It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Pigfarmer Jr
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It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

the darned thing is stuck.
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Please post your lyric in the lyric thread over on the lyric board. Please: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11983
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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genecawley
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by genecawley »

add - Right off the bat, this sounds great. Love the rhythm, the mix, the instrumental and the vocals and melody. Plus the lyric is great too. Wonderful performance all around. Wow, this is a great start.

Balls To Monte - I’m not crazy about the mix here, but the hook is kinda good. I think I’m recording the guitars and drums too loud, leaving too little sonic room for the vocals and bass.

Brown Word and the Whine - Love the sound of this. And the vocals sound particularly great this time around. Really like the lyrics as well. Great job. You sound like a great band.

Cloverdance - I’m not familiar with your stuff, but I really like this. Really good song with an incredibly charming, ramshackle feel to it.

Future Boy - Your songs are always super-solid, and this is no exception. In this instance, I like the atmospheric touches added in the left and right channels. That really puts this over the top. My only complaint is that it’s not enough of a good thing. I demand a 12” remix off this, pronto!

Glenn Case - A sense a hint of Matthew Wilder, but in a good way. Like all of your stuff, it’s such a well-constructed song. Really like the guitar/keyboard break two minutes in. Great harmonies, as always.

The Gross Tones - The lo-fi feel of this really serves it well. Really good chords progression in the chorus. Really like the guitar work as well as the vocals. This is like really good Pavement. Great job.

Hot Pink Halo - Really like the arrhythmia [perhaps that’s the wrong term] of this. I like the bassline a LOT. And the simple, yet very effective piano lines in the background really make this. The song itself is, as usual with you, unique. I can’t figure out how you approach your songwriting, but that’s kinda what I like about it.

JP Nickolas - You definitely keep getting better. The guitar work (always superb) is used to serve the song a bit more than usual. It really sounds great. Your vocals keep improving as well, as well as the mix. This is your best one yet, in my opinion.

Lichen Throat - Nice guitar intro. Really like where you went with the title. Really great lyrics, your best yet.

Night Sky - Wow. This is a damn classic! Really great performance, as usual, but the song itself is especially great here. It’s so damn catchy. Overflowing with charm. Possible winner here.

Onslaught of the Lamb feat. BFFs - Nicely constructed. This is very reminiscent of Negativland (who I absolutely adore).

The Pannacotta Army - This is the winner so far for me. Your stuff is uniformly so damn good, I can completely enjoy it outside of the construct of SongFight. It’s just pure joy for me. Absolute possible winner. PS. What movie are you sampling at the end?

Phlebia - Whoa! Wasn’t quite expecting this. This ROCKS! Also, “I am not a Roomba, I am just a man” has GOT to be the line of the week. Never know what to expect from you, and that’s a good thing. Definitely in the running.

Pigfarmer Jr - Wow. Another great one from you. I really like your take on the title as well. Great performance overall from you both guitars and vocals. Just a really solid song. Damn, this is making the decision process that much more difficult.

Possum Sauce - This sounds great. This is near-Jimmy Smith-level keyboard work, and I don’t say that lightly. The overall arrangement is wonderful, as is the song. Love the copyright shout out.

R. Mosquito - Joy Division in da house! Doesn’t matter; I’m still an absolute sucker for this sound, and this is a great track.

seemanski - This has some Divine Comedy elements here, and that’s a very good thing. This is a really good song, really wonderful. Another potential win here.

Stacking Theory - This is really well-constructed song, but the arrangement becomes a bit tedious by the end. But it’s obvious that you have a talent for songwriting, unlike myself.

Test Data - Don’t get me wrong. I LIKE noise, but there’s got to be some sort of purpose to it.

Third Cat - You sure as shit know how to mix. This sounds amazing. Brilliant track. What more can I say? Other than I’m insanely jealous.

Za - This is another potential hit. A bit reminiscent of “Miss You,” but that’s not a bad thing, is it? Great stuff.



Okay, again, I’m torn as to who will get my votes this week. This is an embarrassment of riches, for sure.
"...and it ain’t a fit night out for man or beast!”
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by mholland »

genecawley wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:39 pm
Night Sky - Wow. This is a damn classic! Really great performance, as usual, but the song itself is especially great here. It’s so damn catchy. Overflowing with charm. Possible winner here.
Thanks for the nice review! I made a little project of learning to play rhythm changes on guitar over the last few weeks, so my wife (and lyricist) was primed to write charming lyrics for a catchy song in a major key. When I saw her lyrics I decided to just lean into the whole 1930s pop thing and see what Song Fight makes of it.
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

genecawley wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:39 pm

The Pannacotta Army - This is the winner so far for me. Your stuff is uniformly so damn good, I can completely enjoy it outside of the construct of SongFight. It’s just pure joy for me. Absolute possible winner. PS. What movie are you sampling at the end?
Thanks, glad to hear you enjoyed it. Although when someone predicts one of my songs as a possible winner it usually puts the kiss of death on it :D
The sample isn’t a movie but TV (as per the lyrics) - a snippet of original Star Trek from YouTube
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by crumpart »

