They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Well, that's my excuse anyway.
Last edited by Lunkhead on Tue Sep 28, 2021 10:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: make normal
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Please place your lyric in the appropriate thread: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12173
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by fluffy »

Oh good, a short fight. Reviews in order of the front page shuffle.

Balance Lost: Wow that's... quite the loud audio, and clippy as heck. YouLean Loudness Meter says that I'm not imagining things, this is -8.4LUFS integrated with a +1.9dB true peak max. Absolutely ridiculous loudness aside, this track is fun if pretty basic. But please, check your levels. Folks using headphones or with sensitive ears will thank you.

Brother Baker: Now here's a track which is supposed to sound as loud as it is! I love the garage punk thing you've got going on here, and the chaotic breakdowns are fun. Great vocal melodies and I love the highly effective bassline. That bridge feels out of place but in a good way. I have no idea what the lyrics are about.

Lichen Throat: Really good intro, glad to hear you trying something a bit different than usual with the vocals here. This is progress, at least, although your vocal delivery still bugs the hell out of me with how meandery and semi-atonal it is. The "top chat" French pun was perhaps unfortunately presaged by the cover art this week but it's not your fault that TPA (whomever that is) had the same pun in mind. Also this song needs an actual ending rather than just like... trailing off with the middle of an unfinished arpeggio. But hey, this song gives me hope that maybe you'll eventually write and record something I want to listen to again.

The Pannacotta Army: Oh gosh this fills me with warm nostalgic feelings. It reminds me a lot of Belle and Sebastian, with a touch of Van Morrison. Love it all around. Definite vote from me.

Sweeney Toad: You have managed to make a track I do not care for, despite being made out of attributes that I'd normally enjoy a lot. Reminds me of MC Chris overdosing on opium. I'd like to hear someone else's overly-earnest cover of this song, just to see what it'd sound like.

Phlub: On Discord you were saying this was done in 5edo, right? It doesn't sound substantially different from doing pentatonic on 12edo to me. I'm on the fence with this one. It isn't quite abstract-weird enough for me, but also not quite distinct enough either.

Pigfarmer Jr: I'm trying to ignore that the title itself is a reference to the thing that this song is about, but it's hard to do that. I like the toe-tapping beat and the simplicity of the chord progression, and it's like... straight-up rockabilly country, almost. I feel like it deserves a better ending than what it got. Your singing sounds kinda constipated, maybe you should relax or something. Go all-in on the country thing and take a shot of whiskey or something first. Unless you're avoiding booze, which is certainly a legitimate choice to make. I think the double-tracked (or is that a chorus effect?) vocals add to that feeling of it being too tense and rigid to me. Anyway that's a lot of words to say that I kind of didn't care for this song for reasons I can't quite articulate. It'd be good open mic music.

So, that was quick. My votes go to Pannacotta Army, Brother Baker, and Phlub.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by FireBear »

Thanks! We are glad you liked it :D .

So we took a different approach on the title. The Chat in our song is referring to the bird. In the chorus a Yellow-breasted Chat makes an appearance. The song is about someone losing their mind in addiction.


fluffy wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 2:44 pm

Brother Baker: Now here's a track which is supposed to sound as loud as it is! I love the garage punk thing you've got going on here, and the chaotic breakdowns are fun. Great vocal melodies and I love the highly effective bassline. That bridge feels out of place but in a good way. I have no idea what the lyrics are about.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

fluffy wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 2:44 pm

Phlub: On Discord you were saying this was done in 5edo, right? It doesn't sound substantially different from doing pentatonic on 12edo to me. I'm on the fence with this one. It isn't quite abstract-weird enough for me, but also not quite distinct enough either.
I'm glad you dug it enough to vote.
I guess laid out for comparison, "standard" pentatonic, in cents, is
0 300 500 700 1000 1200
and 5edo is
0 240 480 720 960 1200

