The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Who am I to argue.
Last edited by Lunkhead on Thu Mar 17, 2022 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: unstick
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Please post your lyric if you haven't already. THANKS!!!
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12246
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Pigfarmer Jr and Moody Vermin have been added to the fight.
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by mo »

Lunkhead wrote:
Sun Mar 06, 2022 4:18 pm
Pigfarmer Jr and Moody Vermin have been added to the fight.
Yes but are you sure anyone really wanted that
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

mo wrote:
Sun Mar 06, 2022 5:07 pm
Lunkhead wrote:
Sun Mar 06, 2022 4:18 pm
Pigfarmer Jr and Moody Vermin have been added to the fight.
Yes but are you sure anyone really wanted that
I kinda wanted to hear the Moody song. That other jerk could have stayed missing.
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by mo »

I had the exact opposite problem
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by gizo »

Oh shit I'm only 4 songs in and I think Sly Eli and Amelia have already won. This is gorgeous.
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by slyeli »

gizo wrote:
Sun Mar 06, 2022 9:58 pm
Oh shit I'm only 4 songs in and I think Sly Eli and Amelia have already won. This is gorgeous.
Thanks, we had fun making it.
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by Evermind »

gizo and the ADADADAD
---
Love the crunchy feel out of the gate. I get the name joke now. The way the chorus hits is nice. I like the simple structure. The song doesn't outstay its welcome. Nice one!

Moody Vermin
---
That's us! I've been in some kind of funk for months now and haven't been able to do much, so music hasn't been getting done. For some reason, I managed to get out of it for this fight. Vom and Owl helped with backup vocals on this one and I think they sound really great. Thanks y'all.

Sumner Sloane
---
The tambourine is suffering from the "machine gun" effect. Every hit sounds exactly the same, exactly on beat, exactly as loud as the last. It would benefit from some humanization. It's also very loud, and it makes it very obvious when the other parts aren't quite on beat. The guitar, also hitting every beat, might benefit from a little quantization, or if you prefer, some more take attempts or punch-ins. Everything in the mix sounds pretty dark, even things that usually lend some brightness like the cymbals. There's some weirdness from the drums, some comb filtering going on. The guitar could probably benefit from an amp sim, even if it's not overdriven or distorted, just for a little teensy bit of tone and crunch.

Gil Sans
---
Organ is barely audible, very quiet even for a pad. Love the vocal harmonies and vocal delivery. Reminiscent of some of my favorite Weezer tunes. Good use of feedback. Mix feels cluttered, some more EQ to give everything a little more of its own space might help. More great use of feedback in the solo. Song ends suddenly, abruptly, could probably be done in a way that feels more intentional.

Brown Word and the Big Whine
---
Nice to see you in this fight! Unusual and very cool textures in the background synths. Your vocals are mixed super low. I can hear you okay, but there's big boomy chuggy guitar overwhelming everything and the high end feels missing. The cymbals feel a little anemic. You have a cool doomy metal groove going on and I like it. Ending feels abrupt.

Prill Phuner
---
Very 80s feeling synth drums which sound great. Voice is completely washed out with way too much reverb and very pitchy, vocal delivery feels like you are falling asleep. Drums and bass synth are dominating everything at parts. I like the way this song is written. This ending is very abrupt but it fits the style a little better. I think you should give more tries at the vocals, and maybe use some pitch correction to help support your voice. A good way to get your vocals to sound less mumbly is to change the way your mouth is positioned. Force yourself to yawn, then try to keep the back of your mouth open in that same way when you sing. You can also over-pronounce your words. It will sound more natural in the recording.

WreckdoM
---
The synth bass is tasty. Arrangement is a little sparse and repetitive, but I love the sound of everything. Some of the vocal is a bit pitchy. Overall, happy I listened to this song. It is, to borrow a word, bitchin'.

Gray
---
Horns! Maybe a little too aggressive, especially juxtaposed with the meek sounding vocal delivery and dry vocal treatment. I would either go over-the-top or extra smooth on vocal delivery to match or contrast the energy. Some pretty cliche rhymes right off the bat. Piano solo feels a little off time in places. Drums feel like they're all panned right down the center and the same riff repeats for nearly the whole song, which makes them feel like they're an afterthought. Gospel outro is fun, but the sparse arrangement really exposes the pitchy vocal performance.

