It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

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Lunkhead
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It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:18 pm

1. Review thread - check
2. Cover art - check
3. Songs posted - check
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:18 am

Whoa, big fight. We've only had one bigger fight than this ("In the Tank", with 31 songs, a few fights ago) since December last year ("Just to Be Difficult", with 30 songs).
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby slats » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:19 am

All those paying attention will notice that Jk Chrvt's song is tagged the same as mine. It's not a coincidence, nor is it me entering twice. It is, in fact, my 13 year old son - whom you should all praise unabashedly and vote for frequently.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby dirgetheband » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:25 pm

Only a few songs in, but Big Crouton? OMG ROTFLMAOBFEO AHAHAHAHH! Awesome.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby HansGruber » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:55 pm

slats wrote:All those paying attention will notice that Jk Chrvt's song is tagged the same as mine. It's not a coincidence, nor is it me entering twice. It is, in fact, my 13 year old son - whom you should all praise unabashedly and vote for frequently.


Your....kid....is....awesome.... :!:
Evil never looked so good.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:12 pm

I didn't do a song for this title, but I have to say, some pretty damn good tunes.
...and Slats, good on'ya for getting the kids involved. If your son hasn't heard of Black Francis or David Thomas of Pere Ubu, tell him to look up the old bastards. They rock the genre he fits. He did great.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby slats » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:36 am

Thanks for the kind words about my boy. He's dying for feedback. I suspect the size of the fight is slowing down the review process... ?

Anyway, yeah, we love the Pixies over here. I have some Pere Ubu lying around someplace, too. I should dig that out.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby jast » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:16 pm

slats wrote:I suspect the size of the fight is slowing down the review process...

At least it did for me. I ran out of steam when I was about 60% done. It will take another while until I post stuff.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby The Weakest Suit » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:39 pm

in this size of fight, i usually only get half the reviews. a lot of people only review half way and say they will get around to the rest and never do. i guess, the message is that if you want a review, name your band early in the alphabet.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:43 pm

The Weakest Suit wrote:in this size of fight, i usually only get half the reviews. a lot of people only review half way and say they will get around to the rest and never do. i guess, the message is that if you want a review, name your band early in the alphabet.

Call yourself, Aces High in Low Ball. :P
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby jast » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:52 pm

The Weakest Suit wrote:in this size of fight, i usually only get half the reviews. a lot of people only review half way and say they will get around to the rest and never do. i guess, the message is that if you want a review, name your band early in the alphabet.

And that's why I will always post either all reviews or no reviews at all (though, so far, I have reviewed all fights since I've joined).
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby Teplin » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:57 pm

The Weakest Suit wrote:in this size of fight, i usually only get half the reviews. a lot of people only review half way and say they will get around to the rest and never do. i guess, the message is that if you want a review, name your band early in the alphabet.


Aardwolves FTW!
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby EmbersOfAutumn » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:15 pm

I have not yet gone a fight wherein I submitted a song and DIDN'T do a review. My reviews, however, are only about 15% done. Expect them to be finished tomorrow or Friday.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby ElaineDiMasi » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:52 pm

Right, long fight, and I log on seeing 12 or so replies here and get all excited to see the reviews - but you're all just yacking about the reviews not being done yet - ? So here's my review, listed in Mysterious Elaine Order (Aardwolves first, then everyone else):

Big Crouton - OMG. If my votes and comments matter, everyone's very lucky that I listened to this practically last. But you did the barbershop intro and a Moody Blues outro - whaa -

Embers of Autumn - Your phrases are working really well against the guitar rhythm, long enough to be interesting all the time, but not excessively wordy. Where the vocals get pitchy, especially in the high-drama parts, I can't tell whether it's a performance issue, a haven't-finished-deciding-about-the-melody thing, or an intention to be flailing. I'd definitely vote for intend a melody, not a shout and stab. The music is good enough to hold it all up, no need to abandon singing!

Jan Krueger - All kinds of good stuff here. Neat sound overall, good build from the beginning, and you don't let the energy drop. Good composition all around! Vote!

Ross Durand - An easy listen. Relaxed and edgy at the same time. Good tones on everything. The lyrics are not the highlight - for a long while they repeat for emphasis and almost don't get boring, then finally they cross the line. [listens once more after review is posted] I should say more about the really, really, nice phrasing and nuances of all kinds, voices and instruments.

Vaterunser - Also an easy listen. If you post the lyrics (not necessarily in translation) we'll get a second chance to try to get something other than the mood from it.

Weta T-Shirt - Came running in from the other room to dance to this. Yep! Minimal samba-type things are what I feel like voting for tonight.

