And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
User avatar
Pigfarmer Jr
Ice Cream Man
Posts: 1378
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:13 am
Instruments: Guitar
Recording Method: Br-900CD and Reaper to mix
Submitting as: Pigfarmer Jr, Evil Grin, Pork Producer, Gilmore Lynette Tootle, T.C. Elliott
Location: Columbia, Missouri
Contact:

And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

One thread at a time.
User avatar
Pigfarmer Jr
Ice Cream Man
Posts: 1378
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:13 am
Instruments: Guitar
Recording Method: Br-900CD and Reaper to mix
Submitting as: Pigfarmer Jr, Evil Grin, Pork Producer, Gilmore Lynette Tootle, T.C. Elliott
Location: Columbia, Missouri
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Please post your lyric in the appropriate thread: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11947
User avatar
Lunkhead
Beat It
Posts: 7011
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:14 pm
Instruments: many
Recording Method: cubase/reason/mac/tascam4x4
Submitting as: Berkeley Social Scene, Merisan, Tiny Robots
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Berkeley, CA
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
User avatar
genecawley
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 1:25 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums
Recording Method: TASCAM DP-24SD
Submitting as: Balls To Monte, The Go-Kups, & and the Angle Brackets, The Buttermilk Compleat
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by genecawley »

add - Right away, I like the dissonance and ramshackle nature of this. That main guitar lead bit during the verses is great. The arrangement really seems well-though out. This is my favorite one of yours for (in?) a while. Great job.

Abandoned Bandana - Not typically my thing, but I really like the lyrics. I like the overall message as well. You’re Fred Schneider-type delivery really helps to sell this. This is catchy as hell. You definitely know how to craft a song, that’s for damn sure.

Balls To Monte - I read the title and immediately thought about “Everything Falls Apart” by Hüsker Dü, so I kinda tried to do a sorta Bob Mould-ish type of a song. It’s not bad overall. It should’ve been a bit faster, but what can you do?

Berkeley Social Scene - The bridge really takes this over the top for me. Particularly good guitar work here. Great job.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - Really like the arrangement. Kinda wish the vocals were a tad louder. Really good lyrics. Catchy chorus as well. I like your vocal style of singing over yourself. It gives off this aura of chaos [in a good way] that’s difficult to attain in home recordings.

Future Boy - This is terrific. You have a rare talent to write topical lyrics in a way that doesn’t sound forced at all. The song overall is fantastic. I will say I kinda miss hearing the Rhodes, but that’s pure nitpicking. Best I’ve heard yet.

Glenn Case - I’m especially jealous of your stuff when you heavily feature keyboards, as I kinda suck at it (though it’s something I’m working on). Great song, as always. Really like the harmonies. The ending’s a bit abrupt, but that’s the only negative I can suss out.

Giraffes for Wings - A very good, tight song. I would maybe bring the drums up a bit, but that’s the only thing wrong with it.

Hot Pink Halo - This is very straightforward for you. But here, it’s an extremely good thing. I love the funkiness of this, kinda like Donald Fagen’s first album [and I mean that in a very good way]. The lyrics are great, and the tune is wonderful. Great job.

JP Nickolas - Great guitar work, as usual, but the performance sounds a bit off-kilter. It gets better as it goes along. I like the lyric a lot (I hope this isn’t a personal story). “Maybe I can’t be happy/and losing you’s an art” is particularly good.

Ken’s Super Duper Band ’n Stuff - Really good song. Simple, effective lyrics and a great arrangement. What more can I say? Maybe bring the drums up a tad bit in the mix. REALLY good keyboard solo.

Lichen Throat - Like the uptempo arrangement, and the lyrics are super solid, as usual. Extra points for rhyming “Thackeray” with “Agnes Gray.”

Night Sky - You’ve definitely improved you mixing capabilities (I can finally hear your voice!), and it really helps the song here. Both the tune and the lyrics are great. The instrumental work is, as always, fantastic. Possible winner here. Great job.

Phlebia - LOVE the sound of the guitar (or is that not a guitar? Keyboard?). Either way, nice atmosphere. Really liked this one.

Robyn Mackenzie - Another winner from you. Not only an incredibly good tune with great lyrics, but you harmonize with yourself SO well. It always sounds so natural, like you’re not even trying [but, you know, in a good way].