genecawley wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:39 pm
Hot Pink Halo - I can’t figure out how you approach your songwriting, but that’s kinda what I like about it.
My approach is pretty much that I try to make all my decisions serve the idea. Basically, I figure out what I want the song to be about rather than what I want it to sound like, and then I set up some ground rules (like, what kind of instruments I can use, how the structure relates to the lyrics, and so on) and see what happens. Outside of songfight I work as a visual artist / printmaker, and when I was in art school I found that I made much better decisions, and much more interesting art as a result, when I stopped trying for a specific outcome and focussed on the process instead. So with visual art, I figure out what I'm trying to say with the piece, set up a bunch of physical rules for myself based on that idea, then just see where the process takes me. I find it much more enjoyable and less frustrating than trying to aim for a particular outcome, so when I started making music I applied the same approach. The few times I've tried for a specific outcome with songs I've hated what I ended up with, which has reinforced the process for me.

Basically the approach is, if I want to do something, I stop and ask myself "why".
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

genecawley wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:39 pm
Brown Word and the Whine - Love the sound of this. And the vocals sound particularly great this time around. Really like the lyrics as well. Great job. You sound like a great band.
I sound like an entire band? That's awesome, because I'm, like, one lady with MIDI drums :) Huzzah! Glad you enjoyed this one. I enjoyed making it.
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by gizo »

genecawley wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:39 pm
Stacking Theory - This is really well-constructed song, but the arrangement becomes a bit tedious by the end. But it’s obvious that you have a talent for songwriting, unlike myself.
Wow thank you - that's lovely to hear, and a generous compliment. And perhaps unsurprisingly, I struggle to accept any of it other than the phrase 'tedious by the end'.

I am trying to get reviews done, I really am...
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by genecawley »

gizo wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:01 pm
Wow thank you - that's lovely to hear, and a generous compliment. And perhaps unsurprisingly, I struggle to accept any of it other than the phrase 'tedious by the end'.
Yeah, I'm the same way.
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by gizo »

For what they're worth - here's the thoughts of an idiot:

This is the fight where I realise that so much of my response to songs relies on the vocal tones.

"It's the way that he sings, not the words that he says or the band"

add: I don't think I'm ever going to hear an ActDeaD song and be unhappy about it. I have little feedback to give on this because it's really quite good. V

Balls To Monte: Some of the lyrics feels a little forces (the adhesive tape...), and two guitar solo's might be a bit too cheeky, but I am here for the 'no no no no's. You also seem to be able to write a bridge, so you're killing me

Brown Word and the Big Whine: I really really really really realy want to hear your voice unaffected. - I'm never sure if you're chipmunking or just a very particular singer. There's so much rock happening in here \m/

Cloverdance: Ah.. the sounds of a piezo. Takes me right back to local late 80's indie-pop. Sweet.

Future Boy: Did I mention how easily I am swayed by certain voices? Hi. This song has a wonderful slow-rollick to it that makes me think I'm dreaming of a sleepy circus clown again. V

Glenn Case: One of the most consistently 'on brand' songfighters. Such polish to the performance, production, and construction of your songs. The percussion choices in this songs don't sit well with me - I find them quite distracting. But I'll forgive a lot for those harmonies

The Gross Tones: It started like a teenage garage, and then I though Frankie was singing for a moment, and then.. well... it just sort of kept drifting along... not quite sure what's missing, but something seems to be...

Hot Pink Halo: I love this as a gently optimistic poem, and I'm digging the boopy bass, but I'm not really sure I'm on board for the concept of this as a 'song'

JP Nickolas: A year or so ago, I felt like I needed to change my 'goto' chords, because I wasn't able to hit the right notes any more. Maybe I just needed more practice. I still do. I think you might also need to find how/where to sit your vocal range best too?

Lichen Throat: It has been years and I still don't know how to listen to you, but I love your use of words.

Night Sky: This is a great idea, but I reckon this style really needs super-polished performance and presentation to really have effect. But you're a million miles ahead of me. So kudos.

Onslaught of the Lamb feat. BFFs: I'm really tired of hearing the voice of that man. Please stop sampling it, everyone, everywhere.

The Pannacotta Army: I was weirdly confused by this because it feels like a Glenn Case song. The performance is tight, but maybe the whole mix is a little... flat, or bassy, or something? I'm not at all good at this side of reviewing, so hopefully someone else will be able to articulate it for me. V

Phlebia: 20 year old me is lapping this up. Sadly for you and the vote button, I'm not 20 anymore.

Pigfarmer Jr: Another songfighter with a consistently 'on brand' track.

