Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
User avatar
Pigfarmer Jr
Jump
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:13 am
Instruments: Guitar
Recording Method: Br-900CD and Reaper to mix
Submitting as: Pigfarmer Jr, Evil Grin, Pork Producer, Gilmore Lynette Tootle, T.C. Elliott
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Columbia, Missouri
Contact:

Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

...spontaneous fusion. How else do we roast marshmallows?
Last edited by Lunkhead on Mon Jul 18, 2022 10:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: unstick
Evil Grin bandcamp - Evil Grin spotify
T.C. Elliott bandcamp - T.C. Elliott spotify

"PigFramer: Guy and guitar OF MY NIGHTMARES." - Blue Lang
User avatar
Pigfarmer Jr
Jump
Posts: 2008
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:13 am
Instruments: Guitar
Recording Method: Br-900CD and Reaper to mix
Submitting as: Pigfarmer Jr, Evil Grin, Pork Producer, Gilmore Lynette Tootle, T.C. Elliott
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Columbia, Missouri
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Please place your lyric in the appropriate thread:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12327
Evil Grin bandcamp - Evil Grin spotify
T.C. Elliott bandcamp - T.C. Elliott spotify

"PigFramer: Guy and guitar OF MY NIGHTMARES." - Blue Lang
User avatar
Lunkhead
You're No Good
Posts: 7741
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:14 pm
Instruments: many
Recording Method: cubase/mac/tascam4x4
Submitting as: Berkeley Social Scene, Merisan, Tiny Robots
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Berkeley, CA
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
User avatar
fluffy
Eruption
Posts: 10887
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/they
Location: Seattle-ish
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by fluffy »

Reviewed in no particular order.

Pigfarmer Jr: I'm a fan of the idea of optimistic nihilism, that the universe is very large and time will keep on going on and in another 13 billion years none of this will have mattered in the slightest. It brings me comfort to think of how it won't take long for anything happening right now to be forgotten. The song itself is pretty okay. Could use with a bit more dynamic range in the mix, and something to break up the repetition.

Watching Owls: I love the musical components of this, but the vocals are hard to listen to. It sounds like you're trying to sing quietly to stop from waking up a baby in the same room or something, and would definitely benefit from a lot more confidence in your delivery. The instruments are well-mixed and have an appropriate performance for the song. It also sounds ridiculously familiar to me.

The Pannacotta Army: This isn't dance music but I can probably dance to it. Or at least my toes are tapping. Vocals could be mixed a little higher, maybe put some sidechain compression on the guitars so they can cut through a little better? This song is also very familiar to me, like something that was in heavy rotation on 90s alt rock stations played in the same block as Barenaked Ladies.

Sockpuppet: 😳

Brainpipe: It's great to have you back. I do not think that I have the vocabulary to even describe what I just listened to, much less form coherent words that indicate my opinion regarding it.

Ratbaffle: Right off the bat this reminds me of Frank Zappa's take on disco. I'm finding the vocals a bit difficult to understand, but I think that's a me problem, not a you problem. Pretty decent composition overall.

Phlub: Wow that lead sure, uh, cuts through. Strong. Then the vocals are very very buried. This is literally giving me a headache to listen to, and I am sorry about that but I don't think I can make it through the whole 5 minutes. Maybe I'll come back to this one later.

Andy Balham: Maybe there's just something wrong with my ears today. Vocals feel a bit low, guitar feels a bit high. The lyrics also feel like they have a bit of a mixed message going on here, like it seems like you're overtly misgendering the person when you say "but you are material boy" and it also rubs me the wrong way when someone gives permission to a trans person to be trans, but maybe I'm a bit overly sensitive to songs that brush up against my lived experience. Anyway the singing feels kinda strained like you're not putting enough breath into it or maybe a lower key would suit you better. idk.

Berkeley Social Scene: I love it when y'all do 3/4 time. The lyrics are good too, it's important to remember that no relationship is perfect and you can't find someone whose opinions match yours 100% but you can still be friends/lovers/partners/etc. despite a disagreement. The uh... stylophone-sounding synthesizer at around 2 minutes in kinda stomps on top of the vocals though. Overall I liked it.

Hot Pink Halo: I love the lyrics but I'm having a hard time understanding them in this mix. Too many layers of guitars for my liking. It's pleasant overall though. I feel like maybe covering this one someday.

