...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by king_arthur »

Just makin' sure there's a review thread so's that the new fight can get posted so's we can find out what the new title is so's we can all do our various styles...
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by PiGPEN »

voted; barfknecht(strike-a-pose), hate noise(voodoo).
hates, next time you have a cool track like that and want a spare verse, contact me.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Generic »

For a change, I'm listening in random order. Reviews in the order I listened.

The HATE Noise ft. Anonymous - Nice wordplay with the "we do" to "you do" to "voodoo/hoodoo." I love a good rap over a swing beat. Bad karma dropping the f-slur, but I'll look the other way just this once. There seems to be a lot of filler here in between the verses. That raspy low voice saying "voodoo, voodoo" between the first verse and the second chorus? That could have been cut in half. On the other hand, I like the break where you play the Godsmack sample a couple of times, then the spoken word "Actually, fuck Godsmack." Made me giggle. I might sour on that for future listens. I really like how you guys integrate the samples with (what I assume is) a live band. Voting for this one.

Steve Durand - Huh? Sounds like you're trying to do the Mouth Reliant thing, which is odd to listen to. It's like when your old friend puts on a flashy new outfit and it doesn't really look terrible, but you think it does because all you can think of is how nice your friend used to look in slacks and polo shirt. Oh well. Your voice seems to settle into the style as the song goes... I also notice that the vocoder gets a little heavier as the song goes. That "We do all the style / We're superficial" line is really hooky, but I wish you'd gone for a little bit more subtlety in the lyrics. Ah well. I'm also reminded, substantially, of an obscure Josh Joplin Group song called "Wonderful Ones." I'm on the fence about this one. I'm leaning towards a vote right now, but I'll give it a couple more listens before deciding.

Ross Durand - The guitar is a little boomier than we normally get from you. Were you going for a rawer sound than usual? Ah, you just said "shit," so it must be. The character starts talking about the changes to be made, and I sense a genre change... But it never comes. Perhaps I was prepped for the music to illustrate the message because of what Steve did. The chorus lyric "We like that thing you do, can you do it for a while" touches on a theme about the transience of fame, but the verses seem more concerned with the dichotomy of the artist's style versus his substance. In my mind, this seems to imply that you threw the word "a while" in there just to make the rhyme, and I keep waiting for the lyric to connect thematically. It's not that big of a leap, but I'm not sure you ever make it. Of course, we're way past Songwriting 101 when I start talking about whether this line of the chorus echoes thematically with the following verse, so how about I just vote for this, then we both move on, eh?

Guitarotica - You know what, if you're not going to try, then neither am I.

Flvxxvm Florvm - First-person-plural narratives always have a sense of menace to them. The dirge-like quality of this track plays into that. The cadence of your verses reminds me of something specific, but I'm not sure what. Hey, nice shredding between verses. The one thing I'm not sure about with this track is the involvement of the title. "We do all the style" seems like a weak point to conclude the rant with, given everything that precedes it. It's good rhetoric to end a list with the most damning point, but "We do all the style" seems less eerie than the rest of the song. Yeah, I know it was the given title, but maybe consider changing it for a future version? You get a vote.

Barfknecht - The spoken-word flow works nice, even if some of the lyrics are a little cliche. Reminds me a little of Electric Six, which is a compliment, although it also makes me wish your voice had a little of Dick Valentine's menace to it. Check out "There's Something Very Wrong With Us So Let's Go Out Tonight" if you don't get what I mean. So, there's that "strike a pose" break at around the 2:20 mark? I was kind of thinking that was going to be the coda. When I looked at my player and saw that that was only the halfway mark, I started gritting my teeth. Of course, then when the song kicked back into the original structure, especially with that guitar solo, I became more sure than before that you were going for Electric Six. I mean, wow. Nice going. I would have preferred this particular song to stop rather than return to the territory it had already tread. I mean, on the one hand, you did kick it up a notch on that last chorus. But on the other hand, I think it would have been a lot more powerful just to change gears and leave them changed. Oh well. You get a vote regardless, for the ambition.

Bad Boys at Bat Mitzvahs - It's Yom Kippur, by the way. Good yom tov, and all that. This is a decent jam, but you're using a crappy mic, and it shows on your vocals big time. The microphone is killing the nuance of your voice, but it doesn't help matters that you're singing too loud for whatever your mic is set to, and it's clipping on almost every line. It makes this a chore to listen to. If you took a step back from the mic, or if you lowered the recording volume before you started rolling, it would have improved this track 150% right off the bat. I also think that this kind of minimalist track calls for either a shorter duration (somewhere between 1:30 and 2:15 would have been the sweet spot on this one, I think), or some sweet jamming from the supporting instruments. For a bluesy number like this... where's your harmonica? Come on, man!

