The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

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Pigfarmer Jr
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The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

and the betting was heavy.
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Please place your lyric in the appropriate thread: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12341
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by jb »

NeurodivergentEveryOne
I assume this is exactly the way you want it to be. It’s not aggravating, but it’s not super interesting.
Best listened to while: loading and unloading a dishwasher

The Gross Tones
Kinda muffled. The vocals have a little bit of Blind Melon sound in the doubling, crossed with some The Offspring out-of-tuneness. Got the instruments and style down, need to up the production game, and then you’ll make songs even more of your friends will like. Not to my taste though, too earnest.

Wreckdom
Ha. That sax is obnoxious so far out front like that. Lyrics are cool. Do the Face Down baby, yeah. I feel like this should be the Fail Army theme song.

The Pannacotta Army
As usual, impeccably performed and recorded. I’m a Pannacotta fan, but this one, the lyrics and singing are too soft and straightforward for my taste.

seemanski
Opener kind of makes me long for the good days of Ben Folds. Nice performance. Vocals need a different reverb, because the one that’s on them doesn’t match the room the piano is in. Feels like they could be more up front or something, to really get that intimate feel on the quieter parts, like a Billie Eilish tune. It fits in better when you’re belting. Dunno if I’m cottoning on to what the lyrics are on about. Someone who was put in their place by someone who wouldn’t let them fake their way through something? Regardless, I’d love to have some more pithy lines in there, something that has a clever or compelling or… visceral… turn of phrase. As it is they are just kind of unmemorable— to me that is.

Watching Owls
Song recorded in the field, with some extra birds in the background. Have they no respect? I would like this guitar to not be so muddy. Hard to make out rhythms or fullness of chords. I’m for an earnest ditty, and I like the monotone-ish melody vs changing chords method. I don’t know that I’m buying these lyrics tho. Sweat poured like kerosene… I feel like I’d have to contort to give that line a coherent meaning. Flood wasting everything… seems like there could be a better word than “wasted” that goes along with flood, or a better next line. I really do not agree with using the word “restive” in song lyrics. I am one to talk, because I do shit like that, but I should be called on it too.

Paco del Stinko
Nice thumpy kick! Yay for the Pixies-style chorus! Kind of a little bit Cheap Trick too. The backing vox are a little buried in my headphones. As usual the bass playing is nuts and I’m totes jelly. This is my favorite tune of yours in quite some time. It’s fun! I’m not even gonna go look at the lyrics, because it’s fun as hell. It keeps ramping up, and there’s a nice solo spot in there. The only weakness I hear in this is the drumming. It’s a little plain and I kind of wish that snare hit as hard as your bass playing. The drums feel uncertain where everything else is super confident. Anyway, who gives a shit this is great.

a.flaim
bouncy bouncy guitar. Need more mids in the vox IMO, starts nice and bright and then the vocals are a little muffley. The melody has a strong resemblance to “Dancing in the Dark” in several places. Sounds like you didn’t know what note to end on in some places, unless that’s on purpose, if so, ok then you do you my man. I think the vocal could be more… strident. Or shouted maybe? I mentioned The Offspring above, and this needs some of that energy.

Stylus Bazaar
So many words crammed into 2:43! I like the last verse. The other two feel a lot more juvenile for some reason, and that third one is the only one that really feels like it leads into the chorus. I don’t know wtf the chorus is about. I mean, I’ve seen Killer Klowns from Outer Space… is there more to it? Is this a dis track? I dig the images in your lyrics post!

Yaks of the Industry
This song may or may not be about oral sex. It’s up to you if you want to take it that way, pervs.
blippity blop ya don’t stop heyyyyyyyyy
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Image

a.flaim: I don’t really know The Killers but this is what I imagine they sound like. I really like that fast guitar motif section from 0.10 to 0.22. It comes back for a briefer second appearance but I wish it had figured more. Vocals are pretty off key in places - I’m not sure if I can cope with that as a style option.