The John Benjamin Band: Oh wow you've really pulled out all the stops on this, production-wise. Even though this is the last one I'm listening to after a fight full of political songs I still appreciate the political message in it. Kind of too much swearing in it though, having "fucking" only used once or twice would make it much more impactful.

okay short fight so I'm gonna try Phlub again: my cat is sitting in my lap and getting twitchy. She hasn't progressed to biting me yet though, which is usually what she does when something is hurting her ears. She's very squirmy. I know the feeling.
User avatar
Paco Del Stinko
Hot for Teacher
Posts: 3500
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:20 am
Instruments: Basic rock, at a basic level.
Recording Method: Roland 2480
Submitting as: Paco del Stinko
Location: Massachusetts. God save the Commonwealth!

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Disco del Stinko left in the oven. Boo!

EDIT: I took it out of the oven and mailed it in, warm, fresh (sorta) and stinky. Understood if it doesn't get posted. :)
Bringin' the stink since 2006.
danielsabsay
A New Player
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:00 pm
Instruments: Piano
Recording Method: FL Studio + small audio/MIDI interface
Submitting as: Watching Owls
Pronouns: he/him

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by danielsabsay »

fluffy wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 4:25 pm

Watching Owls: I love the musical components of this, but the vocals are hard to listen to. It sounds like you're trying to sing quietly to stop from waking up a baby in the same room or something, and would definitely benefit from a lot more confidence in your delivery. The instruments are well-mixed and have an appropriate performance for the song. It also sounds ridiculously familiar to me.
Thanks for the feedback. I agree on the vocals.

It likely sounds familiar because it's got a similar vibe to Coldplay's album Parachutes. Some of the chord changes are the same as e.g. Trouble. And the intro reminds me a bit of Radiohead's slower, more ambient stuff.
User avatar
Lunkhead
You're No Good
Posts: 7741
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:14 pm
Instruments: many
Recording Method: cubase/mac/tascam4x4
Submitting as: Berkeley Social Scene, Merisan, Tiny Robots
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Berkeley, CA
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Late songs from Paco del Stinko and Wreckdom have been added to the fight.
User avatar
fluffy
Eruption
Posts: 10887
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/they
Location: Seattle-ish
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by fluffy »

danielsabsay wrote:
Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:30 pm
fluffy wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 4:25 pm

Watching Owls: I love the musical components of this, but the vocals are hard to listen to. It sounds like you're trying to sing quietly to stop from waking up a baby in the same room or something, and would definitely benefit from a lot more confidence in your delivery. The instruments are well-mixed and have an appropriate performance for the song. It also sounds ridiculously familiar to me.
Thanks for the feedback. I agree on the vocals.

It likely sounds familiar because it's got a similar vibe to Coldplay's album Parachutes. Some of the chord changes are the same as e.g. Trouble. And the intro reminds me a bit of Radiohead's slower, more ambient stuff.
That probably isn't it, I have somehow managed to avoid listening to much Coldplay. I was speaking more to the specific instrumentation being used, anyway, not the chord progressions.

There's definitely a Radiohead-adjacent vibe to it but I was thinking more along the lines of various indie rock from bands I can never remember the names of.
User avatar
fluffy
Eruption
Posts: 10887
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/they
Location: Seattle-ish
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by fluffy »

Lunkhead wrote:
Fri Jul 08, 2022 3:57 pm
Late songs from Paco del Stinko and Wreckdom have been added to the fight.
Then I'd better review them!

Paco: You delivered with the disco, as promised. And it's nice to hear someone else doing a more literal take on the title.

Wreckdom: Oh dang I really dig this and I wish I could have voted for it! But I already voted based on entries which were on-time so it's too late. Sorry about that. I feel like the lyrics should be posted to the lyric thread to improve their comprehensibility but that they might also be scandalous enough to get this entire site banned in large parts of the world which can't handle the rock. Then again there's been much more salaciousness on this site so if we aren't already banned in, say, the UAE, I don't know what would change that.
User avatar
Paco Del Stinko
Hot for Teacher
Posts: 3500
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:20 am
Instruments: Basic rock, at a basic level.
Recording Method: Roland 2480
Submitting as: Paco del Stinko
Location: Massachusetts. God save the Commonwealth!

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

FightmasterIII wrote:Late songs from Paco del Stinko and Wreckdom have been added to the fight.
Thank you very much, kind sir!

