Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

P.J. sings, "And I trust that you won't tear me down."
Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
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My solo Album: http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

Ad astra per alia porci - Steinbeck
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Dcqs6LhwsoYS6EDGPhCCk

My solo Album: http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

Ad astra per alia porci - Steinbeck
(To the stars on the wings of a pig.)
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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glennny
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by glennny »

Cavedwellers have a late entry. Hopefully the Fightmaster will be so kind as to add it to the fight.

Phillipso, Older Brothers, Semolina Pilchards, Zipline , Thank Glennny for the Frisbee, The Odoriferous Valley, The Worldly Self Assurance, Berkeley Social Scene, Very Gentle Knives, Daddy Bop Swing Set, GUNS, The Kraken Lives, Cavedwellers
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Very marginally late entries from Cavedwellers and Mandibles have been added to the fight.
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Just lost all the reviews I was trying to post because it said I wasn't logged in (again.) *grumble*
Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Dcqs6LhwsoYS6EDGPhCCk

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Ad astra per alia porci - Steinbeck
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sleepysilverdoor
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:57 am
Just lost all the reviews I was trying to post because it said I wasn't logged in (again.) *grumble*
Don't you hate that? After that happened to me twice I wound up just writing them in Google docs and copying them over to avoid getting pissed off haha
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glennny
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by glennny »

Love in the Time of …..

Berkeley Social Scene- Love in the Time of Whiskey and Wine- I started the music off on this one. Originally I had it at 78 bpm. Ken then sped it up to 112bpm. He elaborated on the verse chord pattern, added a chorus and bridge. Ken wrote lyrics and melody and did vocals. The Keys are Ken as well. Sam added the bass line. I did the guitar parts, and slide solo. Ken liked the tag I was doing and suggested we fade out on a repeat of that. I’m a fan of this one. It leans heavily towards the Semolina Pilchards aspect of the BSS collective.

Brown Word and the Big Whine- I dig the synth bass. There are moments where the vocals sound searching for the right note. When she hits the notes it sounds excellent. I would recommend a few more takes to nail them down. I find the verse to be stronger than the chorus. It gets more frenetic, but doesn’t really provide an emotional lift for me.

Caravan Ray- More artsy than I’m used to from C-Ray. I like this. Vocals might be a little too buried, tough to make out the words without reading along. I like the groove of this a lot. The sound sculpture of it all is really nice. I wouldn’t call this a traditional song. Shelter in place is sure bringing out the synths in everyone. Good stuff!

Cavedwellers- Love in the Time of the Riot- This is mostly a Truth song. Not sure if you caught the song bio in the lyric thread, here it is again:
I should point out that this song is inspired by a very traumatic moment in the history of the Roman Empire, when Justinian put down a rebellious riot by just about killing everyone in the city. The riot broke out at a chariot race in the hippodrome of Constantinople, where the crowd ominously chanted “Nika” (win) as the opposing fans joined their voices and intentions against the emperor.
That’s Truth on guitars, mandolin, vocals, and BVs. I added bass, drum and percussion loops. I have a wonderful neighbor and friend Erin Debakscy who is a classically trained violinist. I used to write parts for her, but over the years I’ve found it better to just say “be awesome” and she writes something awesome. So she’s on violin. I love this song, it was very fun to put together.

Gaping Maw- I love this band! This rocks! I cognize Smalltown Mike’s vocals. Are there any more Gert guys in this? This is excellent! Gets a vote! Nice production. I wish I could read the lyrics, but they are easy to make out. I liked it okay when it was light, but when you turned up the rock knob I was sold. Great dynamics in this one. I love the guitar tone. The synth, bass, drums all sound fantastic too. I like the whistle tone solo, but I kinda wish there was some shredding guitar over it. Awesome! Vote!

Gross Tones- This is a lot quieter than all the other songs. A judicious use of a peak limiter would make this sound louder like most of the other entries. Don’t go nuts though, you might spark another loudness war discussion. Nobody wants that. I know this voice, I can’t place it. What other projects has the vocalist been in? This is a nice enough song. I kinda love the solo. There’s some tasty bass licks in there too. I would have ended this song at 2:20. It’s pretty strong up to that point. Then it over stays it’s welcome, and the jamming is less intense than before. I imagine everyone in the room making eye contact all saying with their eyes “How are we going to end this?” Good stuff, could use some editing.

James Owens- You’ve got an excellent soft voice. The bass is really tasty on this. The flute is nice too! I’m amazed how well this works without any drums, but I’m not missing them. Wow, those 3 minutes flew by. I was sure it was much shorter. I was totally in to it. Very Cool!