Possum Sauce: Well shit. Just take the goddamn votes. Are you a friend of Merle, perchance? V

R. Mosquito: I'm too much wine into a pile of reports that seem to be getting higher as the December 31 deadline approaches. Why am I doing this to myself, and to you? You've done nothing wrong at all - you're a good person. I'm so sorry.

seemanski: Well you get a vote for taking the same nugget of an idea that I had, but turning it into a full song. Well played. V

Stacking Theory: I had an idea, and I didn't give it enough time. But I did want to do something with it, so I did this. You'll survive, kids - it's only a couple of minutes..

Test Data: The irony is that I can, in fact, turn it off. And I did.

Third Cat: Well done, you've found the moment when I realised my bias toward certain voices. Thanks goodness it's a pretty song too. V

Za: This sits in the same bucket as Night Sky - really needs a real tight performance and production to win me. But it's full of great ideas. And those handclaps are to die for.
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

gizo wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:13 am
Brown Word and the Big Whine: I really really really really realy want to hear your voice unaffected. - I'm never sure if you're chipmunking or just a very particular singer. There's so much rock happening in here \m/
That is really how I sing. The only time I've pitch-shifted the main vox up was on Checkered Past. I've down-shifted backing vox on tunes before, Liberty Street and Sitting In The Life Boat.
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by mo »

I haven't listened to the whole fight yet, but I just wanted to say this Brown Word song rules
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by gizo »

WreckdoMelle wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:35 am
That is really how I sing. The only time I've pitch-shifted the main vox up was on Checkered Past. I've down-shifted backing vox on tunes before, Liberty Street and Sitting In The Life Boat.
Well, there you go. I learn something. Thanks
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Lots of great stuff in this fight. I think I’m going to have quite a few votes.

Here are my brief thoughts that still took quite some time and effort to compile.

Glenn Case – I can’t quite put my finger on what this reminds me of but there’s something nostalgically familiar about the sound. The jazzy chord sequence and the melodies are great. A bit of a late 70s feel especially with the syndrums. I appreciate you tried to do something quirky with the percussion though I’m not sure it’s 100% successful, but overall this is up there with your usual excellent quality.

add – I’m hearing a big David Byrne influence here. The percussion in this is just fabulous. I love the drum beat, so inventive – I hope it’s all your own work from scratch. The interplay between all the keyboard and guitar layers is impressive too. Are you are happy with this one? It’s possibly my favourite song on Songfight this year. Love all the rhythms and great lyrics too. Please put them in the lyric thread. Terrific stuff.

Za – I like sparse opening with the bass, drums and then the strings and choppy clean guitar coming in with the vocals. I’d prefer the showboating lead guitar to be toned down some. The lead vocals sound a bit hesitant – they’d benefit with some tightening up from both a tuning and timing point of view.

seemanski – There’s a Beach Boys kind of feel to this, which is probably a lot to do with the staccato piano but then it also goes a bit Kate Bush in the chorus. I like the way it changes key and the acoustic guitar. You always produce something that’s interesting and good to listen to. The Casio –like synth counter melodies are great. Good vocals. Another of my favourites this week.

Night Sky – Opens up like Winter Wonderland or some similar kind of festive Christmas number in a jazz lounge style. The piano is a little rigid – I’d have like a bit more nuance to it. The sax flourishes and solo are nice, but it’s your vocal performance that really sells the song.

Brown Word and the Big Wine – I like that this is much more consistent and single minded in approach than some of your other more recent outings. It feels and sounds like a structured song and less improvised. The mix is pretty dense but the drums are good and blend of crunchy guitars and synth works with your wailing vocals.

Cloverdance – I’m afraid one of my pet peeves is the sound of a DI electro-acoustic guitar. It somehow has a dissonant ring about it – or is it just out of tune? The song feels rather ploddy. The sparse melody, simple solo and your deep vocals in themselves are fine but they do somehow exaggerate slow pace. Perhaps an overall faster tempo would’ve added some more life into things.

Onslaught of the Lamb feat. BFFs – I guess it’s a bit of a cliché to sample Trump but you get away with by mixing it up with the other speech and the sung vocals, though I’d have preferred a little more of the latter, which have a nice wired edge to them. The mix is good and tight and the beat chunkily solid. Whether it would maintain my interest as a more of a full-length track I’m not sure, but I quite like this as it is.

The Gross Tones – This is a bit rough round the edges but I quite like the song especially when the electric piano is more noticeable. The synth in the intro is kind of unnecessary and I think if you had cut down the solo parts it wouldn’t matter. The vocal doubling is rather loose here and there but it adds a nice timbre when it's on the money.

R Mosquito – I’m back in the 80s listen to John Foxx, Visage, Blancmange, OMD etc. I feel the mix needs to be more balanced, it seems to lack bass end and it’s a bit harsh sounding but I like the arrangement and most of the sounds used. Your deep vocals have a melodramatic quality but I think they work well in the context of this song. I’m quite liking this one.