Fluffy: Thanks for the review. Comments to come later.
Bringin' the stink since 2006.
User avatar
the panna cotta army
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:35 am
Instruments: egg shaker (Grade 2)
Recording Method: Studio One/Mac Mini
Submitting as: the pannacotta army
Pronouns: Helium
Location: Kent, UK

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Some brief words on this fight


Watching Owls: Well you certainly spurned the optional challenge. The instrumentation is atmospheric especially for the first 1.30 - the organ, the gentle strumming, the Gilmourish slide guitar touches. The way the tension starts building at 2.00 is really nice with the block piano chords. Overall I dig the arrangement of the song though somehow it doesn’t quite fulfil the dynamic intensity that I think you were going for. I liked your fragile voice last time out. It’s perhaps verging too much towards the pitchy side here.

Hot Pink Halo: There’s an interesting melody to the verses though its more ambiguous in the chorus. I like the way the drums drop out and the violin comes in here. I think the distorted tremolo guitar you introduce at 1.04 is too loud and too hard panned left. It fades briefly at 1.41 but then comes back shortly after. I’d prefer a little more variation in the drums. I can’t say this knocks me out but it’s okay.

Andy Balham: I’m getting a slight Billy Bragg-ish schtick. The balance in the mix isn't the best - the guitar is too loud and up front and drums too buried, as are the synth swirls but maybe that's a good thing. Timing could be tighter - the bass doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do. The vocals are quite off pitch in places and the melody is fairly monotonous and lacking movement with a lot centred around one note. Struggling to find some love here.

Sockpuppet: I dig the tight, sparse arrangement. There’s plenty of space for the elements to breathe yet still feels full and the uplift in the chorus in nicely judged. The vocal melody has a certain nursery rhyme feel which could be irritating in a different context but somehow it works here. The only thing I’m not sure about is the random “blowing a raspberry” sound that first appears at 1.34 - what’s that about? However, that aside, this is simple but effective pop song and I like it.

Wreckdom: The optional challenge is covered nicely with the beat and bass line. There’s perhaps a bit too much noise/distortion stuff going on in the mix so it sounds a little harsh at times. It does a decent job of capturing that period in the 80s when everyone was experimenting with the early samplers and knocking out synth dance music spliced with stuttery spoken word snippets.

The John Benjamin Band: We got a lot of “classic” dance elements thrown into the mix here. More 80s sampler-stuttery vocals; Trance snare rolls; minor key synth-string pads. It does sound a lot like a pastiche of 70/80s euro disco with that typical pulsing Georgia Moroder bass but it’s a vibe that I like a lot. I might have eased off on the vocal treatment a little.

Pacco Del Stinko: This carries off an authentic sounding 70s disco vibe. I think you’ve nailed the right bass feel here but I’d have preferred the guitar a little cleaner/sharper so it’s not fighting so much with the clavichord. The backing chorus sounds a little off and I’d prefer a less histrionic vocal but there’s plenty of nostalgic fun elements in the arrangement.

Phlub: I recognise the Middle Eastern vibes both rhythmically and musically. I don’t really understand what all the distortion is achieving though. It’s like you’ve put the whole mix through a fuzz pedal which effectively produces a horrible, harsh wash over everything, destroying the dynamism and nuances of all the musical and vocal elements. At 4.50 and only one chord, this is a bit of an endurance test.

Berkeley Social Scene: I like the REMish picked electric guitar arpeggios, piano. The chord progression and melody in the verses are good. The bridge into the chorus feels a bit perfunctory and there’s something a bit ploddy about rhythm in the chorus that doesn’t match the easy flow of the verses. I think the synth solo and vocals are competing too much with each other in the middle 8. Nice warm lower register vocals with some good harmonies.

Ratbaffle!: I’m picking up a sort of Prince vibe particularly in the vocals. There’s a slight ambiguity about the key of the various instruments and vocals which I quite like and some interesting elements in the arrangement. I like the sparseness, though there seems to be a left-panned bias to the bass which I’m definitely not keen on. Interesting sound.

Brainpipe: This is certainly use a sampler week. I quite like the Industrial/Depeche Mode-type style of the music. I’d have preferred some more variation in the arrangement though - I’m not sure yelling Material Change in between sections of Boards of Canada style documentary sound-footage holds enough interest for the duration.