Paco del Stinko: This is lively and full of good things in a Pixies sort of style. I particularly like that infectious staccato synth motif and the rattly driving bass. That’s a nifty little guitar solo too and a catchy chorus. The backing vocals are ace. Favourite thing I’ve heard from you in a while.

seemanski: Vocals and melodies are okay. I quite like the Michael Stipe style piano but there’s a nasty dissonant note when you change to the Amin in the chorus. Surprised you didn’t pick this up. A bit heavy on the sustain pedal throughout. I kind of wanted something else to happen second time around.

Watching Owls: The field recording atmosphere is a thing but I’m on the fence about it. Not keen on the coda section but I like the melody and progression of the verse and following part that repeats. You introduced a nice repeating piano note at "Fields..." but oddly didn't reprise it in the second verse. Would've preferred another element in the chorus. Some wobbly vocals here and there and an awkward turn-around back into the second verse. A bit shabby but not without some invention and interest.

WreckdoM: Feels rather ploddy and repetitive, and it doesn’t go anywhere either. The mix is a bit of a noise soup - a few too many silly sounds and layers competing. Is that a kazoo in there? By the time the beat changes it feels like you ran out of enthusiasm.

Stylus Bazaar: I don’t usually go for these theatrical cast of voices things but this is quite fun and the chorus is ear wormy catchy without being annoying. The beat is pretty groovy too. Against my own usual personal prejudices, I'm surprisingly into this one.

The Gross Tones: More ensemble vocals. Was this an optional challenge I missed this week? There’s not a lot of dynamic change in this, it feels like one long chorus of a song that missed the cut for some 1980s sports-related movie soundtrack. The mp3 still sounds as if it’s some lowly bitrate (I’ll shut up about that one day).

Yaks of the Industry: The mechanical melody and chord progression seem too obvious, telegraphing where the song is going. There’s nothing in the arrangement to distract from that either. The middle 8 section and the following instrumental parts are a lot better though, and the vocals and harmonies are good throughout.

NeurodivergentEveryOne: Vaguely distracting but only in trying to work out what the pitch-shifted vocal samples are. I reckon if maybe if another entrant’s friends (and I’m not mentioning any names here) all put you down as their second choice, then you have a chance of winning this fight. ;)

The Pannacotta Army: I like how this turned out but nobody likes reggae so I have no expectations.
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by seemanski »

a.flaim:

Great guitar tones and pace throughout. Wanted more vocal tracks, felt a double track or some harmonies could have really lifted the track. It is certainly very happy and upbeat.

The Gross Tones:

I'm not a fan of the mix of this track. It felt a bit tinny for my taste and all the instruments kind of clash together. I would be looking at tweaking eqs to bring out each instrument more and I would consider panning them to try and get each instrument to stand out more. I did like the vocals, I thought they were strong and the double takes work for you.

NeurodivergentEveryOne:

Well that was bizarre. It certainly stands out.


Paco del Stinko
:

This is a cracking tune. I love how rawkus and energetic it is. Those little synth stabs are such a joy to listen and I feel happier for listening to it.

The Pannacotta Army:

You had me at that first side snare hit. Loved the reggae vibes and this tune is so uplifting and is just the right pick me up I needed after a Mondays day of crappy work.

seemanski:

This is me, ok so I spent most of my time noodling with piano. I'm taking lessons and my piano teacher taught me how to use modes and I spent most of my time trying them out. I opted for a mix of lydian and mixolydian because they are quite happy modes. I know I could have done more with production but I just couldn't work out how to accompany it so kind of gave up and went for a live approach. Definitely wished I'd done more with it.

The lyrics were inspired after I watched I am Greta on Disney plus and felt rotten about what the human race has done to this planet. Not very happy I'm afraid.

Stylus Bazaar:

I wasn't sure what to expect on the intro, I thought it was going to go into some weird sound thing but I am glad I stuck it out. That chorus line is awesome, that'll be stuck in my head for a few days now.

