You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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crumpart
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by crumpart »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:41 am
Heine wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:00 am
Here, Atticus wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 3:11 pm

Not intentionally! You're right, I hear the similarity to Bury A Friend, which is a sonic landscape I now intend to conquer.

This was inspired by Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek, a song I hold in the highest regard. It's breathtaking, please check it out if you're unfamiliar.
Strange, I never heard of Imogen Heap before. I just found out that this song is already about 16 years old! Very interesting. Now I understand where you wanted to go!
The first time I realized this vocoder effect was on Kraftwerks 1975 album Radioactivity (Stimme der Energie/Voice of Energy). They often used this effect furtheron.
Maybe it was bigger in the US? It was pretty inescapable when it came out. Great song. I remember hearing another one of her tunes "Let Go" that she released as "Frou Frou" with someone else a lot more, but that was probably mostly cause a few of my friends were really into it.
Simple fact: female artist's representation on radio and playlists is staggeringly, rage-inducingly low. Despite being extraordinary and amazing, Hide and Seek only broke out to the mainstream thanks to features on popular TV shows. It’s harder for us to get played, and when we do, our contributions are nitpicked and hugely minimised. We have to do a lot more than men to prove that we’re good at music (and art in general).

Here’s one article on this disparity, picked from a shitload that have been written over the past year.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/ ... rvey-finds
Devil’s got me Lindt! Devil’s got me Lindt!
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Heine
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by Heine »

My last concert last March (just a few days before the lockdown in Germany began) have been female artists. Both were great. In case you don't know them:
Suzan Köcher's Suprafon (a very melodic mixture of folk, beat, psychedelic from Germany):
They were supporting Stonefield (an all sisters group from Australia playing ordinary rock, psychedelic and stoner)
I miss these concerts...
www.heine-musik.de - Paragon of Teutonic Gloominess
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by BoffoYux »

Update to the update: I'll be adding the 'Potential Consequences' fight to tonight's Listening Party. That brings us up to 45 songs.
Due to the length, I won't be doing a West Coast feed.

Update - LP is now 2/22.

Listening Party for 'The White Morph' will be Monday Feb 15th at 9pm EDT. Drop on in and chat with the artists!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFcrnxf37kw
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by Duncan »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:18 am
FireBear wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:32 am

Your review made me laugh. It sounds like we nailed the right vibes on this one. I did have a deep desire to get a PlayStation and play some pro skater after recording this song.

The question is: which Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. I was always fond of the 2nd one.
I'm a bit late to reply to this one, but I think these are memories from the late 90s, so probably THPS 1. Not sure I ever played 2. Upon googling it, I think I am hearing "Superman" by Goldfinger. https://youtu.be/XeNKhm09Q88
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by Here, Atticus »

Duncan wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:03 pm
sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:18 am
FireBear wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:32 am

Your review made me laugh. It sounds like we nailed the right vibes on this one. I did have a deep desire to get a PlayStation and play some pro skater after recording this song.

The question is: which Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. I was always fond of the 2nd one.
I'm a bit late to reply to this one, but I think these are memories from the late 90s, so probably THPS 1. Not sure I ever played 2. Upon googling it, I think I am hearing "Superman" by Goldfinger. https://youtu.be/XeNKhm09Q88
First one for me. It had that iconic Warehouse first level. And of course, Superman by Goldfinger, also iconic, also vaguely remembered.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by Duncan »

Update to my song: looks like Bruce got off with a $500 fine yesterday and now he's podcasting with Obama. So he indeed will be just fine. No word on who Jeep's new spokesman will be.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by mo »

spite liner notes

Ever since Vom bought new fuzz pedals, we've been talking about fuzz guitar music, and this fight happened to be the opportunity for a collab between Owl, Vom, and myself. I had been listening to A Place to Bury Strangers a lot recently because all that fuzz talk reminded me of my old Death by Audio Fuzz War, which is a great pedal, btw, and always brash and rude, it doesn't at all do anything remotely smooth and Gilmourish. After it being my main fuzz for years I eventually sold it to a buddy who was looking for that particular sound, just as I was getting into more natural amp drive tones.

Anyway, with the new title, I took some strings off my bass to do the slide bass thing and dialed up some APTBS-style tom-heavy drums and let that rip. I knew I wanted to emphasize a 1 and #5 sound in the verse (G and Eb in this case), so I played around with that until I had something I liked, that wasn't too four-chordy sounding. For the chorus I outlined a Bb, C and Eb, which I thought was kind of a cool suspended sound. That was my main contribution, after this, Vom and Owl went nuts, Vom added in the sparse, atmospheric guitar that even though so simple, really creates the harmonic minor-major movement against the bass, between the verse and chorus.

Vom's poignant lyric which I read as about the feeling of a particular moment--the moment right after you've done or said something that you at least kind of regret, and you're both kind of sure it's going to be received poorly but hoping that it will also turn out ok, is an idea I really love. It's a complex emotion that the lyric really captures and develops. That was my take anyway, I'm sure Vom has some slightly different takes on it, and Owl probably has hers as well. The three part harmony with a little flat affect in the delivery really makes the song, IMO, contemplative, not judgmental, and gives the listener a lot of space to put their own emotional imagination into it (like, as opposed to if we had done a punk song with shouty vocals that unambiguously declare the emotion of the song). I think it's a pretty good match for the lyrics, anyway.

Owl threw in a ton of layers of electric piano and other synths and guiro that then took the song up another level, layers-wise. Generally you want to do stuff to make sure there's a feeling of difference, some kind of journey from the beginning to the end of the song, and this kind of building on sparseness is a nice way to do it. It helped I think that each of us was pretty defined in what we were playing and were cognizant of were the spaces were and what the rhythms were. Turns out all of the parts were able to be used, and that they didn't really fight each other, luckily. It doesn't always come together but this time it did, I think. I especially like Owl's work in the choruses and of course the frog guiro, who really does need a name so I can say things like, "and then Kermit really made the song."