Berkeley - Sudden start... maybe add a count-in? What does "Wrapped up like a pixie swan" mean, anyway? Oh well. I like the rhythmic change in the chorus. I think Erin is way too up-front on this track. Her vocal is pretty (though she could maybe take a lesson from Heather Redmon on incorporating a little mean-girl sneer), just a little too loud in relation to the rest of the mix. Ken's drums, in particular, feel muted here. The vocal harmonies in the background a really well-done, they don't deserve to be hidden like that. In fact, that's your hook! Use that to draw us in! Emphasize it! Oh well. You've got a good song going on here, I just don't like the mix this time around. You get a vote, why not. Did y'all get a new synthesizer recently? I feel like it's been more prominent in your last few tracks.

Metaluna - Can I claim genre bias? A lot of these vocals sound a little off-key, but you clearly know that your strength is not in the vocals. You attempt to overcome with loudness. That two-note riff is surprisingly catchy, but the rest of the song is kind of lacking. Not a big fan of the lyrics - they're not saying anything particularly interesting, and they flow awkwardly. Barring a good vocal take, barring clever lyrics, barring a catchy melody, you've got one last resort to win me over here: technical virtuosity. I can feel the solo coming - will it bring the rock? Oh yes, it does! My best advice to you would be to try to incorporate more of the lead guitar into the little gaps in the song. Fills in between lines and verses. I think the lead guitar is the best think you've got going in this track, so capitalize on it! Also, I think, of all the tracks in this fight, yours is the closest to what feels like its "right" length. Good job to reining in your structure like that.

King Arthur - Fake live recording? Bleh. So, were you trying to show Josh Millard how it's done? The intro feels really rushed. I know, you were just trying to get all the banter out before the first verse cue, but it does sort of ruin the spontaneous feel that the faux-live recording tries to add. Also, the fact that the handclaps seem to cut in and out at exactly the right moments emphasizes the fakeness of the recording. These little foibles distract from the reasonably tight lyric you've put together. I think genre bias would be keeping me from voting for this, but you certainly gave me a good excuse with the crowd noises.

Votes to over half of the spread this week. Small fight, but good job nonetheless!
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Steve Durand »

Ross,
Congratulations on your 100th Songfight! entry (under this name).
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Spintown »

http://spintown79.blogspot.com/2010/09/ ... style.html

Ross Durand - Walk-off home run. You can all go home now. (it should be noted that I listened to this song last) (voted)

King Arthur - Thank you...I didn't think I was going to vote for anyone until I heard this. The story was fun, but it was a bit odd hearing that type of music while singing about websites, Italian tile, etc... You took a crappy prompt & still made a completely entertaining song. Well done. (voted)

Bad Boys At Bat Mitzvahs - I did get a little lost in the music. Pretty cool & laid back. Vocals weren't great, but good enough. What hurt this song was the lyrics & topic in general. Who the fuck cares about a song that's about getting a hair cut? Not only that, but you don't do anything creative in going that route either. Bland on top of bland...the lyrics had no thought put into them. I'm guessing you ran short of time & ideas & tackled the music first.

Berkeley Social Scene - Purdy vocals...music was tight...again the lyrics didn't do anything for me.

Metaluna - Loved the instrumental towards the end. Had me doin' some air guitar & bangin' my head a little. Lyrics still ain't cuttin' it...

Side Notes:- Going into this round, I thought the title for the fight was stupid.

- Personally I enjoy a good story, and one that's not too ambiguous. I place more importance on that than even the music.

- With this prompt I couldn't see many interesting stories being told. Unfortunately not many of the musicians who took on this challenge could either.

- Congrats on hitting a Song Fight milestone. 100 songs is pretty cool.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by BBABM »

Spintown wrote: Bad Boys At Bat Mitzvahs - I did get a little lost in the music. Pretty cool & laid back. Vocals weren't great, but good enough. What hurt this song was the lyrics & topic in general. Who the fuck cares about a song that's about getting a hair cut? Not only that, but you don't do anything creative in going that route either. Bland on top of bland...the lyrics had no thought put into them. I'm guessing you ran short of time & ideas & tackled the music first.
yes, and the music wasn't great either... i was totally lost on ideas, first i was thinking infomercial about a little chinese hair salon, but that is really racist. then i forgot about it for a while, then when wednesday came around i decided to just sing some words, no writing, not practicing, that is just what came out... and yes, it is completely asinine. no one should care about a song about a haircut. and i agree that the title was a little weak, and in my opinion more suited for a rap song, which i have proven i am no good at writing, so i apologize for any bleeding ears. thanks for listening
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by BBABM »

might as well do my review now. I thought it was a difficult title this week. here they are in order it gave me.