The Hand Formula - Right, the fellow with the toy piano. I found enough details to like in the folk ballad lyrics, but the musical repetitiveness almost sank the boat. I think I actually yell at you when you get to the third verse at 1:10, singing "whiskey in the basement" in the exact same tune and tone as all along. Please change stuff, even in a folk ballad this short!

Howl Down the Chimney
- Another toy piano? No, no! Instead, it's cool creepy song number two. I liked the first one better, but I'm keeping my subscription. The instrumental stuff is really darn good.

Todd McHatton - Radio ready arrangement, but not my channel. This has its well-defined overall sound, some predictable lyrics, some unique stuff too. Sorry if that's glib - I have nothing I can advise! (Except, make it not clip in the choruses.)

coder_lyte() - Huh, the intro actually sounds like some code singing. I like the quirky lyrics. The sunny sound is not bad but not complete either. Not sure exactly what - think I want it to have an edgy element, hard to get with those kinds of synths.

The Chadderandom Abyss - Right, you were the howling didge guy a few fights ago right? Whatever.

Heine - When a lyric sounds like a list it dumps me out fast, so I didn't like the beginning. Then (0:55) you kicked stuff in and started sounding like the Moody Blues!! Who knew?? For me that's a happy place even if I don't love all of the lyrics. Vote!

MC Eric B - Nice irony! Not just the words of the chorus but the sunny piano over the snarl. It works. Do I hear doubled vocals on the choruses? If so good call.

MC Paul Denyer - Wow, a rap over a triple beat, that really captures my attention. There's enough urgency here to carry between the musical changes. Not sure about the hole in the middle though - maybe long enough to let my attention get away.

Melvin - Hooky and smart sounding. For some reason, "The fog rolls in again" sounds weaker or more unstable to me than everything else, which sounds totally solid. Radio ready, but not my channel.

Quimby - I like the images and the blend of the voices and guitars. "Boy turned to stone, city in fog" works. The mix is missing something, some color band - when my recordings have that problem I have no clue what to do, so I say good luck getting it. People complain when backup vocals are too loud, but I like to hear them and I think this one could come up. He sounds like a different voice from the lead, so it should work if he doesn't pull his punches.

Terra Sula - Soulful singing, much appreciated. Even with such a simple piano part that's not really changing, you're putting in such emotion as to make it sound like the sections are changing. Congratulations on that, most people can't do it. Still, hope you can find another layer to put in next time.

Cobalt Stomach - Eh. Not funny enough. Not anything else enough either.

The Weakest Suit - This is not funny enough too, I think, sorry!

Berkeley Social Scene - Nice dreamy vibe, I bet it was fun for the band to play. Unfortunately the pitchy vox are dragging it down. Re-rehearse the beat changes, re-record the vox, and call it a good one.

Transatlantic Fight Club - This is blurry. Vocal phrasing is not to my liking. Parts are thin and not working together. This is partly my taste, partly amateur mixing, I suppose. I'm sure it's mutual. I like that you have a lot going on and a lot of color changes in it. Good luck fixing stuff. Especially if you're working by emailing mp3 tracks back and forth to each other? Not easy.

Paco del Stinko - Huh, nice Byrds vibe when it's actually happening. Too much drama not enough drama, though.

Manatee Matinee - The ideal length for this experimental tale is somewhere between 0:00 and 2:00, nowhere near 3:55 (Ugh! not over? still two minutes left, for no reason whatsoever) - and the ideal number of listens per person is 1.

Slats - Loved the start, it really grabbed me right away. Lots to like in the music, especially the little licks and percussion changes. And the bass playing. Oh, and I liked the bridge and the droopy things in the solo. There's something I don't like about the way some of the verse and chorus syllables are spread over the beats. The emphasis is amorphous sometimes. I am going to vote for this.

Jk Chrvt - This is darn catchy! I am a fan of the words and the way you delivered those vocals. The things you chose to repeat are spot on. You should not let it "live the unexamined life" - go back and figure what you'd change. There's places where the singing flails, so what should those little bits of melody really be? The guitar solos are square (lots of eighth notes) - do you want to keep them that way? Vote! Now go do your "homework"! :wink:

Naked Philosophy - Oh man, I should learn to play guitar. You guys can make such a nice noise. Why make me wait 29 seconds for it? Felt especially good at 1:22. There's sections I really like and sections I don't so much, but overall I think this is going to get a vote.