OK. Well, I guess it’s a three-way tie with Future Boy, Night Sky and Robyn Mackenzie [I’m gonna give it a re-listen in a day or so]. Fantastic work overall, people!
"...and it ain’t a fit night out for man or beast!”
User avatar
sleepysilverdoor
Mean Street
Posts: 630
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:02 pm
Instruments: Basically if I don't have to blow through it it's fair game.
Recording Method: FL Studio/Tascam DP-006
Submitting as: Phlebia, mostly.
Location: Atlanta-ish.

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

@gene: it's a bass guitar with delay and chorus. I figure the fact you couldn't tell means I passed the optional challenge :)
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
User avatar
genecawley
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 1:25 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums
Recording Method: TASCAM DP-24SD
Submitting as: Balls To Monte, The Go-Kups, & and the Angle Brackets, The Buttermilk Compleat
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by genecawley »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 4:16 am
@gene: it's a bass guitar with delay and chorus. I figure the fact you couldn't tell means I passed the optional challenge :)
REALLY? That sounds great!
"...and it ain’t a fit night out for man or beast!”
User avatar
Future Boy
Push Comes to Shove
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:55 am
Instruments: Keyboard, Vocals
Recording Method: Apollo Twin, Reaper, Rhodes, Casios
Submitting as: Future Boy
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by Future Boy »

genecawley wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:16 pm
I will say I kinda miss hearing the Rhodes, but that’s pure nitpicking.
It's in there, just buried a bit under the synths. I think I might have gone too heavy on the distorted pad and could have pulled it back in the mix to let the Rhodes through, since it is doubling the pad part but with nice spacious reverb instead of grit.
Missed Connections | With Johnny Cashpoint: A Maze of Death | various noises on Soundcloud | modular synths on Youtube
User avatar
Future Boy
Push Comes to Shove
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:55 am
Instruments: Keyboard, Vocals
Recording Method: Apollo Twin, Reaper, Rhodes, Casios
Submitting as: Future Boy
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by Future Boy »

First impression reviews, somewhat terse:

Abandoned Bandana - I really like all of your synth work. The "katamari roll" lyric made me smile. Good track.

add - such good crisp recording quality, mixing very well done, I loved the backwards guitar and tremolo solo lines sneaking in. the main riff is catchy and satisfying and the song has a good flow to it. don't really have much in the way of criticism.

Balls To Monte - again really nailing your genre and oh the surprise vocal harmony in the middle, great moment. guitar solo felt a little meandering. when I read the lyrics to this I found them very relatable, nice job there.

Berkeley Social Scene - stereo guitars is good, some fun sound effect things in the chorus. bridge is a nice switch up. drums and bass sound thin to me, but maybe it's ok. vocal performance is a bit flat, energy-wise (pitch is ok).

Brown Word and the Big Whine - like the lyrics for this one and vocal performance is pretty good, solid chorus. also really like how the instruments sound, nice roomy feel to everything and good punch on the bass.

Future Boy - lots of stuff I'd change on this with more time, but turned out pretty solid I think. so short tho.

Giraffes for Wings - this is a cute little number and off course i love the synth work near the end. i might replace the drums with more electronic sounding drums to match with those. not a huge fan of the echoey claps and cheering bits.

Glenn Case - whoa cool to hear you do a synth number. would bring down the keys and put in more dynamic variation. prechorus drums pull the regular beat out too much, i think. surprises me a little how dry you left everything, i feel like even a touch of reverb would help glue things together a bit more. vocal harmonies great as usual!

Hot Pink Halo - muted guitar and synth saxophone are great. but really everything comes together for a nice atmosphere. the processing on the vocals is nice, i might bring them up in the mix a bit. good track.

JP Nickolas - relate to these lyrics. vocal performance is a bit wobbly, but does have some good moments. not finding the song super engaging overall though, possibly that's just a genre bias on my part.

Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - you know i love a major seventh chord and this delivers right away. the arrangement and mixing is really superb. feel like the lyrics are the weakest part here, where I just don't really understand what the chorus is talking about.

Lichen Throat - i think that's a sequenced midi guitar? i like it in any event. the whole arrangement is good, really. enjoy the lyrics on this one.

Night Sky - this is good little number, but wanted the guitars to provide a bit more substantial backup for the saxophones. maybe adding in some keyboards there would have helped.

Phlebia - like the mood on this and the processing on the guitar, good sound. oh love that you can get that real low note on the vocal. lyrics well done.