The 3rd and 4th scale degrees are pretty close approximations of the standard just 4th and 5th, just rather flat and rather sharp respectively. But the 240 2nd/3rd and the 960 7th are definitely a bit wonky. Going back, there are definitely a few occasions where I vocally did hit them "sharp" (and by "sharp", I mean "normal" cause years and years of training my ear to standard tonality is hard to break, especially without an established body of music to compare to. (this was challenging for my "Access Denied" as well, but at least with that, the neutral 2nd and neutral 6th are very common in arab genres, and I listen to dabke all the time so it's a lot more natural to me). That said, I definitely nailed it a few times. Just not every time...guess I need to work on my microtonal singing.

ANYWAY, if you listen to the keyboard part, it's definitely not the standard tonality and it's pretty perfectly "off". I mean it has to be, I used the "dexed" VST and made a custom tuning file for it. The guitar strings are tuned 480c apart, and I basically spent a lot of time focused on bending the 2nd fret up to that 240c, very slightly bending the 7th fret so i could get the 720c scale degree, and bending the heck out of the 9th fret to get to that 960c ~septimal seventh. At least in the solo, where the intonation really shines. Or smells. Hard to do it on a standard guitar!

But yeah that's pretty much the fun of 5edo, it's essentially a "broken" pentatonic scale. Maybe i'll do something truly stupid next time like 11edo or 13edo which sound right until you try to add harmony...then they just sound broken lol.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by fluffy »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 5:24 pm
fluffy wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 2:44 pm

Phlub: On Discord you were saying this was done in 5edo, right? It doesn't sound substantially different from doing pentatonic on 12edo to me. I'm on the fence with this one. It isn't quite abstract-weird enough for me, but also not quite distinct enough either.
I'm glad you dug it enough to vote.
I guess laid out for comparison, "standard" pentatonic, in cents, is
0 300 500 700 1000 1200
and 5edo is
0 240 480 720 960 1200
Ah! Okay I didn't realize the tunings were that close to one another. I guess it's different enough that a 12edo instrument and a 5edo instrument would clash.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

So there are some reviews and they're filled with run-on sentences and they may not be helpful. I'm happy to see Balance Lost and Brother Baker return.

Balance Lost - There’s a note in the verse chorus progression that is leaping out at my ears as unusual and I LIKE that, I think it’s that major sixth combined with an...augmented 4th? I don’t know if I’ve ever heard that particular harmony used in a song before, at least in this key. Anyway, the line about laughing so hard you piss in your pants jumpes out as particularly memorable. The interplay of the bass -- even though it sounds very much like a synth bass and I’m not huge on its tonality -- and the guitar is well composed. The “all I ever wanted” is also a clever lyrics, cause realistically I know that feeling of wanting to leave your hometown and then sometimes missing it. Though actually I kind of like my new town a bit more than my hometown, but my hometown was okay I suppose.

Brother Baker - The guitar is kind of muddy, I’d EQ the high end a bit more or something. Or if it’s possible I’d use the bridge pickup a bit more. There’s this really cool “wip wip wip wip” sound somewhere in the first chorus that pops up now and then that I REALLY like and this is so 2000 radio rock and I love it and the bit where the song kind of falls about and you go wait wait wait man that’s great, and what on earth you’ve got this wonky bass line over the ska bit and and it gets so muddy and then the bizarre synth shows up out of nowhere and the half time and dope vocal harmonies wtf are you even doing, all of your transitions are so abrupt and it sounds like something’s going wrong in the transmission and then it just ends after your cool chorus and then there’s some breathy something and what. A+.