Watching Owls:

I felt that this song just need to be sped up. I really liked your vocal delivery but it just felt like it plods along, if it was just had a bit more pace to it I think it would have grabbed my attention more. I can't quite figure out if the birds are some sound bites you've worked into the mix or they are just being picked up by your mic, the fact that they cut out when you stop singing suggests its bleed, but then it feels like its the same chirping over and over. Either way, I found them quite distracting. I do like the emotion in it, just wanted more speed and less chirping.

WreckdoM:

I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. The idea of a dance called the face down is interesting although it does sound like a move you make after a heavy night of drinking which could be potentially fatal (that's how we lost Jimi Hendrix IIRC). Great ending, love how beefy it gets.

Yaks of the Industry:

What a great way to end my listening experience, this is pure class. It is so funny and clever use of the title and challenge. The synths sound fantastic and it had me smiling from ear to ear.
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by seemanski »

jb wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:19 pm
seemanski
Opener kind of makes me long for the good days of Ben Folds. Nice performance. Vocals need a different reverb, because the one that’s on them doesn’t match the room the piano is in. Feels like they could be more up front or something, to really get that intimate feel on the quieter parts, like a Billie Eilish tune. It fits in better when you’re belting. Dunno if I’m cottoning on to what the lyrics are on about. Someone who was put in their place by someone who wouldn’t let them fake their way through something? Regardless, I’d love to have some more pithy lines in there, something that has a clever or compelling or… visceral… turn of phrase. As it is they are just kind of unmemorable— to me that is.
Thanks duly noted, same reverb should be applied on both instruments. I should have known better. Fair point about the lyrics, I'll dig out my rhyming dictionary on my next attempt
the panna cotta army wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:18 am
seemanski: Vocals and melodies are okay. I quite like the Michael Stipe style piano but there’s a nasty dissonant note when you change to the Amin in the chorus. Surprised you didn’t pick this up. A bit heavy on the sustain pedal throughout. I kind of wanted something else to happen second time around.
This was an eye opener for me, I totally went overkill with the sustain pedal. I'm basically using it as way to make my piano sound better, a bit like when you slap too much reverb on vocals to make them sound better. Think I'm going to dumb it down on the chorus and less chordy parts, then introduce some in the verses where it is gentler. Great tip, thanks :)
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by danielsabsay »

jb wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 9:19 pm
Song recorded in the field, with some extra birds in the background. Have they no respect? I would like this guitar to not be so muddy. Hard to make out rhythms or fullness of chords. I’m for an earnest ditty, and I like the monotone-ish melody vs changing chords method. I don’t know that I’m buying these lyrics tho. Sweat poured like kerosene… I feel like I’d have to contort to give that line a coherent meaning. Flood wasting everything… seems like there could be a better word than “wasted” that goes along with flood, or a better next line. I really do not
Okay, I must come clean. This song is inspired by the TV show, Little House on the Prairie. If you've not seen it, you probably won't ever understand the lyrics :) Kerosene lamps were a thing in those times. And yes, I agree with you on restive; I considered "jumpy", "skittish", but those are worse.
the panna cotta army wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:18 am
Watching Owls: The field recording atmosphere is a thing but I’m on the fence about it. Not keen on the coda section but I like the melody and progression of the verse and following part that repeats. You introduced a nice repeating piano note at "Fields..." but oddly didn't reprise it in the second verse. Would've preferred another element in the chorus. Some wobbly vocals here and there and an awkward turn-around back into the second verse. A bit shabby but not without some invention and interest.
Thanks for your feedback. The coda was very last minute, so appreciate getting your reaction on it. I recorded this outside on a tennis court with my phone because I didn't want to wake people up. So yes, it is shabby :)
seemanski wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:29 pm
Watching Owls:

I felt that this song just need to be sped up. I really liked your vocal delivery but it just felt like it plods along, if it was just had a bit more pace to it I think it would have grabbed my attention more. I can't quite figure out if the birds are some sound bites you've worked into the mix or they are just being picked up by your mic, the fact that they cut out when you stop singing suggests its bleed, but then it feels like its the same chirping over and over. Either way, I found them quite distracting. I do like the emotion in it, just wanted more speed and less chirping.
Ack on the speed thing. As I mentioned in the prefight thread, I recorded outside. It was just a quick, shabby thing to get a song made.
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by jb »

I mean, Little House went from 74-83, according to IMDB, so I was 2-11. Star Wars was in 77, basically marking the start of my remembering things.