Phlub
---
More alternative tuning experiments I see! The reverb on the guitar might be a bit excessive. It also feels like the reverb is detuned, which makes this feel a lot more inaccessible as compared to some of your other tuning experiments. The timing is pretty loose in parts, too. The production is very dark and muddy. I would love to hear more high end from the pads you have backing the guitar. My brain sort of catches onto the alternative tuning by the end and, listening to the start again after one play through, it sounds better.

Lichen Throat
---
You've improved remarkably over the time I've known you. Whatever you're doing, it's working. I still hear some times where your voice sort of floats around and never lands on a pitch exactly, and some places where you rush to fit a bunch of words in before the end of the bar, but this is a lot more on the mark as far as those things go, and you've still kept up your strong qualities like your lyric writing.

Paco del Stinko
---
Nice intro. Stick click as ticking clock is clever. Vocal treatment is perfect for the style. Drums sound great. Love it.

Berkeley Social Scene
---
Song is mastered very hot. Guitar tone has a very Van Halen feel. The stress the "ing" on "swallowing" in "swallowing our towns" feels odd. Feels like the master compression is a little aggressive. During the chorus the whole song feels like it's pumping in response to the kick drum, especially in the first chorus. Guitar solo is very cool.

The Mellfire Trifecta
---
The song sounds like one long "I told you so" and it's grating. I don't know the situation, fictional or otherwise, and I am not trying to judge, but this is the way it comes across to me. I don't know if this is meant to be a song where we empathize with the narrator's point of view, but it's hard to, and it's unclear whether I'm supposed to. This song is also pretty severely lacking in low end. There's a bunch of instruments that could be holding that low end like the piano and guitar, but aren't.

Night Sky
---
The slapback delay you like to use on your voice is kinda jarring to me. I think it could work better if the delay were shorter and/or if the volume of the delay were lower, but this might just be a difference in taste. In this song, your voice is really exposed and the effect feels more jarring in this song than in some others I've heard from you. I like the guitar riff. The mix feels a little lopsided to the left. The drums are so quiet in comparison to the guitar panned to the left. The timing is a little loose on the outro, and it kind of works: it gives the feeling of throwing up your hands in resignation, like "fuck this". That totally works, especially with the subject matter. I'm not sure it's the impression you were trying to give, but I like it.

Sli Eli ft Amelia
---
Adorable sounding vocalist! I think she needs to back off the mic a bit, though, the breath noise is strong and I think she's getting proximity effect, boosting the low end on the recording and making it feel a little boxy. (I feel a little silly criticizing the mic technique of someone so young, let's move on.) Mix felt lopsided until the guitar and grownup vocals come in. I like the splash of vocoding in the panned doubled backup vocals. When we return to the verse section, the dark reverby synth fills out the right side. There's a symbolism here, it feels like. Contrast between a childlike hopefulness and a dark forboding anxiety, maybe? Maybe I'm reading into it too much, maybe I'm projecting, but I'm a sucker for musical elements that directly connect to the theme of the song and whether it was intentional or not, it works. Well done.

Duck + Cover
---
Love the vocal performance. The constant panning back and forth feels uncomfortable, though. The dynamics kinda feel like they disappear completely during the chorus. Maybe overly aggressive limiting? I like the sound of the backing filter-swept synths.

Pigfarmer Jr.
---
Starting out with significantly less rocking than I expect from a PFJr song. I like the guitar riff, and the drums feel punchy. The lyrics feel lacking though. We find out someone has lied, and that trust is gone as a result, and that sort of keeps getting re-stated in different ways. In the bridge, we find out the person who lied is a significant other, but then it goes back to just re-stating that lying happened. There's a lot more to be explored here. Lied about what? When? Why was this lie so devastating?

Rone Rivendale
---
The accordion-ish synth hits some sour sounding notes that betrays a lack of basic music theory. So does the guitar synth. The "ooh" female vocal sample keeps getting faded out in a way that sticks out. Everything feels very robotic, following the same cadence over and over again. The vocal performance is a little nasal. It sounds like you may be holding your tongue back or jutting out your lower jaw a little when you sing, which will force more air through your nasal cavity. You also seem to be slurring your words a little bit. My biggest problem with this song is that it isn't a two minute song. It's a 20 second song, repeated for two minutes. Nothing changes, nothing new is introduced, it's just looped.
I am definitely too square for how experimental this is, but I can imagine that if I was in the right state of mind, the section starting at 2:20 might transport me to another dimension - jeffhenderson
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

I think my reviews took an overall negative turn, unfortunately. Please don't take offense, these are just one person's opinions. Hopefully everybody had fun making their songs and are excited to do it again for the next title.