guitarotica: i'm just not gonna say anything, cause im pretty sure you aren't gonna read it.

berkeley: chick singer, nice. i like this one, especially the little breakdown and keyboard(?) solo at around 2:30, really cool change had me groovin. the ending hit me weird at first, but on a re-listen i like it. however, the little lead riff over top, i think, could be slowed down. the fast notes sound strange for some reason. i don't care really what the words say, as much as how they go. and for the most part they went very well. i am partial to a female singer, dunno why, i just think they have better voices.

Barfknecht: the spoken word is cool, but i think that if your going to use that effect on your voice you should make the whole thing sound like when you're kinda singing between 0:45 and 0:59... more monotone, but it works better (i think) with the kinda goth-techno thing thats going here. the change around 2:05 is cool, but after that i was kinda wondering where the rest of the words were. instead there was some of what sounded to me like someone was messing with the eq on the drum track, and then some guitar riff, oh and there is the chorus again. i think this song would be great if it was changed a smidge, and there was more of it.

Bad Boys: the vocals are way too loud, i thought they sounded ok through my headphones, but listening to it now on my laptop it is piercing my brain. sorry bout that. the music is actually me and my buddy greyson (who got too drunk and couldnt finish recording... hence no kick ass solo at the end, or any to fill the gaps etc. but that is another story) a week or two ago. the music is actually "the thrill is gone" sped up until its unrecognizable... and then some more. the lyrics just came to me as you hear them after much deliberation over what to write about. needing a trim myself, that was what naturally came to mind, and i named this song "we do all the style(shaggy boy blues)"... ill prob just chuck the lyrics and use the music for a non-songfight song with different lyrics. p.s. generic, my mic is a tin can with a cord... but a new mic is like 5th or 6th on the list of things i need.

Metaluna: nice i've been waiting for some metal, i think the guitar needs a tad more beef to it. the lyrics are lacking. i dont really care what you're talking about, im sure the words and theme are fine. however, the delivery leaves much to be desired. the doubled up vocals does not hide the fact that it is off key at points. your voice is reminiscent of candlebox (who couldnt hold a note to save his life btw), who i liked, but you need to get some guts in there. i dont know if its the recording or what. im not saying grunt like james hetfield, but some low goes well with the groove driven metal like youve got here. i wish i didnt hate the vocals, because the music is sick. way more hardcore,and oldschool, and thus way better than most of the thrice, or breaking benjamin bands out there today. the face melter at the end tops it off, as was said earlier, you gotta throw more of this in there. great job.

ross durand: as soon as you started a song about a gig, im pretty sure you won a vote from everybody who listens to this. the theme is poignant, and it makes you go "awww" at around 2:35. you are a damn good guitarist which was showcased here better than ive heard in the past month or two that ive been listening. good tune, never disappointed.

king arthur: have you ever see the movie "a mighty wind"? doesnt really matter, but you should watch it. anyways, i think you need to add a bass man in the harmony. if only for that low decending "boom boom boom" e.g. one would go perfectly after "one in every living room". that's all i got.

hate noise: i like your song, but i think that the title is "voodoo" not "we do all the style". given you threw it in there a few times, but it felt like an afterthought, just so you could technically get away with the title. i like it, and i saved it to listen to later, but it didnt quite fit the title. maybe im not getting the point.

Steve durand: ok i get it now, your making fun of this type of music. is it me or are a few of those notes a little off. because it is a parody i can't tell if this is intentional or not.

flvxxvm florvm: i really like the lead guitar solo. the rest is kinda boring. you had the bad luck of being after a couple other really good "tell you what to wear" songs. and i think that kinda killed it for me. but like i said that solo was sick.

i don't really remember who i voted for, there were some good tunes again. thanks for letting me torture your ears another week.
Last edited by BBABM on Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Generic »

BBABM wrote:no one should care about a song about a haircut.
Ahem?
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by BBABM »

fair enough, even though i dont really think that either of those songs are really about a haircut when it comes down to it. maybe that's my problem.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Spintown »

"Who the fuck cares about a song that's about getting a hair cut?"