The solo section was the time for Vom's fuzz pedal to come out, a little change to the V never hurt anyone I think. The fuzz sounds pretty good here, right? and it punctuates the build pretty well. An optimistic moment before going back to fretting in V3, and also a way to end the song almost triumphantly, but the last little wail injects a note of melancholy back into all this major scale fantasy. Owl's work here also is tasteful and adds much needed counterpoint.

I had fun anyway, and look forward to more spite, which as we all know is the main creative energetic force behind most Songfighting
Last edited by mo on Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by tomdg »

Brother Baker: Iconic ska sound. It loses the ska beat when you slow it down for the break, but because of the instrumentation it still fits with the rest. Nice lyrics.
Brown Word and the Big Whine: Like the penultimate chord in the chorus. Hints of "Love me do" on Harmonica. Nice tones all round.
DevastatingPopMachine: Hints of late Rush? Love the dual vocal line, perfectly executed. The double speed rhythm for the last couple of lines of the chorus trips me up a little.
Duncan Martin: I didn't get the Bruce reference until the line about "Asbury Park". It's all there, but the guitar feels a bit high in the mix and raw, and the sax is perhaps a little less overdriven than the big man. Impressive nonetheless.
Firebear: Like the chords and plucked line in the intro. Not sure about the abrupt halt at "you". Prefer the feel of the verse to the ch, the backing vocals there are a bit much for me. The symmetry of the end to the beginning is lovely.
The Gross Tones: Like the guitar and the backing vocals. It feels like a reference I don't know (though the intro reminded me of Edwyn Collins) but the feel is iconic nonetheless. Proper music with guitars and stuff. Was the abrupt ending deliberate?
Heine: Like the contrasting backing verse - chorus. The feel of the chorus, the chords and instrumentation are lovely. Like the repeat extra line 2nd time round. I feel like there's always a risk with v ch v ch br ch that the final chorus can feel like one too many, that it's only there because the structure needs it, but you have cleverly tweaked each chorus so it adds something new. Nice ending.
Here, Atticus: It's very well done, and I like the way you make the word "sound" stand out. For my tastes the sound works as an intro but needs something more to make a whole song. The ending works though.
Hot Pink Halo: Interesting jazz feel and harmonies in the intro and elsewhere. The way you use the very sparse sax (?) to add to add 7ths and 9ths over the basic chord reminds me of Miles Davis. I feel like the vocal line could deviate from the root notes of the chords a bit more. The nod to Phil Collins is certainly iconic.
James Owens: Like the rawness of the opening guitar. The vocals are too high in the mix for me. Nice structure and good use of the flute.
Lean To: Nice contrast for the end of the chorus. Like the chords. The burbling synth distracts me a little. The repeat line before the solo is great. Solo maybe slightly too high in the mix (and in pitch!)
Lichen Throat: I liked the use of gaps in the sound. Struggling with the vocal line.
magnetic letters: Unusual chords at the start. Unexpected change of pace, felt like a new song. Like the chorus in this section, though the way the sax(?) parallels the voice feels not quite right - it's a bit redundant when it plays the same line, and maybe there could be one less
mellfire: One or two of the chords don't quite fit to my ear - e.g., in the organ solo and the one just before "don't pretend you can't see potential consequences. Some nice sounds.
Night Sky: The intro grabbed me, nice use of untuning. I like the texture of the parallel sax lines during the vocals, but for my ear they need to do something other than follow a 5th above the root. The interplay in the twin sax solo is really nice, could you do something similar between sax and voice? Like the tone in the single sax solo too.
nombsuperbus: I found it hard to relate to where the harmony and melody were going. Different from "too predictable" which I normally end up on.
Phlebia: This grabs me. Rammstein? Still has to be done well and it is for me, the right amount of interest in the guitar line. Each of the elements is so big that it would be easy for it to get messy and be too much, but this is spot on. The lyrics are very not-metal, like some kind of art-rock poem.
Pigfarmer Jr: Punk is iconic too :) You've summed up much of social media quite precisely.
Sly Eli: The drums feel like they're in the far side of a massive empty warehouse, and the singing at the front - big variations in level of reverb? Nice guitar twiddling, I feel like I can hear John Frusciante, but hard to do and keep tight. Like the way it ends.
Somewhereoftftheleftcoast: Maybe it's the words, but I'm hearing hints of Hozier Cherry Wine here? Nice catchy chorus. For me the drums though nice are too complex for the feel of the rest of the track
Spite: Like the sparseness at the centre of the first verse. I'd have liked more of that simplicity for the rest of the song. The parallel vocal lines in the chorus are great, though the actual tune line is a little bland, the tune of the verse is more interesting.
Sumner Sloane: The first guitar lick is fine but the tone feels slightly thin (if anyone knows how to fix that, I'd love to know as I struggle with that far more!) Really catchy chorus. I feel like the lyrics are addressing a really interesting subject (free speech and modern-day fascism) but for me fall slightly too far on the side of being abstract and I'm not sure what it's saying rather than hitting me over the head. Maybe safer to stay on that side!
Sweeny Toad: Feels like it's being compressed into my skull. The bookend structure is quite creative.
thieves of reason: This feels really live. Man, I miss live … Love the guitar work. I still curse the person who decided to strip the MI theme of it's iconic 5/4 rhythm, but that wasn't you originally, and you make it work better than they did. For me the guitar is too high in the mix in this section. The ending tripped me up at first, but I get it, nice.
tomdg feat rox (me!): People picked up on Strawberry Fields and Don't Look Back in Anger. The chorus was trying to mimic New York (Empire state of mind) but it probably shows that I'm more familiar with the Newport version.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by slyeli »

tomdg wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:41 pm
Sly Eli: The drums feel like they're in the far side of a massive empty warehouse, and the singing at the front - big variations in level of reverb? Nice guitar twiddling, I feel like I can hear John Frusciante, but hard to do and keep tight. Like the way it ends.
For the mix I was aiming for the sound of Rubber Factory by The Black Keys. It was recorded in a warehouse with the vocals close miked and the drums far miked. I love the way it makes the drums sound enormous but the vocals are in your face.