Hans Gruber: Ultimate Villain - Cool, cool, cool, cool, tone. Yep, I dig the whole thing. Vote. Anyone reading carefully has figured out by now that I like one-chord songs, slow samba type beats, and things that remind me of those. Sorry that this is not a helpful review, this is all about me having something to dance to for 4:33. I mean, 4:18 - didn't trim the tail off your mp3.

Jeff Travis Henderson - Competent, charismatic. An easy listen, but musically much more interesting than most songs I describe as an easy listen. I like that there is a lot in the lyrics to listen to. Why does the bridge sound so familiar? STP has something similar somewhere, I think. Overall I like it. No vote only because it stopped short of grabbing my spinal chord for some reason. (See samba, above.)

Adam Adamant - Note the trick here, which anyone can use. Because the top line had long phrases overtop the chord changes, I listened through 0:53 with totally the feeling that we were going somewhere, even though the sounds were very annoying. When you totally did something else for the main part of it, I took my time coming back to where the song now was; took me til 2:50 or so to then try to figure out what was going on in the story. Thanks for the trip, but I didn't need a second listen.

Elaine DiMasi - A day isn't enough time for me to learn to play the parts I write, sorry. Ideally this song has a really easy feel, both sung and played behind the beat like when I wrote it (not sung behind the beat to a frenetic piano line with quantized attacks on the beat like when I recorded it). And there's a ghostly big band with proper horn arrangements that's supposed to start off in the distance somewhere and smartly crossfade into place for the dance hall section, and the backup girls are supposed to sing high and sound like flappers. And the mix ... ah well. I'll vote for it just to make myself feel better. :)
Last edited by ElaineDiMasi on Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby Steve Durand » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:25 pm

Hey Melvin,
Congratulations on entry number 100!
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby Caravan Ray » Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:01 am

Yes - well done Melvin!

And thank you for 100 good songs.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby Caravan Ray » Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:06 am

OK - Reviews (a work in progress).

Keep coming back to this post, I will edit over the week.

These are listed in strict order of my personal preference - but obviously rankings will change as I go. Eventually I will determine where I will put my 'vote line'. All I can say for sure at the moment is that Vate Runser will get one, and the Chadderandom Abyss won't.


1. Big Crouton - When I was 10-years-old and a huge Alice Cooper fan - I would have thought this was the greatest thing ever written. Nowadays, it is probably not really something I would listen to regularly, but that does not mean it may still not be he greatest thing ever written. Your guitaring is superb as always.
2. Vate Runser - Oh that's German! I thought there was something wrong with you at first. Cool! This is great. Great arrangement, and very cool chorus
3. JeffTravisHenderson - Great Christmas pop song! Very enjoyable. Love the 2nd chorus thing, before the oohhs. Nice change. Excellent work.
4. Melvin - Nice one to crack the ton with! This is very good. Like the "na nas". Cool guitar at the beginning, moving into a catchy chorus. Well done Melvin.
5. Cobalt Stomach - A masterpiece. I laughed, I cried. I was moved. Great guitar stuff and toilet humour! A winning combination
6. Ross Durand - Competent and pleasing guytar, everything sounds good - but not reaching any great heights
7. MCEricB - Heh! Where on earth are you getting your backing tracks from? This one works great, and your delivery on the verses is really good. Sadly, the chorus is appalling. Try and move away from the rhyming couplets - get a bit more variation from the verses.
8. The Weakest Suit - Nice try - but not really working. I think you may have gotten away with it with a better last line. It just didn't scan very well. I liked the idea though.
9. Coder Lyte - All just sounds a bit too synthy
10. Manitee Matinee - Generally annoying
11. The Chadderrandom Abyss - This is pretty dumb.
Last edited by Caravan Ray on Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby inevitableguy » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:17 am

ElaineDiMasi wrote:Oh man, I should learn to play guitar. You guys can make such a nice noise. Why make me wait 29 seconds for it?


I was heightening your sense of anticipation! :wink:
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby Paco Del Stinko » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:28 am

People: Just wanted to apologize for not reviewing the past couple of fights that I've been in, and that I plan to get back on track with this one. That said, I thank those that have reviewed and appreciate all comments, good or bad. Looks like a good fight, with some old and new faves around. Spread the love, but put'em up and fight!

Oh yeah, happy 100 to the Big M, no matter what J$ says, you're da man!
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby jast » Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:50 am

I'm going to try something different in this round of reviews. I will listen to each song once the normal way and once at 1.45x speed (gives you a bit of a bird's-eye view).