Lichen Throat - Your Musescore tonality will never not immediately be recognizable but the music here is very notably different from what you usually do and that’s pretty great and as usual your lyrics are filled with creative imagery and your melodies remain as kind of meandering and ill-defined as always but I’ll always like your lyricism and but about the chat = cat is a clever take, I mean I mentioned top cat but not top chat as in the top cat so that’s kind of neat. I was going to go with the top chat as in top chateau but I couldn’t think of anything to actual say about chateaus. There’s this lingering “4th” that’s kind of droning around the 2nd or 3rd verse that’s kind of neat and adds a neat ambiance, and I don’t really know cause this song somehow despite having a reasonable structure on paper kind of has all of the parts lethargically bleed together -- maybe you should musically have it do a little bit more to transition between the verses and the chorus cause one just kind of comes after the other and it’s just like “oh hey chorus, nice to see you again” but it’s not really that dynamic and then the song just ends. I don’t actively dislike it and I do like this approach to the overall tonality of the snog for you so maybe keep up on this mellowness I suppose.

Phlub - I got tired of entering as Phlebia so I guess I’m Phlub for this fight. I don’t know if it’s apparent at all, but I had a really hard time making the chorus of this song not sound too much like a detuned version of TLC’s Creep cause ooh-ah, ooh-ah, ooh-ah. My original conception of this song was actually way more influenced by that than I care to admit, but then I decided to hook up my MIDI keyboard to an esoteric tuning file and noodled on it and the vocal that came out of me ended up having that 2 kool 4 skool Smalltown Mike vibe, but also kind of a Robert Sandman something or another, but maybe that’s just what’s in my head cause I don’t know if my voice really sounds enough like either of them for the comparison. Oh and I used a wooden frame drum for the snare, that was fun. The cool wah effect on my guitar is my DOD FX25b, everyone should have one. Anyway the lyrics were inspired by watching the top chat on a livestream video of a webcam in SE Louisiana when Ida was making landfall and somehow everyone was turning it into endless political bullshit and seriously, can we just shut up about all these crooked politicians who have nothing to do with the storm and watch the fact that the wind is blowing 120 mph and blowing KOMPRESSOR’s green card out of his hand and into front yard?

Pigfarmer Jr - I like that old school country bouncy bassline. Man I’ve been in a rambling stream of consciousness review style up until now but something about this song is interrupted it because I honestly have no idea how to realistically critique it. I kind of like how the vocals are doubled for a good chunk of the song but periodically break away from each other and hit some harmy parts. It would be kind of nice to have them line up a bit more with each other timing-wise but that’s not really the most important thing in the world and I’d be a hypocrite to give you grief about it cause I mean come on listen to whyt I submitted. I guess it’s important to look at the top chat when you’re watching an old livestream to pick up on what’s going on. I dunno I didn’t hate this song but it’s truly gone in one ear and out the other. I do like that bouncy old-timey country bassline.

Sweeney Toad - Oh man pitchshifted vocals and that synthline that seems to be drifting around semi-atonally. I can’t follow this and it’s doing weird things to my brain almost cause it’s too slot but maybe I like that it’s too slow and I like that weird 8-bit blast of static, this makes me feel like I’m heavily under the influence of I don’t even know what, and I don’t know if I feel good, but the bit about karate chopping is kooler than kool cigs. Anyway, maybe this would be more...I don’t even know, I want it to be faster, but that would ruin the completely disorienting vibe. I simultaneously love this and find it super hard to latch onto. The pitch shifting and doped out everything rmeinds me for some reason of early Yung Lean or something.

[took a break and listened to Gatorade by Yung Lean cause shawty what you sippin onnn, gatorade]


Pannacotta Army - I see your name and I expect high quality. This has a pretty serious 50s rock and roll style. If you took this backing track and added some of those sweet Everly Brothers harmonies on top of it it would be so perfectl. Something about the bass is a little too prominent to me, like I don’t know EXACTLY what else about the mix here isn’t really doing it for me, but there’s something. Honestly I think there’s just too much low end. I’m kind of pleasantly surprised by the fact that the ride cymbal isn’t the same sound sample over and over cause these drums sound synthetic to me. I like the organ. Lyrics are a nice take on the theme, I like how it’s basically a tale of being smitten. You’re hard to critique cause your songs are consistency good and they all sound like you. I’d call it the Pannacotta effect but Glenn Case is equally hard for me to criticize and he’s been hanging out here longer so I’ll call in the Glenn effect -- you’re so consistently good at doing your thing that I really don’t how how to critique it other than what I already said: turn the bass down a bit.