Robyn Mackenzie - your voice is amazing as usual. guitar sounds hollowed out somehow, want it to be fuller and warmer sounding. "doing fine but not ok" is a great lyric. getting stuck on the chord progression reminding me of a pixies song. vocals and lyrics really carry this one.
Missed Connections | With Johnny Cashpoint: A Maze of Death | various noises on Soundcloud | modular synths on Youtube
User avatar
genecawley
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 1:25 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums
Recording Method: TASCAM DP-24SD
Submitting as: Balls To Monte, The Go-Kups, & and the Angle Brackets, The Buttermilk Compleat
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by genecawley »

Future Boy wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:56 pm
Balls To Monte - again really nailing your genre and oh the surprise vocal harmony in the middle, great moment. guitar solo felt a little meandering. when I read the lyrics to this I found them very relatable, nice job there.
Yeah, the guitar solo started out fantastic and then kinda...went away. I'd done about 30 takes and just had no idea how to complete the other half satisfactorily.
"...and it ain’t a fit night out for man or beast!”
User avatar
robynmackenzie
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:24 pm
Submitting as: Robyn Mackenzie
Pronouns: she/her

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by robynmackenzie »

Balls to Monte - This is killer. I enjoy the imagery in the lyrics and the harmonies on "fine art" are brilliant. I really dig your sound.

Future Boy - Loving the juxtaposition of the cheery synths and beat with the dark lyrics. I like the simple melody--your vocals are top notch. I also really like the structure of the chorus. And the harmonies! This is wow.

Ken's Super Duper Band 'n' Stuff - This has a distinct "bar" feel to it that I really like. The lead sections are great, and I like the lyrics, in particular the chorus. I'm a big fan of well-placed 7th chords and this delivers.

Lichen Throat - I like the gritty main riff and punky drumbeat. The mix of guitars is interesting and I feel like it's missing something, although I'm not sure what. The lyrics tell a clear and engaging story.

Robyn Mackenzie - Not sure I'm really done with this one--I submitted it hastily and want to go back and add a solo or something. The lyrics came fairly quickly once I had the chord progression down. The world is a dumpster fire but at least it makes for good writing material.

Hot Pink Halo - Cool retro sound! I really like the disco guitar. I find the panning to be a little distracting and I think the instrumentation could be centered more. I like the choppy vocals and saxophone part.

add - Oh I love that chord progression and you did some cool things with the structure. Nice lyrics, and I like the space in the vocals that makes room for that excellent guitar. Definitely a favorite of this fight.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - Those doubled vocals in the chorus are super girl punk and I love it. I like the background vocals at the end too. My only complaint is that the lead guitar makes it a little hard for me to focus on your vocals in the verse.

JP Nickolas - I've been in this relationship before--really relatable lyrics and I like the repeating "that's how it comes apart." Fantastic guitars as always.

Giraffes for Wings - I like the layered instrumentation and background sounds, like the claps and the cheering. Very polished. I like this one a lot.

Berkeley Social Scene - I like those harmonies in the bridge and the guitar work is excellent. I like the lyrics too. Another favorite.

Glenn Case - This is different than what I'm used to hearing from you. Really nice synth work, although it feels a little busy in some parts. The bass is perfect.

Phlebia - Love the dreaminess of that bass. I like the simplicity of this arrangement which places the emphasis on your vocals and the lyrics. Really nice.

Abandoned Bandana - Nice lyrics. I like "I had my shit together then it comes apart" as the repeating hook. I'd like to hear your vocals a little clearer, right now they're competing with the synths a bit too much for my liking. But it's catchy!

Night Sky - This is another one that makes me feel like I'm sitting at a bar late at night. Good storytelling in the lyrics. The saxophone is a nice addition. Enjoyed this.
User avatar
WreckdoMelle
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 5:18 am
Instruments: Gibson SG, clarinet, tuba, bass guitar, baritone horn, mandolin, vox, sax (sorta)
Recording Method: Bitwig Studio
Submitting as: Brown Word and the Big Whine
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

robynmackenzie wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 10:15 am
Brown Word and the Big Whine - Those doubled vocals in the chorus are super girl punk and I love it. I like the background vocals at the end too. My only complaint is that the lead guitar makes it a little hard for me to focus on your vocals in the verse.
Thanks for the review! How I struggled mightily with mixing the verse. I wanted that high lead in there but didn't want it to compete with the vox. It was def a challenge this time. My secret weapon, the golden ear of Colin, was not available this round (he was struggling with a bout of tinnitus - maybe he needed those electric shocks people were discussing elsewhere on the boards) so I winged it. I basically listened till all the annoying edges were rubbed off, if that makes sense.
Brown Word and the Big Whine on Bandcamp:
http://brownwordandthebigwhine.bandcamp.com
User avatar
jpnickolas
A New Player
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:46 pm
Instruments: guitar
Recording Method: UMC202HD, Reaper
Submitting as: JP Nickolas
Pronouns: he/him
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by jpnickolas »