Jerkatorium
- Love in the Time of Beatlemania- This recording is oddly quiet for you guys. Super catchy song! 50’s song at the Hop is a little confusing for a Beatlemania song. I love all the instrumentation. Especially the drums. Sounds like the drums are a different direction than usual Jerkatorium. Guitar licks are hot! Totally enjoyable! Vote!

Joblito Y El Banditos- Such a long intro. Once the groove kicks in, it’s pretty sloppy, but I like the riff. Ah man, those vocals are awesome! Why wasn’t there a whole song with them? This is not a full song idea, but the 2nd half is great!

Lichen Throat- Digging the synth pop music a lot. I like your voice too. I think the weak link is the vocal melody. I know from your Two Jerks episode that you are a lyrics first writer. This really suffers from the difficulties of that method. On the flipside a melody first guy like myself will sometimes end up with nonsense. The lyrics are strong. I’d love to hear more dynamics and melody in the vocal performance.

The Lowest Bitter- Great to have you back! I LOVE your Tumbleweed submission. This is the kind of benefit to shelter in place I was hoping for. Artists like yourself submitting new songs! This doesn’t disappoint. This kind of synth pop is a totally different world to me. I can’t imagine how to make music like this, but I LOVE IT. It reminds me of the band Baths. I’d be curious to know what software most of this come from. I hope to keep hearing from you! Good job!

Mandibles- I really like this vocal performance. Obviously Cybronica is an amazing talent of a vocalist, but I like it when it leans more folk than opera. Drums are so quiet. Even though the vocals are the star of the show, they’re still too loud for my tastes. “what is love in the time of out uncharted paradigm”. So that is a great thought, and would be an excellent line in a Neal Stephenson book, however when sung it removes passion and feeling. That doesn’t sound like heartache to me, it sounds like Data from Star Trek trying to understand love.

Paco del Stinko- It takes about .5 seconds for me to know it’s you. I have nothing but praise for this. I love the mix. All the instruments sound wonderful. The bass is especially nice in this one. Drums, guitars are as expected excellent. I love the vocals and BVs too. VOTE!

Phil Well- Sooo New Wave. The 1984 rocker in me has an immediate aversion to this. Then I remember I’m grown up now. This is done very well. Nice vocals, though some of the effects bother me, the affect of autotune is a little too pronounced at points. The dynmics are very strong. The chorus is a little underwhelming, it seemed set up for a huge chorus, but delivers mellow. Weirdly the verses are more exciting than the chorus. I like the sound of the acoustics in the chorus. I actually think the vocal melody is strong in the chorus, it’s just the orchestration that lacks intensity.

Phelbia- Thank You! I’m enjoying the heavy sludge! At this tempo, 96 measures is going to be a long song. And it is a long song. I like going here, but I wish it was somehow 3:00 rather than 4:40. Points for the drone, minus points for the lack of freak out guitar solo. Overall pretty cool! I dig it!

Pigfarmer Jr.
- Nice vocals man! Guitar licks are okay, for some reason I really want to hear slide guitar on this one. You always have a slightly country drawl, so I want to hear more lap steel, slide, etc. Drums sound great. Its love in the time of……..WHAT! The lyrics let me down a bit, but that’s okay, all the performances are great!

Shoehorn TC- I adore Simon and Garfunkel. So it’s hard for me not to love this. I do love it. Again I like the music and performance much more than the lyrics. Lyrics aren’t bad, but not at the level of the performances. I could stand to have all the instruments louder. They all sound great though! This is a catchy melody. I’m going to be singing this away from listening to it for sure. Vote!!!

Wreckdom- Beautifully weird! This instrumentation is so cool. Great atmosphere in this one. This reminds me of a Sylvian Fripp song. I’m not sure about the megaphone vocals in the next room. It sounds cool, but it seems like it should be a bit more up front. This is long, but it holds my attention.
Phillipso, Older Brothers, Semolina Pilchards, Zipline , Thank Glennny for the Frisbee, The Odoriferous Valley, The Worldly Self Assurance, Berkeley Social Scene, Very Gentle Knives, Daddy Bop Swing Set, GUNS, The Kraken Lives, Cavedwellers
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sleepysilverdoor
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Ha, I was initially going to do a solo in there, but pushing a song with only two verses past the five minute mark seemed like it's be overkill. I thought about making it even slower but 75 bpm seemed about as plodding as I could get without ruining it. Glad you enjoyed the sludgygrunge! For what it's worth I literally wrote the lyrics in a morel patch. I only found two. :(
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Anyone know what the longest average song length of any fight is? This one could be close to that.