Future Boy – I like your quirkily clever lyrics and the arrangement is, as always, interesting and produced very well. An intriguing mix of mediaeval ballad and synth-pop. Despite all the variation in the instrumentation, the structure is repetitive and perhaps that’s what makes me not warm to this quite so much as some of your other songs.

Hot Pink Halo – There’s a cool chilled vibe to the bass and those lovely swelling pad chords with the drum machine’s gentle beat. Your vocals have a nice timbre to match this, though the delivery feels not fully committed. The melody is engaging in places but a bit lost in others. I’m not keen on the bridge where the bass gets busier and the chorus seems unsure where it’s going.

Phlebia – I like the chorus, delayed guitar opening. Same goes for the verses – the heavy riffage interspersed with the angriness of your distorted voice are powerful – something feels familiar about this but I can’t put my finger on it. The vocal pitch gets a bit wavy in the quiet sections. This is resonating with me a lot more than some of your other recent tunes.

Possum Sauce – The arrangement is great fun with its contrasting and varied palate although the beat (is that a Cajon?), particularly at the start is a little challenging to get my groove head around. Lovely droll vocals and the lyrics are intelligently witty. You fake a good small child – or do you keep one in a cupboard under the stairs? I like the organ counter melodies.
Hmmmm…don’t I know that voice from somewhere? ;)

Stacking Theory – Vocals sound a little like Jarvis Cocker. I get a little distracted by that percussion noise in the chorus – sounds like someone using a broom to sweep up. I don’t think it really adds anything but otherwise, I quite like this. It has some nice melodies and the simple guitar arpeggios are cool. The subtle brass in the chorus is lovely.

Pigfarmer Jr – I think a clean lead guitar would suit the song much better. I don’t think the level of distortion goes with the arrangement or feel. That aside, I like this song. The melodies and the chord structure have an assuring maturity. The acoustic sounds good. What this song is really crying out for though is some more harmony vocals. Perhaps it was a time thing but you’re far to sparing with them.

JP Nickolas – I appreciate you’ve tried something with a slightly less heavy vibe and you start off nicely but that lead guitar is way too loud in the mix. It’s competing with the vocals for the limelight when it should be a background texture. And the bent notes, even if they’re just slightly off pitch, really grate with that piercing tone. I get that you want to display some guitar chops but you can do it with a solo – it doesn’t have to be throughout the majority of the song.

Lichen Throat – Listening to one of your songs is the equivalent of trying to read a book in a language I’m not very familiar with, like say Portuguese. I can see that it’s still a book, and I might know (or be able to work out) the meaning of an occasional word because it might look like it’s related to a word in English (or even French or Italian). However, the majority of the text is incomprehensible so I have absolutely no idea what is going on or what the story is about.

PS - The mix is incredibly bass heavy but maybe that’s how they like it Lisbon.

Balls To Monte – For the first few seconds I did a double take as I thought I was listening to your last song again - feels like a similar intro. The quality of all your songs is evident here once again. Great vocals of course and production is ace too. I can’t get over what an incredibly authentic sounding 70s rock vibe this has. Some tasteful and measured soloing on display too – JP Nickolas, take note!

Test Data – Well at a guess, I’d say you took a regular tempo bass track and a drum track and sped them up to about 1000 BPM. So bearing in mind this is 5.19 long, then the original tracks could have been about 40 minutes long, but then you probably cut and paste them together. I can't tell if this is a serious entry in the way of some sort of "noise" genre or just someone having a lark.

Third Cat – This has a nice laid back funky groove and I like the interaction with the picked acoustic which sounds great. It sort of reminds me a little bit of Scott Orr. If you haven’t heard him check out Everything album. Very cool production and arrangement with lots of interesting and tasteful synth touches, textures and use of FX...your song I mean, not Scott Orr ;)
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by Jefff »

the panna cotta army wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:28 am
I love the drum beat, so inventive – I hope it’s all your own work from scratch.
I'll get this out of the way so folks can vote accordingly. It's all loops. There's no way I could play that. I've wanted to inject some afrobeat into my music for a long time, so I finally just googled "afrobeat drum loops". That said, I'm very happy with how it turned out, and I think I did a good job mixing up different loops. I'll continue to try to play or at least program the kinds of patterns Tony Allen would play.
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by mholland »