Brown Word - I like the ominous and ambient opening. I wish the vocal melody ranged around a little more. Every line seems to be kinda static, like, one or two notes or something. It's already starting to feel a little meandering to me and then the slow breakdown doesn't really change things up in a way that revives my interest. And the outro, something doesn't seem quite right about the key that the guitars are playing in vs the key that the vocals and other instruments are in. I like the ideas in your lyrics and some of the lines.

Prill Phuner - Promising 80s throwback synth intro. Unfortunately the singing kinda brings this one down for me. The ambience on the vocals doesn't match up at all with the rest of the mix, and they're too loud, and there are pitch issues. This one also has some pacing issues for me, and winds up feeling too samey-samey throughout for me. Maybe it's how much that bass synth plays mostly the same part.

Duck+Cover - Can't say I'm a huge fan of this specific hard rock/metal vibe. I like that Jeff is going for it, but I'm not sure these vocals are working for me. Maybe if they were an octave higher? The lyrics definitely fit the genre but the first verse rhyme scheme and rhymes are maybe too cheesy even for the genre. The second verse lyrics are better. I mostly like the chorus lyrics too. I wish the phrasing of "To take revenge" in the vocals matched up rhythmically more tightly with the band. Also I wish there'd have been harmonies or backups somewhere. This lost a lot of momentum going into the interlude. I appreciate the attempt to really mix up the vibe, and add some space, it was just too much for me, it felt like the song started to stall out over and over. I'm waiting for a face melting guitar solo but this is past the 4 minute mark and I'm guessing it's not going to happen. Wow, nearly 5 minutes long! I think this could use a lot of editing.

Pigfarmer Jr - This has a good simple solid core to it. I wish there were more meat in the lyrics/story, a lot of the lines feel a bit like filler or placeholders that aren't saying or adding much. I like the flow of the parts, I like that you've got a pre-chorus, it functions well as a transition from the verse to the chorus. The solo comes in at a good time and sounds good. I wish there'd have been some more instrumental variation across the parts, and/or some backup vocals, so the arrangement builds up more as it goes. Definitely a good idea to keep the lead guitar playing through to the end. That helped lift the energy of the back half of the song.

WreckdoM - In this case I think the fact that the vocal is bone dry is a mismatch with the song, for this style and mood it needs some ambience. Hopefully this doesn't sound mean but the vocals sound almost like you're making up the melody as you go, singing and reading the lyrics for the first time or something. The melodies don't feel very intentional or solid. "truly bitchin'" sounds very out of place. Maybe I've got 40's noir on the mind though because I just watched "Nightmare Alley". Also I wish there was more space in this, like, the singer is singing kinda non-stop the whole time. Some space between sets of couplets I think could help mix things up and keep things more interesting.

gizo and the ADADADADADADADADADAD - I like the lo-fi dirty bass intro. I wish the drums were higher in the mix and had some more reverb on them. The vocals fit the lo-fi indie vibe. They could use some more reverb on them too. Maybe doubling them an octave higher with some whisper singing could have been good even in the first (oh, only?) verse. I like the way things pick up in the "chorus"/outro, although it's making me wish for big loud booming drums even more. This feels like it could still use some work to be fleshed out into a full song rather than a two minute jam.

Lichen Throat - I have to be honest, and I'm sorry if this seems mean, but I'm still struggling to understand what you're doing. But don't put too much stock into that, I'm just one person, and there is no real right or wrong way to make music. You use acoustic drum samples but the beats are not anything a human drummer would play. Are you programming those from scratch yourself with MIDI? Have you considered using MIDI loops of drum beats instead? Or maybe watching some YouTube videos about basic rock drumming to get ideas for basic beats? You may want to dial the complexity back and keep it simple for a while till you get really solid with that. I think it's mostly the way the cymbals and hi-hat are being used, I guess, rather than the kick and snare. I'm expecting the hi-hat to be like the metronome, playing steady quarter or eighth notes with the cymbals as accents on the downbeat of the first beat of the occasional measure. And the vocals, I'm not sure about a bunch of the pitches, they don't sound like the right notes for the key but I don't know if it's a matter of choosing notes that aren't actually in the right key or a singing issue. Do you ever record a guide track for the vocals, like program a MIDI track with the notes you're going to sing so you can hear them and make sure they're right and then sing and try to match them? Do you have an autotune feature in your DAW? If so you could sing a vocal track and then tune it up to the notes you want, make sure they're in the right key, etc. and then use that as a vocal track to track the final vocals to. Anyway, I do really like your lyrics, lots of good stuff in there. I would say maybe instrumental breaks halfway through each set of 8 lines might help mix things up more.