Pigfarmer Jr: Lots of retro vibes going on this week. This does a decent job of big hair, pop-rock especially in the verses. It gets a more grungey, Nirvana-ish sounding in the Material Change bit though which I think is strong and should be a chorus - I would have it repeated earlier in the song. Maybe the drums could be a little more forward in the mix but otherwise this sounds pretty good.

The Pannacotta Army: it's pop but probably too long - I'm not sure how this got to be over 4 minutes! ...and that solo sounds too nursery rhymey now :|
User avatar
the panna cotta army
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:35 am
Instruments: egg shaker (Grade 2)
Recording Method: Studio One/Mac Mini
Submitting as: the pannacotta army
Pronouns: Helium
Location: Kent, UK

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

fluffy wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 4:25 pm
maybe put some sidechain compression on the guitars so they can cut through a little better?
Thanks, as soon as I know what that means, I'll give it a go ;)
fluffy wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 4:25 pm
This song is also very familiar to me, like something that was in heavy rotation on 90s alt rock stations played in the same block as Barenaked Ladies.
yikes :o
User avatar
sleepysilverdoor
Ice Cream Man
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:02 pm
Instruments: Drums, Guitars, Keys
Recording Method: Focusrite + FL Studio
Submitting as: Phl*b*
Pronouns: bruh
Location: Not super far from Atlanta but definitely not Atlanta
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

the panna cotta army wrote:
Sat Jul 09, 2022 12:37 am
Some brief words on this fight

Phlub: I recognise the Middle Eastern vibes both rhythmically and musically. I don’t really understand what all the distortion is achieving though. It’s like you’ve put the whole mix through a fuzz pedal which effectively produces a horrible, harsh wash over everything, destroying the dynamism and nuances of all the musical and vocal elements. At 4.50 and only one chord, this is a bit of an endurance test.
Been listening to a lot of blown out dabke mix tapes lately. It sounds wrong to me if it's too clean. Perhaps I went overboard.
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
User avatar
fluffy
Eruption
Posts: 10887
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/they
Location: Seattle-ish
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by fluffy »

the panna cotta army wrote:
Sat Jul 09, 2022 12:37 am
Some brief words on this fight

Sockpuppet: I dig the tight, sparse arrangement. There’s plenty of space for the elements to breathe yet still feels full and the uplift in the chorus in nicely judged. The vocal melody has a certain nursery rhyme feel which could be irritating in a different context but somehow it works here. The only thing I’m not sure about is the random “blowing a raspberry” sound that first appears at 1.34 - what’s that about? However, that aside, this is simple but effective pop song and I like it.
Do you mean the one on the percussion track? That was something Logic’s autodrummer chose and I made that in a hurry. I tend to rely too much on Logic’s drummer defaults.

“Nursery rhyme” is an interesting way of putting it. I think that works, sort of. I wanted to give it a sort of clockwork doll feeling, like the narrator has been made into a mechanical automaton with no real personality or consciousness/autonomy anymore.
User avatar
fluffy
Eruption
Posts: 10887
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/they
Location: Seattle-ish
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by fluffy »

the panna cotta army wrote:
Sat Jul 09, 2022 12:53 am
fluffy wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 4:25 pm
maybe put some sidechain compression on the guitars so they can cut through a little better?
Thanks, as soon as I know what that means, I'll give it a go ;)
fluffy wrote:
Thu Jul 07, 2022 4:25 pm
This song is also very familiar to me, like something that was in heavy rotation on 90s alt rock stations played in the same block as Barenaked Ladies.
yikes :o
Sidechain compression is where you set up a dynamic range compressor such that it uses a different track (the “side chain”) than the one you’re modifying. So in this case you’d put a compressor on the guitar but tell it to use the vocals as the side chain, so whenever the vocals are going it reduces the volume on the guitar a little bit.

The 90s alt rock thing wasn’t meant as an insult, just that this would fit in on the radio during a time that I listened to the radio and still enjoyed it.
User avatar
fluffy
Eruption
Posts: 10887
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/they
Location: Seattle-ish
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by fluffy »

fluffy wrote:
Sat Jul 09, 2022 8:21 am
Sidechain compression is where you set up a dynamic range compressor such that it uses a different track (the “side chain”) than the one you’re modifying. So in this case you’d put a compressor on the guitar but tell it to use the vocals as the side chain, so whenever the vocals are going it reduces the volume on the guitar a little bit.
Oh and another easy mixing trick that’s easy to forget to do is notch EQ. If you have two things that are fighting for dominance in the mix, look at their spectra in a spectrum analyzer (or just go based on experience) and then choose which peaky area goes to which thing, and boost it in one thing and cut it in the others. So for example if your vocals and guitar are both fighting, and the vocals are higher in the range of, say, 200-500Hz, and the guitar is higher in the range of, say, 400-700Hz, give the vocals a boost around 350Hz and a cut around 550Hz, and the guitars a boost around 550 and a cut around 350. Also make the cut wider than the boost (most EQs call this the “q factor”).