gizo wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:13 am
Night Sky: This is a great idea, but I reckon this style really needs super-polished performance and presentation to really have effect. But you're a million miles ahead of me. So kudos.
Thanks for the review, that's similar to my feelings about it, save the million miles thing. The vocals and sax are so exposed that I hear every flaw. It's embarrassing how many takes the sax took. I'm not much of a jazz player, so trying to keep up with a chord change every 1.25 seconds in the A section was pretty taxing. I ended up recording the middle solo two bars at a time, and still couldn't quite get happy with it.
the panna cotta army wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:28 am
Night Sky – Opens up like Winter Wonderland or some similar kind of festive Christmas number in a jazz lounge style. The piano is a little rigid – I’d have like a bit more nuance to it. The sax flourishes and solo are nice, but it’s your vocal performance that really sells the song.
Thanks! 100% agree on the piano. I don't really play keys, and I was struggling to hear how to fit the piano in around the guitar. I think I mostly cracked the code with minimal comping, but it was poorly played and quantized, and looped without any variation throughout the song. I did ultimately realize that I should have replaced some of the chord hits with arpeggios and other simple figures and loosened up the time a bit, but I had reached my limit of working on it for the time being. This is a style that I will surely come back to in the future, though, so I'll get better at it.
Night Sky is Sally on lyrics, Steve on drums, and Matt on the other stuff
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Jefff wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:34 pm
the panna cotta army wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:28 am
I love the drum beat, so inventive – I hope it’s all your own work from scratch.
I'll get this out of the way so folks can vote accordingly. It's all loops. There's no way I could play that. I've wanted to inject some afrobeat into my music for a long time, so I finally just googled "afrobeat drum loops". That said, I'm very happy with how it turned out, and I think I did a good job mixing up different loops. I'll continue to try to play or at least program the kinds of patterns Tony Allen would play.
Well it makes no odds to me. Still a terrific song regardless of how the percussion came about. I just meant I would’ve been more impressed if it had been programmed from scratch.
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by mholland »

Great fight, everyone! Here are my thoughts.

add: Nice clean mix. Really enjoy all the percussion. I don’t care that it’s made up of loops, you had to find them and put them together well, and you did. Great guitar work and arrangement, too.

Balls To Monte: More solid guitar rock, with all of the elements I expect from you. Lots of heart in the vocal performance; maybe a little strained, but well done. Nice use of backing vocals on “no, no, no, no.” Good guitar solo.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: I continue to enjoy the hard-rocking approach of your last couple tunes. Whatever the effect is on the bass, I like it, even though it kind of robs a little definition. I particularly enjoy the indulgent outro in light of the unfortunate comments about the last fight.

Cloverdance: As others have mentioned, the plugged-in acoustic sound is a bit distracting. The solo break works nicely, and the drums sound quite good to me. The vocal melody works, but the delivery sounds a little bored, when wistful is called for. Maybe you’d get there if you aimed for totally overwrought.

Future Boy: Love the treatment of toxic fragility in the lyrics. Love the palette of synth sounds and how they all work together. Good vocal performance, too.

Glenn Case: Great vocals (including harmonies), arrangement, and production, as usual. I find the percussion (bass ray gun and stapler for ease of reference) a little distracting, as well. It may be their persistence that bugs me; maybe if they dropped out for a bit, particularly during the instrumental, where the stapler seems to clash with the snare and/or hi-hat. Really enjoyed the parting “skeptical.”

The Gross Tones: I generally enjoyed the instrumental performances and arrangement of this. Vocals were a bit too pitchy for my taste, which was enhanced by some of the dissonances with the backing vocals.

Hot Pink Halo: I like the sentiment of lyrics, the bass, and the synth chords. The piano is nice, too, but feels just enough out of time in places to bother me. Vocals are a little too loose in pitch and timing for me.

JP Nickolas: I like the more restrained guitars in this relative to your usual speed metal. The main riff with the 16ths followed by the sustained notes is nice. Vocal timing and pitch feel a bit uncertain and could use work.

Lichen Throat: Fun take on the prompt, but I have to really focus to try to make out the lyrics. That may have to do with the generally busy arrangement, but you may need to carve out some spectral space to help your vocal come through. That’s a bald speculation; it’s something I need to work on understanding better myself.

Night Sky: This is me. I think I’ve hit most of what I would have said here in response to other reviews, but the thing I find most amusing about the recording process of this song is that the guitar was a borrowed left-handed beater acoustic, strung right-handed probably a decade ago or so, with a missing 6th string. Still had the left-handed nut and saddle, literally no effort was made to turn it into a right-handed guitar. I recorded it on a lark on the last night that I had access to it, and ended up liking its kind of dead and percussive sound, so I kept it.

Onslaught of the Lamb feat. BFFs: I don’t like hearing Trump’s voice, either, but I like to hear Carl Sagan talk about the combustible mixture of ignorance and power that has been blowing up in our face lately. This was put together really well, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

The Pannacotta Army: Damn you’re just so good, this is really great.

Phlebia: Lots of fun, love the contrast between the sections, and I’m always there for entropic decay.

Pigfarmer Jr: I think this is the most poetic take on flood control (or lack thereof) that I’ve heard. Great guitar work, vocals, and production, as usual.

Possum Sauce: Nice lyrics and vocal performance especially. Musically, I like the overall arrangement and the bass the most. Some of the syncopated organ hits in the beginnings of the verses feel a little off to me.

R. Mosquito: Way outside of my wheelhouse, but I like it. I don’t really know how to describe the various synth voices, but they all seem to work well together, so well done!

seemanski: Nice arrangement. I feel like I getting a little too much volume in the frequency range of your voice, which may just be how forward the vocals are, but I think it’s making it hard for me to pick out what the other instruments are doing.

