The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Pigfarmer Jr
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The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

with a locked door at the end.
Last edited by Lunkhead on Wed May 05, 2021 10:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: make normal
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Your lyric should be placed ever so carefully in the appropriate position located approximately... here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12087
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by Adam! »

How Max Bombast's entry came to be, for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Atoning for not reviewing last week’s fight by being the first to review this week’s fight:

Wuxtry - The guitar riff here immediately made me think of the chorus melody of Play That Funky Music -- “lay down the boogie, and play that funky music till you die”. Obviously the rest of the song doesn’t follow but still. Anyway, the melody in this one is a little bit one dimensional, like there isn’t really a whole lot of movement in it. The harmonies sound good but all in all I never really find myself engaged by this, it’s like you’re just singing the lyric sheet without putting much of yourself into the performance. I liked the mandolin though.

Spare Parts - I’m the drummer. Snare is still wound high from last fight! This is Sly Eli, Lichen Throat, Lunkhead and myself. I really took a backseat in the creative process on this one, but I’m extremely happy with how it turned out.

Amby Moho - I’m all about that mellotron-esque swirling synth pad and your production on here. I usually love your production and chord choices -- they’re always so shifty yet you follow them so well. Your production reminds me a lot of Dungen for some reason, but way more relaxed. There’s a harmonic and melodic complexity here missing from most of the other entries and I love it.

Lichen Throat - Long long long long long long long long long long this is such a great lyrical idea. I have such a love/hate relationship with legos because my kids have a habit of leaving them in the most random places. But they bring them joy! Typically it’s just spaceships. Well actually the toddler just wants to play with crayons most of the time.

WreckdoM - I’m mostly giggling about the idea of “videos of people watching videos of people playing video games” cause my son is obsessed with minecraft youtubers for some reason and I only sort of get it. But I guess he’s learned a lot of cool mods that way so that’s neat. Anyway, this is one of the better WreckdoM songs I’ve heard in quite a while. Very “Mellow Gold”. Actually these are surprisingly insightful lyrics by your standards, this may be one of my favorite WreckdoM songs though it still doesn’t surpass Punk Bartender from all those years ago.

Lush AF - How many bandnames have you submitted under, Mike? This one is particularly groovy and has a great lyrical flow. My mind saw the name and was wasn’t quite expecting a song like this but I don’t really know what I was expecting. I’m enjoying the dreamy instrumental bits. Having trouble following the lyrics and how they tie into the concept of a long plastic hallway other than one being mentioned in the chorus, but I’m not sure how much that matters cause like WreckdoM, this is one of my favorite Mike songs.

Duncan Martin - Okay this lyrical approach is just making me giggle. Instead of writing about one long plastic hallway, why not just talking ALL of the long plastic hallways. At first based on the vocal delivery I was expecting this to take a bunch more countrified direction but it definitely didn’t. Does it necessarily make that much sense? No! But that’s the point and I’m certainly enjoying it.

Sockpuppet - When you said this was definitely the most Radiohead-ey thing you’d written I wasn’t sure what to expect but I totally understand why you’d say that. I’m a lot more reminded of some of that minimal wave type stuff from the 80s like Deux or something with your instrumental. This has some moments where the pitch correction is very much audible but as an effect it works really well with the song as a whole. I’m assuming that was deliberate but if not, happy accident? This one was well structured and built well and I thought the lyrics were super well executed.

Jeff Desantis - I feel like I’m listening to some kind of adult alternative radio station back in like 1998 or something. Like Fastball or some band like that. But that’s not a bad thing at all. I’m pretty sure this is a virtual drummer but it’s nailing the overzealous epic drum fills of those sorts of ballads. The slide guitar is executed well. I’d wanna hear this song in a live setting eating hot dogs on a picnic blanket at an outdoor festival in early summer except I can’t eat hot dogs because I have alpha-gal syndrome so I guess I’d probably eat something else. I have nothing to criticize about this track.

Sweeney Toad - Well that’s a gory scene set from the introduction haha, I’m not entirely sure how it connects to the rest of the song. Anyway, this song completely nails the feeling of completely giving up yourself for someone who just doesn’t really give nearly as much of a crap about you. I’ve never been through this situation myself but I’ve seen so many people go through it...and it never really ends well. One of the better Sweeney Toad songs, and certainly touches on some deeper themes than I’m used to seeing from you.

(at this point my toddler woke up and became very distracting)

Yaks of the Industry - I can’t hear that delayed guitar and not immediately think of “I Ran” which is probably sort of the point. Very New Wave and I’m all about it. What chorus pedal are you using on the guitar here? And there’s that cool stuttery effect in both the intro and during the break about halfway through and I’m definitely feeling that. Productionwise this is definitely well executed. And the solo halfway through is just as great. Harmonies are good. This is just solid!