With the guitar playing you're spot on, I was going for Blood Sugar Sex Magik era John Frusciante or as close as my limited playing ability would allow.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

tomdg wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:41 pm
Phlebia: This grabs me. Rammstein? Still has to be done well and it is for me, the right amount of interest in the guitar line. Each of the elements is so big that it would be easy for it to get messy and be too much, but this is spot on. The lyrics are very not-metal, like some kind of art-rock poem.
Heh, I'm honestly not sure about the riff, I just wanted something with a heavy groove and a strong breakbeat. The chorus was very Nirvana influenced, which is probably the most evident in the drum fills. As for the vocals, the general hypnotic atmosphere I sort of stumbled into for the verses led me to aim for a Massive Attack delivery with some corresponding abstract lyrics. I'm not sure that aiming for a vibe that's like halfway between Nirvana's Curmudgeon and Massive Attack's Inertia Creeps is really "iconic instrumentation" but it's where I landed this fight.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by Sober »

Gave a quick skim through the songs. Not really feeling this fight. Cool sounds from Here, Atticus, though I wish it developed more.

Really strong entry from Brother Baker, though I have loads of nitpicks, like how the bass sound is all wrong for the genre. Generally you'd want a picked, growly sound without a ton of low frequencies. Also, the horns arrangement has one or two too many bass/midrange horn parts. Keep it trebly and punchy, and much of your muddy mix will clear right up. Drum programming is spot on. Vocal performance is great - some more surgical automation and compression work would really tighten things up.

Somewhere of the Left Coast has a neat Deathcab Sound. These three are about all that grabbed me.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by slyeli »

Brother Baker:

Nice use of the brass, it really makes an impact when you bring it in. I'm liking how you change the tempo too, it's really effective. This sort of punk ska is not really something I listen to very often and I really enjoyed this.

Brown Word and the Big Whine:

I'm liking your harmonica playing and the spoken word bridge. This is catchy.

Devastating Pop Machine:

For a second I thought the intro was going to go into Changing Man by Paul Weller. This is great. I really like the rhythm you've got going, it really makes the song. You've also nailed the vocal meter. This is one of my favourites this week.

Duncan Martin:

I like the background chimes and sax that you've added into this. It makes for a nice atmosphere. I think there's a slight disjoint between the vocal rhythm and the instruments. The vocal seems pretty precise whereas the instruments have a bit of a swing to them and it sound slightly odd to my ears.

FireBear:

The long drawn out notes in the chorus are lovely. The ukulele is a nice touch too. I'm enjoying this.

The Gross Tones:

The guitar playing in this is great. I really like the change into the chugging "captivated risks section". This is a good song.

heine:

I like your occasionally unusual choice of words. It adds an endearing quality that fits well with the music. The do-do section is really catchy. I'm enjoying how upbeat this feels.

Here, Atticus:

The performance in this is really good and you've captured the Hide and Seek sound and feel well. I struggle a bit with this because I love the Imogen Heap song and I've listened to it so much that I find it difficult not to nit pick where I prefer the way she did things. I think I would have liked it better if you'd started off with the Hide and Seek sound but then developed it in a different direction later in the song to make it more your own.

Hot Pink Halo:

This feels almost like the film score of a detective movie. I like it, it's very atmospheric and the late entrance of the drums moves things along nicely.

James Owens:

The whispered "potential consequences" in the background is a nice touch. I like the rhythm you've got going in this too.

Lean To:

The potential consequences section with that synth line is great. It breaks up the song really well.

Lichen Throat:

The accordion intro is really nice. I also like how you stretch out the gaps before starting some of the sections, it's an effective way of building tension.

The Magnetic Letters:

The intro has a dreamy, floating quality that I like. I'm not sure the mix works as well when the drums come in though. It goes more pop there and I think the mix should follow that too. The ascending melody part reminds me a bit of R.E.M's Stand.

mellfire:

I like the melody in this. It's got some nice touches to it. I think the instrumentation needs a bit more development to thicken the sound a bit, as the mix feels a little thin.

Night Sky:

The sliding bass sound is a really effective intro but I think it's a bit distracting in the rest of the song. The deep sax solo is lovely.

Nomb Superbus:

You have some really nice melodic moments using the auto-tune effect to move the vocal around. I think overall though it's overused and you could remove some of the vocal trills to let the melody shine.

Phlebia:

I love the drumming in this. The robotic vocals work really well against it. I'm really enjoying the descending guitar lines too. This is one of my favourites this week.

Pigfarmer Jr:

You've got a nice riff going here. It suffers a little in the mix department as the drums sound very dry and far away.

Somewhere Off the Left Coast:

I love the tremor that you have in your voice. The simple ascending melody in this works really well and you follow it with some nice instrumental sections. This is really good and one of my favourites this week.

spite:

The "I let down my defences" section really opens up the song beautifully, when it comes in. The slide and piano also help to build things up nicely. This is another of my favourites this week.

Sumner Sloane:

I'm enjoying this. It has a bit of a Beatles feel that I like.