Stacking Theory: I like the whispery vocals; they sound intense in a resigned way, but not bored. I also like the sparseness of the instrumentation, which suits the subdued feel well. And I like the swooshy percussion.

Test Data: Please try a different set of training data. I’m actually curious if this was composed by a human or a machine learning algorithm. Either way, could/did turn it off.

Third Cat: Nice interplay between the guitars and melodic bass. I’m not sure what to make of the section from about 1:00 to 1:20; there is a sound that seems like a heavily flanged cymbal hit or something that I find really unsettling. But I like the exit from that section with the synth arpeggios. Nice vocals, maybe a bit too much reverb in the chorus, though?

Za: Along the lines of the last review, I like the first 30 seconds of this the most. Really nice start with the bass and build as the strings, rhythm guitar, percussion and voice come in. The lead guitar could use a bit more restraint, and the vocals could be tighter.
Night Sky is Sally on lyrics, Steve on drums, and Matt on the other stuff
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by thirdcatmusic »

votes in BOLD

add - loving the percussion, sounds great. guitar fits in nicely, cool layers. reminds me a bit of The Talking Heads. fun quirky song. if I have search for a negative I'd say it does feel a bit long, but I'm a short song fanatic. definite vote for me.

Balls to Monte - pretty cool '70s rock vibes. the vocals have some attitude to them that I think makes 'em work pretty well. this is pretty well done but it does feel a bit too retro for me to really get into. but if you're going for something that sounds like it could have been recorded in 1978 I think you pretty much nailed it. the outro solo is pretty great. an almost maybe vote for me.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - lo-fi rockin'. there's a lot going on here, very maximalist in the production which I can dig but ... maybe a little bit less is more on a track like this. I like the attitude. the vocals sound OK.

Cloverdance - there's something quite charming about this one, maybe it's the vocal delivery. I like it. the guitar solo seems somewhat unnecessary and maybe slightly kills the mood, but I'm not sure about that. VOTE.

Future Boy - I like all of the stuff going on in the mix but for some reason I'm not getting drawn into the song itself. I think this could be a grower. I do very much appreciate the short song length. a maybe vote.

Glenn Case - I'm a big fan of your stuff and this is no exception. great vocals. I like the sort of lo-fi electro vibe, lots of character. such a cool instrumental breakdown too. I really like this one. definite vote.

The Gross Tones - the mix is pretty wonky, whole song sounds like it's coming out of a boombox or something. vocals sit on top in an odd way. but I kind of like the song anyway. vocals are a bit thin & pitchy but kind of work anyway. the synth on the intro was a good idea but maybe not the right sound. guitar solos are good, but kinda seem by the numbers, not adding much interest for me. as a whole, not a vote getter but I dig some of the ideas.

Hot Pink Halo - some cool ideas here. instrumentally inventive. I like the minimalist vibe.

JP Nickolas - instrumentally pretty good. I like the main guitar riff quite a bit. it has a joyous vibe that's quite cool. vocals are pitchy dawg as ol' randy jackson might say. the guitar histrionics during the solo aren't my thing but they are impressive.

Lichen Throat - nice distortion, gives your track quite a bit more warmth than the clinical LT tracks I remember hearing in the past.

Night Sky - nice horn tootin'. fun silly kind of vibe. this one reminds me a bit of christmas. and well that's good timing. kinda charming but not quite vote material for me.

Onslaught of the Lamb feat BFFs - I get what you're going for, but I could do without hearing that asshole's voice. doing my best to turn him off, ya dig? I want to hear a bit more warmth in the track... kinda sounds sterile-ish to me. which I get with the electro vibe... but I think would work better with some saturation.

The Pannacotta Army - this is good. I really like the instrumental breakdown section. the backing vocals are a highlight for me too. the song as a whole reminds me a whole lot of some of John Lennon's solo stuff 'round about 1975. VOTE.

Phlebia - the main riff is pretty bad ass. I like all of the tonal changes. on the edge of over-doing it on the distortion but you always push the edges and I dig that about your stuff. this is a vote for me too.

Pigfarmer Jr - not drawing me in on this one, although it's not badly done. I appreciate the unusual lyrical topic.

Possum Sauce - this is really imaginatively put together. so many clever little touches. some of the choices are on the edge of "cheesy" for me ... but I still like it. vote.

R. Mosquito - some harsh sounds here, I'd like the distortion to be a bit more rounded. that said; there is a pretty cool atmosphere created here. the reverb sounds good. the vocals work for the style. I almost really like this. might be a grower for me I think.

seemanski - vocals are a bit wobbly but at their best they remind me of Beck. I think I like the verse more than the chorus on this one. some nice sounds.

Stacking Theory - like a soft version of NIN? pretty nice when the chorus comes in. I think there's some good ideas here but overall it's not knocking me out.