I’m sure on airdate or in reruns I watched most of the 204 episodes of Little House. I have a visceral memory of the scene where Mary comes out of her room and drops a lantern on the floor where it catches fire— she was trying to get a lantern because she was having trouble seeing. That’s the night she went blind. Of course for years after that I thought you could just up and Go Blind of a sudden. Frikkin’ show.

Anyway, sir, I am FAMILIAR with Little House on the Prairie, and contend that it would be quite difficult to identify that as the thematic basis of your lyrics this week, Watching Owls!

How dare you accuse me of not being old! The cheek!

Please read the preceding in the voice of HomeStar Runner.

P.S. Let me tell you something about After M*A*S*H
blippity blop ya don’t stop heyyyyyyyyy
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by jb »

Oh there’s that time when all the sparks flew out of their chimney and burned all the crops

Or when they got snowed in the whole way up to the ROOF

and don’t get me started on the little asshole Nellie or that simpering limp noodle Albert.

I watched it and haaaated every minute. But it was either that or not watch TV and I’ve never had that kind of strength in me.
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by danielsabsay »

Hey, cool! Sorry to assume.

The song is based on two events: (1) When Mary is kicked by a loaned horse and Charles goes half-mad blasting through a mountain for a railway to pay for her surgery, and (2) When a flood (heavy rainstorm) ruins their crops, and they go to Gold Country. And of course, Mr. Edward's drunkenness is in there (supposedly evident in Gold Country but also throughout many other episodes as I remember).

As I wrote the song, I was thinking about Charle's and Isaiah Edwards' relationship; how they both went through things that only the other could bring them through.
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

The friendship between Pa and Mr. Edward’s was even strong enough to take them into another show: Highway To Heaven.
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

Thanks for the reviews all! One time I’ll get to doing reviews myself, maybe this time but honestly I’m hot and very cranky and have no tolerance for anything that doesn’t sound exactly like James Taylor. When Texas stops being an inferno I’ll come back down from my tower of whatever this is. In the meantime, WreckdoM ourselves are doing the Face Down with aplomb!!! Keep rockin’ friends.
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by a.flaim »

NeurodivergentEveryOne
I really appreciate when someone does something totally unique that makes little to no sense to anyone else. They just say "F it! It's imperfect (like me :'( ) Deal with it!" Or something. So yeah, heck yeah! You do you dood!

Watching Owls
I like the ambient / live background noise and how it kind of fades in and out at different parts. And I appreciate the simplicity, but also how varied the music is. It covers a lot of ground with few elements. Cool!

Wreckdom
The synth (or whatever it is?) is a little abrasive when it first comes in and clashes with the vocals. Some panning / EQ would help clean it up. I think it is cool how it starts with a pretty simple progression that builds and gets really chaotic. Way to take an idea and just run with it!

The Gross Tones
Neat vocal stuff going on with doubles / harmonies coming in and out. I feel like making the kick, snare, and bass more prominent would really help drive the song, and fill it out. It feels a little thin to me. Even a little boost and panning / doubling the guitar would make it bigger. The song itself is well-written and felt entertaining throughout.

seemanski
Neat subtle typing noise in the background at parts. I like the concept for the song. Even with it only having piano, vocals, and some other subtle things it did not feel lacking. It feels like a complete song. Excellent vocal performance.

Yaks of the Industry
I like the 80's synth vibe. Well played and interesting lead lines. Lots going on here, but not too busy. The guitar (and later, organ) compliments the synth without stepping on it. Well-written song.

Paco del Stinko
Always interesting lyrics. The bass really drives the song, which I like. Hi-hat seems a little loud compared to everything else. Catchy chorus.