Koala Earmuffs - Oh I’m feeling this vibe. The half-whispered vocals, the mid-tempo groove. I wish the chorus had a little bit more of a melody to it compared to the vocal delivery in the verses. That vibrato’d synth is great. All in all I have trouble really having much to say about this, it’s ilke it starts and then goes on for a bit and there’s a vibe and it ends. I think it’s too “cool” for its own good when it comes out to standing out as a song in its own right but it’d be a good transitional track on the album.

Max Bombast - This lives up to the name “Max Bombast” in the chorus. The concept behind this song is great. Though admittedly kind of a downer, if I had to guess what happened after death I’d certainly hope it was something a bit more exciting that just being stuck in a long plastic hallway for all eternity. It’s got that upbeat delivery/downer subject matter that I always enjoy. Hard to criticize it musically because it’s generally just solid.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - A good folk number and one of your better produced tunes I’ve heard too! Of course there’s not really all that much going on instrumentally which makes it a lot easier to get a good solid mix. But you’ve got some conviction in your vocals and you really sell it. I don’t have your lyrics to follow along with so I have trouble really commenting much on them (I rarely pick up on what a song is actually about unless I have the words in front of me). Well done.

Rod the Bunman - This song is a bit of a downer. I would like to hear something a little bit more adventurous in the chord progression but I’ve always been kind of biased against the simple I-V-VI or I-VI-V. Though admittedly they do work well as a foundation for a song I just usually find myself bored with them. That said the fact that almost half of this song is guitar solo is kind of nice because it’s got a nice tone with it. I guess it’s well executed for what it is, just not my thing.

Governing Dynamics - Nice fuzz tone. I wish the drums were a bit louder, cause right now they’re all soft and don’t have enough punch to really drive the song forward. This is BEGGING for live, punchy drums. The vocals are there. Bass could use a little bit more low-end. Where’s the kick drum, I can barely hear it through the verses. I swear this song is really good but just missing some production tricks to really get it going. Like the vocal performance and fuzz guitar are carrying it and all of the other instrumental tracks are playing the right things, just without the right timbre. Like the bass sounds thin and so to the drums. There’s a few transitions that need some work and the ending is kind of abrupt. This is 90% of the way to being a super great song...it’s like you made the best recipe in the world but used ingredients that were slightly past expiration so it’s almost amazing but has this kind of funky undertone to it that’s hard to place.

Top 4: Yaks, WreckdoM, Amby, Duncan
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
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slyeli
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by slyeli »

Here's a video of how the Spare Parts entry came to be. This is us laying down the tracks live:

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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by jb »

Here is a video of how the Yaks entry was constructed.

blippity blop ya don’t stop heyyyyyyyyy
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slyeli
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by slyeli »

jb wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:31 am
Here is a video of how the Yaks entry was constructed.
:lol: You've forever associated the song with you being naked and covered in oil and ketchup whilst recording it. This will definitely affect my review.
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by governingdynamics »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:28 am
Governing Dynamics - Nice fuzz tone. I wish the drums were a bit louder, cause right now they’re all soft and don’t have enough punch to really drive the song forward. This is BEGGING for live, punchy drums. The vocals are there. Bass could use a little bit more low-end. Where’s the kick drum, I can barely hear it through the verses. I swear this song is really good but just missing some production tricks to really get it going. Like the vocal performance and fuzz guitar are carrying it and all of the other instrumental tracks are playing the right things, just without the right timbre. Like the bass sounds thin and so to the drums. There’s a few transitions that need some work and the ending is kind of abrupt. This is 90% of the way to being a super great song...it’s like you made the best recipe in the world but used ingredients that were slightly past expiration so it’s almost amazing but has this kind of funky undertone to it that’s hard to place.
Agreed on all counts after a re-listen this morning. I didn't get a chance to record until Sunday, down to the wire, nothing that could really be called "mixing" occurred, etc (we all know the deal around here I think). I think I like the song enough to attempt to fix it later.
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by mo »

JB that was eerily accurate
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by Smalltown Mike »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:28 am
Lush AF - How many bandnames have you submitted under, Mike? This one is particularly groovy and has a great lyrical flow.
I don't know — a lot. But there's a reason Rob and I keep changing the name. We plan out a sound, write six songs and then package 'em up as a distinct six pack over at Half-A-Dozen Records. And move on with our lives.

It's the same two guys, but slither isn't flaming tiger isn't shrts isn't shotpounder isn't gaping maw isn't... Lush AF.

And plus, coming up with band names is fun. And thanks for the kind words.
Punk rock is for children. Grab a six-pack at Half-a-Dozen Records.
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by jb »

:arrow:Yaks of the Industry
this week it’s me and mo and ken

:arrow:Wreckdom
Kinda coordinated vocals, but the differences in interpretation between the takes don’t always work for me.

