I like it.

Pigfarmer: The vocals seem like they're sitting on top of the music instead of being a part of it. The guitars sound pretty good.

Duckman: Vocals are way too low in the mix. Guitars sound rockin'. With a better mix I think I'd quite dig this one. Some cool stuff here with the guitars.

Sparetooth: Vocals don't seem very connected to the music which seems a bit canned - like all midi programmed, has a very stiff sound. This can work if it's the aesthetic (I like Kraftwerk.) but for me this doesn't seem to really work here.

:arrow: Tim Hinkle: Short but sweet. I like the vocal layers. Catchy tune(s).

Wreckdom: Was this recorded live? I guess that's the idea here, I kind of dig the song - some fun vocals/lyrics and pretty rockin' guitar bits - but I'd prefer to hear a studio recording.

:arrow: Tuner's Union: This is very good. My favorite of the round. Love the arrangement, keeps me engaged throughout. Vocals fit the song very well.
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by mkilly » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:13 am

Popping in to mention I was on the WreckdoM track. Was a lot of fun. My thanks to WreckdoM for having me (I played guitar, those high-note bits, and sang background vox a bit.)
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by owl » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:03 pm

Big batch of songs this time! I meant to go to bed an hour ago, so I'm sorry to anyone who may have fallen victim to me getting tired and either less discerning, less diplomatic, or less eloquent.

Sparetooth: I'm a big Big Thief fan, so I perked up when you mentioned making a reference to them in this song--and sure enough, there's that yellow van full of money from Shark Smile! Bonus points for that. Interesting to hear the new collaborator in the mix, I quite liked some moments of the vocal delivery (the slide in "headed down to Gunnison" is loose but sounds cool) but others felt way too messy, particularly at times when you were singing together and it should have been synchronized. Good storytelling, but I wish this had more of a chorus hook, I found I had to look back over the lyrics to recall the chorus after the fact.
Lunkhead: Vocals are hard to hear, but this was a nice listen. The lyrics are a bit on-the-nose but it's charming in a Jonathan Richman kind of way and I really like some of the lines (that I could make out) like the triggers to act like mom and dad... and "square states" as noun + verb was a nice surprise. I found it went on rather long without a real change in the melody or dynamics, that pause at the end + key change was welcome. Overall very well performed, catchy, and nicely done, I thought.
Pigfarmer Jr.: Great energy right out of the gate. The chorus is good, I dig where it goes melodically, it feels unexpected in a way I like. The vocals are off key in places but I liked the delivery and performance overall. Really not into the dick-wavin', gun-totin' 3rd verse lyrically, though, sorry, not just because it was crass but also because it felt like lazy songwriting, but I know you already knew going into the prefight thread that wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. ;) (btw I'm not offended by the political content so much as turned off by the toxic masculinity.)
John Benjamin Band: Very catchy! This has a kind of wistfulness that I like, and I loved all those lyrical details and understated jokes, although the "square states" part of the chorus felt unconnected to the rest content-wise to me. Nicely performed, I enjoyed this one a lot.
Third Cat: I like how this slides right into the verse and the Beatlesesque verse melody. I've heard other songs of yours I liked better production-wise, this one felt a little thin, but I really loved the melodies in this song, and the overall structure and feel were really nice, it never felt repetitive or boring to me and I enjoyed that retro fadeout ending.
Duckman: The guitars are cool, rhythm sounds pretty nice and chunky. I don't like this style of vocals, but aside from that, vocals also feel sort of echoey and buried instead of in-your-face and aggressive like I feel like they should be for this genre. I would have liked more of a dynamic change in this song.
Edwin Gormley: I really like how weird this song is with that repetitive beat and droney synth and kind of detuned guitar (the combo gives me sitar vibes) with the wild vocals on top. The vocal reminds me a bit of Canned Heat. Guy from Canned Heat doing a James Brown impression? I have no idea what the lyrical content is as I keep getting distracted by everything else going on but the "animal at the zoo" line stood out to me.
Vom Vorton: Vom did all the writing but recruited me to add some extra vocals on this track. I sent a couple of alternate takes and thought he would only use one but apparently it sounded cool with them both crunched in on top of each other so he kept it that way (except for the 3rd verse). This song is ridiculously catchy, I am super into that synth/bassline combo. Glad I got to participate in it.
Tim Hinkle: The guitar immediately reminded me of another song and it was driving me crazy until I figured it out, it is Arthur Lee's Lullaby by Walter Schreifels. Anyway. This is short 'n' sweet, enjoyed it. I love the lyrics and delivery, the layered counterpoint vocals are really pleasing although I think it would nice if it took longer for them all to come in since it feels like a LOT coming in all at once.
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n' Stuff: Really like the instrumental, the descending guitar part actually stuck with me a lot more than the vocal part. I think backing vocals would help fill this out a lot. The lyrics felt a little heavy-handed to me but all in all I enjoyed it.
WreckdoM: I spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out what classic rock song this reminded me of and finally had to ask my husband for his opinion--he first suggested this Queens of the Stone Age song (which it also reminds me of) but then came up with the one I was actually thinking of, Money by Pink Floyd. Phew, it was driving me crazy. Now I can actually listen to the song without trying to figure that out. Solid riff, I like the energy in the performance, I can't really make out all the lyrics but I like the repetition with slight changes.
Paco del Stinko: Great intro. This is poppy and shimmery and veers into unusual melodic territory in a way that pushes all the right buttons for me. I really enjoyed the slightly cryptic lyrics as well. Love the slowdown part. I really liked the production on this track, too. Possibly my favorite of the fight so far (of all the songs I wasn't involved in).
Tuners Union: this felt sort of slow and didn't grab me at first but I perked up when the vocal went high falsetto at 1:08 (I don't normally like falsetto but this was really pretty) and then the weird dark cabaret breakdown part right after got my attention. The bridge is really cool. Lots of super interesting musical ideas in this tune, well done--it feels really thoughtfully written and arranged, lots of different parts without it ever feeling like any of them are out of place.
Berkeley Social Scene: The floating high background synth through the first verse makes me feel uneasy, I don't know if that was intentional but it feels really unsettling. The echoey verse guitar is cool although has a kind of reggae feel to it which seems strange to me. I feel like the vocal is a bit too loud and doesn't sit well in the mix. I quite enjoyed the surprise 80's synth solo + excellent guitar solo! The chorus hook is pretty catchy.
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by lichenthroat » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:44 am