Sweeney Toad:

I think the main part of this works well but I'm not sure about the "beautiful world" section. There's something about the vocal melody that doesn't sit right with me.

Thieves of Reason:

The spoken word section of this is well done but for me it needs to develop into more of a song to stop me losing interest.

tomdg feat rox:

Nice Strawberry Fields inspired intro and I like how you keep referring back to it as the song develops. The effects on the verse vocal and sung chorus vocal are a bit too different for me, they almost sound like they're in separate songs.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by SamECircle »

At the last minute, here are my reviews.

Night Sky: Really lovely lyrics. Strong production, too. I think the chord progression is the weak point here; it feels almost pre-resolved and so it's hard to get into the emotion of the piece.

Brown Word & The Big Whine: REALLY smart to rhyme "events" with "consequence... es." A fun, simple tune, with Dylan-style slightly detuned harmonica; I dig it but I wish it had one more "twist" or a punchier ending.

here atticus: Love the bon iver style vocoder use. Didn't do enough for me lyrically or performance-wise for the minimalism to read as punchy and not underdeveloped. A pretty experiment, though.

Sweeney Toad: Really tonally unique. Hold Steady crossed with Brokencyde or something. Two weird tastes that taste weird together, in my opinion, but I love the risk.

Thieves of reason: Your story was a little hard to follow (maybe a reference i'm missing?) but I like the guitar riffing in the background. What's up with the dog bark at the end?

mellfire: Your mix needs some work, I think; the drums need more mids + bass and less high-end, I think? And your vocals are lovely but could be louder with less reverb. I like your harmonies a lot and your organ solo (?) I really dig a lot. And your voice is lovely. I honestly think with a cleaner, brighter mix this is a winner.

Firebear: Lovely treble vocals (could be louder but I like the reverb + layering sound). Great harmonies. Needs a bit of structural fleshing out/development; and, unfortunately, the title felt shoehorned in somehow. Might be a good one to develop beyond the bounds of the competition, and find a different phrase that means the same thing as 'potential consequences' but flows better.

Sumner Sloane: excellent vocal performance, perfectly conveys the style and mood you're going for. The lyrics feel a bit disjointed; trying to ground your narrative in place/time might help.

somewhere off the left coast: Love the slight echo on the percussion, which is generally really cool sounding and brings the song to a different place. Cool, smart lyrical choices, especialy in terms of the rhythm of the lyrical line. Really impressive. This has my vote for sure.

tomdg ft rox: Funny Beatles quote at the beginning, which develops into a funny take on eg Sleaford Mods. There's a slight buzz to one of your mics sometimes, which is worth fixing. I wish there was more of a sense of growth or escalation, especially to the vocal performance; while the deadpan is funny I think you undercut your own lyrics.

pigfarmer jr: Cool, rockin' instrumental! The lyrics are somewhat too literal to really resonate, and the performance can feel too ironical for its own good.

Sly Eli: SUPER reverby with a kind of metallic edge (I think the reverb is heavy on the high-end maybe?) almost to the point of being uncomfortable to listen to. It's a shame because I think your songwriting is quite good, especially your chords, and your vocal performance is strong as well. Maybe just not my vibe in terms of sound.

spite: Love the tom-heavy drums and... is that a guiro frog? Are you the same person that was talking about using a guiro frog in a prev fight? Anyway, they create a really unique sound. And your production is gorgeous and lush. A few things feel off-rhythm, almost like the tempo is artificially slow. But the lush sound is enough to give this my vote.

heine: I like the production, which feels synthetic but in a really interesting, nuanced way. Your chords are very simple, which creates a kind of faux-naive vibe, which I like, and which works with your lyrics. At first, I wasn't sold on your vocal delivery, it didn't sound engaged enough. But by the end you find the groove and I'll give this a vote.

james owens: the use of your echoey whispered vocals as a kind of percussion instrument really works. Creates a great, very engaging vibe. Not sure digeridoo (??) is the right choice for solo instrument although it's certainly unique which fits the prompt! I think the climactic chorus parts with the heavy drum hits distract from the lovely, almost western vibe of the rest, unfortunately.

hot pink halo: I love the political nature of the lyrics; I do think in places they tip over into obviousness or just awkwardness - sometimes they mesh awkwardly in a rhythmic sense. And while your performance packs a punch, a few places I can hear you running out of breath at the end of the phrase. But I really like the emotion, and I love the "I can feel it coming" quote/reference with the drum breakdown.

gross tones: Loose and fun! Doesn't quite cohere IMO.

devastating pop machine: Great name, and your drums are gorgeous, well performed and SUPER clean sounding. Your use of rhythm is developed, and I think the song owns its corniness. I think a few places, you could stand to simplify the lyric slightly, to make it punchier. I wish the chorus were catchier. But I dig it, and just for polish and good spirit, it gets my vote.

nomb superbus: Right from the start, I LOVE the funky synth tones and progressions. And then your vocals, while quite pitchy, are processed in a variety of very cool ways; this almost feels like hyperpop-goes-midtempo-adult-contemporary which is just delicious. I wish there was a bit more development of some of your musical ideas; the last minute or so feels a little sloppy. But for uniqueness and fun alone, this gets my vote.

the magnetic letters: I really love how much this develops and changes throughout its runtime. Your lyrics are very strong. I feel like it lacks a killer hook, though; your hook honestly sounds very verse-like to me. And perhaps a little more emotion in the styling; despite all the well-executed movement, it didn't quite... move me.

lichen throat: You always have something unique! I feel like here, unfortunately, the chord progression in the chorus just doesn't fit with the one in the verse at all. The chorus feels like it's building to something that never comes. I also think the rhythm of your melodic line is sticking too closely to the rhythm of the 8th note pulse, which makes everything feel a bit monotonous. Some clever lyrics though.