:arrow:Wuxtry
The lead vocals would be a lot better if you doubled the verses too. Seems like you doubled them on the second verse but not the first verse? Chorus is pleasant, the harmonies are working for you. Not crazy about the end of the first section of the chorus... Not crazy about the mandolin plus distorted guitar-- maybe dial back the fuzz a bit. Then the solo has a very different dirt on it that might not sit right in the mix depending on who you are. Like if you're me.

:arrow:Brown Word and the Big Whine
Reminds me of Grateful Dead for some reason. Very poetical lyrics, like every line is a metaphor. I struggle to enjoy lyrics like this, but of course that's not a statement about their quality.

:arrow:Governing Dynamics
Promising beginning but then it gets a bit "first take" sounding between guitar parts. I am not a fan of the vocal approach, really. It would be a lot more impactful with better mixing of the drums, and I'd like some lyrical hooks to be given a bit of room to sink in.

:arrow:Sweeney Toad
Arpeggiated synths, you're earning points from me straight off. Got a lot of M.I.A. in the vocals. Some of the prosody is off and could have used a rhyme revision, or another couple minutes figuring out how to work the line in. I like this overall. I wish there was more stuff similar to 2:45 earlier in the song. It could have benefitted from that level of passion and variation in intensity throughout.

:arrow:Duncan Martin
I like that clarinet coming in. The second bit of the verse seemed to take you by surprise, vocally. Or is that a chorus thing? I have tried and tried to get my kid to care about the Magic Bus, to no avail as of yet. This might be about 30 seconds longer than necessary. Feels like you put quite a bit of work into this, and I think with some mixing tweaks it could have been more immersive. I like the imagery in the lyrics, it doesn't feel as artificial as it could have and there's a lot of imagination. Nice job on the optional challenge.

:arrow:Lush AF
When the guitars come in, and the "Long Plastic Hallway" vocal line, it's very satisfying. I don't find the other vocal approaches appealing really. I've never really liked strained and gritty. This song sounds good, and since I know who made it I'd be shocked if it didn't, but it's too slight and I struggle to find lyrics to grab onto that make me want to sing along.

:arrow:Amby Moho
Man this evokes a period for me. It's like Polly and a bunch of other stuff like Elephant Six or other indie peeps like that. The separated guitars are very lulling, and the melodies in those patches are sweet. I like that bit where the violin goes off the string. The noiseless quality of the production is soothing to me, though you've dropped the fidelity of the lead vox, it's nestled into basically no hiss or anything. It's all seemingly very dry and working very well. It ends right on time, too.

:arrow:Lichen Throat
The cool guitar thing in the beginning is torpedoed by a very standard drum loop. Atonal bass vocals make it difficult for me to pay attention to the lyrics, but I feel like there are some good lines in there.

:arrow:Sockpuppet
I, personally, only needed 5 seconds of the opening solo bing bings. I can see why you'd feel like this is Radioheadesque. I'm digging it, though it might actually haver worked to your advantage were you to have made the lyrics a bit less intelligible. The musical arrangement is nice, though to me the constant bing bings turn into a drag around 2:30 and I'm like "at least a different note would be appreciated about now". I know the kind of craft/art reason to make them a through line like that, although I would argue it's not necessary to carry this particular piece. Anyway, this is very different and I think it's well done and seems like it would have been quite close to what you were trying to achieve.

:arrow:Koala Earmuffs
How does one put earmuffs on a koala, since like, their ears point forward right? The music's kinda got this 60's kinda feel to it, which I like. The organ solo thing, doubled by a clean guitar? Ok I can go for that. Feels like the title might be an afterthought, but I only mention it since it feels a little shoehorned into the lyrics. Break out the de-esser plugin, might make a difference for the vox. I dunno, I think this one's not to my taste, for me dawg.

:arrow:Spare Parts
I like the guitar tone. The bass and drums aren't holding their weight though. Like the thereminny synth line. Dunno if the vocals really fit into the mix here with the instruments, kind feels on top a bit, like things need to be rougher all around to make me really want to turn this up to 11 and anger my wife trying to work downstairs. Lyrically, I think you could have used an edgy line or two to grab the ear and really suit this genre. Really gets going at that 2:20 point, and I wish for some of that spread through the whole tune.

:arrow:Max Bombast
Chorus is pretty nice, I'm aight with just repeating the title as a chorus. That first verse is a boat anchor, feels like you should have just jumped in with the fun chorus. Second verse doesn't suffer like the first, though maybe all the verses/prechoruses have more than their fair share of words in them. I dig the guitar tone a lot. This song really needed a bridge and then a couple more reps of the fun chorus.

:arrow:Rod The Bunman
I think this production would have greatly benefitted from taking that drum loop out to the woodshed. The harmony on the chorus too. Otherwise, I feel like this is done pretty well for what it's going for. I suggest not noodling on the electric over the verses, and planning out more of a chorus. I wish the acoustic guitar were just a bit louder and more a first-class citizen of the mix. Yeah I don't like that vocal harmony, and it repeats a bunch of times, alas.