Here are short summations of what I remember thinking.

Berkeley Social Scene: I like this song, the vocal is strong and I like the melody but the hi-hat grates.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: The vocals don't quite sit right for me (especially at first), but I like the feel and that breakdown/sparse bit is awesome.

Caravan Ray: I found the buried vocal both odd and cool(ish) but liked it best when the music was more sparse and I could hear the lyric.

Cavedwellers: The melody was a bit predictable but the accompaniment grows on me on each listen and I like this a lot.

Gaping Maw: I was a bit unsure at the beginning but love the buildup to the title lines. I like the guitars and the melody in places is superb. This is a good arrangement.

The Gross Tones: Quiet mix. Needs to be shortened. Good enough song but not in my top tier.

James Owens: I like your instrumentation and the music. Your vocal delivery fits the lyric/music well.

Jerkatorium: Pretty quiet mix, was that on purpose? Very well played and performed. I liked your john/harrison rhymes/verse. I remember saying that this song has a lot of great performances that sound easier than they are. Oh, and I'm not a huge fan of the falsetto but it's part of the fun. Impressed with the performances and love the rhythm.

Joblito Y El Banditos: A minute and a quarter intro to get to the part I like the best. Cool rhythm. Then another 30 plus seconds to get to the vocal. Sparse lyric content, but the bits I like I really like a lot.

Lichen Throat: Lots of nitpicks in the vocal phrasing. Holding onto a note in the middle of line and rushing the end. Not prouncing "delay her" in a way that rhymes with mayor etc. But I really like the arrangement and some of your musical choices.

The Lowest Bitter: I like this quite a bit from :55 onward. I also mentioned that I keep wanting to rearrange the letters in your band name to see what else I can spell but somehow never get around to doing it.

Mandibles: I very much like the melody and the doubled vox is tasty. I like the arrangement in the music.

Paco del Stinko: I like your lyric and your vocal delivery suits it very well especially on the chorus.

Phil Well: Not a style that I am usually drawn to but I like this song a lot and it seems like more on each listen.

Phlebia: You bring the doom and gloom. I'm downright tired of gloomy the world is gonna end feelings both in the fight and out, but for some reason this song resonates with me very well.

Pigfarmer Jr: Imagine getting drunk and watching a lunar eclipse and catching a glimpse of Rhiannon.

ShoehornTC: Sweet. Too sweet. But good. And probably what I needed to hear today.

WreckdoM: Like Phlebia this does doom and gloom in a way I like. I remember reading your lyric and liking it. This is in my top 3 or 4 favorite WreckdoM songs.
Last edited by Pigfarmer Jr on Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ad astra per alia porci - Steinbeck
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

glennny wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:11 am
Pigfarmer Jr.- Its love in the time of……..WHAT! The lyrics let me down a bit, but that’s okay...
I was attempting to reinforce the feeling of missing something from the story in the verses but I get what you're saying and cannot disagree.
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Smalltown Mike »

glennny wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:11 am
Are there any more Gert guys in this?
Thanks, this is me and Gert's Rob, or Hip Cola, or whatever. Him.
Punk rock is for children. Grab a six-pack at Half-a-Dozen Records.
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AJOwens
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by AJOwens »

(updated with a review for Pigfarmer Jr)

Reviewed over a few days, mostly in alphabetical order; occasionally I went back with an afterthought. If I seem critical in places, it's not meant to put anybody down; I'm just sharing impressions in what I hope is a helpful way.
----

Berkeley Social Scene -- A varied blend of timbres and a spacious arrangement give this song a bright, open quality. The singing is solid, but the melody doesn't give the lead vocal much of a showcase. The energy stays about the same throughout; building the arrangement would add interest. The harmonies could be brought up in the mix. Apart from that, a well-balanced sound, with some signature BSS lead guitar work.

Brown Word and the Big Whine -- The musical dissonances, slow drifting sounds, and disaffected vocal delivery give this the slurred, uneasy quality of a Quaalude experience, complete with an interlude of semi-consciousness around the 3-minute mark. The hard-panned mosquito noises in the break add a certain discomfort. I'm pretty sure a dark effect is what you're going for, and it works.

Caravan Ray -- Good groove with nice breakdowns. An edgy, imaginative palette, full of striking and unfamiliar colours, a structure built from many short, unusual, cool, hooky musical phrases, great layering. This music evokes the future, the way Bladerunner does for film. The intro bars seem to run a bit long, maybe because the vocals coming in at 0:25 need to be more forward in the mix.