brother baker: Absolutely delightful idea. Strong execution too, especially vocally. I wish the guitar tone was a bit more omnipresent & full, which helps this kind of song cohere. And some of the lyrics are quite grating/obnoxious, which is accurate to the style, just maybe not my thing. I really admire the experiment, and some aspects of the pastiche are absolutely spot-on in an impressive way.

phlebia: I really dig your instrumentals, phlebia. Here, I think the voice sounds both tinny and off-key, which really limits my ability to appreciate the whole. That's probably stylistic, it's just not a style I understand the purpose of for this song. Too much reverb on the solo instrument that comes in when the vocals drop out; I can't tell what it is.

duncan martin: Really great first couple chords; gave me Father John Misty vibes. As it repeats, it relaxes into kind of a Bukowski-blues feel, which I also dig. I wish the mix were improved; your bass is really loud but most of your other instruments sound mixed both low and with too much high-end, which I think means we hear ALL the bass, which just isn't really needed. Maybe more compression on background instruments is needed?
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by crumpart »

SamECircle wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:18 pm
hot pink halo: I love the political nature of the lyrics; I do think in places they tip over into obviousness or just awkwardness - sometimes they mesh awkwardly in a rhythmic sense. And while your performance packs a punch, a few places I can hear you running out of breath at the end of the phrase. But I really like the emotion, and I love the "I can feel it coming" quote/reference with the drum breakdown.
Thanks for the review. My lyrics are not just about one incident, but started as a blow-by-blow account of things the actual Prime Minister of my home country said last week in relation to rape allegations from a staff member assaulted literally in Parliament House.
They see the Prime Minister apparently only able to fully grasp the gravity of the serious crime Higgins alleges when his wife speaks to him, and even then, apparently only because he is the father of daughters.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by crumpart »

On that cheery note, I'm about a third of the way into my reviews and will hopefully get them done in the morning before the results come in!
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Duncan
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by Duncan »

SamECircle wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:18 pm

duncan martin: Really great first couple chords; gave me Father John Misty vibes. As it repeats, it relaxes into kind of a Bukowski-blues feel, which I also dig. I wish the mix were improved; your bass is really loud but most of your other instruments sound mixed both low and with too much high-end, which I think means we hear ALL the bass, which just isn't really needed. Maybe more compression on background instruments is needed?
Thanks for reviewing. I really get stuck on mixing, probably because (1) I do it on headphones and then get discouraged when I play it on anything else and (2) there's so much about mixing and mastering that I don't understand. I have no idea what to focus on once I have my tracks down. I only somewhat understand what compression is, but when it comes time to tweak it, or eq, or whatever else, I'm lost in a sea of numbers and levels and jargon. If anyone has any advice on a good place to start on this stuff, I'd love to hear it. I'm sure I could scan the forums here and find some valuable insights too. I use reaper.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by mholland »

I completed my reviews for the first time in weeks, but either I'm hitting a word limit or something else wacky is going on... if this post goes through I'll try posting in more bite-sized pieces.

Edit: I seem to be fighting with text encoding or something, grr.

Happy to hear so many wind instruments in this fight!

Brother Baker: Love the ska approach! Very well-executed, and happy to hear more horns! I may hit you up for brass to supplement my saxes sometime. Great arrangement and performances, and as usual, love your vocals.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: I like the stripped down guitar and harmonica instrumentation. Percussion-wise, I like the rhythm of the handclaps and bottle xylophone or whatever that is in the bridge. Spoken lyric in the bridge is a highlight.

Devastating Pop Machine: Really solid arrangement, performances, and production. My only complaint is that the "in your core" echoes and instrumental lingered a bit long for my taste.

Duncan Martin: Dig the Springsteen instrumentation. I'm happy to hear another sax, but I would have put it a little more forward where it is the featured voice. Harmonica sounds good, more confident than a couple of songs back.

FireBear: This is a lot of fun. Vocals are great, and the interplay of the ukulele parts is really nice.

The Gross Tones: Instrumental performances solid as usual with a pretty good live sound. Vocally, backing vocals feel a little loose with respect to timing and pitch, which I suppose could just be the aesthetic. "Come on, come on, come ons" and other backing yells seem a little overindulgent, but again maybe that's the feel you're going for.

heine: I like that you have a bit of a story in the lyrics. The all-MIDI all the time instrumental parts feel a little artificial for my taste, but the composition and arrangement are nice. I like the do-do-da-do-do part.

Here, Atticus: Vocal performance is great, and you clearly achieved what you set out to do. Really nice sound.

Hot Pink Halo: Great lyrics and message. Good haunting composition, really effective interplay of all of the various voices.

James Owens: Great arrangement and instrumental performances. Love the flute in particular. I like the whispered vocals as percussion, but maybe they and the lead vocal could come down a little in the mix. I really like the harmonized "potential" backing vocal.

Lean To: This was really enjoyable. I heard the same Barrytown echo in the "stand your ground and face those potential consequences" that Duncan Martin mentioned, but there are clearly a lot of other influences in there that I can't really place. Fun and thoughtful lyrics.

Lichen Throat: I like the accordion intro. As usual, I have a hard time relating musically, but I'm glad you’re doing your thing, and I think I would be duly rewarded if I put a little more time into parsing your lyrics.

The Magnetic Letters: Love to hear flute and saxes, though my ear for flute isn't good enough to tell if it's a real flute or a good synth. I generally like the vocal melodies and harmonies, but overall it feels like a mostly improvised demo with a lot of good ideas that could use refinement.

mellfire: Love the lyrics and the delivery. Solid instrumental performances and production, and if you were going for an R.E.M. sound, you nailed it.