Adam Adamant -- Yay, lo-fi! Voice sounds like it's way in the background compared to the rest. This one sounds almost random in structure but probably in a way that fits the title. Ugh, the lead synth is pretty hard on the ears on the long notes. Perhaps a bit more power in the vocals would've been nice. I like the idea behind this song but the realization is too annoying for my taste. Mainly because of the synth notes, I guess.
1.45x listen: the synth gets even more annoying. That's not usually the case at 1.45x if the mix gels well. It's a lot more apparent now that the vocals are sloppy.

Berkeley Social Scene -- Great sound/guitars, interesting rhythm. The vocals are a bit weak (the large intervals would've worked a lot better with more power and accuracy). As a song this is enjoyable enough but it doesn't really stick in my head.
1.45x listen: couldn't you have cut away the handling noises at the beginning? Anyway, at 1.45x I'm impressed by the great soundscape. Bonus points in the departments of arrangement and engineering.

Big Crouton -- Barbershop! And metal! As promised. Amazing atmosphere in the metal part. Great sound too. Hmm, okay, it's one song, but perhaps the barbershop pieces could've been integrated more, I don't know. One thing I missed was a tag piece, but seriously, absolutely everything else is right about this song. It's not too long either (which is not easy for a song of over five minutes), it's just pure rock (and I don't even like metal, normally). Bonus points for overtones in the last sung section (the last couple of major chords). I would give you two votes if I could.
1.45x listen: I think this listen mode doesn't work well for metal in general. That made me concentrate on the story more and I still love it.

The Chadderandom Abyss -- If what you're trying to do is being random, you've got a good start, but this is way too structured. This is basically just a normal song mutilated to make it hard to listen to. As long as it's not possible to see what the point of this is, it's not voteworthy.
1.45x listen: Vocals sound even goatier this way. Otherwise, same comments as before.

Cobalt Stomach -- More lo-fi! Hey, haven't I read these lyrics somewhere before? Nah, only part of them. Vocals are way too weak most of the time (but the high C bit near the beginning is great). I think the idea was interesting but not enough to hold an entire song together, a bit more variety could have done the trick.
1.45x listen: Hmm, the synths are actually a bit boring in the first section of lyrics (I don't dare call it a verse).

coder_lyte() -- Hey, is this lo-fi week? Not that I'd complain. A pretty video-gamey song, quite a bit of Nintendo in there (I think the synth is inspired by Nintendo sounds, too), i.e. almost oppressively cheery. This one is fun to listen to. The vocals are a bit weak.
1.45x listen: No additional comments, I still like it. Oh, nice vocal doubling.

Elaine DiMasi -- I'm not sure the first long note in each verse fits well with the accompaniment; the second one (that shifts from an E to an F) avoids this. Admittedly, that makes a for a contrast/development, but I can't help but wonder if one could have done that differently. Another fun song, and as requested I'm not going to comment on performance and engineering. I don't find anything wrong with the song's structure. Definitely likeable.
1.45x listen: Nothing has changed.

Embers of Autumn -- I think the low MP3 bitrate (or something else in your signal path) hurts that guitar sound a lot. Vocals are out of key a lot but otherwise pretty good (a bit clipped in a place or two). Very energetic song and except for the vocal accuracy it works very well. Nice transition from chorus to verse.
1.45x listen: Damn, are those guitar attacks hard.

The Hand Formula -- Levels! Doubling vocals doesn't automatically make them loud enough. Musically a bit like your previous submission. A decent song, if not very exciting.
1.45x listen: Doesn't make it more interesting.

Hans Gruber: Ultimate Villain -- I think the drumkit is too loud in relation to everything else. The vocals in particular get a bit lost. I like the song idea and it's put into practice well (for example, the background vocals add a nice bit of atmosphere). The rather simple song structure is made up for by instrumental buildup, making it feasible to make the song this long. Except for the ~20 seconds of silence at the end, of course.
1.45x listen: The initially rather sparse arrangement works well, even if it's more noticeable this way.

Heine -- I like most of this (vocal tone, instruments, buildup as far as there is any) but I think the vocals are a tad wobbly and there isn't really much happening in the second half of the song, except for the chord changes before the instrumental part starts. [Side note: the ID3 comment tag in the MP3 file got cut off in exactly the wrong place.]
1.45x listen: Good soundscape.

Howl Down the Chimney -- That's a creepy intro, nice (but I think it's not tuned the same as the song itself, half a minus point). Atmosphere, lots of it, and the story to go with it. Great! Good choice of instruments too. Big vote.
1.45x listen: I think when the percussion sets in, you could have added some bass instrument too, though that might have destroyed the pirate story feeling.