Test Data - this sounds like a computer malfunctioning. I think that's what you're going for? this was hard to listen to. I must admit I did turn it off.

Za - I like it alright but the over the top guitar solo-ing thing is putting me off. I do think we are both doing ourselves a disservice being at the end of the line alphabetically. I get tired by the end of these reviews. I should change my name to A Third Cat. Anyway, this is an almost vote for me but there are a couple of dealbreakers (ott guitar and lyrics that include lines about twitter and the like)
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by seemanski »

My thoughts for what they are worth. I usually try and pick my top 5 to vote for but in this occasion I couldn't bring myself to get drop in down 2 more because I liked them too much.

add:

The percussion in this is fantastic, I love how much this tune jumps around my headphones. It makes you feel really disoriented, wonderful arrangement and very well mixed. Vote

Balls To Monte:

This has a great vintage feel to it, a real 60s rocker. The vocals are cracking and fit the style of the playing. This has bags of energy.

Brown Word and the Big Whine:

This is full on and awesome, I really like those squealing guitars in the background, I would have like them a bit more up front in mix. The synths were a bit too pure for my liking, the track is raw and ready and they sound a little out of place. Part of me wonders whether they should be an octave higher, that might be me talking rubbish though.

This kicked ass though, big time! Vote

Cloverdance:

You had a few timing issues at the start of the track which doesn't really help to get you into it, which was a bit unfortunate because there are no other timing issues I noticed. I thought this was a bit too slow for me and it didn't really grasp my attention. I thought overall mix sounded good, the acoustics could have used a bit of reverb to help space them out, maybe.

Future Boy:

This makes me think of what might happen if Tom Waits wrote swordfishtrombone again modern synths, which is a massive thumbs up from me. This is brilliantly abstract and your words are really great and very relatable. Vote

Glenn Case:

This is an interesting track, there are lots of things I really like about it and a few things I am not so sure. I love your vocals and harmonies. I'm not so sure about that modulated snare, I found it a bit annoying but luckily when the drums came in it drowned it out. There was also some weird drum timings, I wasn't sure about I liked the abstractness of it or not, I think I am leaning on liking it though.

The Gross Tones:

I have to admit when I first started listening I wasn't sure, that synth didn't work for me and it comes in really rough and ready. However, as soon as the vocals kick in this takes a really good turn. Your harmonies are cracking and I loved the changes, they are a bit off in places but I can forgive that because the tune is pretty damn good and really catchy.

Hot Pink Halo:

Wow, this is one hell of a musical journey. I'm really liking what you have done, it is like being in a dream. It does remind me a little bit of my favourite video game soundtrack Machinarium (I think it is the piano). This is my favourite of yours I have heard to date, its really great. Brilliant arrangement. Vote

JP Nickolas:

The first thing I noticed is for me the lead guitar way to hot in the mix. It drowns everything out, it is really good but I want to hear more of the other stuff. I'm not too keen on the flange guitar, it doesn't really fit for me. I did like your vocals and the guitar solo is cool. The energy of the song is really great too.

Lichen Throat:

I really like how abstract this track is. It feels like a cross between Mudhoney and Pavement. I couldn't really get along with the words, I'm a simple man and they are a bit too clever for my poor simple brain to grasp. I thought the instruments was cracking it really kicks you in the nuts.

Night Sky:

Oh man, this is putting me in the holiday mood. I want to sit around an open fire have a good old time. I am absolutely loving the sax and this just makes me bop and smile and that for definitely deserves a vote.

Onslaught of the Lamb feat. BFFs:

This really grabs you, I liked the mix of spoken word and vocals. The vocals reminded me a bit of Mindless Self Indulgence. I really liked all the bleeps I just wanted more, it was over way too soon for me :(

The Pannacotta Army:

Here we go again, another cracking song that makes me want to throw in the towel. Wonderfully crafted, I love a good guitar solo and this one ticks all the boxes. Great ending. However, just because I saw your comment earlier and I don't want to jinx it for you I definitely don't think this will win ;) However, it does get my vote.

Phlebia:

Was the intro meant to sound like a bond theme tune? It was the first thing that popped into my head on hearing it. It certainly doesn't turn into one. I love all the different sections, its really harsh and then drops and then it is back at you again. I getting serious Smashing Pumpkins Machina vibes in the guitar, I loved the feedback you get out of it.

Pigfarmer Jr:

The words in this track are wonderful, it's really well mixed and your vocals sound great. I'm not too sure about the acoustic guitar, I think they may be a little too compressed and you can hear it dip on the attack, I might be wrong on that. Great track though.

Possum Sauce:

I love how minimalistic this sounds but it is also really complicated and has so many layers. There are some lovely synth sounds in it and I loved the organ and the horns. Vote.