The Pannacotta Army
I feel like the bass could be a little louder. Neat organ with some verb on it. The lyrics kind of go a different way than I would expect, which I think is cool. Chill groove without feeling boring.

Stylus Bazaar
Totes weird and entertaining; did not disappoint! Creative lyrics to say the least. Seems like you had fun throughout. I love that!

a.flaim
I really appreciate all of the honest feedback both on this song and the previous "First Million Is the Hardest." As someone who is super self-conscious of what they create, it has been a great exercise in just putting something out there. I'm eager to continue to learn and improve in any way possible. One of the things I enjoy so much about this process is knowing there isn't time to nitpick every little piece of the writing, so you just have to trust your gut, and that is SO freeing. I'm grateful this exists. On this song, I was sick, so singing was rough, which means for the first time I had a slightly valid excuse for them being bad! Woop! Otherwise, I was happy with how it came out. It was fun to do.
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Quick comments. Some strong stuff this fight, nice. Surprises, too.

a.flaim - This has good intentions and would be more fun with everything working properly, vocals especially. Excellent intro had me thinking sci-fi for a bit, then it got all popped out. I like where your voice will be someday, misses quite a bit here. Crisp arrangement and potentially hookified. A simple study for you.

The Gross Tones - Nice progression, classic that gets dark. A jam that has good mood and too many loose vocals. Some work, some don't, this leans towards the latter, but is good for a pass through. On a cassette mix-down tape, this would be in the section in the middle leading to better things. Nice sustained lead guitar note, loose and raw.

NeurodivergentEveryOne - Good brain tickle type that will sound good once more in 48 months. Good legit trippy quality though.

Paco del Stinko - This one came together a bit better as I had a wee bit more time than usual. Wanted huge guitars but failed, tone-wise. Keys support the chorus vocal well.

The Pannacotta Army - This warms as it goes. A very balanced tune, everything is right where it is needed to be, but not forcibly. That everything sounds so good and feels nice just brings it home. I might want to hear this with a little more edge, but then again, maybe not right now. Sunday on the deck. *

seemanski - Very demo sounding. Sounds good, but an outline. The piano and voice sound good, perform well and sincerer. The softer voice is a nice contrast to the belting one, but I wonder if less belting might make it even more impactful. Just thinking. Great groundwork for a build on laterer. Lyrics are tough, man.

Stylus Bazaar - I like some of the lines. Nice when it has the psychotic breakdown into (Pizza Party?) gal vocal. Good warm up, this has strong moments but doesn't always blast off. Close!

Watching Owls - Hey man, if you can record outside with the birds, do it man. The song is excellent. Introspective, intimate. Quietly the best song in the fight, I would submit it for best song of year. (It would lose, but that's ok) Nothing more is needed here, arrangement-wise. Like this a lot.

WreckdoM
- Wait! Best song since Bartender, maybe best SF! ever contender. Yeeahh...I want to be at this barbecue party. I think. no, yes,

Yaks of the Industry
- Dance music for sure, pulsating without pressure, the soaring vocals take you along a not too heady ride in the clouds. Feet still planted in Earthy holds of your ankles. Fight winner contender.


* Are you familiar with BGM in the SF! archive? Maybe give a listen if time allows.
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Bored and stuck at work so I guess I’ll write some reviews. As an aside, it’s storming very loudly as I write these so all of your songs are periodically being punctuated by BOOOOMMMMMMMMM. And strobing. I’ll say that I really liked this title and wish I’d had time to get an entry in.

Yaks of the Industry - 5ths! I swear I’ve heard this chord progression before. Nice job with the synth part – the little trills and flourishes that periodically show themselves are a treat. And the vocal harmonies here are great, as is that “brassy” sounding synth in the second verse that has the nice volume swells. The synth solo is delightful. I will say that I wish the *melody* was a little bit stronger, especially in the chorus…it’s a bit too one note for my liking. And then the song just ends. But it is songfight, you only have so much time for brilliance. A yummy little synthpop number.

