What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

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Pigfarmer Jr
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What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

You don't have to beat around the bush. No need to equivocate. There's no sense in dodging the topic or evading the point. What you have to say might bring some light to the subject.
Last edited by Lunkhead on Thu Jul 07, 2022 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: unstick
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Please post your lyric in the appropriate thread: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12322
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by danielsabsay »

Brown Word and the Big Whine: Great groove! The drums sound great! Real drum kit? All the instruments were played and recorded well, but I wanted to hear something additional in the arrangement (an extra melodic instrument). I think the song form could have been more convincing/cohesive. I liked the melody of the verse and chorus sections. They complement each other well. But the overall form, (verse, chorus 1, verse, chorus 2, instrumental out) leaves it feeling unfinished.

The Gross Tones: I love these lyrics! Uplifting! Enjoyed the song overall. The arrangement is solid. The production is excellent, but I think you need to export with a higher bit-rate; the high frequencies have a ton of unpleasant artifacts. Not that file size is the only relevant factor, but 2MB for a 3:40 song seems too small, based both on gut feel and the size of others' submissions.

Paco del Stinko: Great vibe! Love what you did with your voice on the word "behind". I wasn't able to hear most of the words on the bridge, which is unfortunate because I was enjoying the storytelling. Overall, the production is really nice! Was that a real drum kit or samples? Either way it sounded good. I was less convinced by the claps, though I think the rhythm/feel change makes sense where you use them. Claps might still work, but these ones sounded too clean.

The Pannacotta Army: Woah! Excellent production. The song form and arrangement are spot on. I like your voice. I enjoyed how your bridge (if you call it that) was actually a _decrease_ in energy, whereas many bridges crank it up. The lyrics are vague, which isn't bad in itself. But I enjoy such lyrics more when they are set in the context of a more accessible story or situation (e.g. the chorus is really vague, but other sections leave stronger hints at the meaning).

Pigfarmer Jr: Really nice, detailed guitar recording. Interesting lyrics; not quite sure I got the full meaning on first listen, but there's some depth there. As for the melody, it placed too much emphasis on the downbeats; shifting some notes off the beat may produce a less forceful sounding tune. I enjoyed the song. Of all the songs, this was my favorite interpretation of the theme. In terms of arrangement/form, the melody of the verse and chorus are similar (not necessarily bad). You could use some production/arrangement stuff to make the sections more distinct. For example, I would love to hear soft harmonies on the chorus. Perhaps this is antithetical to your approach, but I'd like to hear a version of this song with more instruments and production.

Watching Owls: Hey, it's me. The production is a bit sloppy. I don't know how I got the second chorus sounding so different than the first. I may have left an extra track on that I didn't intend. The vocal harmonies are OK in the first chorus, but wonky in the other sections. Should have practiced more. I may have over-produced the song. I was going for a Gregory Alan Isakov sound, but the four-on-the-floor kick and electric guitar totally detract from that. I think the drums are the weakest part.

WreckdoM: "Ha, ha ha" section is great. You nailed the no rhyming, which has an interesting, slightly comical, surprising effect. I would've liked to hear more dynamics in the instrumentation; it was the same energy level the whole time.
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

I see that Lichen Throat posted lyrics but is MIA for the fight - is it an admin oversight?

*Edit* - okay, I just saw the pre-fight thread so ignore above
Last edited by the panna cotta army on Sun Jun 26, 2022 1:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Disappointing head count - I thought this title would inspire some more entries :(

Brown Word and the Big Whine: This has a sort of Joan Jett “I Love RocknRoll” vibe but lacks the raunch and drive. I’d like the guitar to have more impact - it seems muffled/subdued with an over-application of reverb. You’ve put in some good instrumental variation into the arrangement but as a song, I think it lacks a chorus. The pace is also bit plodding.

The Gross Tones: It’s a basic arrangement with no surprises but it works nicely in the context of the song. I like the melody and the slightly dissonant vocals fit with some good harmony additions. As with your last song though, the mp3 quality is awful which as well as making for a general poor sound, causes some harsh phasing artefacts. Maybe ask one of your many admirers to show you how to encode your mp3s at a better rate?

Paco del Stinko: There’s something of a Pete Doherty vibe about this tune. Good production as usual, though perhaps some of those lead guitar lines are a little fizzy tonally. Your drums always sound excellent. I’d like to hear you play it straight with the vocals at least now and then rather than hamming it up with funny accents and perhaps just sing a melody rather than semi-spoken approach.

Pigfarmer Jr: This sounds like a one-take recording, so kudos if it is. The lack of reverb adds a nice intimacy but exposes more a few performance shortcomings. Not sure the song quite has enough melodic strength for the stripped arrangement but it nicely suits the lyrical content.

Watching Owls: Welcome to Songfight. I dig the soft fragility in your voice. The light acoustic arrangement is all really nicely thought out from a dynamic perspective. It also has lots of well judged elements like the piano and whatever the chimey dulcimer-like thing is. This is rather lovely and touching song and is certainly my pick for this fight.

WreckdoM: Well this doesn’t lack impact and energy. I like the main soliloquy, not so sure about the other vocal noises. The guitar is an over-compressed, over-distorted mush but the relentless drive of the bass and drums certainly make it exciting.