These numbers are just examples and you should use your ears and brain rather than just going based on what the spectrum analyzer says, of course. And the cut/boost shouldn’t be massive, just like 3-5dB or so. It’s just to give each track a bit more “elbow room,” like having all the left-handed people sit next to each other at a crowded dinner table.
User avatar
the panna cotta army
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:35 am
Instruments: egg shaker (Grade 2)
Recording Method: Studio One/Mac Mini
Submitting as: the pannacotta army
Pronouns: Helium
Location: Kent, UK

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

fluffy wrote:
Sat Jul 09, 2022 8:21 am
Sidechain compression is where you set up a dynamic range compressor such that it uses a different track (the “side chain”) than the one you’re modifying. So in this case you’d put a compressor on the guitar but tell it to use the vocals as the side chain, so whenever the vocals are going it reduces the volume on the guitar a little bit.
Cheers (and for the EQ tip) - yeah, I have heard of it (mainly in the context of bass/kick s on dance music I think to get an exaggerated pumping effect) but never tried using it before.
fluffy wrote:
Sat Jul 09, 2022 8:21 am
The 90s alt rock thing wasn’t meant as an insult...
no probs, none taken
User avatar
BoffoYux
Panama
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:22 pm
Instruments: Keys, Clunking, SFX and Strings
Recording Method: Audacity, Adobe, and other 'A' titled software
Submitting as: Boffo Yux Dudes
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by BoffoYux »

It's finally here! The finals of Nur Ein 17!
4 original songs titled 'Ascent'.
Plus a bonus SongFight 'Material Change' with 13 original songs.

It all starts around 9pm EST Monday - that's tonight!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o2iRpY-o6c
HeuristicsInc
Beat It
Posts: 5269
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:14 pm
Instruments: Synths
Recording Method: Windows computer, Acid, Synths etc.
Submitting as: Heuristics Inc. (duh) + collabs
Location: Maryland USA
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by HeuristicsInc »

andy balham - hey j$ is in this fight in a manner of speaking. cool. i like the material girl/boy bit. it does stay a little the same throughout, doesn't it?

bss - i'm not sure about the chorus lines alternating with material change - not sure what they have to do with each other. the guitars and organ there are nice. and the synth in the bridge is good, but is kind of covering up the vocals.

brainpipe - starfinger and i back after over a decade... that's good! i got inspired by an episode of song exploder (with sleigh bells), recorded some stuff and sent them to him, he warped them up, i added the samples and he sang with them. i am happy with the results. my favorite vocal line is "gentle agent of change".

hot pink halo - i like the vocals but they're a little buried in the mix. the mix in general is a little muddy. i might like to hear doubled vocals in the chorus? i like the instrumentation, an interesting song. good vocab too.

jbb - ooh synths! yes! good line about the god of white men. good vocals, a lot of f-bombs haha. love it tho.

paco - i'm digging those backing vocals. the ending is fun.

pannacotta - the chorus part makes me think of squeeze. but some thicker vox, backing vox, something there would elevate this. the oohs that come in after are good but not quite sufficient. i like this tho.

phlub - this is kind of like an updated version of the weird beatles freakouts. interesting, but the mix is borked. vocals need to come through more. and it does seem kinda self indulgent especially at this length.

pigfarmer - this one feels so clean after the last one even though it has a lot of distortion. i feel like your vocals are often just a little bit off in timing, maybe some more practice would have helped? pretty good tho.

ratbaffle - there are some interesting things here but they are all a little understated. i think the elements need to pop more, like prince. go big or go home. it's definitely interesting, and i wonder if this could be fixed by a better mix? gonna vote for it anyway.

sockpuppet - ooh nice arpegs. i like how they meld with the words. the chorus is good except the last line seems awkward. interesting how you spend the whole song wanting the person to change you but then to "not forget what i used to be". puzzling. i kinda think the outro could have been drawn out more, with more instrumental goodness.