Phlebia - I love this creepy guitar riff. The reverb gives it an eerie depth that I think works well. I would have liked the vocals to be less dissonant (maybe not the right word?), and anchor us in key. I feel like the guitar gives an unsettled dissonance already, so having both vocals and guitar lean heavily on accidentals makes it hard for me to feel grounded. I'm not sure how much of that is genre bias on my part, though.

JP Nickolas - The intro is for sure off time, and I'll be sure to give my ears a day to become unfried before submitting songs in the future. Really annoyed I didn't catch that. Also not happy with the octaves of the verse riff at 2:13. I think I gave my lyrics a bit more space to breath in this song, which I'm pretty happy with, and the bass came out pretty nicely. I originally had a clean guitar ending after the solo, but couldn't get it leveled right without sounding overly compressed, so I'll need to learn how to fix that for next time.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - Strings and that funky bass at the beginning are epic. I think I could just listen to that on a loop. Levels seem off. The lead guitar is just quiet enough to be distracting, but I think it compliments the vocals really nicely. Maybe make the lead louder and your rhythm guitar quieter. I really love the singing over yourself at the end. It's got some nice chaos and feels like a round.

Night Sky - Really like the first and last post-chorus guitar, excellent style. It's just slow enough that I really linger on every note. "Wisdom of the power of yet build Hannah's world" felt a bit awkward, but that may have just been the delivery. I like that the doubled vocals harmonize on more than just the third during the choruses.

Hot Pink Halo - Excellent funky intro, and that finger snap cuts through with a perfect italian finger kiss. I'm a sucker for when the noise suddenly cuts away after the second stanza. Very dramatic. What are you doing with lead instrument during the chorus? Is that a violin with distortion?

*Abandoned Bandana - This feels very harsh on the ears - I think it's the eight note synth bits. The chorus is real catchy, and I like the chord progression the bass spells out. There's something about vocals like this that feel beautiful with how unapologetically raw and rough they are. I'm impressed at your delivery of them.

Balls To Monte - I dig the chord progression during the chorus, and the Queen style "fine art" delivery. The vocal doubling there sounds real nice. Great first half of the solo, but the second half seemed to be following the chords instead of leading them (maybe that doesn't make much sense). I guess the less helpful answer is that the second half of the solo needed a bit more pizzazz.

Lichen Throat - Are these lyrics based on a historic family? I like the story it depicts, although the references go above my head - I assume that's my bad :) I like the driving bass, feels like motorhead. The drums feel a bit distracting around 2:00 once the vocals come in, but fine just before the vocals come in. It may help to simplify their rhythm once the vocals start.

Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - I like the background synths, they fill out the track nicely. The lead instrument in the beginning (and whenever it plays that riff) is a bit artificial in its rhythm in a way that doesn't seem intentional. Specifically at 0:06, it feels grid aligned where you could linger on the notes a bit more and adjust the velocity to get it sounding smoother. I don't think it would take much to fix since it already sounds organic elsewhere. Just a few places that stuck out to me (0:06 and 0:53). I like the chords during the chorus, and how the lead synth plays on top with the long arpeggios.

add - I'm jealous of your mixing ability, your vocals sound so clear and good! Forgive my potentially wrong terminology, but the punchy dissonant chord that ends your verses is a bold choice, but I think it works out really nicely. Especially like the backwards playing around 3:30, although I would have liked some sort of bridge afterwards instead of going back to the main riff immediately. It made the last minute feel a bit long.

*Berkely Social Scene - Real funky! I love the guitars during the chorus, and your use of natural harmonics in the verses afterwards. Very well layered, I enjoyed this a lot. There was some instrument in the outro feedback that I didn't love around 2:47. It goes "wub wub wub" but that's the best of vocabulary here :) It sounds good just before the feedback starts, though.