Jan Krueger -- So, there story here? I wanted to experiment with using tons of vocals, and lots of suspended chords. Up to 11 vocals tracks are in use at the same time (also this is my first submissions that's completely without guitars). The drumkit is my contribution to this week's apparently strong presence of lo-fi elements. Again, this song was written and recorded on the last day (except for the drumkit effect chain which I designed some time during the week). The idea to use brutal pitch shifting in some places for effect was really spontaneous.
1.45x listen: I didn't know there were this many chipmunks.

Jeff Travis Henderson -- Hmm, what does this intro remind me of? Liquido, perhaps, though this one is a bit harder. Not your typical christmas song. Nice chord patterns. In particular I love the mini-chorus thing (and the reverse reverb is surprisingly cool). Hmm, I can't really think of anything to criticize. I guess that makes this one an easy vote.
1.45x listen: No additional comments, I'm still in love with this song. Something about it is almost goosebumpy.

Jk Chrvt -- Good sound (I can even stand the panning sweeps), except I think the guitar solos stick out a bit much. The vocal performance is absolutely not my cup of tea, though I have to admit it works well for this song. So as a song this one is pretty good and I'll be looking forward to what you come up with next time.
1.45x listen: No additional comments. Hmm, wait: perhaps this song could have been a lot more awesome by making it more punchy; that's mainly a mixing issue, of course.

Manatee Matinee -- That's not fog, that's the poisonous hurricane of death. If you're trying to annoy me, don't expect a particularly valuable review. Oh, and if you were trying to be random, the same comment as above ("Chadderandom Abyss") applies, to a slightly lesser degree. You win at being random, for now, but it's not anything to boast with.
1.45x listen: You wish.

MC Eric B -- The intro is nice. But. I can find absolutely no emotion in the vocals in verses. Nor in the chorus, but what annoys me more there is that obvious chord changes are missing (you're doggedly singing Fs across a C major chord, that's not really cool).
1.45x listen: It's a lot more obvious you're using only one chord. The doubled vocal track is consistently flat.

MC Paul Denyer -- Acidic, chaotic (in a good way, I guess, and it seems to fit with the lyrics). I've said it before; I can't say too much about hiphop (or whatever this is). One thing, perhaps: you've got this intermission in the middle of the song that makes for a very nice change from the rest; it was a bit disappointing to see it just stop, followed by more of the same (previous) stuff. I'd have loved if anything at all had been different afterwards.
1.45x listen: Hectic. Same comments as above.

Melvin -- The "nuh-nuh-nuh" is gold. I don't really like this style, I admit, but it's well done energetic song, even I can see that. Lots of neat backup vocals, and the doubled guitar strumming is a nice touch, too. I can even stand the synthy strings here. Some of the high notes you sing sound a bit strained, but not too badly. The ending is a bit drawn out.
1.45x listen: The right-channel guitar syncopation in the chorus is pretty cool.

Naked Philosophy -- My main complaint here is that the vocals rather off in the intro (but the synth drum stuff is cool, and it's a nice touch to have the song begin and end exactly the same way). Personally I find the verses a bit boring but I like the chorus very much, pretty REM-y. The lyrics don't excite me. The hi-hats in the bridgey thing up to ~2:30 sound a lot more robotic than the rest of the drums. Catchy guitar riff.
1.45x listen: No additional comments.

Paco del Stinko -- Great expressive vocals, especially in the second verse. The chorus sound is very you while the verses are pretty different, and you made it fit together extremely well (great transition from chorus to verse). Very atmospheric, and could you please stop rubbing it in my face that your guitar playing is a lot better than what I could do even with a lot of practice? ;) I'm voting for this one.
1.45x listen: No additional comments.

Quimby -- I think the guitar is recorded via pickup; recording it via microphone might be nice if you have (or can afford) a good mic, perhaps a large condenser. The vocal tremolo in the chorus puts me off a bit. You have a slight tendency to slur notes into each other in the quietly sung parts, I'm not sure if that's deliberate. The guitar playing is a bit out of rhythm in a place or two. But really, I like this song. Keep going! Next time, perhaps a bit of percussion?
1.45x listen: I still like it.

Ross Durand -- That's almost bluesy... interesting. The electric guitar feels a bit tacked on (it's mostly integrated into the soundscape of the mix but not completely; I think the spring reverb has to go, for one thing). Clipping in some places. The guitar seems to be a bit boomy. Nice buildup and performance, but otherwise this is not too captivating.
1.45x listen: I think I'm getting used to the electric guitar thing I mentioned. Or it just sounds better this way, I don't know. I still don't like the reverb, anyway.