Um, I find it hard to pick a favorite this round, but I feel compelled to single out Brother Baker for evoking an era of popular music I will never quit loving and weirdly Sweeney Toad even though I still don't know whether or not I actually liked his song -- I think he brainwashed me into thinking his song was better than it was, or maybe it was good and my brain is conflicted.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by fluffy »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:29 pm
Everly Brothers
Everly brothers! Right, I was trying to remember some specific 50s/60s acts that Pannacotta reminded me of this week.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by vowlvom »

Balance Lost: P&A vibes from that verse riff (sorry everyone else, niche comparison). Hearing that Blur influence that you occasionally lean into here as well. Really fun song, a pile-up of fun sections that work well together with a catchy tune and memorable lyrics. I danced so hard I nearly etc. etc.

Brother Baker: haha, this is fun! The chaotic breakdown sections are pretty charming. I'm not so much into the switch to that kinda ska / offbeat rhythm later on, kinda feels like your extended break from SF has left you with too many ideas than one song can really handle, but that's better than having too few ideas obviously. The mix is definitely a bit muddy, maybe too many FX on the guitars? I'm hearing other stuff beyond the fuzz that is kinda clouding up the sound a bit maybe. But welcome back, fun track!

Lichen Throat: +1 on the comments about your arrangement here, which definitely feels different and works really well, including the subdued drum part. There's some nice wordplay in the lyrics, although I'm not getting a lot from the lyric as a whole beyond "here is a bunch of French stuff" - it's nice but lacks the storytelling edge in your best stuff. The vocals feel like a bit of a step back after your strong Behind a Mask and Circle of Titles entries but I like that you're experimenting a bit with your sound.

The Pannacotta Army: big Yo La Tengo vibes from the verses! Lovely and atmospheric, but works well that you launch into a more power-pop kinda chorus and solo. The title feels like it fits naturally into the song which is impressive with a kinda awkward phrase. Very strong songwriting.

Phlub: I liked your microtonal stuff last time around but I can't get into this one really, I think because of the combo of the tonal weirdness and the kinda old-school jazz / swing vibes jarring in my head. And the fact that I hate old-school jazz / swing vibes. Haha. Definitely interesting hearing something totally different from you but it's unfortunately lacking in the things I generally find interesting in your stuff.

Pigfarmer Jr: cheerful little tune, the on-the-nose lyrics aren't my favourite but then this title inspired absolutely nothing in me so I can't blame you for going for the straightforward approach. Vocals feel a little overpowering in the mix to me, although they're pretty good and the harmony on the chorus is nice and has a good kinda singalong energy. I'm usually against this much chorus (?) on the guitars but it kinda works here, and the tone for the solo is nice.

Sweeney Toad: love a bitcrushed explosion. Vocal processing on this is pretty abrasive and hard work though, this is not an easy listen for me but in ways that feel intentional so... good work? Maybe? Either way, definitely not one of my favourites from you.

Balance Lost and Pannacotta Army my favourites, and I think also votes to Brother Baker and Pigfarmer Jr.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

Balance Lost—Nice jangly guitars. The chorus is catchy and has enough wordplay to keep it interesting. I think this might sound better with an effect to make your vocal sound fuller, but I’m not sure about that. Good ending with the continuation of the chorus. Vote.

Brother Baker—I know you have a real chord progression in this, but it sounds kind of monotonal (even though I know it really isn’t). I like the sense of energy and urgency. That section at the end sounds like a different song, which I think is intentional, but I’m not sure it works. The vocal is pretty good; songs like this are harder to sing than it seems like they would be, and I think you did a good job. And welcome back!