:arrow:Jeff DeSantis
Nicely performed and mixed, though I think the vocals let you down a bit. They're often sharp, and in my headphones (7506) they don't sit in the mix, maybe needed some reverb or something. I can get into some Blue Jays songs, but this one's not quite hooking me lyrically. I think it needs some focus, a big point to drive into my head. Yeah, I'm one to talk, I know.
blippity blop ya don’t stop heyyyyyyyyy
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by amby_moho »

Hello all!

Here are my reviews for "a long plastic hallway"
this is in whatever order was randomly generated when i loaded the page
as always, my opinions should be taken with a big ol' grain of salt :)

* Koala Earmuffs
I like the weird vocal harmony at the beginning. When the verse starts (?) the stray guitar notes feel a little meandering in a way that I'm not crazy about, and the general chord progression is somewhat "normie," but I like this song a lot- I really like the overall vibe. The solo that comes in around 1:32 is rad. I like the melody and the synth. Who does this song remind me of in general? Kinda the band "Rexy" that was a forgotten 80s gem that recently resurfaced. That's a big compliment that band is absolutely siq in my humble opinion. I dig this song overall. If I could make one criticism, the chord progression goes to that one major chord that kinda gives it a "The Way" by Fastball feel, and that is (again IMHO) a little predictable / overused. Overall, I dig! vote

* Sweeney Toad
The organ has a nice timbre. Sluggy vocal style and lazy doubling is interesting. This reminds me of early 2000s indie artist Aqueduct a bit. Not sure that I love the lyrics. I will say, right as I was thinking "this could change soon," it changed to a new section at around 1:18. I would say that my issue with the track overall is that it's a little static, and maybe slightly grating. It's definitely "weird" which I tend to like, but it goes on for a long time and doesn't have enough production elements to keep me interested. Also maybe there is no bass? Just a kick? That may be a production choice in & of itself, but I will say an engaging bassline (maybe even synth bass?) would do a lot to add to the choruses when they hit.

* Duncan Martin
Wow. I LOVE this track. Gonna listen to this one twice. I love the baritone vocals, and the production, and the references to Magic School Bus hahaha. I like the chord changes. I guess there are a lot of TV references here, which makes sense. My only critique of this track is that the drums sound like MIDI, and the whole thing is a little long for my taste? Harmonica solo is a nice touch. There is also a kinda weird vocal moment where you pause and then say "tunnel." Also, the fadeout is abrupt! I would suggest a longer and more gradual fade. Overall, dig it. Definite vote

* Max Bombast
I like the drumbeat. Not crazy about the overall chord progression or vocal timbre. The backing vocals are a cool idea with the stereo panning & delay. The guitar chords when the chorus hits help. Vocal harmony is a little too slick. Hard panned right falsetto harmony in verse 2 is kinda funny but maybe a little distracting. Ending feels abrupt! I get what this song is going for, but I think you could hit the target a little more squarely next pass!

* Jeff Desantis
Classic country vibe- i like pedal steel sound. Not wild about the lyrics, personally. It's produced well, very clean sounding. I can certainly empathize with songs not paying the bills (too real.) I would say this song accomplishes what it sets out to, just not personally my bag of tea. I would say the crash cymbal is a little overbearing around the 2:50 mark. I also am a big fan of brevity in songwriting (I've mentioned this on this forum in the past) and this song is just a little too long in my opinion.

* Rod the Bunman
Hard to put my finger on this one. Actually has a similar vibe to the Jeff Desantis song but a lot rougher around the edges, especially the vocals. Something about the guitar tone sounds squidgy. Like it was DI-ed acoustic or something. This honestly feels like outsider art to me. Definitely earnest. Chord progression not very captivating, and performance is a little too rough for my taste. I like the earnestness!

* WreckdoM
Um. YES. Ween shit. This is my shit. What the hell. This sounds like it could be on the Pod or Pure Guava. But like higher fidelity. This is my fav so far today...what the fuck hahahahaha this is so siq. I like when the beat drops! I like the weird lyrics. Key change is weird. Kinda also reminds me of Primus in some ways. HAHAHA "give me videos of people watching videos of people playing videogames." VOTE

* Wuxtry
Boss Metal Zone sounding guitar lead. I like the vocals! They are gentle and a little unsure in a way that evokes a sense of mystery to me. Chord changes are alright. I like the mandolin (?) that comes in later. Drum production not my fav. It's overall a pleasant song! I like the melody in the choruses. A little long for my taste. I feel like this song could be 2:20 and hit just as hard or harder.

* Governing Dynamics
Whoa, harsh noise in the beginning. Doesn't feel intentional. The tones on this are all over the place...the bass EQ has me feeling queasy. The vocals are actually nice. I can see this song being like a Killers song or something, but the production is all over the place. That guitar note at 1:41....wow. Sorry but that does not work for me at all. It's like really dissonant and doesn't resolve in a nice way. Sorry but this track is not for me.