Night Sky - The vocals sound a little unsure of the melodies here too. The phrasing sounds a bit awkward also, with the 2nd and 4th lines of the verse 2x as long as the 1st and 3rd lines. I think it could sound more natural with a brief pause in the middle of the 2nd/4th lines but I'm probably getting a little into the weeds there. I'm very glad to hear the backing vocals in the first "chorus". I think it took a bit too long to get there though. I was hoping for an instrumental lead or melody or solo after "how the story would end". The dynamics maybe should have come back down again for the "Feels like the end is nigh" part. Maybe gradually build through to the last chorus. On many of the 10+ syllable lines I'm still having a hard time with the phrasing, it's sticking out to me more later in the song. I like a lot of the imagery in the lyrics though, but they don't quite add up to a moving story or whole for me. Also this felt pretty long overall and could use some editing.

Berkeley Social Scene - This is Ken on mixing, drums, and keys, Glen on rhythm guitar, and me on bass, rhythm and lead guitar, and vocals. We wrote the music together and recorded the basic tracks live. Ken started some lyrics and I finished them off. For a moment we tried not to do our usual unintentional thing of having major key parts with not happy lyrics, but then we unconsciously did it anyway. We apparently can't help ourselves. I think we originally were intending to have bridge lyrics and vocals but I didn't have any more lyric ideas so I just played more guitar. In hindsight we probably could have cut the bridge. Anyway, pretty standard BSS stuff here.

Phlub - I found this to be a fun voyage and I listened with interest, but, after that I feel like I don't need to hear this again.

Paco del Stinko - I really like the concept of doing a 1 minute song for the title. I like the stick click as the clock ticking. When the band kicks in that's great. I wish you'd squeezed in a wild out of control guitar solo in the final seconds like that was everything just going off the rails before the end.

Sly Eli feat Amelia - This is cute but the novelty of the verse vocals wears off quick for me, which I'm sure makes me sound like a horrible asshole. The chorus vocals sound great though at least. But overall this just felt like the novelty was supposed to carry it and that didn't pan out for me.

Rone Rivendale - There is some dissonance going on here that I'm struggling with. Some is within the "beep beep" instruments themselves and then there is definitely some between those and the singing and guitar playing. The singing and guitar playing don't seem to be in the same key as the other instruments. Really not much to hang on to in the lyrics, either. This feels too long even at <2 minutes honestly. Nothing new seems to happen after a minute, it could have just been one minute and that would have been fine.

Gray - I have a hard time with the horn stabs, they sound really fake. Very nice piano playing. I wish the vocals sounded clearer and brighter and more up front, but also that they were sung with more oomph. I don't like the drop and "wait a minute" but the gospel-y thing after that is a nice change. I think you could have transitioned into the more gracefully but it's a really good idea for how to end the song in a satisfying way.

Moody Vermin - This almost sounds like frankie big face for a second in the beginning. Man, yet another short song, with only a couple ideas to it. I wish that when all the cool backup vocals came in that the vocal arrangement sounded bigger and fuller, and that the guitar wasn't still the biggest loudest most prominent part of the mix. There's a seed of a cool song in here, it just feels like a couple ideas though and not a whole thing.

Sumner Sloane - I feel like this has the bones of a good power pop song. The dynamic changes through the song feel off to me though. I wish you'd rocked out for the "I can slow right down" part through to "we'll both arrive on time" then gotten small/quiet again, through the next four lines, then rocked out again starting with "I can pump the brakes". I really want to enjoy this more because of the music and lyrics but it feels like a very early demo where things are still being worked out.

Gil Sans - Now we're talking, pop/indie rock, yeah. I really want a part where everything drops out then slowly crescendos back up with everybody hitting eighth notes. I like the guitar solo and the tone of that guitar. This is another one that sounds like a demo by a garage band that should get signed and have their first album produced by Steve Albini or Ric Ocasek or somebody.

The Mellfire Trifecta - This is a good solid song, and the story and lyrics and vocals are carrying it for me. There is room for improvement in the arrangement and dynamic changes and mixing, but, those aren't getting in the way that much for me with this song. I enjoy the accordion and the tone that adds into the mix. I really like the "attic"/"basement" line and the subsequent rhyme with "face meant", which I imagine folks will either love or hate. Something about your voice near the very end reminded me of the guy from The Decemberists and that made me think this whole song could do well with a production style similar to some of their songs.