wreckdom - i like those vocal manipulations. sampling is good. weird and wonderful. unexpected sounds reign. lunch haha.

watching owls - wow, quite a change from the last one. i have to change my mental state for this. speak up, us old people need stronger vocals. when you start singing stronger in the middle it improves a lot. parts of this remind me of sigur ros. there's some soary sound way in the back that is real nice.

votes: brainpipe, hph, jbb, pannacotta, ratbaffle, sockpuppet, wreckdom
152612141617123326211316121416172329292119162316331829382412351416132117152332252921
http://heuristicsinc.com
Liner Notes
SF Lyric Ideas
User avatar
sleepysilverdoor
Ice Cream Man
Posts: 1042
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:02 pm
Instruments: Drums, Guitars, Keys
Recording Method: Focusrite + FL Studio
Submitting as: Phl*b*
Pronouns: bruh
Location: Not super far from Atlanta but definitely not Atlanta
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Andy Balham: I find this song dull and sanctimonious. The melody is completely unmemorable and it’s just boring. I read the lyrics and I was expecting something poppy and upbeat, something a little bit more spunky but instead it’s just this…slow…drifting…rant at conservative strawmen? I can’t even dance to it. Not for me.

Berkeley Social Scene: I can’t tell if I’m stupid or if I can’t figure out what this is supposed to be about. Marital compromise? What is the material change exactly? Anyway, the chord progression is…I dunno. I don’t hate this song, but musically it relies too heavily on the standard I-vi-VI-V and I find it boring. There’s a cool synth bit that comes in halfway through but that’s about all that grabbed my interest. It is danceable in a “at a sock-hop in 1960” sort of way.

Brainpipe: This old scientific narrator has a very familiar voice. I can’t place it at all though. Industrial percussion going crazy in the background. The discussion of water literally oxidizing things as the source of material change works for me. Personally I would have liked to hear a bit more melody here instead of the over-reliance on the science documentary sound clips and lyrics that don’t go much beyond “material change!” over and over. But hey, it meets the challenge and I can dance to it, though a stronger kick driving it would have been welcome.

Hot Pink Halo: Vocals are a bit buried in the mix (says the guy who buried his own vocals in the mix). “Dream of invisible sounds” reminds me heavily of “invisible ink” in terms of melody, and I only catch that specifically cause it’s still in recent memory (and that was a banger). Similar to Brainpipe – the drums are suggestive of kind of artsy indie dance, but with the optional challenge being dance music I REALLY WANT TO HEAR A KICK DRUM. Even if it was a metronomic 4/4 kick drum. I think I can hear one in there but it’s SO QUIET IN THE MIX. Both the vocals and the kick drum need to be louder! I’m not totally grasping your analogy, but the words sound cool.

The John Benjamin Band: Five songs in and this is the first one where it’s very clearly got a dance beat underlining it. The autotune and vocal effects are working really well for me. For the most part I’d consider this to be well executed synth pop. The synth melodies are well executed. I would have liked to hear a more prominent vocal melody in the chorus, or just…throughout the song. And maybe a bit more nuance. As a rule of thumb, unless you sound like Atari Teenage Riot,I don’t like songs that consist mainly of sanctimonious political talking points aimed at stereotypical political opposition…I prefer it when there’s a level of ambiguity shrouding the message rather than “you’re dumb”. However, the production value here and overall vibe overcomes that leading to a net positive review.

The Pannacotta Army: Yeah, this is vaguely dancey. I can nod my head to it. I wish the chord progression did a bit more than the same few chords more or less the whole song (says the guy with a fully modal entry). The lyrics seem to focus more on a desire for *change* rather than a material change, but that’s acceptable. Musically, this is very solid and I like how it goes through many switch ups in the rhythm as it goes on. It’s not my favorite Pannacotta song but it’s still pretty good quality. Also nice hearing you swear lol.