* Lichen Throat
Cool riff. WOW these vocals. I love the baritone vibe. There is something weird happening with the sibilance. Almost sounds like some kind of digital aliasing. I don't love that, but this song is cool!!! I like the little instrumental break at 1:20. The melody on "long long long long" is kinda wonky haha but I like this song. I am gonna say vote

* Lush AF
Ah. This vibe! Weird. Kinda sounds like a desert. Not crazy about the cocaine lyrics (cocaine is the most boring and pointless drug, in my opinion.) The chorus hits nice. This production is confusing to me, because the rhythm almost has an 808 vibe, but the song in general feels kinda sproingy. The vocals sound good. I'm not sure I'm in love with the overall conceit or vibe of this song, but I respect the work that went into it. It's solid. Too long for me. The spoken verse is...a thing. Kinda more "Come My Lady, come come my lady" than Beastie Boys. I'm on the fence about this one but like I said I respect the work that went into it!

* Brown Word & the Big Whine
Vocals sound varisped? Sped up? Or is this just your voice? Either way, I like that. Chord progression is a little predictable for me. I here a *POP* at 0:21. I think some additional production would help a lot. If you are a guitar player & singer and don't feel super comfortable doing full productions yet, I totally feel you. I didn't feel comfortable making my own songs or writing basslines or drum parts for year and years. But yeah, I think a rhythm section would add a lot to this tune.

* Yaks of the Industry
Cool beat. Whoa, that chord drop is unexpected. What genre is this? The driving backbeat and the fact that a lot of these chords are major make it interesting for sure. This is kinda like...a sunny industrial song. The verses are kinda minor & down, and then it turns warm at the choruses. 2:12 dropout is siq. I could do an entire song like that. The kick snare pattern staying the same for the bridge is a little repetitive for me. Guitarmony is good. Also the melody of the solo sounds like "Maya-HEE, Maya-HOO" haha that Numa Numa song. Overall I think this song has the right idea, but I'm not sure if it fully *does it* for me

* Sockpuppet
I like the sparing quality of this intro. Sinead O'connor vibes. I like that it revolves around that one repeating note. I will say, the fact that it hasn't changed much 1:20 in and I'm still listening and interested says a lot. It's also weird that the vocals have a decent amount of reverb and then suddenly don't. Interesting choice. The parts that come in are also unexpected to me. Verse 2 I'm feeling some Depeche Mode feelings. Kinda like that song "Everything Counts" in large amounts. Overall, the song is a little...dour? But I like that about it. I keep waiting for it to explode in energy, but the fact that it hasn't kinda works...it's building tension the whole time. I like "simply cannot see through the skin disguise." vote

* Spare Parts
Built Ford tough. First thought with those chords haha. I like the vocals...they kinda sound like fake British punk. Ooh, I like the sizzling synth sound that comes in. Chorus chord progression is okay. I think this song has a good conceit, just not sure if it gets to where it wants to. When the second chorus hits with the organ chords it works a little better. First chorus felt a little empty. That final chord of the chorus bugs me as it kinda turns "surfy" just for that one second, with the vocals too. I like this song, but I think it could use some tweaks & revisions personally.
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lichenthroat
Push Comes to Shove
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

Amby Moho—I’m getting a 60s British feel on this. Maybe bring the vocal up a bit; I think you could get away with a more adventurous delivery, too. The timbre sounds good. The guitar tone is good and is mixed well.

Brown Word and the Big Whine—This is among my favorites of yours. The lyrics, vocal performance, and overall sound create a very cohesive aesthetic. Everything feels like it’s in its right place.

Duncan Martin—I think this is your best vocal so far, but I can’t specifically identify what I think is better about it. I just kind of feel like I’m in good hands when you start singing. I think a double-time section of percussion might have fit well in this song.

Governing Dynamics—Wow, this sounds like the Replacements. Both the vocal and the instrumentation seem similar, so I assume the resemblance is intentional. You’re not quite as good at this style as they are, but no one else is either, so that’s okay. I love the bass part that starts about 2:04. This is fun and serious at the same time. Vote.

Jeff DeSantis—Your mix sounds good. The performances all sound good too. I like the piano in the bridge. This has kind of a soft rock feel; if that’s what you had in mind, I think you hit the nail on the head, but I think a more adventurous composition would have been the icing on the cake.

Koala Earmuffs—This is hard to evaluate. The vocal delivery draws me in immediately. I’m not sure how seriously this is intended to be taken, but it works pretty well as either earnest or light-hearted. I’m not totally sold on the synth tones, but they’re not too bad. It feels a little like you worked harder on the first part of the song that on the second half. Possibly a vote.

Lichen Throat (me)—This is the song that has finally convinced me that I need to make the vocal more interesting. (I hear you all asking what took me so long.) As I noted in the pre-fight thread, this is a failed experiment, but at least I learned something from it.