Re: the BSS mastering, wow, yeah, I hadn't checked it before it got submitted but it is very loud. YouLean is telling me -7.4 integrated LUFS. We'll have to try to check that more thoroughly in the future. Sorry!
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by slyeli »

Evermind wrote:
Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:25 pm
Maybe I'm reading into it too much, maybe I'm projecting, but I'm a sucker for musical elements that directly connect to the theme of the song and whether it was intentional or not, it works. Well done.
That was kind-of why I thought it was worth posting. I gave Amelia the title, and on her first take she freestyled some lyrics, that fitted in better with the title than most of my entries. There's something to be said for spontaneity.
Lunkhead wrote:
Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:52 pm
This is cute but the novelty of the verse vocals wears off quick for me, which I'm sure makes me sound like a horrible asshole.
Not at all. I knew it would split the room and I totally get why it wouldn't appeal. Thanks for the review.
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by slyeli »

Berkeley Social Scene - this is good. The drums are a bit dry but other than that the mix sounds pretty nice, especially when the chorus kicks in. The uplift into the chorus is probably my favorite part and also when the solo switches to using chords.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - I think this could do with the tempo being turned up a notch. As it is, it feels a bit plodding. The guitar is very in your face and I'm not sure it fits in very well with the rest of the song.

Duck+Cover - this is pretty good. The sparse verse into the heavy chorus works well. I think the verse melody is stronger than the chorus, which sounds a bit dull in comparison to the instruments. The breakdown is my least favorite part, as it sounds a bit lost, but overall I enjoyed this.

Gil Sans - this is great. The mix is awful but the song saves it. I'd love to hear this with a better recording. Oh and a better ending.

gizo and the ADADADADADADADADADAD - I didn't like this when it started but when the heavy part comes in it gets really good. The long intro actually makes it all work.

Gray - those loud horns get annoying really quickly. I enjoyed the piano part and the outro but I wasn't sold on the rest of it.

Lichen Throat - the verse is some of the best singing I've heard from you. I wasn't keen on the chorus though. It could do with more of a change in the instruments to separate the different parts.

The Mellfire Trifecta - the time signature and accordion sound remind me of Nothing Ever Happens by Del Amitri. I'm enjoying listening to this but I'm not keen on the snare in the chorus, it spoils the effect because it sounds too robotic.

Moody Vermin - this gets better as it goes along. It sounds a bit confused and messy at the start but by the end it's got this nice campfire quality that I could have listened to for longer.

Night Sky - the thing that strikes me most is that the acoustic guitar player sounds like they're really going for it but the rest of the instruments aren't following. I get the feeling that most of this song is in the lyrics but I generally don't notice lyrics unless the music grabs me, so I'm losing interest by the end.

Paco del Stinko - the intro could do with being shorter and the clicking sticks are too mechanical but other than that I liked this. The start/stop nature makes the heavy parts hit hard when they come in and it's short enough that it doesn't get old.

Phlub - I'd rather hear these unusual tunings used to add some weirdness to a more conventional song. I don't really get the attraction of doing a whole song this way.

Pigfarmer Jr - I'm liking the guitar playing in this. I'm not sure about the vocals though, they're a bit subdued and could do with a bit more emotion.

Prill Phuner - nice 80's drum sounds. The vocal doesn't fit with the slick synth and drum sound and it's almost like it's from a different song.

Rone Rivendale - if you're going to use stock samples you should mess them up so they don't sound like a keyboard demo. I don't get sure why you looped this for so long without any changes.

Sumner Sloane - there's something very strange about this mix. It sounds like it's all being played under pillows. It's a shame because I like the melody and if it had a bit more bite to it, it could be a good song.

WreckdoM - this has some nice moments in it, like when synth drops out and the panned piano comes it but I find the vocal starts to get a bit dull by the end. I think it needs more of the weird accent part to keep it interesting.
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by rone rivendale »

Rone Rivendale - if you're going to use stock samples you should mess them up so they don't sound like a keyboard demo. I don't get sure why you looped this for so long without any changes.

You don't listen to a lot of Techno/electronica do you? lol

It's ok, my next song is going to be VERY different from that.
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sleepysilverdoor
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

rone rivendale wrote:
Thu Mar 10, 2022 4:25 pm
Rone Rivendale - if you're going to use stock samples you should mess them up so they don't sound like a keyboard demo. I don't get sure why you looped this for so long without any changes.