Night Sky: Instrumentation was Morphine-inspired: two string lap steel bass (bodged together from a 2x4, a couple tuning machines, some aluminum angle, and a P-bass pickup; photo in the pre-fight thread), baritone sax, drums, and baritone vocals. I still didn't quite get the Morphine sound, but I feel like I got a little closer.

Nomb Superbus: Nice funky feel in the intro, I particularly like the bass line. Arrangement is good, and vocals are a lot of fun. Effects are a bit much at times, but I think that's kind of the point. Fun.

Phlebia: Not my genre (we've covered this before), but I really enjoy your dry wit and just the straight up odd things arise in your lyrics, to wit, "you're on spin cycle with double rinses." Really well put together, as usual, and this week one of the things that sticks out to me is that your vocal rhythm is really good.

Pigfarmer Jr: I have no complaints musically. As pertains to the lyrics, yes, social media is toxic, but regarding the both-sides stuff, I refer you to mellfire's excellent lyrics.

Sly Eli: Good arrangement and solid performances. I'm a little distracted by the strong resemblance of the verse chords and melody to Under the Bridge. Love bourgeois super glue."

Somewhere Off the Left Coast: Really nice arrangement and performances. There’s something about the chorus that feels really familiar, but I can't place it. I like the soft 16ths and march-like figures in the drums.

spite: This is really nice. Sometimes the delay in the vocals is a little long for my taste, but that's a quibble. Love owl's vocals as usual.

Sumner Sloane: Good arrangement and performances. Drums feel a little too buried in the mix.

Sweeney Toad: I kind of like the 'what a world what a world what a beautiful world' bookends, but I’m not that thrilled with the personal responsibility/blame the victim message in the middle.

Thieves of Reason: I get a freewheeling Eric Burdon Declares War vibe from this, and I enjoyed the physics joke at the beginning, but felt a little let down by the lack of resolution musically and in the story. Enjoyed it for what it was, but I guess in the end I don't get it.

tomdg feat rox: Nailed the Strawberry Fields instrumentation, and I loved, "I don’t believe in externalities; it’s not real to me if it doesn't happen to me." That’s the problem, that is. Solid, no complaints.
Night Sky is Sally on lyrics, Steve on drums, and Matt on the other stuff
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slyeli
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by slyeli »

SamECircle wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:18 pm
Sly Eli: SUPER reverby with a kind of metallic edge (I think the reverb is heavy on the high-end maybe?) almost to the point of being uncomfortable to listen to. It's a shame because I think your songwriting is quite good, especially your chords, and your vocal performance is strong as well. Maybe just not my vibe in terms of sound.
The metallic edge is the oil drum style delay I'm using. You're right that there's too much high frequency above 15KHz. I'm guessing you're younger than me and can still hear those frequencies. I'll have to roll those off.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

mholland wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:08 pm

Phlebia: Not my genre (we've covered this before), but I really enjoy your dry wit and just the straight up odd things arise in your lyrics, to wit, "you're on spin cycle with double rinses." Really well put together, as usual, and this week one of the things that sticks out to me is that your vocal rhythm is really good.
I mean. It rhymes with consequences. I thought about what I wanted that song to be about for awhile and ultimately came up blank, so it's just random words.
slyeli wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 3:50 pm

I love the drumming in this. The robotic vocals work really well against it. I'm really enjoying the descending guitar lines too. This is one of my favourites this week.
Thanks. I mic'd my snare drum super close and compressed it heavily!
SamECircle wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:18 pm

phlebia: I really dig your instrumentals, phlebia. Here, I think the voice sounds both tinny and off-key, which really limits my ability to appreciate the whole. That's probably stylistic, it's just not a style I understand the purpose of for this song. Too much reverb on the solo instrument that comes in when the vocals drop out; I can't tell what it is.
Ambiguousness as to what it is was a bit deliberate. It's a guitar. As for the vocals, "aroma" is the only line in there that's particularly sharp, but it may be my half-spoken delivery that isn't working. It's mostly just three notes. I agree that it's kind of tinny. I'm never quite sure how you're supposed to mix vocals in a lower register on top of a super bass heavy instrumental track so they're high passed to prevent it from being a muddy mess.
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by crumpart »

Brother Baker:
This is super fun. I love the horns, and I don't know if this was deliberate, but I like how the horn articulation is reflected in your attack on the vocals. I personally disapprove of the main character's cavalier attitude to life (fucken teenagers hey), lol, but the smattering of "fucking" through the bridge is 🙌

Brown Word and the Big Whine:
Have I ever mentioned how much I love handclaps in songs? If anyone ever wants a surefire way to get me to like something, add handclaps. I also like harmonicas a lot. That little bell thing that comes in on the left is somewhat distracting; I would have kept it there but tried to mix it back a bit. The length of this song is perfect.

Devastating Pop Machine:
This melody sounds a lot like you're another iteration of the people behind Slither/Gaping Maw/etc.. I like the way the drums ramp up in the chorus. I really enjoyed this overall, but for me the ending is a bit too long and indulgent (I do realise that's rich coming from the person who submitted a 4:44 song this week); there just doesn't seem to be a reason for the extended ending, and it would have had more impact without it, especially considering the lyrics.

Duncan Martin:
I'm not sure what you've done with the vocals in the mix here, but the lead vocal sounds like it's panned just a bit to the right, and I would definitely prefer it right down the centre. The mix as a whole is somewhat shambolic, but the lyrics and rhyme scheme are really enjoyable.

FireBear:
Speaking of unusual mixing choices, is that a uke down the centre with doubled vocals panned left and right? I think in this case it actually works well for the song. The backing vocals are lovely. Has a Beach Boys vibe, and along with handclaps and harmonicas, I'm also a sucker for anything that feels like the Beach Boys.