*Giraffes For Wings - I really like the rhythm here with the clapping. I real head bob for me. The drums and organ coming in around 1:30 were good, and I absolutely love whatever is dooting around 1:45. What is it, and how can I learn to add it to my stuff? I've definitely heard it in a video game (recently too!), but I can't place it for the life of me.

*Future Boy - This intro won me over pretty quickly. Awesome lyrics. The panning around 0:50 is a bit distracting, and I would have liked this to not move so widely back and forth. Everything else in this song is real tight and I like it a lot.

Glenn Case - The vocal doubling around 0:50 and the lower synth really come together nicely. It sounds awesome. The ping-pong panning at 1:00 is a bit disorienting for me. The outro is a bit sudden, although more surprising than anything else.

Robyn Mackenzie - I dig the bass. The chorus is really nice, and the harmonization is impressively tight. The outro has a few too many seconds of silence that could be cropped, but that's a real nitpick. I dig the lyrics.
User avatar
sleepysilverdoor
Mean Street
Posts: 630
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:02 pm
Instruments: Basically if I don't have to blow through it it's fair game.
Recording Method: FL Studio/Tascam DP-006
Submitting as: Phlebia, mostly.
Location: Atlanta-ish.

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Hmmm...can't comment on the matter of taste but the chord progression is:

Dmaj7 C9 G9 Gmaj7 for the "A" sections and Bb9 G9 Bb9 G9 for the "B" sections.

Actually the whole song is just two chord shapes moving around never going below the 13th fret. Fun to play :)

That said I may be abusing the III-IV melodic shifts in the main melody, a habit I probably picked up from Trent Reznor in my formative music years. Oh well.
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
User avatar
jpnickolas
A New Player
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:46 pm
Instruments: guitar
Recording Method: UMC202HD, Reaper
Submitting as: JP Nickolas
Pronouns: he/him
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by jpnickolas »

Hah, I guess I'm showing how green I am when it comes to music theory! I guess to be more specific (and please correct me if I'm wrong), it sounds like you have D as your root in your first chord, hitting the C# with a good deal of tension. In the second chord, C is your root. So you're modulating a good deal between D major and D mixolydian (again, my grasp of this isn't superb). But the modulation is real cool and gives an unanchored feel that I think could sit pretty nicely under vocals that anchored us a bit more to the tune. Does that make sense or am I completely off base?
User avatar
sleepysilverdoor
Mean Street
Posts: 630
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:02 pm
Instruments: Basically if I don't have to blow through it it's fair game.
Recording Method: FL Studio/Tascam DP-006
Submitting as: Phlebia, mostly.
Location: Atlanta-ish.

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

jpnickolas wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:22 pm
Hah, I guess I'm showing how green I am when it comes to music theory! I guess to be more specific (and please correct me if I'm wrong), it sounds like you have D as your root in your first chord, hitting the C# with a good deal of tension. In the second chord, C is your root. So you're modulating a good deal between D major and D mixolydian (again, my grasp of this isn't superb). But the modulation is real cool and gives an unanchored feel that I think could sit pretty nicely under vocals that anchored us a bit more to the tune. Does that make sense or am I completely off base?
No, you're doing fine! Cause when I switch to the other section it uses Bb as the root which is completely at odds with Dmaj7 cause it's the minor VI in that mode. And the melody of "I met you on the train..." I'm singing "you" as a minor 7th on top of the major 7th chord so yeah it's kind of dissonant but in a kind of pretty harmonic kind of way.

The feeling a bit unanchored wasn't entirely a conscious decision, but when I point out that the song is about two people who bond after being kebabed together by a giant piece of rebar and sung from the perspective of the one who dies as a result so they can save the other, "unanchored" is probably appropriate in context.
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
User avatar
jpnickolas
A New Player
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:46 pm
Instruments: guitar
Recording Method: UMC202HD, Reaper
Submitting as: JP Nickolas
Pronouns: he/him
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by jpnickolas »

Haha, fair enough!
User avatar
the panna cotta army
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:35 am
Instruments: egg shaker (Grade 2)
Recording Method: Studio One 4
Submitting as: the pannacotta army
Location: Kent, UK

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Didn't manage to make this fight but here are some idle thoughts. Not reviews, more brief sketchy views....