You don't listen to a lot of Techno/electronica do you? lol

It's ok, my next song is going to be VERY different from that.
Techno usually changes a lot...gradually...over like 8 minutes.
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slyeli
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by slyeli »

rone rivendale wrote:
Thu Mar 10, 2022 4:25 pm
You don't listen to a lot of Techno/electronica do you? lol
Only the good stuff :lol:

.
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sleepysilverdoor
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

slyeli wrote:
Fri Mar 11, 2022 2:46 am
rone rivendale wrote:
Thu Mar 10, 2022 4:25 pm
You don't listen to a lot of Techno/electronica do you? lol
Only the good stuff :lol:

.
I raise you this :)

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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by mo »

my favorite stuff on those lines is Nerve

https://youtu.be/6muS5lg-9B8?t=34
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by Gray »

The Mellfire Trifecta - Pleasant intro. Guitar strum is really clean. Well done.

Duck+Cover - Interesting stereo stuff with the vocals on this one. I like what's going on with the drum track. I feel like the lead guitar riff at the beginning of this wasn't super compelling as an intro, however it sounded great at 1:12 and worked well the other times it was used in the song.

Prill Phuner - The drums at the beginning are giving some serious 80's vibes in this one. The effects on the vocals sound somewhat overcooked (like the choices of those effects isn't bad, but there is just so much it makes it difficult to understand what you are singing).

Paco del Stinko - The intro was certainly attention grabbing. Like the guitars.

Night Sky - The intro is nice but the string rattle diminishes it. Like the background vocal part around 1:45. "One minute closer to the end of the line" was nice.

Sumner Sloane - Like the stereo guitar. To me, the drums sounds (kick drum in particular) don't seem right for this track, but I can't put my finger on why.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - Thunder, nice. Vocals could be louder in the mix. That is a really heavy guitar sound. Like the devil voice at 2:05.

Gil Sans - In the intro the guitars grab you, but I had to listen to it 4 times before I could figure out what you were saying on the first line (this was the least understandable lyric in the song). Like the lyric "One minute turns into two". I like the drums throughout.

gizo and the ADADADADADADADADADAD - I feel like the intro goes on too long (could probably skip the repeat, particularly since that same guitar is still going when the verse starts). I like the singing on this. I feel the effect that is on the vocal is more of a distraction than an enhancement. The drums on this are pretty chill and fit the track well.

Sly Eli feat Amelia - The chorus part was fairly clean. The sounds at the end felt pretty random to me.

Rone Rivendale - The sounds at the beginning (that were repeated through the whole song) made me think of old video games (like mario 64). This one was just too repetitive for me.

Phlub - This mostly felt like somebody messing around on the guitar to me (as opposed to a coherent 'song'). However -- the part from 0:51 to 1:02 was actually pretty cool sounding.

Moody Vermin - I like the way the strumming sound was captured in this. It felt like the guitar / vocal volume balance leaned too much toward guitar.

Gray (me) - After listening to several of the other songs I feel like the overall loudness on this one is a little low. I'm not really sure about how people will react to how I chose to end this, but it does make me smile when I listen to it.

Berkeley Social Scene - That's a nice guitar tone on this one. I like the balance between the parts on this. Vocals sound good. Nice work.

WreckdoM - The bass sound you have under the vocals is a cool sound, but I'm not sure if it really goes with this song. I like the piano part from 1:05 to 1:15.

Pigfarmer Jr - Nice clean acoustic guitar. The melody and chord changes on "need to know the reasons why you had to lie" are great. That electric solo is also nice. Good song.

Lichen Throat - I like the little break you are using between verses, like 0:49 to 0:55 (and later on in the song).
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by mholland »

Thanks for the thoughtful reviews. I appreciate some of the longer-established song fighters kicking off reviews when there's been a bit of a drought of late. Here are my thoughts.

Berkeley Social Scene - Pretty typically solid BSS offering, with good arrangement and nice guitar and synth leads throughout. Lead vocal comes across a little bored with our collective demise.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - Vocals need to come up in the mix to compete with everything else that's going on, particularly the distorted guitars. Seems like compression might help, too. My vocals can be thin in a way similar to yours, and I feel like parallel compression helps thicken them up.

Duck+Cover - Nice guitar riffs, excellent performance. Drums sound good and big. Vocals sound a bit strained and wobbly, but who am I to talk. Bridge feels like an afterthought. Overall, hangs together well, but feels a little long (see above re: who am I to talk).