Phlub: I dunno what you guys are talking about, I like the way this sounds. I used what’s called “porcupine temperament” in this one, which means that the 4th is divided into 3 equidistant parts…basically a neutral second and a slightly sharp minor 3rd and a slightly flattened 4th. Yes, the lead is very cutting and consists of a unison synth and guitar part. Also originally I was going to make this nearly 10 minutes but decided to cut that down to 5 or so. Why so long? Well, the challenge was *dance music*, so I decided to go with Dabke as the genre. And having listened to many tracks that are essentially verse -> extremely long mijwiz and drum jam -> verse -> extremely long mijwiz and drum jam -> verse -> extremely long mijwiz and drum jam -> verse -> extremely long mijwiz and drum jam, the structure is a feature not a bug. Why so distorted? Cause much of what I listen to in the genre mostly consists of recordings of live performances that are recorded way too loud on cassette tape, so having the style be clean and well mixed just feels wrong. But I’m not remotely surprised that this didn’t go over well lol. Go listen to the audio quality on the first couple Omar Souleyman albums – I LOVE that stuff. Lyrics are about the process of reincarnation and your spirit transferring from one material body to another.

Pigfarmer Jr: Pigfarmer bringing the good rock riffs. For one, I’ve been hard on JBB and Andy Balham this fight for throwing political talking points into their music without a whole lot of nuance, so the similar content here not bothering me may seem slightly contradictory. However, while I do think the lyrics here could have been done a *little* bit more poetically, the fact that it’s wrapped in “I can’t believe the great machinations of the universe led us to this mess” makes it just slightly less on the nose and thus more likable to me. Plus I think you brought the rock well. I guess I could say minus points for not being dance music, but I guess it’s good for a head nod.

Ratbaffle!: Mix is a bit bottom heavy. I really like the bassline, but it isn’t really vibing with the kick drum. If you ducked the bass behind the kick, it would make the whole mix bounce a lot more and bring the funk far more than it currently does. That syncopated…guitar thing that goes through the whole song (isolated in the intro) doesn’t really seem to match the bassline or the vocals. I mean it’s got a vaguely funky element to it, but it doesn’t mesh with the underlying chord structure and the interplay between that fonk and the vocals works so much better when it’s gone. When that…reversed hi-hat (?) comes in on the offbeats periodically it needs to be louder and honestly would work best if you had it moving around with the panning. The guitar solo is good. A punchier snare drum would work wonders here. However, as for dance music this is pretty decently done, glad someone brought a house-y funk vibe. Lyrics aren’t posted and don’t really jump out to me much…they’re kind of buried/muddy.

Sockpuppet: Unless Paco or Wreckdom or Watching Owls winds up bringing the dance, this is definitely the best “dance track” I’ve come across so far. It’s got that twee synthpop vibe that makes me think of the late 00s. This sounds like a song that would have been performed on Yo Gabba Gabba which is high praise because I really love Yo Gabba Gabba. Lyrically I don’t entirely follow what you’re talking about, but I’m getting a reincarnation vibe from it…but it could be about taxidermy? Are you being taxidermied? Or is like that movie where their buddy dies and they’re just sort of trying to pretend like he’s still alive? What was that called? It was a comedy. Anyway, this is good synthpop and among the best songs of this round.

Watching Owls: This sounds like Radiohead. Not in a bad way, but it sounds like Radiohead. It’s your falsetto, the arrangement, the gorgeous-but-morose aspect of the arrangement, the creativeness behind all of the layering, all that good stuff. I have zero idea how this song connects to the title. Nothing about this makes me think of material change, nor does it remotely fulfill the optional challenge.. It’s a good song. I like it. But I can’t relate it to the fight at all.

Paco del Stinko - You really love those I-VI-vi chord shifts. I’ve heard them in many of your tracks and they work solidly! This is the second track here that dives hard into the funk influence, only from a harmonic standpoint this is way more proggy than what I’d usually expect out of the genre. Proggy keyboard funk? Works for me! Anyway, I find it hard to really critique this in a way that goes beyond a simple “I like this”. I wish it was a little bit longer and vamped along with that funk a bit more.

WreckdoM - That fat “punchy snare drum” sounds like the standard “2009 dubstep starter pack” snare drum and well, the rhythm does to. Actually there’s a very specific track this reminds me of, I forget exactly who it’s by – Loefah? Skream? One of those artists, there was a groove that was featured prominently in Tectonic Plates Volume 2 that reminded me *heavily* of this but I can’t place it. Anyway, this is actually the best dance track of the fight if we’re going strictly on the interpretation of “club genres” and I really like the brash autotune.
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
User avatar
fluffy
Eruption
Posts: 10887
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/they
Location: Seattle-ish
Contact:

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by fluffy »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Thu Jul 14, 2022 9:24 am
Sockpuppet: [...] Lyrically I don’t entirely follow what you’re talking about, but I’m getting a reincarnation vibe from it…but it could be about taxidermy? Are you being taxidermied? Or is like that movie where their buddy dies and they’re just sort of trying to pretend like he’s still alive? What was that called? It was a comedy. Anyway, this is good synthpop and among the best songs of this round.
The lyrics are about some fringe kinks that you might find in certain circles I am a part of, and one particular fantasy text-based ongoing relationship I'm in. Search terms might include: tf, postfurry, drone, hypno, medusa

I suspect taxidermy might also be on that list somewhere.