Lush AF—This is super competent: your mix is great, and the performances suit the genre well. I have, however, always felt like this genre has a conceptual dissonance, with all the talk of turning the up the party delivered in a laid-back tone. None of that’s really about you specifically, though; anyone who likes this genre would probably love this song, and I kind of like it myself.

Max Bombast—Yeah, keep doing this! This is a perfect exemplar of your style when it works best. Head-bobbing good times with a touch of angst. High-energy with a bit of room to move up and down. Vote.

Rod the Bunman—I think you’re doing the thin-sounding mix intentionally, but I’m not sure it’s the best choice for this song. I quite like the guitar in the bridge. There’s a good song here that’s being held back by the mix.

Sockpuppet—I like the concept you have here. I do think, however, that the first section with minimal instrumentation goes on too long and that you should have had additional instrumentation kick in earlier. Having the doubled vocal start about halfway though was a great choice. Possibly a vote.

Spare Parts—This was my instaband. I contributed the bass; it was my first time matching a bass to someone else’s guitar composition, and I felt like I was both heavy-handed and insufficiently adventurous at the same time. I feel like everybody else bailed me out, though, and we came out with a pretty good song.

Sweeney Toad—Good lyrics: both funny and insightful. I really like the chord progression in the chorus, especially the escalation in the second measure. Possibly a vote.

WreckdoM—I don’t know how you mixed the drums, but they sound great, especially the cymbals: separated without lacking cohesion. I think you could maybe use a guitar line all the way through to modulate the surrealism.

Wuxtry—I’d really like the vocal to be brighter and clearer. Otherwise, I think this good. It seems like early 90s R.E.M. if they had had a female vocalist. Maybe turn down the crunch in the guitar tone in the interlude parts. I like this overall, though. Vote.

Yaks of the Industry—Something about the mix seems to be slightly deadening the overall feel of the song, which ought to make me feel like I’ve never been so alive as at this moment. Everything else is good, though. Vote.
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fluffy
Eruption
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by fluffy »

In front-page shuffle order.

Wuxtry: Good strong start, solid foundation for a song. The singing is a bit pitchy, which you could probably mitigate by not trying to sustain single notes for so long, or adding in some vibrato. This reminds me a lot of early-90s radio alt rock. Pretty well-produced, but nothing really grabs me (although I do really like the mixture of mandolin and electric guitar, very REM vibes). Also I’m having a hard time understanding the vocals.

Sweeney Toad: I want to know more about Elizabeth Shelley. I tried to find out if this was an actual news article but I only found stuff about a 5-year-old girl who was kidnapped and brutally murdered by her uncle, so that made me sad. Anyway. Good musical bed on this song, but the vocals are very hard to listen to.

Yaks of the Industry: I dig the 80s new-wave sound, although the mix is kind of a mess with everything blending together into an indistinct blob of sound, especially during the choruses. Could do with some better EQing to give everything more breathing room. The instrumental bridge does at least let the instruments shine.

Jeff DeSantis: Good clean sound, mix on the vocals could feel a bit better-integrated (maybe give it a bit more mids and a bit less treble?) and the singing's kind of pitchy. That cymbal also starts to grate on me after a while. But hey I was able to listen to the whole song.

Koala Earmuffs: I love the cool retro vibe and groove of this. Seems sultry and desperate at the same time. [v]

Brown Word + Big Whine: at around 30 seconds in I'm really wishing there's some drums. The lyrics are pretty relatable. The duet part towards the end is fun.

Max Bombast: Is this Puce? This sounds like Puce. Either way, I like this a lot. Nice chord progression, and interesting sonic treatment. The rapid bass plucking at around 0:50 and 1:50 feels a bit awkward and off-kilter. This song sounds a lot shorter than it is and I'm left wanting more. [v]

Amby Moho: I am a sucker for this instrumentation and production style. Lo-fi indie with mellotron and ear-bending chord progressions? Yes please! [v]

Duncan Martin: Don't hear a lot of clarinet in these parts, 'specially not in a country song, I reckon. Vocals don't quite sound like they fit into the rest of the song, maybe turn them down a skosh? The choruses also feel a bit awkward in how they hang on for an extra few measures, which is an interesting thing to try but I end up not caring for it. I think I get what you were going for though.

Lush AF: This has some really great sound to it. It is, as the name indicates, lush as fuck. This kind of reminds me of State Shirt back in the day. I love how things are given space to breathe and develop. So far I'm thinking the vote will be a close race between this and Koala Earmuffs. [v]

Spare Parts: I like this a lot. Reminds me a lot of B-52s meets the Clash. [v]

WreckdoM: I'm not sure whether I love it or I hate it. So, it's a WreckdoM song.

Rod the Bunman: I can't really think of anything to say about this except that you certainly made an interesting choice with your vocal harmonies on the chorus.

Governing Dynamics: Remember to breathe.