Cavedwellers -- The lyrics are sometimes awkward or forced ("the ocean's salty drink"?), but musically this a very well-done take on a traditional folk design. The chord changes are interesting, the build is subtle and effective, the tag line has punch, the structure feels natural, instruments are well-chosen, the performances are clear, crisp and professional, the recording and mix are solid. Just after the drum intro, there's a brief moment of noise as the other tracks are enabled; removing that is the only improvement I could suggest.

Gaping Maw -- A breathless, urgent vocal delivery distinguishes this song. It develops nicely, delivering a full, rich sound and unfolding into a surprising variety of textures. This makes it difficult to pin down the genre, which could be a strength or a weakness, depending on how one thinks about it; the song doesn't seem sure what it wants to be. Likewise the vocals are sometimes playful and flippant, sometimes serious and intense. As a bass player, I noted some tasteful and interesting bass work.

The Gross Tones -- This has a live, somewhat improvisational feel; as a sometime Squirrel, I can hardly complain. The recording is good. The piano playing is uneven in volume and oddly inaccurate at hitting a triad, and the solos are meandering, but overall this entry has a pleasant vibe and a positive energy, and a good message.

James Owens -- There was supposed to be a DX Rhodes MIDI in there, but it seems to have become lost in the mix.

Jerkatorium -- Perky music, clever lyrics. The rhythm guitar is out of tune, which makes it janglier, I guess. The verse and harmonies call out 1963, but aspects of the song deviate from the model in so many ways (the "maniac" invocation is particularly puzzling) that any retro homage is thoroughly blurred. The playing is very busy; it's a bright, fun entry, but sometimes it feels like everybody had too much coffee.

Joblito Y El Banditos -- This is pretty close to an instrumental. The distortion applied to archetypal Spanish guitar chords, and the dramatic, traditional rhythms and somewhat Slavic background shouting, make for an intriguing effect. An entertaining listen.

Lichen Throat -- Great lyrics, as usual. This has the hurried rhythm, the insistent percussion, the standing background keyboard, the open-tuned guitar seemingly played with drumsticks, the eccentric patterning, and the dry, slightly a-melodic vocal delivery that I've come to associate with your sound, but there's something new in the breakdown at around 2:15, when the percussion eases up and becomes almost jazzy, and a syncopated riff emerges in the bass and guitar.

The Lowest Bitter -- A minimalist drone-based composition with some nice fat synth sounds, a subtle and complex rhythm section, and a musical, polyphonic vocal overlay. The words don't always come out clearly, which is due partly to the mix and slightly muddy EQ, and partly to the relaxed enunciation. The overall effect is mesmerizing, as if someone were having a troubled dream about advice they've been hearing for days.

Mandibles -- The vocal tone is very pure, putting me in mind of the 60's band Renaissance; the composition, a graceful dance, also evokes the mood of the historical Renaissance, both lyrically and musically. The bass is unobtrusively tonic-based, the guitar work clean and pretty, the keyboards and pads swirling and evocative, the drums gentle and tasteful, the harmonies well-constructed, the overall sound clear and straightforward. The singing could use a microtuning here and there (I've resorted to auto-tune myself, when it mattered). This is very well done, without the intimate, mystic undercurrents of someone like Loreena McKennitt and her somewhat breathier singing style.

Paco del Stinko -- This manages to integrate the tension of an augmented chord and a vague resolution into a bright, happy sound. Two guitars with complementary parts create the jangly opening. Good melodic hook, held off temporarily by a couple of building chords. Inventive bass change in the verse echo that follows. Rhythmic rest or breakdown at 1:35, with oddly dissonant harmonies. The George-Harrison style slide solo is a nice change from frantic shredding. There's lots going on here, and it's often subtle, and it's all good. This song counts among your more infectious entries. (Can I even use that word now?)

Phil Well -- This has a contemporary commercial sound. The song starts by establishing the hooky message and then ends by rolling out on it, a wise and proven tactic. The chorus melody is inpiring and uplifting, the lone voice accentuated in the opening bars by rich reverberation. As with Paco's entry, the initial return to the chorus is marked by a couple of pausing chords to build anticipation. The somewhat grungy guitar of the verse feels idiosyncratic; something less menacing might be needed to set up that rhythmic snappiness, accentuated by the perky doot-doot-doot-doot of the synth. That's the only element that strays from a well-done take on a mainstream style.