Gil Sans - Doubled/harmonized lead vocal works well for the kinda loose live-in-a-club sound. I like the "watched fruit's gonna spoil" follow-up to the watched pot cliche. Guitar solo outro a little on the long side relative to its melodic content. Overall really fun.

gizo and the ||: A D :|| - Really like the gentle and contemplative approach to the prompt. Also the gentle approach to the vocals. Backing vocals are nice and very well placed in the mix. Instrumental parts really effective, and the build is nice. Ending feels a bit abrupt.

Gray - Fun lyrics, but the overall novelty feel doesn't really work for me. The MIDI horns sound really fake, and for the function that they serve, something like an organ (though I realize there's already one in the background throughout) or maybe accordion would work better. Piano solo is pretty nice. I kinda like the gospel outro, but not so much the "wait a minute" break to get there.

Lichen Throat - Interesting and thoughtful lyrics as usual. Also, as usual, I have a hard time relating to the music, and I can never tell how much of that is style and influences vs. the way you compose, which is quite different from those of us who started out playing instruments.

The Mellfire Trifecta - The take on the prompt is generally fun and playful, though there's some blame-the-girl energy that bugs me. I like the accordion.

Moody Vermin - This is enjoyable. Lead vocal vocal melody and delivery are really nice. Guitar part is very satisfying and well-performed, but sounds a bit boxy to my ear. Maybe some room resonances that aren't doing you favors? A bit more definition and sparkle in the backing vocals would be nice. Like I'd kind of like to hear owl's voice come out a little more clearly here and there.

Night Sky - This is us. Sally and I saw Jason Isbell with Shawn Colvin as the opener just before we wrote this, so I felt like trying to write an acoustic guitar driven sing along anthem kind of thing (hence the utter lack of saxophones). Didn't quite get there, but I feel like maybe it could with some work. The mix is unbalanced to the left, as Evermind observed. I was going to add an organ or something, but never quite figured out how to make it work. I felt like keeping the guitar straight up the middle was going to crowd out the vocal, so I left it unbalanced. I also couldn't get two guitar takes that worked well enough together to just pan them opposite and be done with it. I still think it worked out OK, but I appreciate the reviews.

Paco del Stinko - Fun manic Paco energy, well-executed as per usual.

Phlub - Microtonal unease combined with the guitar tone and verb/delay make me feel like this would be good accompaniment to a SCUBA scene in a Bond movie.

Pigfarmer Jr - Well-recorded guitars. Signature PFJr guitar solo with both ascending and descending pentatonic riffs.

Prill Phuner - Kinda like the 80s drum sounds as others have remarked. Some bad notes in the vocals, and way too much reverb makes them feel completely divorced from the rest of the track. Ending really abrupt.

Rone Rivendale - My thoughts are similar to others--hard to identify a sense of musicality in this, and it's really repetitive. I think the vocal samples would work a lot better as a background element in a dense mix, rather than an exposed feature.

Sly Eli feat Amelia - I'm solidly on the "kids are cute, but I don't generally enjoy listening to them singing" side of this divided room. I kinda like some of her improvised lyrics, though. Chorus sounds pretty good, but a little repetitive. Outro is kinda weird.

Sumner Sloane - I like the arrangement, particularly holding off on bringing the drum kit in until over 30 seconds into the song. Though I agree with Evermind that there's something off about the tambourine that could maybe be addressed by introducing some accents and more human timing variation, or even some 16th figures and ghost notes to relieve the straight eighths. Drums sound flabby or maybe even a little flanged. Overall mix sounds muffled, maybe too much reverb or in the wrong places?

WreckdoM - I like the story of the lyrics, and connect to this musically more than I typically do with your stuff. I don't know if it was intentional to leave in the non-vocal sounds in the vocal track, but the mouth sounds in the first 15 or so seconds are kind of gross, and it would be better to edit them out. Vocal delivery is unsure/pitchy, but I appreciate that you're singing more than I have typically heard from you.

edit: remove inadvertent smiley from my joke truncation of gizo's joke band name
Night Sky is Sally on lyrics, Steve on drums, and Matt on the other stuff
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by MellyP »