Hot Pink Halo - Quite an interesting arrangement but the dynamic doesn't stray far around a melody that's hard to latch on to . It almost sounds like there's only one chord. I felt it needs a shift of direction or a stronger chorus.

Robyn McKenzie - Strong vocals and harmonies. Despite being a bit slow paced and melancholy, I quite like the song but I'd have preferred some more variety in the arrangement, either instrumentally or in the structure.

JP Nikolas - Timing is pretty loose. If the bass was more solid and prominent it might help. Guitars are quite harsh sounding. Maybe EQ might do something but it sounds more of an initial tone issue.

Future Boy - This has a good groove. I like the synth riffs and Moroder-ish percussion. The lyrics are cute too. Smart arrangement with some nice touches and variation. A close second for this fight behind GFW.

Balls To Monte - My immediate thought was this sounds like Born To Be Wild. You got this late 60s/70s US rock vibe nailed. I wouldn't say the song really won me over but the performances, arrangement and production are all great.

Barclay Social Scene - I like the TV crime theme music vibe and the noises in the mix. Guitars are nice and the way the chorus steps up. I feel the vocals could have a bit more bite in them and the middle 8 is a bit meh, but overall I enjoyed this.

Add - I quite like this though I feel it could've been better. Sounds like you go into what should be a chorus at 1.16 but there are no vocals. I think you could axe the last minute but take the variations in that section and apply them to the earlier parts.

Lichen Throat - The initial riff and beat are actually pretty good; there is a solid groove, but that's about it. The rest is the usual blend of melodically-averse, rhythmic-challenged vocals and seemingly scattergun arrangement.

Phlebia - I like the guitar (or is it bass) picked arpeggio pattern though I'm not sure this repeated motif is enough to carry the whole song. A few subtle elements of tone or percussion introduced here and there would have been welcome. Sounds like your struggling with the key vocally on the lowest notes.

Brown Word & Big Whine - There's an almost Motown feel to the intro. The initial clean guitar sounds good - I wish you'd kept it as I much prefer it to the brash fuzzy tone. Quite like the chord shifting. Would have liked an instrumental section instead of some vocals which are virtually constant throughout.

Abandoned Banana - Sounds like Sweeney Toad's diatribe style vocal delivery. The scratchy gameboy percussion and buzzsaw drone might be okay in short spells but not throughout the whole 3 and a half minutes. I'm soon wanting some respite.

Ken's Super Duper Band - I quite like the song and it's simplistic melody though the drums sound overly rigid and loopy. The lead synth sounds too up-front/loud in the mix and there's a fair amount of brightness to the mix. I feel there should be a much mellower vibe overall.

Giraffes For Wings - This is kind of cute on a budget. I really like the constantly evolving arrangement. You won me over at handclaps and I'm totally sold when the synth arpeggio comes in. My favourite for this fight.

Glenn Case - I dig the arrangement but I'm not completely sold that the simple beat marries with the (possibly too loud) stabby electric piano that seems to be constantly panning, which I find distracting. I like the synth bass in the chorus and the lead. Vocals and harmonies are good as always.

Night Sky - I don't mind the very simple structure though the vocal melody reminds me of something else which I can't my finger on. The arrangement is nice with a few elements I like (clean delayed guitar, saxes) and some others that don't necessarily work so well (phasey distortion).
User avatar
lichenthroat
Push Comes to Shove
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:54 pm
Recording Method: MuseScore & Ardour or Reaper
Submitting as: Lichen Throat, Dimetrodon, Sparetooth
Pronouns: he/him
Location: New Mexico

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

Abandoned Banana—I quite liked the opening chord sequence, and I like the chord progression in the chorus. I’m less a fan of the scratchy-sounding component of the rhythm section. This song improved for me on subsequent listens.

add—This is well-made and well-performed, but I wish it sounded livelier overall. Your mix is good, as is the guitar interplay.

Balls To Monte— Good solid stuff. Steppenwolfy in a good way. I like your performance, but the way the vocal is recorded or mixed robs your voice of its fullness.

Berkeley Social Scene—I like the similar-but-different guitars panned to opposite sides. It sounds like you guys have played this a thousand times, even though it’s obviously a new song. Guitar squeals at the end are cool.

Brown Word and the Big Whine—I dig the intro. I was surprisingly averse to the buzzy guitar tone. Parts of this are really good, but I’ve already been poisoned by the guitar tone in the verses. I like the solidity and robustness of the chorus. The part with overdubbed vocals is cool, too.