Phlebia -- Slow and intense, with vocals rich in very cool, angst-drenched blue notes, a moaning guitar arched over a bleak wasteland, a desolate percussion section pushing forward with steady determination. Good dynamics as the song settles into its mission and then builds pressure, the notes straining and aching, exploring the darkness. An effective moody, heavy song.

Pigfarmer Jr -- In the past you've sometimes been a little pitchy, but the vocals on this are very good overall. The composition is tuneful and interestingly varied. The mood is intimate, with a mainly acoustic sound complemented by a warmly distorted guitar. The lyrics strike a weirdly personal note for me, as when I was about fourteen I had a strange out-of-body experience in which I imagined I rose from my bed and saw the face of a girl with dark hair floating outside my window in the moonlight. I didn't recognize her, and I still wonder about it to this day.

ShoehornTC -- A gentle, charming folk song, with the vocals blending beautifully into a comfortable ensemble of picked and strummed guitars, and quetly supportive bass and drums. The mix is clear, warm, and intimate, the harmonies sweet, the message thoughtful and expressed with natural simplicity. A lovely entry.

Wreckdom -- The deceptive opening, which with its bell-like clanging reminds me of a harbour full of sailboats on a breezy day, gives way unexpectedly to a murky, tense sound, as if we've toppled from the dock into the abyss, among the submerged hulls. The vocal delivery carries a dark, cynical tone, very world-weary; occasionally it's a bit pitchy. The heavy EQ on the voice puts it on the muddy side; I hear some distortion, and I think it needs more of that, more sharpness at the edges. When the band breaks out at 3:27 it reminds me of Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy period; positively surreal, great sound.
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WreckdoMelle
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

Such a variety of songs this round, very many of them hopeful. Several 4 minutes or more - is that long? Did not listen in alphabetical order but randomly generated order. Short reviews again; I am not sure I always have the words to describe so I keep it simple.

Berkeley Social Scene - Another nicely rendered and produced number from solid songfighters. I like that climby bassline.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - Well I clearly ignored the optional challenge. If I had to do over I might put a little of a buffer between the singing parts and try to make the vox pop out a little more, make the end a bit broodier and more instrumental, but the song is over 4 mins as is so I left it.

Caravan Ray - Something weird! Is this quite literally backwards? Approve. Became rather catchy somewhere in there.

Cavedwellers - Instant points for talking drum. I like all the instrumentation on this. The subject matter was something different - approve.

Gaping Maw - At first I thought well this is a charming little rap and then it opened up and rocked. I like the many moods of the song.

The Grosstones - I like the ethereal quality and vox. Hopeful lyrics, good message to be spreading. The synth was cool at first but did become a tad overwhelming.

James Owens - Nice acoustic tone. I like how you sing. Even not being a big fan of flutes, I liked that flute popping up here and there.

Jerkatorium - I like the drums on this. They sound real. This song is ridiculously cute - love it!

Joblito Y El Banditos - I approve very much of that level of distortion. Pretty good guitar work in here. And thank you, there needs to be more gang vocals in Songfight!

Lichen Throat - A most unusual vocal sound here. I like the lyrics. Sort of like They Might Be Giants.

Mandibles - This is very pretty! Nice harmonies and lovely guitar. Great voices.

Paco Del Stinko - You always have such a clear, upfront sound - that's the sound I need in my tunes! What's your secret? Good solid entry. Always with the great basslines. Approve.

Phil Well - When ever I see a musician named Phil, I think of Phil Collins. Which isn't a bad thing. You are a good singer. This is like a hit from the 80's - I found myself singing it as I went to the kitchen for an O'Doul's (really).

Phlebia - Transgressive intro, dark, brooding mood. The guitars are excellent! Appreciate that this is about nature.

Pigfarmer Jr. - I like that middle part a lot. This song sounds so lonesome and your voice is very earnest.

Shoehorn TC - I always want to start a string band when I hear your songs. This is the second song I've listened to that calls this a time of love and I appreciate that. This really embodies the optional challenge, great job!

The Lowest Bitter - I like the almost round-style singing of the chorus. Pleasant, ethereal, catchy.

WreckdoM - As I mentioned in pre-fight, we didnt' have Geoff this round so very rare, a WreckdoM tune without Geoff. We managed to do this rather at the last minute and I found myself alone at the end of it. But I tried to be hopeful, nonetheless.

Going to go back and give a couple songs a second listen, they didn't quite take the first time.
YYYYYeeeeeaaaaahhhhh boy, I tell ya!