The Mellfire Trifecta - The take on the prompt is generally fun and playful, though there's some blame-the-girl energy that bugs me. I like the accordion.
Thank you so much for reviewing all these entries. I'm just doing reviews now. You having a take on my lyrical choices is fair and your reaction to them is of course more than valid. I think the narrator in this song also blames himself for choosing to live with this couple. I would just add that I do think we should all reserve the right to write songs about bad people, whether they be real or fictional characters, male or female. Any kind of person can be bad news and I've written my share of protest-y ones - most of those about men doing wrong. Thanks again for reviewing!
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Re: The Doomsday clock says we're (One Minute Closer reviews)

Post by MellyP »

Phlub - To me it's an interesting experiment. It feels limited in the notes used, and I think that was intentional (or unavoidable?) if I'm remembering correctly. Without vocals, it tends to feel draggy for me, but like the drums and the playing is inventive.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - Atmospheric setup is nice. Listening in headphones and I can't really hear the vocals -- though they sound good, with snarl at times. The guitar playing is nice. It's like another narrator, as you're playing with a lot of feeling. Double tracked vocals section works well and I can hear better. The outro sounds hopeful for a while and that's an interesting choice. Cool job.

The Mellfire Trifecta - This is mine. Upon reflection, and seeing previous comments, I see how it's a bit of a one-note complainer of a lyric, when I was trying for a light and humorous take on this one. Production/ mixing remain big challenges but I'm slowly learning - lots from y'all.

Gil Sans - There's a Replacements feel right out of the gate and I like that. The harmony vocals add a lot -- and the natural feel to the singing is good. I like the solo - simple but effective. Good ending. Maybe some mixing and panning changes could help but this is a solid song.

Night Sky - I like your vocals here. "We were walking" section, with the added vocals feels a bit off, or it just takes the focus away from the lead vocal. Not sure why. I like the lyrics in this one too. Lots of good imagery and good ideas. Nice acoustic guitar playing.

Berkeley Social Scene - This has great playing throughout. Very good singing. After the first "We just watched and stood by" the move back to the next felt abrupt. Nice guitar playing and I love the keyboard parts, which add so much. So I'm not sure about the arrangement. I think this could be tighter if it moved more smoothly from section to section. Sometimes the momentum stopped.

Paco del Stinko - I didn't get into this like many of your previous tunes but I think the guitar playing stands out as excellent and I liked the one-minute length of the song idea. That could have been a really good optional challenge.

Pigfarmer Jr - Great guitar playing and drumming. Typically engaging singing. The mix is nice. It's a simple concept but I enjoyed imagining what went wrong between these two people. The bridge is good. I like the solo. Good job.

Moody Vermin - Yeah I like this one. Short and sweet. Harmonies are subtle and it works well. A few chord changes took me by surprise. The guitar is a bit echoey for my personal taste and the end is abrupt but it ain't wrong. Nice!

Sly Eli feat Amelia - Good job on the freestyle lyrics there. The production on this song is super professional. Not so sure about the ending... What is the guitar effect? Because it's pretty awesome.

gizo and the ADADADADADADADADADAD - Was that supposed to be like a heartbeat at the beginning? Not sure but that's how I heard it. This song is different and I like it. The mix might be a bit off in the chorus and there's a boom to it that's sustained. This is one of my favorites for sure.

Sumner Sloane - I love your melodies and singing. Consistently great. The mix is a bit muffled, on a leash instead of running off and out enjoying the sunny day. Good job though and pls keep writing more great stuff.

Duck + Cover - This isn't really my favorite style of music so please consider my comments with that in mind. I think the playing is very well done and vocals rocked. Feels a bit overly heavy at the lower end. The breakdown section is a good idea. The chord choices are strange to me though, as they left me hanging, unresolved. But the song kicks back in again for me after that. It's clear you worked very hard to make this good and professional.

Gray - Love the piano playing on this but I didn't get into too much otherwise - until the outro. It's a strange transition but once I was into the outro part, I liked it.

Lichen Throat - I can hear your voice a lot better in this mix and I think it's an improvement. This song doesn't have enough variation for my liking especially in the verses. I really got into the thought provoking lyrics - loved them in fact.

Rone Rivendale - Good effort. I like the sections with the woman singer here. Not so sure about the other sections. Did you play the keyboard part during her part. They're nice!

Prill Phuner - Lots of sustained effect on the vocals - would love to hear this without so much of that effect. Is it autotuned? Some stuff is pitchy. I think the arrangement here is great and I like the bass especially. Drums good too.

WreckDoM - At times I hear a Radiohead influence. You paint a great picture with your lyrics. At first I was thinking it was about Russian Oligarchs but now I don't think so. But I don't need to know everything to enjoy the words though. Well done.
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