Future Boy—This sounds great. It gets me immediately in the groove, and the even-toned vocal fits well with the sound of the instruments. While I completely agree with sentiments of the lyrics, many of them are phrased in a very orthodox fashion, so they come off too much as platitudes. Overall, though, I like this song a lot—probably my favorite of the fight. Is “earthquake weather” a nod to the Casual Gods’ “Cherokee Chief”?

Giraffes for Wings—This reminds me a little bit of the Weakerthans, which is always a good thing. Deceptively simple on the surface, but there’s a lot going on. I like it.

Glenn Case—I found the stabbing keyboard rhythm to be distracting; it was hard to focus on anything else. Your vocal performance is good, and I like the way you’ve mixed it. I liked the synth bass, too.

Hot Pink Halo—I don’t know how to classify this; it’s like a disco folk song or something. The originality is impressive and intriguing. I think this is one of your best vocal performances.

JP Nickolas—I like the increased confidence in your vocal performance. Guitar performances are good as usual (you’ve been here long enough that I can use that phrase now). My favorite of yours so far. I’m not sure that the guitar and vocal seem rhythmically compatible, but I don’t think it detracts substantially from the song, so it’s not much of an issue.

Ken’s Super Duper Band ’n Stuff—The verses are slow enough that it feels weird when you slow down more for the chorus. That may just be at odds with my personal sensibility, though, rather than a real problem. I like the floaty feel of the song and the doubled vocals.

Lichen Throat(me)—I mostly hate this vocal. I spent about twice as much time as usual recording it, but I could never get the recording to match what I had in my head. The lyrics are based on Dodie Smith’s excellent novel I Capture the Castle. I think there’s a good song here, but I didn’t manage to record it. I was a little worried about the potential incongruity between my voice and the female narrator, but no one has mentioned that, so I guess it’s okay. I think this is the first time I’ve written lyrics with a female narrator.

Night Sky-The mix seems a little quiet, but I love how distinct and separated the instruments sound. Overall, I like this a lot. It sounds both tender and lively. I’m pretty sure this is my favorite Night Sky song.

Phlebia—The reverby guitar/bass sounds great. I think you could benefit from another instrument, but the vocal and bass sound good together and evoke the atmosphere effectively. I dig it. One of your best.

Robyn Mackenzie—Beautiful song. The guitar line is perfect for this concept. Vocals sound good, and I think you’ve chosen exactly the right portions to double. The bass line complements the rest of the song well.
User avatar
Future Boy
Push Comes to Shove
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:55 am
Instruments: Keyboard, Vocals
Recording Method: Apollo Twin, Reaper, Rhodes, Casios
Submitting as: Future Boy
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by Future Boy »

lichenthroat wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:00 pm
Future Boy—This sounds great. It gets me immediately in the groove, and the even-toned vocal fits well with the sound of the instruments. While I completely agree with sentiments of the lyrics, many of them are phrased in a very orthodox fashion, so they come off too much as platitudes. Overall, though, I like this song a lot—probably my favorite of the fight. Is “earthquake weather” a nod to the Casual Gods’ “Cherokee Chief”?
Fair point on the platitudes, I still feel like a baby trying to write about this kind of thing in a meaningful way. For now I'm just trying to roll with what comes out and hope it becomes more refined as my own understanding does. "Earthquake Weather" is the title of a Tim Powers novel I read a long time ago, which seemed like a pretty good metaphor for the current social and political climate.
Missed Connections | With Johnny Cashpoint: A Maze of Death | various noises on Soundcloud | modular synths on Youtube
User avatar
Lunkhead
Beat It
Posts: 7011
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:14 pm
Instruments: many
Recording Method: cubase/reason/mac/tascam4x4
Submitting as: Berkeley Social Scene, Merisan, Tiny Robots
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Berkeley, CA
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

I don't have time to write reviews, but my favorites are: add, Balls to Monte, Future Boy, Glenn Case, Ken, and Robyn Mackenzie, but I enjoyed a lot of the other songs too.