Brown Word and the Big Whine has an EP out:
http://brownwordandthebigwhine.bandcamp ... timekiller
Smalltown Mike
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Smalltown Mike »

A lot of these songs started in nice ways — but then didn’t go where I wanted them too. Sort of like 2020.

Jerkatorium
That stereotypical sticcatto piano generally infuriates me — but it really works in this song. Verse delivery is really good and a great chorus. There’s a ton of really great stuff going on in this, often all at the same time. Great middle-eight or whatever. Really nice solo. Great work.

Pigfarmer Jr
Fat guitar tone, and great transition into the verse. Your voice is strong in this. Maybe try doubled vocals in the chorus or something. That bit right after the second chorus doesn’t work for me; don’t know why.

Caravan Ray
I really like the music BUT I CAN’T HEAR YOUR VOCALS OR ONE GODDAM WORD YOU SAY. Not one word. The music is great though.

Phil Well
I feel like I’m dancing with my grade 10 girlfriend again. This starts with a serious Forever Young vibe. Great transition into something new. This is so 80s and really well done.

ShoehornTC
I wish you’d cut the count-in out, because it sounds fake. The song is fantastic, though. Really simple and well done. I can definitely see throwing this one for a listen far beyond SF. Really great work, good enough to send me looking to see what else you’ve done. I really love this.

The Gross Tones
There’s something about this tempo that feels very plodding — I don’t know if it’s just too middle of the road. The solo is nice, but again it drags a bit for some reason. Nice voice, but something about the song isn’t working — it might be the piano line. AND, the second time the synth solo comes in, no.

Brown Word and the Big Whine
Interesting start. I really hope this goes somewhere good. The music is interesting, but it’s a sunny afternoon and I need something more upbeat.

Paco del Stinko
This is the tempo and groove I need. The world is already too fucked up for a funeral dirge. Great chorus. Really like that half-time groove. The mix is really strong on this. Sounds amazing in the headphones.

The Lowest Bitter
It’s an interesting start — but the vocals are hard to hear, and I feel like they’re a little nasally and atonal. The groovy beat is cool, and the vocals are better when they’re with the beat but this isn’t really working for me. I like the multiple vocals lines.

Joblito Y El Banditos
Another fat guitar tone. Haunting line. Oh shit that almost-ska rhythm heaving guitar line is REALLY cool. LOVE that the vocals don’t really kick in until 2:30ish. BUT while I think this is really cool and has a great sound and cool vocals …. it’s nothing more than the title repeated over and over. Good enough to make me check out your earlier stuff — which is great — but …. which there was more to this. Now, if this was part of an album and was this exact song with this title, I believe it. But as a songfight entry? I don’t know. No, that doesn’t make sense. Change is Coming is really good.

Cavedwellers
Another great beginning and a really nice mix. Like the ‘love in the time of the riot,” bit. At first I thought your vocals weren’t quite as strong as the rest, but they sound really good with the harmonies. This is really nice. Nice leads in there. Great mix.

Phlebia
Right away — I don’t know. There’s to much quarantine and sickness and depression already. It’s well done, but … I have to keep it lighter.

Lichen Throat
The music is computerized. It all needs some humanization, the bass especially. It needs some variety (vocals too) and dynamics, and variety. More stuff like that little breakdown at about 2:30.

Berkeley Social Scene
Vocals seem to come in really abruptly. Really like the vocals on this. But … it’s not grabbing me.

Mandibles
I’ve got to pull the genre bias card here, which is lame — but it’s just so totally not my style that I don’t even know what to say. Competent, clean but not my thing.

WreckdoM
The guitar is really muddy in this, hard to hear. Love the drum beat, and I’m digging the vocals, especially when I can hear them. I wish there were parts where the vocals stood alone — like when they first come in. I do like this.

James Owens
Such nice guitar. Pulling the genre-bias card again, but I also feel like you’re trying to hard to make your vocals sound emotional. Your vocals sound better in the second verse and on. Love that flute.