The Pannacotta Army: Not happy with my vocal phrasing in the verses and the chorus is maybe a bit over-stuffed but otherwise I quite enjoyed putting this one together.
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Brown Word and the Big Whine: I like the raunchy guitars and vocal feel combined with the slow burn of a down tempo with lots of space. Some day I want to know how you process the vocals. Seems like they could be a bit more up front, but I like the feel of the wide, delayed mix. I wonder if your overall volume being lower than the GT that follows is part of that?

The Gross Tones: I like the vocal, the kind of raw, easy delivery works for me. I wish the guitars had a little more to the tone. They're fine but not really memorable. The "on your so-o-oul" bit I want to hear more voices, more layers or something.

Paco del Stinko: I think your bass line and vocal delivery really give your tunes a signature feel that I've come to enjoy greatly. That outro is great. I like the dynamic changes in the rhythm. I dig it.

The Pannacotta Army: Great arrangement. Other than the vocal being a bit buried on the chorus I think this works great as is. I'd be interested in how you would phrase the verses differently. This sounds solid if not unexpected. Regardless, I like this one a lot.

Pigfarmer Jr: This is take two using a single hand-held recorder to get a "decent enough" recording.

Watching Owls: The relatively quiet intro (compared to most of the others) reinforces the intimate feel of the vocal when it comes in. I like this arrangement. You've used a light hand to give this a delicate feel that works very well for me. I'm not sure how I feel about the doubled vocal (low and high) as it has kind of an unmatched feel that is both bothersome from a mixing perspective (you could have tightened up the timing a bit) but I like the almost tentative feel of the vocal in places in part to this bit.

WreckdoM: I like the vocal mix. Cuts right through, great delivery. And I'm digging the grendel-like noises. Sorry, he's my favorite fictional monster so.. This track comes right after the delicate Watching Owls track (on the jukebox, alphabetically) and the contrast really highlights the dirt and power of this one.
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

danielsabsay wrote:
Sat Jun 25, 2022 3:30 pm
Pigfarmer Jr:I'd like to hear a version of this song with more instruments and production.
Me, too.
the panna cotta army wrote:
Sun Jun 26, 2022 12:58 am
Pigfarmer Jr: This sounds like a one-take recording, so kudos if it is.
It is. I recorded it twice through and this one had less "performance shortcomings" than the first take. "Decent enough" is gonna be my new tagline at this rate.


I'm sick with covid for the second time and still have a lot of homework or I would have spent time getting a real recording done. Thanks for the supportive reviews of the G&G take.
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Very quick impressions. Clear winner I think this week or should be. Fight was neither suck-fest, nor greatest ever.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - There are whiffs of both Sabbath and porn tunage here, I can dig it. Sludgy but still rollin'. Melody could break away from following the chords so much, bit of motion would help break it up a bit. Good riffs, like where this almost goes.

The Gross Tones - Catchy, bittersweet lite. Dig the live action, sounds good, nothing is overdone. Mix could be tweaked w/o sacrificing feel like, bring up the lead after you bring down the guitars. Yeah, the guitars sound good, but you're burying the lead. Shadow on your soul is good. Nice mood.

Lichen Throat - Extra Gothic musically and lyrically, nice. Arrangement strays a bit from itself at times. The synths are both cold and warm at the same time, bouncy more often than driving. I like what's happening here even if not completely focused. Voice cuts through nicely.

Paco del Stinko - Heh. My non-deliberate King Arthur sounding theme/riff. Baritone guitar through the phaser.

The Pannacotta Army - Rootsy stomper. Doesn't abandon itself, which it might with refinement and in a live setting, stomps in the right places. I heard a great chorus coming after the first verse, first listen, but was gone after this one came in. Very nice voice, guitars sound great and the lead is how it's done.

Pigfarmer Jr - Great feel, genuine. Chorus is strong, not really a kiss-off though. Very compressed sounding, but in a crisp and not painful manner. Don't need more than this arrangement to keep it real. I might want to hear a poppy song after this, but I am not leaving feeling all depressed.

Watching Owls - Great melodies well sung and embracing on top of well-balanced instrumentation, warm feeling. There are some wobbles here that still do not manage to dislodge the wonderful moods traversed here. Vocal loud in the mix at times, this needs a lite scrubbing to become classic, but still might make it as is. Winner of the week.

WreckdoM - Fucking blast-o-rama of light speed goodness. Lightning. Love the progression distortion and clear voice. Almost more threatening in its deadpan-like insertion. The 2-minute time only makes me play it again, thank you. I very much enjoy\y the lyrics that I can understand. (It's more me than you) Instantly blasts up to the top of favorites.
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Calling Mods
I think the mp3 links for Paco Del Stinko and Lichen Throat songs have got switched around in the listing
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Hey! I hadn't been following the review thread. The links should go to the right songs now. Adding a late song to a fight is a more manual and therefore error prone process still.
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

The Pannacotta Army wins!
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Well with Paco Del Stinko tying 2nd and only one vote behind, I hope the mix up with mp3 links didn't effect his tally :(
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Congrats, PCA! You're on a roll, man.

And if anything, I probably picked up miscast Lichen votes. Sorry, LT! :D
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

Paco Del Stinko wrote:
Fri Jul 08, 2022 8:10 am
And if anything, I probably picked up miscast Lichen votes. Sorry, LT! :D
I suspect most people can tell us apart, even if the songs were mislabeled, so I'm sure you earned those votes.
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Re: What are you trying to say? (Cast A Shadow reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Lichen Throat wrote:I suspect most people can tell us apart
True that, LT. But wait until the day I cover one of your tunes in an 80s new wave style. Uh-huh. See what people think then.
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