Sockpuppet: This is one of those abstract things that was stuck in my head when I woke up. I was also sort of thinking of what it sounds like when you repeatedly tap the tuner button on the Roland Microcube amp. Who noticed that the repeating tone is quarter notes at the beginning and half notes at the end? And where does the change happen? Life is full of mysteries.

Lichen Throat: In the prefight thread you said that you were doing an experiment with your vocals but they honestly sound exactly like all your other vocals to me. I'd like to hear you try to do something that is truly, completely different from your usual style.
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SweeneyToad
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by SweeneyToad »

fluffy wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 11:37 am
In front-page shuffle order.

Sweeney Toad: I want to know more about Elizabeth Shelley. I tried to find out if this was an actual news article but I only found stuff about a 5-year-old girl who was kidnapped and brutally murdered by her uncle, so that made me sad. Anyway. Good musical bed on this song, but the vocals are very hard to listen to.
So I’ve had that sample on my computer for like over 10 years and finally decided to use it. I don’t even remember how it got on my computer, I just know it is dialog from this movie:



I’ve never actually seen the movie but I kind of want to dig it up and watch it now, pun intended.
Sober GF: I can't explain why but I hated it

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

sweeneytoad.bandcamp.com
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vowlvom
Panama
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by vowlvom »

I've seen it, so the sample definitely made me laugh! It's a fun movie.
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Adam!
Ice Cream Man
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by Adam! »

Reviews!

Amby Moho: Wonderful sleepy elliot smith vibes. Great bass details here, this is an easy VOTE. I wish this was longer, and I never say that. Awkward Title Drop Rating: N/A, wisely avoided.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: I want drums. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 7 out of 10 shoehorns.

Duncan Martin: The intro promised me clarinet. This corridor-themed pop culture where's waldo is too much fun not to VOTE for. Love the backing harmonies. Lean into the spaghetti western elements. Awkward Title Drop Rating: hidden in a verse, 5 out of 10 it's-a-stretches.

Governing Dynamics: Love this vocal style, but the melody wanders around too much for me. This song is made of sloppy. I like when everything drops out and the bass octaves come in. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 1/10, not awkward at all, a totally natural fit.

Jeff DeSantis: Gorgeous arrangement, this is an exquisitely crafted song. Perfect melody, many feels, every piece of this is expertly put together. Easy VOTE. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 1/10, it fits perfect.

Koala Earmuffs: These close harmonies distress me. I like the synth solo lead after the second chorus a lot. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 6/10, mildly unnatural.

Lichen Throat: Another surreally-specific word painting. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 7 out of 10 extra "long"s.

Lush AF: An accurate bandname if I've ever heard one... those are some smooooth vocals. Love the wide sonic palette here. VOTING for that great bass. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 2/10, you owned it by building the chorus around it.

Rod The Bunman: I like how the background vocals sound like they themselves were recorded at the end of a long plastic hallway. I'm a sucker for these kind of beats. If it's a long hallway doesn't that mean it should be easier to fit in? Awkward Title Drop Rating: 2/10, fits nicely in the chorus, no shoehorns here.

Sockpuppet: Hmmm... Human music. I like it. Eerily beautiful lead vocal, with a melody that sticks in my brain while also keeping me on my toes. Damn that bass rocks. VOTE. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 0/10, you didn't need to sing it, because everything about the song already captures the title.

Spare Parts: Big dumb caveman rock, yes please. This chorus is so much fun it earns my VOTE. Cool behind-the-scenes video, it's always interesting to see other people's process. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 8/10, really glaring, no human has ever said it like this.

Sweeney Toad: Dial up the Death Grips about 300% and I'm there. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 7/10, utterly nonsensical.

WreckdoM: I, too, like Beck. "Naked as a naked baby" is a pretty great line. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 4/10, title omitted but the relation to the song is questionable at best.

Wuxtry: That fuzz guitar rips. The mandolin really completes the dreamy pop arrangement. Love the singable guitar solo. VOTE. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 3/10, you made it work by dropping half the title.

Yaks of the Industry: What a triumphant synthpop echosphere. Ludicrously well done production, with another awesome solo. I love the big vocal layers, but I wish the melody made some bolder moves. VOTE. Cool behind-the-scenes video, it's always interesting to see other people's process. Awkward Title Drop Rating: 1/10, fits great.
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fluffy
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by fluffy »

fluffy wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 11:37 am
Max Bombast: Is this Puce? This sounds like Puce.
I guess I was right! I need to pay more attention to who's submitting as who these days.
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WreckdoMelle
Push Comes to Shove
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

I haven't done reviews in forever, not that I'm ever very wordy. Here's what I was thinking as the song was playing, in random order.

Wuxtry - Strong start with fuzzy guitar and pleasing riff. The vox could be a little stronger. Where they are doubled they sound good. Nice transition to middle 8. Good use of dynamics in the breakdown.