Gross Tones - This makes me want to play some cards. This has an interesting structure, it feels like you’re periodically skipping measures. I know if I tried just a little bit harder I’d have no trouble counting it. The drums are super lo fi in a good way. The mix is definitely a bit muddy. The “uh!”s are a nice touch.

WreckdoM - For one – this is a hilarious idea of a dance. I mean. The mix is a little cluttered and there’s so much just competing for attention I can’t really focus on it. The beat change up adds a lot of welcome clarity. The dog barking is funny. That was some deep bass right there by the end.

Seemanski - Piano and voice! I’m liking the general simplicity of this. I IV VII is always solid and imo more interesting than the too common I IV V…though admittedly I wish you’d change it up a little bit more both harmonically and rhythmically. Cause after awhile I’m like ‘okay can we move to a new harmonic center and maybe get out of that rhythm’. Once you get to the chorus it provides a welcome change up, but I feel like more variation throughout would make it better. Vocals are better and *very* dynamic which gets you some points cause you’ve got a nice voice.

Watching Owls - I’m all about the field recording dynamic going on here. The vibe here so far is the best for listening to while watching lighting strobe out of the window. I’m enjoying the subtlety on display here, and after the tune meanders along in its slow, drifting form, the pace shift in the back half was very welcome. I would maybe eq the guitar just a little bit as it’s a little boomy, but not excessively so. Like with Yaks, I found the ending to be a bit abrupt, given how much time you spent building the atmosphere.


Paco del Stinko - This is groovy, and I really dig your bass playing throughout here. This is not a song that matches watching a thunderstorm, unlike the previous one. Composition and performance are very tight! I’m liking the gratuitous triplets in your guitar solo. I like this chorus. Actually I just like this song, it’s really fun to jam along with. Weeee.

Pannacotta Army - Ah, gentle reggae groove. The backing vocals of the “stay trueeeee” sound great. I find this song really difficult to criticize, despite it maybe not being my favorite. Production quality is as impeccable as usual. I feel like there should be *something* else leading into the switch at 1:50, because it’s a dynamic shift but there isn’t much leading into it beyond that pleasant instrumental section. But that’s just a nitpick. Guitar solo is pleasant. Overall vibe is pleasant. This is just very pleasant. I wish it had deep sub bass and was drenched in delay and maybe was slightly slower. Can you remix this and make it sound like Scientist or King Tubby? Then it’d really be a banger. So there’s your criticism, your song is great but I wish it was a different kind of reggae lol.

NeurodivergentEveryone - Ahh, classic SongFight. This is weird derpy noodling with no coherence. I bet it was really fun to make. I won’t call it particularly good. I used to submit stuff like this to SongFight back in high school as “The Boiler Room” many moons ago. It was always fun. I hope you’re having fun. Next time you need to make it more microtonal.

A.Flaim - I would cut the intro. It’s so rockin when the riff comes in that it feels like a waste of time with the noodling before it comes in. There’s some reverb or something on the drums that makes them sound kind of washed out. I wish they were punchier. Maybe just some parallel compression in the mix to beef them up would be nice. This is very very ‘1999 pop punk’, I feel like you’re wanting to play the warped tour. Ending the song on the supertonic feels wrong.

Stylus Bazaar - MIKE. The bleep and the “yeahhhhh” and the general flow (and, well, your voice) gives away me not being familiar with this moniker of yours right away. That being said, this is super fun. These lyrics are completely absurd. BUt this is clearly not just Mike. This is someone else too! I’m feeling it. Your flow in the first verse is very very Del the Funkee Homosapien and that is a positive comparison. I will say I thought in the first 5 seconds this was gonna be a lit like neurodivergenteveryone’s entry but then it wasn’t.

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Top?
Stylus Bazaar
Watching Owls
And…uh, three way tie for 3rd between Pannacotta and Paco and Yaks
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
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Lunkhead
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Re: The cards were all dealt (Face Down reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

The Yaks win!
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