The Gross Tones:
Your mixing is getting better. This is the first Gross Tones song that I've even remotely enjoyed in quite a while. Melodically it's still way too predictable and long-winded for my liking, but you sound like you're enjoying yourselves and it's a definite step up mix-wise from previous entries.

heine:
Your vocals have a super nice tone. I love the instrumentation in this. The lyrics feel a bit phoned in. The first time I listened I was doing other stuff and misheard "it no longer" as "hypno-lawnmower" and though this was a song about one of those little robot lawnmowers. Now I can't get that image that this is a breakup song about a lawnmower out of my head.

Here, Atticus:
I love Imogen Heap. I love vocoder/harmoniser. Hence, I love this. I'm not sure if it's deliberate lyrically, but in the last little bit at the end there's a nice bit of synchronicity between your "sow and sow" line and the "sewing machine" line in Hide & Seek, and the "eye to eye" line also reflects it nicely in an 'eye of the needle' type way. "Plant my feet"/"sow and sow" is another excellent lyrical reflection.

James Owens:
Good to see you back! The "potential consequences" layered in the background is really effective. The song as a whole is pretty vague and doesn't really grab me, but I do really like all the production choices. I'd happily listen to this if was playing, but it's not something I'd seek out.

Lean To:
This is quite fun but pretty shambolic as a whole. I'm a big fan of disco and love the vibe, but there's a lot going on and it doesn't always sonically gel together well. I think that autotune effect can work well in some contexts, but really only if everything else in the production is right in the pocket, because people will automatically judge it as a mistake or a cover-up technique if the vocals and instrumentation aren't perfect in every single other way.

Lichen Throat:
Love the accordion sounds. I think that's a really fun choice especially with that driving drum sound. Hot tip for making fake accordion sound more like a real accordion: blend in a real melodica playing the same thing so that you get the natural/varied sounding attack.

The Magnetic Letters:
This really reminds me of the band Cardinal, particularly the song If You Believe in Christmas Trees. The change where the drum machine comes in is a really nice change of pace, and I like that it's obviously fake sounding drums; I think it's a fun contrast to all the other sounds. The horns are a good choice. I like this a lot.

mellfire:
Love the organ solo and the general vibe of the song as a whole. For me, the vocal delivery is lacking a little passion. I'd like to hear it be a bit less perfect with some more character. It feels like the song is building to a bigger climax that never arrives; maybe a coda type hook could add that, but I think the previously mentioned "more passion in the vocals please" would go a long way if the song stayed as it otherwise is.

Night Sky:
The opening sounds are really great, and I like the instrumentation. The way you've mixed the vocals really buries them and emphasises a slightly unpleasant nasal tone. I like a lot of the instrumental qualities here, but the melodic choices and structure make the song as a whole drag somewhat.

Nomb Superbus:
You're obviously going for a very specific sound here. I have the same note for you that I had for Lean To: autotune effects can be fun and cool, and they have their place, but if you feature it everything else has to be absolutely spot on so that people don't assume you're covering up a weak performance. Is the weird jump/glitch just before the two minute mark deliberate? It sounds like a vocal comping mistake. If it was deliberate, you need to do something there to make it really, really, really sound like you did it on purpose.

Phlebia:
No specific notes for this. Really enjoyed it. Good work.

Pigfarmer Jr:
I hate the lyrics, but if that's what they have to be, I think the style you chose to go with was a good choice. The left/right panning for the bit about the left/right is a fun nod.

Sly Eli:
Rolling Stones? The "bourgeois super glue" lyric stuck out to me, but not in a good way. It doesn't scan well. Simplify it to "bourgeois glue" and it'd be fine. Your vocal delivery though is really spot on; there's a lot of character in your voice that's coming through well. I agree with what someone else said that the high frequencies on the drum reverb are a bit overpowering and distracting.

Somewhere Off the Left Coast:
Is "somewhere off the left coast" a reference to the fact that this seems to be biased toward my left ear? The mix feels a bit unbalanced in that regard. I'm not sure if it's where you've panned things, or placed microphones, or if the way you've used compression/eq is somehow influencing the perception of where the sounds are coming from. As a song though, it's pretty enjoyable.

spite:
There's a lot that I like about this, and everything is technically very good, but to me all the vocals seem very robotic and staid. They don't flow well, and the result is that all the parts feel quite quantised and unnatural. That may very well have been a deliberate choice, but it's not obvious to me if that's the case.

Sumner Sloane:
I enjoyed this, but I would have liked to hear some more variety and development in instrumentation, as everything is a bit samey for the whole duration. That aside, the songwriting in general is very good.

Sweeney Toad:
I usually like your lyrics, but really dislike these ones. I enjoyed the general delivery and feel, but in this case the lyrics didn't land. If it's sarcasm, it's not obvious. It just feels judgemental and unpleasant.

Thieves of Reason:
The mixing on this song is a definite improvement from your last entry. The vocal is still a touch too loud, but the delivery is strong.

tomdg feat rox:
I love the feel and delivery here, but again, I hate the lyrics on this. It's not obvious if you're being serious or sarcastic. I'm leaning towards sarcasm, but I've read so much of this exact bullshit on Facebook newspaper comments that it's hard to make the distinction.