Slats -- Great guitar tone. The downside: not much is happening here, so I think it should have been shorter. A more varied arrangement might have been nice, too (i.e. more buildup). Perhaps give the vocals a bit more presence in the mix. I think I liked your previous track better in some ways, but sound is better in this one and I think it flows better, too (only too much, perhaps).
1.45x listen: Still not really exciting, but the performance is definitely good.

Terra Sula -- Pretty driving piano playing; almost too driving for my taste. Energetic singing, a bit off particularly in downward phrases. I think you could improve on your vocal tone, particularly in higher notes (and, for example, the "I don't know" in the chorus sounds rather slurred). I'm not trying to take away from this song, mind, I love it. Lots of emotion there, and a very good backup vocal track with just the right level. I think this one deserves a vote.
1.45x listen: I think that doesn't really help with this song.

Todd McHatton -- Another christmas song! Well, sort of. The sound pressure is a bit much, as is a general tendency in your songs. Otherwise, I like everything about this song. Good idea, verses and chorus work well together, great sound (actually, I like the verses more than the chorus because of their sound). The more I listen to your songs, the more I can't help wondering what your voice would sound like with less breathiness. No, I'm just wondering, not complaining. Anyway, this one is a vote.
1.45x listen: No additional comments.

Transatlantic Fight Club -- I think there's a bit much reverb here. I don't have any general complaints here, but I'm not drawn in by this song. Not a lot going on here.
1.45x listen: No additional comments.

Vaterunser -- It's hard to make out the lyrics. This is a nice song and I think it could have been a lot better with more solid singing; this sounds almost whispery. I can't find anything wrong with the rest. Note to other reviewers: if you split up the band name correctly it would be "Vater unser".
1.45x listen: Really, this one needs different levels and re-recorded vocals.

The Weakest Suit -- Short (like this review); otherwise good (but the notes on "with googley eyes on it" are a bit weird, are they meant to be weird?).
1.45x listen: Aww, now it's even shorter.

Weta T-Shirt -- This one definitely "sounds foggy" due to lots of ambience, but I think the delay on the vocals is a bit hard. Vocals are a bit flat occasionally. As a quiet and slow song this one works pretty well.
1.45x listen: Nifty delays on other things, though.


Phew, I'm done! Definite votes: Big Crouton, Howl Down The Chimney, myself (I don't do this for all of my songs, honest!), Jeff Travis Henderson, Paco del Stinko, Terra Sula, Todd McHatton. I'll give myself another couple of days to decide if I want to vote for anyone else.
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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby j$ » Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:53 am

Ummm, either I forgot to post the reply I wrote earlier, or it disappeared. Just to say, the TFC entry is meant to be bathed in reverb. City in fog, yah? It may not work for you, fair enough if not, but please don't think it's anything other than a deliberate choice to be 'foggy', 'blurry' etc

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Re: It's just across the Bay (City in Fog reviews)

Postby EmbersOfAutumn » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:43 pm

Wow, been awhile since I've done a song OR reviews. Used to do these things at work, but that great ol' economy made quick work of that (downsizing put me out of work), so I'm doing this from home. Different environment... wow... so weird...

(PS, if I comment on something that's already been commented on, it's because I don't read other individuals reviews until I've done my own. Sorry if I harp on something that someone else has brought out)

Anyways...

Adam Adamant – Bustin out a little Napoleon Dynamite type of intro here... Least, that's what I got from it. I keep waiting to see plates of High School Cafetorium food plastered on my computer screen. Well... THAT changed fast. The beat seems a little dischordant at parts. I assume the beat is solid, it just sounds a bit disconnected is all. It just isn't really holding my attention all that much. I do like the layering at 2:35 or so. Except for that keyboard, a bit overpowering in the mix. 2 of 10.

Berkeley Social Science – I haven't had a chance to listen to many of the fights in the last few months, but I've noticed your name keeps popping up in the song listings, so I'm kind of interested to see what comes from this. I like the intro quite a bit. The heavy delay on that background guitar is probably one of my favorite effects. Sounds like that chorus could have been a little tighter, but that would be me calling the kettle black... The bridge is nice. A touch of Ambient Jazz. Nothing in this song stands out as amazing, but it's all good still. 8 of 10.

Big Crouton – I'm quite disturbed that this the intro is sung in a major key with (at least to me) almost a hint of happiness in the voice. Then again, hearing the music afterward, that was obviously your intent. The music is good. The keyboards are good in the chorus as well. I have to say, metal not being my favorite genre, this is a good song. In fact, I like the dialog-style to the song, and the riffs are top notch. Putting genre-bias aside, this is a stellar job. And finally, a bonus point for describing what is going on during the solo on the lyrics board. That was pretty funny... 10 of 10.