Gaping Maw
This is me and Rob, again. I’m the voice of happiness and sunshine pre-pandemic. Rob is the voice of bitterness and death in the days of quarantine. And Rob thought it was very funny when I sang Love Love Love in that very affected 80s way, so we left it. He also thought the keyboard + drum part (which came first) sounded like LL Cool J’s I Need Love, so I rapped over it.
Punk rock is for children. Grab a six-pack at Half-a-Dozen Records.
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AJOwens
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by AJOwens »

Smalltown Mike wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:30 pm
. . . I also feel like you’re trying to hard to make your vocals sound emotional. . .
The sad truth is that I'm actually trying to make my vocals sound less emotional. I don't know why, but my singing voice goes all maudlin at the faintest opportunity.
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sleepysilverdoor
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

AJOwens wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:04 am
Phlebia -- Slow and intense, with vocals rich in very cool, angst-drenched blue notes, a moaning guitar arched over a bleak wasteland, a desolate percussion section pushing forward with steady determination. Good dynamics as the song settles into its mission and then builds pressure, the notes straining and aching, exploring the darkness. An effective moody, heavy song.
WreckdoMelle wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:29 am
Phlebia - Transgressive intro, dark, brooding mood. The guitars are excellent! Appreciate that this is about nature.
I feel compelled to point out that I don't actually own an electric guitar. That's my Ibanez SR-305 bass played in the upper registers through my BOSS DC-2W Dimension pedal and the "Harmless" plug-in in FL studio. I swear, that pedal produces the best tone, probably cause of the stereo effect. I'm glad you liked it!

And Mike/Pigfarmer -- yeah, it's definitely one of the gloomier entries this week. I figured the "appreciating being out in the woods" aspect was the "be uplifting!" optional challenge, but then again it's about a failed mushroom hunt I went on out of stir-craziness, so I suppose it's not really that uplifting, is it. Oh well, I love my hidden poplar grove by the creek :)
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Caravan Ray
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Caravan Ray »

WreckdoMelle wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:29 am

Caravan Ray - Something weird! Is this quite literally backwards?
It is random tracks (mainly voice and guitar) from previous songs I have done - reversed / chopped up/ stretched / stuck back together.
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Caravan Ray
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Caravan Ray »

Smalltown Mike wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:30 pm
I CAN’T HEAR YOUR VOCALS OR ONE GODDAM WORD YOU SAY
The man with big ears may hear many things - but that does not make him an elephant.
Smalltown Mike
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by Smalltown Mike »

Leave it to Caravan Ray to talk about the elephant in the room.
Punk rock is for children. Grab a six-pack at Half-a-Dozen Records.
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by phil »

First of all, thank you for the constructive feedback! For me, they are a reason why I participate here. There so many interesting entries this time!

Berkeley Social Scene: The beginning reminds me of ABBA (Lay all your love on me, the text goes like this: "It was like shooting a sitting duck." It would fit very well. ;-)) I like the tone of the guitar, it has something of Mike Oldfield. I like the ending with the two guitars as well. A real drum sound would have given a more natural touch.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: The song is very sad and depressing. In fact, that's not what I would have expected on the subject or the optional challenge.

Caravan Ray: The vocals are very quiet and I cannot understand them. That's the reason why the statement of the song does not open up to me.

Cavedwellers: This song sounds really professional. It is mixed well, although I get the impression that the compressor is pumping lightly, which may also be due to my speakers. I like the voice and the arrangement is very harmonious.

Gaping Maw: I find it very surprising how the different parts fit together. A real rocker that spreads a good mood.

The Gross Tones: The synth solos are quite long in my opinion. It's a chilled and peaceful vibe.

James Owens: I like the mix very much, everything works well together and sounds very warm.

Jerkatorium: Good performance, good timing. I would have liked to hear some musical beatles quotes instead of the "maniac"-part.

Joblito Y El Banditos: I think you had a lot of fun there, and I can hear that!

Lichen Throat: This is an independent way of singing. This is a little too monotonous for me. If the background music had more dynamics, the song would appear a little more lively and emotional.

The Lowest Bitter: That reminds me on MGMT. I like the high vocal parts.

Mandibles: Nice vocals and harmonies. I like the arrangement.

Paco del Stinko: I like the way you sing "love". It's very funny.

Phlebia: A very sad and disturbing atmosphere. It's good that this part of love is represented here in this way, though no hope is given.

Pigfarmer Jr: The voice is very present. The frequent repetition of "Love in the time of love" seems somewhat repetitive and pitchy to me. Apart from that, I like the guitar tone and the overall structure. The drums could be more powerful and louder.

ShoehornTC: This is a feel-good song that reminds of past peaceful times. Very relaxed and harmonious.