I guess I inadvertently fulfilled the optional challenge in the BSS song. I'm playing a Rhodes patch on my Reface CP but I made it sound like an organ by turning on some fast deep chorus and doing volume swells. Ken produced this one and did a great job working the live band takes into a full sounding mix more like if we'd recorded it in a studio. That's going to be my last in-person BSS collab for a while.
User avatar
BoffoYux
Mean Street
Posts: 605
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:22 pm
Instruments: Keys, Clunking, SFX and Strings
Recording Method: Audacity, Adobe, and other 'A' titled software
Submitting as: Boffo Yux Dudes
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by BoffoYux »

The 'How It Comes Apart' Listening Party will be this Monday, 11/16 at 9pm EST. Drop on in if you get a chance.
I'll probably be hosting the next one for 'Screaming Into The Void' on 11/23



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY1yUTtH2ak
User avatar
SweeneyToad
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:31 pm
Submitting as: Sweeney Toad
Contact:

Re: And now you see (How It Comes Apart reviews)

Post by SweeneyToad »

abandoned bandana - I was playing a demo of some game on my switch a few weeks ago and there was an item I found on the floor called "abandoned bandana", I was like that would be an awesome name for a band! And thus, my new side project was born, this is my attempt at synthpop-punk I guess? Basically I will be using the Abandoned Bandana name when I don't feel like rapping.

ken - cool intro, it sounds inviting, think i'll stay a while. Your vocals sound nice, especially when they double up and resonate with each other. I feel like I'm underwater listening to this but in a relaxing way, not a drowning to death kind of way. I really like the little synth solo or whatever that is from the intro and through out, and then when you go full on solo at then end it is hella satisfying. Do people still say hella? If not, I'm bringing it back!

lichen - i like the intro a lot, intriguing me to listen more, I like the line about brandishing a cake knife. I like this story about a weird family. I like the line about having a new landlord from the states, reminds me of something random from a Beck song. I enjoyed this.

BSS - A bit of malkmus and the jicks vibe to this one, more so on the verses. I dig that. the chorus didn't really grab me as much as the verses, nice solo there for sure. I liked this song, I guess my only critique would be to have a stronger hook.

night sky - i feel like your singing style fits really well with this style of music. with past songs of yours I don't feel like your voice has really fit well sometimes, but this sounds like it pairs perfectly, awesome horn solo btw! this is my favorite song of yours thus far.

balls to monte - this is awesome, if i heard this on classic rock station i'd have no idea this was a new song. I could totally see the gang from that 70's shows rocking out to this in their car or basement. love the chorus with the vocal double up, awesome solo too! great song, no complaints here!

Giraffes for Wings - first all, awesome band name lol, this was a great catchy little ditty, i liked the little "bop bops" in the background. kind of reminds me of a gem i'd find from an indie rock sampler from the late 90's/early00's, no critiques really, just a really good song!

future boy - i love this, wasn't expecting this from you, i was just assuming your thing was just a man and his casio doing his thing, which i do enjoy, but holy crap this caught me off guard, probably my favorite track of the fight, definite vote.

hot pink halo - very 80's, i could see this song being in some 80's movie in fact, i like the synthy flute thing, not my favorite track of yours but still a solid track.

glenn case - i like the beat and the synth that comes in, it's cool hearing you with more of a synth backing, pretty catchy track, i dug it.

brown word - i like the intro, reminds me of something from the trainspotting soundtrack, pulp maybe? oh yeah, i remember this from my first round of listens, this one stands out chorus wise to me, also when you say "step by step" it makes me think of that show from the 90's on TGIF lol, really solid track overall, and again especially that hook.

phlebia - i like the intro, reminds me of something, incubus maybe? but when the lyrics come in it reminds me more of something like hum, it's nice to hear a change of pace from you. i really like the effects on the vocals, it goes well with the music and gives the whole thing a spacey feel, if this was a music video i could see you floating around in a space ship with zero gravity, i dug it!

robyn - the intro reminds me of where is my mind by the pixies, i was waiting for the wooo woooooos lol, you take it in a different direction obviously and it works, i like the chorus on this one with your doubled up vocals. pretty good track, i was waiting for a guitar solo or something to come in, i think that's the only thing it is missing, still a nice track though!

add - i like the catchy riffs to this one, your vocals go along really well to add to the catchiness, accidental pun there i swear. no critiques on this one, this is just a really well crafted track!

jp - hype intro, nice! i really like the music but feel like the vocals don't exactly fit as well on most of the track, just doesn't seem like they line up with the music if that makes sense.
Sober GF: I can't explain why but I hated it

Toby Rok: Sweeeney Toad...I can’t explain why, but I like it...

sweeneytoad.bandcamp.com
Post Reply