The Chadderandom Abyss – Hint: Next time, record the music before you're too drunk to stand. 1 of 10.

Cobalt Stomach – Ah, reminds me of the early days of Homestar Runner. Except, you should have stopped 20 seconds in for that to keep my likings. 0 of 10.

coder lyte – Got my interest with the intro. Kind of an 80's feel to the music, though the vocals could use a little cleaning up. Not bad in all, though. 6 of 10.

Elaine DiMasi – Catchy. Making me do a little sway as I listen to. It lacks anything that makes a lasting impression. Almost sounds like it could be in the same department of a television show intro. 6 of 10.

Embers of Autumn – Me. Happy about how some things turned out, but unhappy about certain things as well. I'm real horrible at getting the mixing just right, and the drums bear this out. Also, there is that point that I can't sing very well. There was much more screaming in earlier takes. That was real fun, but I feel that the vocal quality is better in this one. I kept breaking the threshold when I was screaming. Ah, well, hope you all enjoyed.

--(Reviews – Day Two... seriously, a lot of reviews this time around)--

The Hand Formula – I think you mistook this competition for ChantFest!. It's... ok I guess, but not really much of a song. 0 of 10.

Hans Gruber: UV – Interesting feel to the intro. Almost an R&B-style feel of coder lyte's. The lyrics page states that you were going for the 'creepy noir' feel like others, but it comes across more Doo-Wop than creepy to me. Not a bad thing, mind you, but i think an instrument that is known for creepiness would have done a better job in going the 'creepy' feel, like a synthesized cello or an organ or something. It's good still though, don't get me wrong. Only constructive criticism I really have is that the best part comes a little late in the song—my interest was already starting to wane, so the awesome lick at 3:25 or so was a little 'too-little-too-late' for me. 6 of 10.

Heine – Wow, that chorus just kind of kicked in there. Up to that point, the bass was a little heavy, but it seemed fine when the band kicked in. Seems like it's fine, but again, nothing stands out in the song as particularly noteworthy. Lead out into bridge at 2:35 was interesting, i guess. Outro was a little weird, but good for a 5 of 10.

Howl Down the Chimney – Ah, the old Bandoneon. I'm going through Ocarina of Time that I downloaded on the Wii, and it brings back fond memories of that guy in that town playing at the windmill. Nice bridge at 2:15. That sounded like fun to play. Mighty creepy, indeed. A+ for accomplishing what you were going for. 6 of 10.

Jan Krueger – An Etheral Old-School Linkin Park feel... Vocal harmonization is pretty good—I can't tell how much is done live and how much is synthesized. This seems like a nice 'last track on an album to wind down' type of song. 5 of 10.

Jeff Travis Henderson – Vocals need to come up just a tad. Huge fan of piano, especially in rock, so this is something that interests me. Something's buzzing a little too harshly on that chorus-bridge thing. I think it just contrasts too much from the verse and it overly noticeable because of it. Odd bridge at 2:35—not that it doesn't work or anything, just a little weird given how the song went up to that point. I understand why though, trying to break chord progression monotony, probably. Also sounds like your hands must have been tired after playing 8ths throughout the whole song. 7 of 10.

Jk Chrvt – This is Slats' son, I understand. The guitar is incredibly catchy, so if that was his work, this young man has a career ahead of him for sure. He's a better lead guitarist than me, that's for sure... Well done. 7 of 10.

Manatee Matinee – I don't know if you've done anything else for SF, but I'm giving you a bonus point for the name right off the bat—cool band name. However, you lost that point immediately when I heard how ridiculous the intro sounded and noticed that the track is just shy of 6 minutes long! Different elements I'm picking up: You're singing while playing pong on a Calecovision, Your cat is pouncing on your keyboard, your dog is playing kazoo, and your wife is trapped in the basement... How close am I? 1 of 10 (the '1' is for the band name)

MC Eric B – Eric, you get a bonus point for saving my ears from the agony that was Manatee Matinee. Bring back some memories to Steve Durand's take on Client No. 9. No offense to you—but he just put quite a bit more into it. Good song, but a bit lackluster. Seems like you could add a little pizazz to it somewhere. 3 of 10. (4 with the bonus point)

MC Paul Denyer – Not a huge rap fan, but there was a time I had a respect for it, and i do like your lyrics. Just... it's only a minute long. This would get a huge amount of points for me if you would have kept the rhymes up for another few minutes. Still, it's worth a few... 3 of 10.

Melvin – Always a smash-up job. Especially choruses... you seem to do those well. Outro seemed a tad redundant, but not so much that it stands out... The piano part of the outro made up for it for me. 9 of 10.