Lichen Throat (me)—I really, really didn’t want to write about the internet, and you can see what elaborate lengths I went to to avoid doing so. I like the concept here, but my execution leaves a lot to be desired. I’m continually annoyed by how the different sections impinge on one another, and this isn’t one of my more on-key vocals, though at least I have a little more atmosphere in the vocal delivery than usual. And all of you who complained about the ending are entirely correct.

The Pannacotta Army—Wow, the production on this is great. The song is good too. This isn’t quite among my favorites of yours, but it’s definitely in the tier right below. Super professional. Vote.

Phlub—I’m confused by this, but it seems like a limitation of myself, rather than of the song. I’ve never been to the Knitting Factory, but this is what I imagine it sounds like there. I think you’ve probably done what you set out to do. I like the timbre of your vocal on this.

Pigfarmer Jr—Your voice sits well in the mix, but the instruments sound a little muddy to me. To steal a phrase another reviewer used a while back (not in reference to you), this feels like maybe you’re a little too deep in the comfortable chair. I like the solo, and your vocal delivery is good.

Sweeney Toad—I like how this sounds like Space Invaders and the lyrics match that. However, I think it needs more of a hook. I like the long, wavery synth notes. I think the super growly vocal delivery is cool, and I’d like to hear it paired with a counterpoint.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

vowlvom wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:34 am
Lichen Throat: +1 on the comments about your arrangement here, which definitely feels different and works really well, including the subdued drum part. There's some nice wordplay in the lyrics, although I'm not getting a lot from the lyric as a whole beyond "here is a bunch of French stuff" - it's nice but lacks the storytelling edge in your best stuff. The vocals feel like a bit of a step back after your strong Behind a Mask and Circle of Titles entries but I like that you're experimenting a bit with your sound.
Thanks for the review. Lyrically, I was trying to capture the experience of how travel can feel lonely in kind of a pleasant way, as if a mild sense of alienation and confusion is part of the point and appeal. Bishop Allen's "Chinatown Bus" is an example of what I had in mind (well, half their other songs are examples, too). I can see how it might come off as just a bunch of French stuff, though; I felt like I had to squeeze harder than usual to try to make it cohesive.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

lichenthroat wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:31 pm
Pigfarmer Jr—Your voice sits well in the mix, but the instruments sound a little muddy to me.
vowlvom wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:34 am
Pigfarmer Jr: Vocals feel a little overpowering in the mix to me, although they're pretty good and the harmony on the chorus is nice and has a good kinda singalong energy.
Due to the reviews, I went back and just hit the mix again. I reset the vocal level, tightened up the harmony vox tracks a bit and re-EQ'd the guitars and bass. I think I've gotten it a bit more clarity but will have to compare the two side by side to be sure. Thanks for the reviews. It's good to get this feedback.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by Heine »

Haha, I just came along and saw the cover art. That's exactly what I thought first when the fight was announced. :D
But then thinking... nah.. can't do that...
Hey, after all I wasn't too wrong. 8-)
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by FireBear »

All, thanks for the feedback so far!

Here, Atticus usually does the mixing for us but didn't have time for this fight. I'm newer to mixing, and I definitely hear the muddiness of the the guitars in the track. I'm going to play around with the guitar FX and try to learn more about EQing to see if I can resolve that.
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by SweeneyToad »

fluffy wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 2:44 pm
I'd like to hear someone else's overly-earnest cover of this song, just to see what it'd sound like.
I know this doesn’t count as a cover but at least it’s with a producer who is way better than me this time: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMRsoAwot/
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Toby Rok: Sweeeney Toad...I can’t explain why, but I like it...

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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by FireBear »

Phlub: I couldn't decide my feelings but I love this. It's so weird, funky and unique. My main issue is there aren't really any strong dynamic in the song. It's similar and in your face the entire time. It's hard to tell one part from another.