The comedy you are probably thinking of is "Weekend at Bernie's" and that wasn't even remotely on my mind.

Anyway thanks for reviewing.
User avatar
Paco Del Stinko
Hot for Teacher
Posts: 3500
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:20 am
Instruments: Basic rock, at a basic level.
Recording Method: Roland 2480
Submitting as: Paco del Stinko
Location: Massachusetts. God save the Commonwealth!

Re: Matter is pulled by gravity until there is... (Material Change reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Quick comments. There was nothing here that I disliked although many could use some polishing. Coughy Cake!

Andy Balham - Scratchpad and first time through feel with moments of what it could be-ness. The lyrics and progressions are good, if not necessarily meant to be together. Needs a lot of screws tightened. Don't we all.

Berkeley Social Scene - Neo-psychedelic folk pop. The pre-chorus feels roboty, but all the other parts are great. The keyboard stuff is tops, and help elevate this to a slightly heady space. Love the open guitar breaks, lets it breathe. Hints at dance music but pulls away a bit too.

Brainpipe - Jump up at the chorus and shout dance music. Rubbery and crisp in comfy places. Yeah, science facts and bouncy dancing at either the club or the lab. Clean but not sterile, re-mix worthy. Much fun!

Hot Pink Halo - Heady and colorful with dips into density, this occupies a friendly space. The melody lines vary in goodness within each verse and chorus but are pleasant. Love the progression in the chorus, although the vocals get lost there a bit. Like to hear this with a lighter mix and more focused vocal lines, without losing too much air.

The John Benjamin Band - Dance-ahoy! Sounds great, total club music. I can see some drinks with little straws in them. The lyrics are strong and give the party mood a dark vibe, I think I'd rather hear something dumber in this context. Ha! What's the matter: you not dumb enough? HAHAHA! Love the drive, tone, and energy.

Paco del Stinko - Dance music to me is always disco first, as I am of a certain age. I think the messy chorus, while stereo-typical, does put out some genuine disco vibe despite the shaky vocals. 120 BPM, of course!

The Pannacotta Army - Sunny day pop goodness. Dancing at the lawn event. Breezy melodies both sung and played let you know everything's ok. Smart arrangement, natural feeling, with all the bits in the right places, not crowded or overdone. Same with the vocals. Put the top down and go for a ride.

Phlub - There's almost equal parts trance to dance, spinning and swirling at times. Great to get lost in, I was glad to find my way home when I did as it started getting a bit too dark. I totally dig the microtone realm, but I do need to step back from it too. I'd be near psychotic rehearsing and recording tracks like this for hours or whatever. Ha!

Pigfarmer Jr - Arena rock entrance, POW! Good thematic tie ins on the appropriately angry lyrics. Love the pounding bridge, slam! The lean arrangemnt keeps it energized. Lacking a Rocking In The Free World hook, but this delivers what it advertises. Gotta speak up.

Ratbaffle! - Rubbery and chewy with ha bit of cold frosting. The vocals could tighten up without losing their near weirdness. Undercooked but comes close to taking up spot on the dance floor. Go to the washroom, pat off a bit of moisture, fix your hair and collar, and get back out there.

Sockpuppet - This is danceable but would be better in a cartoon land than in a disco. Very sweet chorus, the verses are fine and sing songy, might like a simple productio0n splash occasionally to keep the pot stirred. Needles and stuff never sounded so soft and colorful.

WreckdoM - So menacing and zapping electronic. This is absolutely dance music but man, gonzo city up there. The bendy riffs do all kinds of good things to me. Big, electric and confident. Bit of danger here, nice. You guys are hot lately.

Watching Owls - Gets less fragile as it goes. I hear modern and classic influences here, well done making it your own. Love the builds and where they go. Patient, not plodding. Sounds like a second side vinyl cut, like to heqr the rest of the album. On the couch music.
Bringin' the stink since 2006.
Post Reply