R. Mosquito:

I feel like I have gone back to the 80s. This feels like it has been heavily inspired by Depeche Mode. Love all the glitchy synths going on. I felt like the vocals could be brought forward a little bit in the mix but I'm talking only slightly.

seemanski:

This is me, I rushed this one in 2 days. I have been trying to learn the piano and this was my first attempt at trying to use what I have learnt. I didn't mind how it came out, I do want to do more writing with piano first. I wasn't feeling particularly inventive with lyrics so just went with writing about the imposter syndrome.

Stacking Theory:

This is so sad, I feel like I should give you a big hug :'(. I see you have also gone for writing about the little voices in our heads too.

Test Data:

Not sure what is going on here, it sounds like random noises and I struggled to listen to it.

Third Cat:

I really like the percussion in this, interesting to hear the guitars hard panned left and right. I wasn't sure about the spring reverb on your vocals in the chorus, there was something about it that didn't sit right with me. This is certainly an ambitious mix and I really liked what you did with the panning, it was certainly a treat listening on headphones.

Za:

I really liked the groove, I felt the guitar gets a bit lost in the mix as the vocals take precedence. I like how you have quite a few different vocals in there, that was nice.
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Re: It's not my fault (I Can’t Turn It Off reviews)

Post by Jefff »

Alright, for what it's worth:

Balls to Monte - "The spotlight was yours to bask in" is a good line/rhyme. This seems well-structured. The different sections flow naturally into the next.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - Very cool arrangement and groove. A lot of noises that are hard to distinguish but create a good ... uh ... melange? A little like Unutterable Fall and lot like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. "I feel the tempo quicken" is a nice line/rhyme.

Cloverdance - I like the simplicity of this, and I like your voice. The drum variation really makes that solo come alive.

Future Boy - Oh, Magnetic Future Boy mode. Cool sounds as always. Way to know the time you need to make your point. "I want it to stop but can't turn it off" is such a good line to close on.

Glenn Case - Great arrangement. This sound feels like new territory for you (though it might just be new for you to me). I dig all the samples.

The Gross Tones - Voice sounds familiar. I won't try to guess who else you are. The opening has early Fall vibes. (I don't know why this is my second Fall reference.) I like this. I'd like the drums louder because they're doing a lot of work.

* Hot Pink Halo - Cool minimal arrangement. Good spaaaace. I like what the bass is doing in the chorus. Your sound creates a steep challenge for you because I feel like there is so much weight on the vocals to sell the melody. I know you're working on the pitch, but I wonder if some production and arrangement changes might also help. I'm curious to hear your vocals without any reverb at all. You might also try doubling the melody with another instrument. I think the melodies are good. I like what you're trying to do.

JP Nickolas - Love that lead guitar and all the hats in the drum patterns. This is more in my genre comfort zone than your metal songs. That second vocal track that comes in needs some eq to reduce the boom.

Lichenthroat - Awesome start. I like the variation where you bring that high guitar sound back and drop the fuzzy drone. I could use more of that.

Night Sky - Sounds like Christmas music to me. Don't hear a lot of sax on Song Fight. The arrangement's pretty tight. I'm trying to think of ways the vocals could sparkle more. Maybe harmony vocals?

Onslaught of the Lamb - "We have a lot of televisions" is a pretty good clip to hook this on. It's eerie how the Sagan quotes have just become more apt through the years. Once you've locked into the "we don't want to know" clip, it seems like you could do more with it. It also feels like the vocal should come back in at the and.

Pannacotta Army - Excellent arrangement and production as expected (save for the slight bassiness). Catchy pandemic ditty. Still feels like mostly a song about watching too much TV. I'd like some more lines about why you're watching so much TV.

Phlebia - The really noisy parts are drowning out the bass, which I think I need so I'm not just listening to static. You might also want to ignore me because this is def not my comfort zone.

Pigfarmer Jr - This is a silly comment, but following "They say..." with "at least that's I'm told" seems a little redundant. Good match of subject and title.

Possum Sauce - Oh jazz. I like the minimalism in the verses. Cool percussion coming in. Pretty good build going. I find myself wondering what it means for the internet to be bleeding. I especially like the "middle class middle-aged white men" section. I'm not sure I want to hear "we didn't start the fire" ever again, even in this context.

R. Mosquito - Great arrangement. Could use a little low end, but I'm a sucker for those synth lines. The chaos is cool and thematically appropriate. I like the new wave vocal.

seemanski - Some nice chord changes in there. I don't think the "impostor" section is having the intended effect on me. I think it needs some harmonies or something to make the vocal shine more.

Stacking Theory - The shift where the horn comes in is a very nice moment. Lets the clouds lift a bit from the bleakness. I like the rhythm of how you sing "it just takes up my precious air".

Test Data - This one probably deserves the "how long will my wife tolerate it" review method, but I'm not doing that.

Third Cat - Really interesting bass line. Good use of effects. The end seems to be striving for some flourish that's not quite there.

Za - Striking rhythm section. Not sure I buy the "mmhmm". I like it when the guitar goes wild. I don't love the super timely references, but I think it's a nice touch to bring in other voices to sing them.
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