The Pannacotta Army: I really like this song. It vibes like I'm on a beach. It's the groovy bass. It sounds mixed really well to me. You've got my vote

Brother Baker: The goal was to come back with a banger, and this was a super fun one to record. The weird bridge came because my barber, and I got talking about weird elements in music. Normally Here, Atticus does the mix, but it was me this time. I do think the guitars are too muddy, and I'll work on that. Also, I accidently auto made up the volume on the master mix compressor, which led to over compression.

Pigfarmer Jr: I like the song, and the bass line. It's a fun one. Something isn't sitting right with me on the mix. The vocals may stick out too far, and I think the drums get covered at points by everything else.

Lichen Throat: The music on this one is cool. I think the vocals are off-beat, and the drums are too soft.

Sweeney Toad: I don't like this, but I do like the execution and what you have done here. Cool track

Balance Lost: This might be my favorite this fight. I agree the mix is loud. The Chorus is super catchy. You have my vote.
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Here, Atticus
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by Here, Atticus »

Haven’t done reviews in a long while, might not have a lot of substance this time around. I'm still figuring out that delicate Work-SongFight balance.

Balance Lost:
This is fun! The guitar work is interesting and enjoyable. I liked the songwriting on this one, the track stays interesting the whole way through until the last double chorus. I think I wanted more crescendo for the last time through or something. Lyrics are earnest and engaging. This feels like it would be the theme song for some show in the early aughts.

Brother Baker:
Me. Thrilled to have taken the backseat this time, Firebear did all the lyrics, mixing, and fun noises. All I had to do was drums, bass, and deliver a mediocre vocal performance without warming up, 6 hours after the song was actually due. And deliver I did.

Lichen Throat:
Hey, your production has gotten better, man! It’s nice to hear more than just a voice and a MIDI file. As is usually true of me, I want the drums to be louder. The vocals seem a little more loose, rhythmically. Well, they’re better when the drums come in. Do you sing with the metronome on?
Lyrics use beautiful imagery. I feel transported lol

The Pannacotta Army:
Mmmm, this is so….pleasant. I feel like I should be drinking a pina colada on an outdoor patio somewhere. I don’t have anything to criticize and I can only say a variation of “I like it” so many times. The song has a great flow, love the piano embellishments in the background. It doesn’t feel any section overstays its welcome. I guess what I’m trying to say is, “I like it.”

Phlub:
Very interesting. Definitely not the sound I expected from you! lol
My western ears definitely struggle with the 5edo, but the song is really cool. The percussive elements are awesome, this was a successful experiment. Love the lyrics! I guess I don’t have much else to say. I really enjoyed the sound palette and the jam you were able to make with it!

Pigfarmer Jr:
Ha, this is a good vibe. The vocals might be a touch loud in the mix in the verse. They sit better in the chorus. I really like the way you end the chorus with the “again and again” line. Fun track!

Sweeney Toad:
I am always here for weird rap. This may have surpassed my taste level, however lol
The beat is pretty dope, but I want more percussive elements out of it. That’s probably personal preference, but it made it hard for me to vibe until you hit that good flow around 1:45. Lyrics are a little hard to understand in the beginning, but I was having a good time by the end!
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Lunkhead
You're No Good
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Balance Lost wins!
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Pigfarmer Jr
Jump
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Congratz BL!
Evil Grin bandcamp - Evil Grin spotify
T.C. Elliott bandcamp - T.C. Elliott spotify

"PigFramer: Guy and guitar OF MY NIGHTMARES." - Blue Lang
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sleepysilverdoor
Ice Cream Man
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Woohoo Balance Lost!
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
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Here, Atticus
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:51 pm
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Submitting as: Brother Baker; Here, Atticus
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Location: St Petersburg, FL
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Re: They censored all my comments in the (Top Chat reviews)

Post by Here, Atticus »

Congrats, Balance Lost! Great tune!
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