***

Hot Pink Halo:
It me. Toshiro was throwing about an idea for making an In The Air Tonight song, but he didn't do it, which coincided with a couple of high profile stories coming out, and all of a sudden I looked up from a rage induced blackout to find a bunch of lyrics on a page. In The Air Tonight is one of those songs that's almost as old as I am, so I don't remember a time when I didn't know it, and as such, had never really listened to it as closely as it deserved. It's a fucking weird song and I never knew how much it must have influenced my musical tastes and choices. I followed most of the instrument decisions from the original track, but to be honest, everything except the drum solo would have been my go to anyway, as they're things I use quite often in other songs. As mentioned previously, the song was prompted by the Australian Prime Minister making a series of appalling comments about an alleged rape that happened in frigging PARLIAMENT HOUSE of all places for fucks sake, but to be honest, I've never expected anything but disappointment to come out of that horror story of a man's mouth. What really was the icing on the shitcake while writing the lyrics was Charisma Carpenter's statement about mistreatment and bullying by Joss Whedon on the set of Angel. That show was pivotal when I was becoming an adult in teaching me about humanism and owning the consequences of your actions, and someone who can write those stories and themes should fucking know better when it comes to real life. It made me really upset and amplified the anger. I hope that comes through in the song. Apart from those two stories, it's also a a tapestry of all the blatant double standards and general lifelong micro aggressions that make up every woman's life experience.
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Heine
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by Heine »

Duncan wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:57 pm
SamECircle wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:18 pm

duncan martin: Really great first couple chords; gave me Father John Misty vibes. As it repeats, it relaxes into kind of a Bukowski-blues feel, which I also dig. I wish the mix were improved; your bass is really loud but most of your other instruments sound mixed both low and with too much high-end, which I think means we hear ALL the bass, which just isn't really needed. Maybe more compression on background instruments is needed?
Thanks for reviewing. I really get stuck on mixing, probably because (1) I do it on headphones and then get discouraged when I play it on anything else and (2) there's so much about mixing and mastering that I don't understand. I have no idea what to focus on once I have my tracks down. I only somewhat understand what compression is, but when it comes time to tweak it, or eq, or whatever else, I'm lost in a sea of numbers and levels and jargon. If anyone has any advice on a good place to start on this stuff, I'd love to hear it. I'm sure I could scan the forums here and find some valuable insights too. I use reaper.
Hi Duncan,

I'm not a pro and do mixing by ear/by heart.

That's how I usually do it:

1. Drums sound okay? If not try a bit of compression or reverb. Sometimes a tiny bit of Camel Crusher (VSt) helps.

2. Add Bass. Here I also prefer a bit of compression or limiter that cuts off if some notes are played way too loud. Sometimes a slight flanger makes it more interesting.

The Bass ond Kickdrum should be the only instruments to be under 100 Hertz or so. So all the other instruments should have a high pass filter that cuts off the frequency lower than 100 Hertz. The mix will sound less messed up this way.

3. Distorted guitars don't need compression, they are already compressed. The quality of recorded guitars depends on the microphone and how it is getting used. For amp and even more for acoustic guitar I prefer the good old sm57 from sure. (We even used to get a good kickdrum sound with it in my former band!)

4. Keyboards depend. I usually use VSt plug-ins, mostly presets. There's a lot of very good free stuff to find. My favorites: Mini Mogue, Tapeworm (a simple but great sounding Mellotron) and eSline (kind-a Solina string ensemble like in Neil Youngs Like a hurricane). You see: I very much like the 70s stuff to play around with but there's a lot more to find.

5. Maybe using a sound effect to enhance a track? Freesound.org offers tons of great sounding samples: rain, thunder, children playing, crashing mirrors (like in my "I was a Child Model")…

6. Vocals. I (mostly) prefer quite a dry mix. First: one quite hard compression. (Or try two softer compressions in line – sometimes that sounds even better!) Then a little reverb (but that's only my taste – everything's allowed). And a de-esser against the sharp hissing "s"-sounds. I like the simple but useful approach of the Spitfish-VSt but you've got to try if it works with your DAW (I guess it's only VSt2.)

7. Choir (Uuuuhs and Ahhhhs) mustn't be that much compressed. I often use much more reverb to make it sound bigger. (I just came to try more and more polyphonic Ahhhs.)

8. Sometimes a great sounding instrument doesn't sound great in the mix. What is missing?
Try a slightly eq-ing: try to find the right frequencies to add or to hide away. My vocals often need to be pushed a little bit around 800 to 900 Hertz. – If you've got some rhythm guitars and a solo should be on top then give some more eq to the range of your solo guitar. It should be sounding more defined than before.

9. Most producers will do a slight compression on the master (maybe 2:1, but I'm not too sure about it. There is a useful video with Rick Beato on YouTube.) But I prefer the very simple kjaerhus audio classic master limiter. Just one knob (mostly around 4.1), great sounding. The red lights shouldn't flash too often. It slightly cuts off the tops and adds more volume.

10. Try to hear your track on different occasions (high and low quality equipment!) Headphones, Speakers, mp3-player, in your car... anything. This often reveals problems in the mix.

11. I use to change the name of my project. Mostly with a date to go back to an earlier date if somethings totally messed up (for example: "21-02-28 I was a child model"). This can save a lot of work when needed.

These are only some suggestions how I usually work. But to me music is just one big playground. Try anything you want and let your ears decide if ya like it.

I hope there are not too many mistakes in here for I'm not a native speaker. Carry on your great work! It's fun!
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Heine
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
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Re: You can only avoid (Potential Consequences reviews)

Post by Heine »

crumpart wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:31 am
heine:
Your vocals have a super nice tone. I love the instrumentation in this. The lyrics feel a bit phoned in. The first time I listened I was doing other stuff and misheard "it no longer" as "hypno-lawnmower" and though this was a song about one of those little robot lawnmowers. Now I can't get that image that this is a breakup song about a lawnmower out of my head.
This really made me laugh! If there'll ever be a "hypno-lawnmower" competition I'm in advance. :D
The famous Sparks brothers recently released a funny lawnmower song.
www.heine-musik.de - Paragon of Teutonic Gloominess
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