WreckdoM: I like the clarity of this mix, everything has its place in the room. The vocal sound is quite dull in contrast. An interesting trip.
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vowlvom
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Re: Give us some (Love In The Time Of Reviews)

Post by vowlvom »

Berkeley Social Scene: mmm, synthbass and drum machines. The general sound of this one is gorgeous, the little lead guitar melody at the end of the chorus especially. The song doesn't hugely capture my attention though, the melody just feels a bit lifeless and uninteresting and the lyrics are just kinda... fine. But the production and instrumental touches are good enough to make it a rewarding listen all the same.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: more good synth action! That drony, bendy main synth is really great, and I really like the atmospheric verse and bridge (although I certainly wouldn't complain if the vocals were a bit higher in the mix). Not crazy about the chorus with the siren synth and the more frantic vocal / guitar rhythm though. Lyrics are interesting, well written with some striking images.

Caravan Ray: interesting stuff! The stompy rhythm is very cool, and the vocal synth / samples are unusual and sound really great. The vocal is pretty buried for a lot of the song though, which makes the whole thing feel a bit impenetrable. Mostly enjoyed the song as a whole, although it wasn’t one of my favourites from you, or for this fight.

Cavedwellers: very well done, especially when the strings kick in. This kind of retro folky ballad isn’t generally my thing, but I do really love the instrumental section, especially the harmonised guitar / bass line that leads into it. Beautifully composed and performed!

Gaping Maw: how many bands are you in? Haha. The poppy electronic parts of this really appeal to me, the bits with the heavy guitars really don't. The dynamic shift is well handled but the change in vocal style takes this into… like… Limp Bizkit or Kid Rock territory or something, and I hate it. Which leaves me in the odd position of liking MOST of this song, but the bit that I don’t like totally ruins it for me.

The Gross Tones: your random-sounding synth lead parts really bother me. This is a solid song on the whole, I like the bouncy piano, but every instrumental break just sounds like a first-take improvisation and it leaves the song feeling unfinished, or like something you’ve started learning but haven’t settled on a final version yet.

James Owens: I've missed your flute! This is a really sweet and relatable song, definitely one of my favourite lyrics of the round, a great take on the hopeful challenge and a VOTE!

Jerkatorium: this is really fun (but weirdly quiet, as glennny said!). Fun lyrics, good energy, and the quote from ‘Maniac’ made me smile. I watched the film 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' recently and this would be a great theme tune for Bobby Di Cicco's character, who never misses an opportunity to slate the Beatles despite extreme peer pressure. VOTE!

Joblito Y El Banditos: this takes far too long to get going, but I like it when you get into that sort of spaghetti-western groove and, despite the lyrics being the absolute minimum possible way to qualify for the challenge, I kinda like those too. But yeah, that endless intro sinks this for me, sorry.

Lichen Throat: really like the music you've put together for this one, it has an excellent drive to it but a lightness to it as well. The lyrics are excellent, and the melody is decent, although your doubled vocals do clash with each other at times. I like this quite a bit on the whole, one of the best Lichen Throat songs I’ve heard and a VOTE.

The Lowest Bitter: that clicky beat is so great, this goes from “could be good…” to “YES this rules” as soon as it kicks in. Extremely Lowest-Bitter take on the title, and excellent layering and dynamics as usual. VOTE!

Mandibles: another one that is objectively very good but doesn’t connect fully with me for whatever reason. It’s extremely well composed and performed but maybe a little too earnest and subtle for my idiot brain. I do really like the swirly synth pads, that’s a lovely touch.

Paco del Stinko: deliciously twangy and jangly and all of those things that I enjoy! Bass sounds great too, really punchy. Chorus is catchy, solo is great, all of these excellent building blocks combine into one of my favourite Paco songs for a while. VOTE.

Phil Well: immediately on board with this one, that dramatic intro caught my ear straight away. This has a romantic, 80s synthpop soaring vibe to it. Really excellent use of guitars as well, I like the additional rhythms you get into the electric / acoustic strumming patterns. Definite VOTE, and probably my favourite from this fight.

Phlebia: dark and grungy. Effective and well done, it didn’t totally grab me but given my lack of fondness for the genre I liked it more than expected, so I’m sure you’re doing good work here!

Pigfarmer Jr: I didn’t get around to reviewing the last fight but I thought it was one of your best songs in quite a while, and this one continues that. Some of the lead guitar lines feel a little loose in terms of timing, but the mix is excellent, the vocal melody is strong and compelling and the bit where the drums drop out works really well.

ShoehornTC: this isn’t my favourite of your songs, it feels a little more straightforward than usual and… I guess maybe a little predictable? But I love your style so this is still one of my top songs this fight and I’m giving it a VOTE all the same.

WreckdoM: dark and sludgy. I kinda like the churning guitars but this gets stuck in a single groove early on and never really leaves it, and it didn’t really hold my interest as a result.
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