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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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 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.
: 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.
: 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).
: 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.