Berkeley Social Scene—The dreamy tone of both the instruments and vocals sets a good atmosphere. The chorus doesn’t quite follow through on the buildup in each verse, but this is fun overall. (And houses in Denver are definitely not cheap.)

Duckman—I’d like to hear the higher pitched guitar playing at the same time as the vocal. The rhythm is solid.

Edwin Gormley—Stylistically, this song checks lots of boxes for things I normally don’t like, but somehow it kind of works anyway. I’m confused, but you’re doing something right, somehow. Just don’t ask me to explain it.

The John Benjamin Band—Sweet, fun, sounds great. This might sound even better not as a live recording, but hey, I can’t argue with your incorporation of the challenge. Thumbs up.

Ken’s Super Duper Band ’n Stuff--There’s a hint of Schoolhouse Rock in here, and I like it. Good stuff.

Lunkhead—Somehow the drum (or whatever the percussion sound is), despite being pretty quiet, is unpleasantly intense in my headphones. I like everything else. Nice guitar and harmonica playing.

Paco del Stinko—The intro is fun. The guitars and bass integrate well with each other. I’d like the vocal melody to be a little catchier.

Pigfarmer Jr.—The lyrics lack cohesion, but I quite like the vocal melody, especially in the verses. Drums sound a little muffled. This is among my favorites of your stuff. The cherry on top would be another guitar playing at a higher pitch.

Sparetooth (me)—This was my first time working with a new collaborator (Jim). Matching someone else’s vocal timing is something I’ve never tried to do before, and it’s harder than I thought! Jim has more of a folk/Americana background, so I tried to write lyrics that were consistent with his traditions. We had planned to have Jim play guitar and mandolin on this, but because of an email mix-up, we only had time to record his vocal, so all the instruments are my usual sampled stuff.

Third Cat—Nice 60s surf ballad sound. Sounds pretty good; nothing to complain about.

Tim Hinkle—Digging the folk-rock vibe. So short I’m disappointed when it’s over, which I realize might be the point.

Tuners Union—Very sophisticated. I feel like I’d have to listen to this about 60 more times to fully appreciate it. It’s a little inaccessible but clearly very good.

Vom Vorton—Not a fan of the vocal distortion effects, but I sure can dance to it. The chorus is sweet. Even though I’m from a squarish state, I’m not offended.

WreckdoM—The vocal sounds really distant in the mix. I like the lyrical repetition, but a more distinct chorus would be welcome. This is among my favorites of your songs.
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Re: I Hope You Get A"round" to your (Square States Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:05 pm

Tuners Union wins the online fight!

Did we mention already that Stuff and Nonsense won the live fight? They did!
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