Naked Philosophy – Took a few seconds for it to kick in, but I liked it when it did. I like the lyrics, and the chorus is pretty good. Almost a Rembrandts feel. Bridge was a bit interesting. The trills were a nice touch though. 7 of 10.

--(Reviews, Part 3. Now with headphones goodness!)--

Paco Del Stinko – Like it a lot. I seem to like your softer, more melodic stuff more. Seems slightly dischordant at 1:45, maybe just me, not sure. The chorus is the best part about the song to me, though the spanish-sounding guitar lick on the outro is nifty. 5 of 10.

Quimby – Guitar is hooking me there at the beginning, always nice to get your audience off on the right foot. Vocals could come up a little in the mixing, my opinion... then again, I'm listening to these through headphones now. It could be just right through speakers. I like this a lot. I think perhaps in the future, you should throw some more background stuff in, add some ambience via strings or a delayed guitar—something like that. Stellar job, though. 7 of 10.

Ross Durand – Another nice acoustic intro with this song. Nice throwing in those blues riffs starting at 0:50. That's just something I can't do and I have uber-respect for those who can. I like how things progressively are added to the song with each verse—keeps it interesting. 8 of 10.

Slats – After hearing your son's song first, I was looking forward to see what you were going to contribute. Some nice chord choices there in the verse. I think the guitar could come up a little in the mixing. Especially since you seem to do some fun/cool things with it during the progression. Bridge at 2:45 grabbed my attention as it started; some of the transitions in the bridge were well done. Good job, just a bit long, but that just may be because I'm having to listen to about 30 songs. 8 of 10.

Terra Sula – I know I'm not one who's been around here on SongFight for a long, long time, but this is the first time I can recollect when we've had 3 + female vocalists in a fight. It's refreshing. Nice piano intro, just watch the timing, it isn't exactly smooth. Wow... I... may be having a seizure... that, or you did a LOT of layering of vocals in that chorus. I think there's a bit too much going on there given the minimal instrumentation. There's a lot of potential in this song, but you have to do a few things to make this have replay value: (1) Use a metronome to get the beat smoother on piano and (2) turn down that background vocal just a bit on the chorus. I'd love to hear this song again after some refining. 4 of 10.

Todd McHatton – Catchy intro. That's one of the most important things in my book. Excellent layering on vocals. Bass is a little heavy on the pre-chorus. And I'm not sure if it's just my headphones, but I'm getting some threshold limit breaking somewhere. Maybe pull it back just a tad. I do like the song a good bit though. 8 of 10.

Transatlantic Fight Club – Well, I know I'm not supposed to talk about [Transatlantic] Fight Club, but... I like some of the things the guitar(s) are doing here. We... just need for it to kick in at some point. Maybe after a minute, minute-half, there should be this major kick in for rocking out. The song just sounds like one long 3:20 intro to a song. It's good in that light, though. 6 of 10.

Vaterunser – “Girl... Crazy.. Girl... Who comes to my apartment... “ Oh... Sorry.. thought I was at a poetry slam for a minute, until the vocals came in. This is just me personally, but I would have used actual piano tones rather than the synthesized ones (the one that sounds like a harpsichord). Good, but not memorable. 3 of 10.

Weakest Suit – Always love getting to your songs man... (WS and I started close to the same time here on SongFight.) ... I just hate when you throw these quick songs on here... they're over before I have a chance to get into them. I know it's cause you're trying to keep a streak going, but, just take a little extra time next time man, just 15, 20 minutes and throw something extra in there in the background, or just write another verse or something. Hate to give you a 1, but there's not a lot I can give you points for. 1 of 10.

Weta T-Shirt – Last song... finally... The music is alright. The lyrics... a tad repetitive. Guitar lick is cool. But it seems to be what you based the song around. It's alright, if that's what you were intending to do, but you need to make it a little more interesting if that's what you were wanting to do. 3 of 10.


And I'm out. Thanks for the good songs for those who tried. A lot of excellent talent, and a number of people I've never heard on here! See below for my scales on scoring.

9 – 10 -- Something I'd expect to hear on the radio. VOTE
7 – 8 -- Very good job and most likely getting replay time on my playlist VOTE
5 – 6 -- Good job, I can tell you tried hard, and you're coming along, just a little more effort
2 – 4 -- Got a little ways to go, but you have potential
0 – 1 -- Thanks for the fodder for letting me riff you.
"Out of all I've learned in Life,
You always keep your friends close to your heart,
cause they'll help you if you're falling down..."
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