Jeff DeSantis - This sounds pretty pro, like something I'd hear on Austin radio. The vox might be a bit loud, but my ears are also a little blown out right now from working on this week's fight. The candidness of the lyrics speaks to me. The guitar tones are spot on, nice and clear and resonant. The drums sound nice - are they canned or not? My only complaint was one part where the cymbal was kind of heavy.

Max Bombast - Bouncy toe tapper. I like that this is upbeat and light, there is space in there. The multiple vox when they came in are disorienting in a good way. I like the high voice in there. Good harmony on the chorus.

Koala Earmuffs - Nice to hear more female vox showing up in SF. This music reminds me of Duran Duran (which I loved as a kid). The synth tones are really satisfying.

Amby Moho - Fantastic chord progression in the opener. Sounds like something from the 60's perhaps but I don't know my 60's music well enough to say why or what. The instrumentation is whimsical and lovely. Good bass tone. Soothing vox.

Governing Dynamics - I found the guitar sound to this to be a bit too noisy for my taste. The mix was thin. The vox are delivered with passion.

Sweeney Toad - Good synths. That's a hell of a sample. Nice blown-out sounding drum, I like that sort of thing. I like the woodpecker line, in fact I like the chorus of this quite a bit. The synths are pleasant and the lyrics emote the speaker's desperation.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - As I said in prefight, I wanted the sort of song you'd hear a busker abusing a guitar to. I've thought of putting the hat out myself but have never had the guts nor the inclination to punish people just for being pedestrians. That and the fact that I just cannot play covers. I didn't want to get into the full compliment of instrumentation this round, then I'd have to have a bass, and drums, and before you know it, I'm sharing the quarters in my hat and I have to have enough for a value meal, so there you go.

Duncan Martin - At first glance I saw the 4 minute mark and thought, no that's too long. But the song started and I thought, well I can certainly listen to this for 4 minutes. I like your voice, I like the minor key, I like the cadence, and the rising an falling dynamics. Neat song.

Lichen Throat - The guitar is very clear and ringing. The change-ups to the music are nice. I don't have the lyrics handy but I want to read now to see what is happening.

Spare Parts - Very aggressive start. Some of the drums are a little dead sounding, though maybe this sound is what you are looking for - are they real? They do sound real. Def points for theremin, theremins are just plain cool, but it really sounds good in this tune. I like the upbeat theramin parts quite a bit.

Sockpuppet - Bold singing almost unaccompanied, bonus point for that. I'm a fan of the bass synth, good tone, and cool part.

Rod the Bunman - Cool guitar under it all. I like your voice. I'm not sure I'm a big fan of the harmonies. But that guitar tone on the solos is sublime. The mix overall seems a little quiet.

WreckdoM - After working on this tune for several days, I have had the line "There's a 50-50 chance these pants will fit you right", and the chorus in my head. The little bell, that was me. I always love Geoff's lyrics, and I am feeling the gist of these lyrics hard these days, definitely relating. It has been over a year since we sat down in a room together to record. We took an interesting tack doing this one. WdM has a couple of different ways of starting a song. I'm always into what the seed is, and this one was driven by the vocal melody. I might be biased but I did really enjoy laying out these baselines.

Yaks of the Industry - Cool 80's guitars. The doubled vox sound good, as do the harmonies. Synth ads interesting texture. Sweet guitar solo.

Lush AF - Nice intro. This starts off pretty good, lots of changes and pleasant surprises. The guitar is subtle yet sharp in the verse. Lots of sass in the vocal delivery and the lyrics. Yes, very nice guitar tones.
Brown Word and the Big Whine on Bandcamp:
http://brownwordandthebigwhine.bandcamp.com
bambamoozle
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by bambamoozle »

My votes went to:

Brown Word - Of the songs I've heard of yours this is my favorite, and probably my favorite in this fight. I really really like the lyrics and the approach. If I were to change anything I would mix the vocals a bit higher. Well done!

Amby Moho - Sounds like a mix of the Velvets and the Beatles, which in my book is a great inspiration! Cool vibe and a great listen.

Koala Earmuffs - Great vibe, fun song fun to listen to. Well timed length to not last too long. Solid!

Rod The Bunman - This is me and my friend Tom in our third SF. When I saw the title and read the HST quote I immediately felt a Rolling Stones Aftermath era vibe, so we went for that to the extent I'm not Mick and Tom isn't Keef. Took the title literally which is why you'll never fit in the plastic hallway, the length of it is irrelevant. Reading the reviews, I think of Rick Nelson "you can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself" and I'm pleased, I think it's a good song and it sounds like what I imagined it would. I do need to continue to work towards louder mixes, maybe I need a mastering program, but it's not as dim as my songs have been in the past.
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BoffoYux
Mean Street
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Re: The stairway to heaven leads to (A Long Plastic Hallway reviews)

Post by BoffoYux »

FYI - Tonight!

The 'A Long Plastic Hallway' Listening Party starts 5/3 at 9pm EDT. Drop on in and chat with the artists!



https://youtu.be/qe8ptfadcJw
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