@Generic Ok, I guess I should retract that statement, because I did like that song from Steve. I even said posititive things in a review if I remember correctly.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Ross »

Today's review

Fluxxum Florrvm - i like the chant like drono of this for the theme of the lyrics. The guitar solo is cool. I do find my delf wishing there was a bridge or some other break from the drone nature of it. Not sure if I buy the "We control the government" line.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Manhattan Glutton »

Hate Noise: All the references to Jay Hawkins are kind of awesome. The first time around I missed the call-outs but I definitely heard the vague similarity to "I put a spell on you". Nice work.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Ross »

Today's review:

King Arthur: it's hard not to like this, very smile inducing. Nicely produced, although i am not sure why it is faux live, that seems like a non-sequitor to me. Nice commentary on consumerism and marketing and all. I like the chord change turn around on the coda. And of course the bass player, who wrote the tune, gets the last note :-)
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Ryan »

This fight is tight. I used a spider capo and my new overdrive pedal for my guitar part- first time I practiced a lot in between sessions to make sure I could play my parts so I am pleased that the song came out so tight. I listened to all songs with headphones last night, but I was a bit confused- some songs in the WMP playlist had artist info and some didn't.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Spud »

Some artists prefer to remain anonymous. Some for good reason.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by king_arthur »

@Ryan: songfight does not insert ID information into the .mp3 files they serve up, it's up to the individual artists. Some of whom, as Spud correctly said, prefer to remain anonymous. Others of whom just haven't mastered the process of adding ID tags to their .mp3 files.

On Windows XP, it's done by right clicking on the .mp3 file and choosing "properties" and then picking the Summary tab and then the "Advanced" button. Not sure how it's done on Mac, but I'm sure somebody knows. I found at some point a way to update the ID information on an .mp3 file from a perl program...

Charles (KA)

P.S. - so did we scare away Ranger Den(ni), or is she waiting for a title that's to her liking? DJRD, are you still here???
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by bdog5778 »

Thanks all for the reviews -I'm going to try to post a clip up with revisions based on some of the criticisms here. More bass! More leads! In the midnight hour, more, more, more!!!

I was rushed in doing the vocals -didn't have all the ideas come together until the last minute (including solos!). My usual modus operandi is to record the vocals, pitch correct in Melodyne, and then use the pitch-corrected track as a guide for the final vocal. Being unable to do this, I simply grabbed two similar takes and slapped them on top of each other (as you might have guessed). Of course, my voice is definitely not suited towards this genre and no amount of EQ will fix that. On the plus side, I can do some rather decent karaoke versions of Led Zeppelin, Queen, Queensryche, etc. I'm thinking about enlisting a dude who has an ad out on Craigslist to re-do this one.

As for the lyrics, I will not apologize for those at all. [They're in the lyrics archive, btw] My usual problem is being too direct and it looks like I overcompensated for this by being too oblique. So, let me parse this: Zed is, of course, the nasty fellow from Pulp Fiction. I have used him as a metaphor for our old Political, Media, and Cultural establishments -all of which are falling by the wayside. These institutions still hold on to the conceit that they are in power, but it's just not so; hence, "it's in your head". Much like the denizens of Globo Gym, they're better than you (Dodge Ball reference). I have to say, too, that I'm pretty sure I threw in enough 25-cent words to populate an entire nerdcore track; though, I'm guessing that none of them have ever used the term "sui generis". :mrgreen: [NOTE: having said this, I fully expect this term to be exploited by every track in next week's fight.]

Triple-fudgie-brownie bonus points for any one who gets the reference to Rule 11.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by bdog5778 »

Now, it's time for another Public Service Announcement*** (for a certain segment of the SF community -if this doesn't apply you, keep moving; there's nothing to see here):

What do "Over the Hills and Far Away", "Smells Like Teen Spirit", and "Enter Sandman" all have in common? Well, besides the fact that all of them are ferociously rockin', NONE OF THEM HAVE THE SONG TITLE IN THE SONG. Thus, they would all be disqualified by half of the SongFight critics. Congratulations -you're idiots.

Why is there an immediate assumption of bad faith here if the song doesn't include the song's title in it? Seriously, are you just trying to be retarded - or is this your natural state? Are you just jealous because someone wrote a better song?

Here's another example: If we were all transported back to 1963 and next week's fight was entitled "Louie Louie", the Kingmen would NOT win*. Want to know why? Because some tool would say "well, you could have just had that on your reel-to-reel for five years and just slapped the title in there. How do we know that this wasn't originally titled 'Gooey Pooey' and you just changed it to win"?

[*Yes, I realize that this was a cover of the original 1955 recording by Richard Berry -try not to miss the forest for the trees, will ya?]

In fact, let's throw something else out there: the lyrics don't HAVE to tell a story. In fact, they don't even have to MAKE SENSE. Guess what? Not every song out there is some country/folk narrative and a "story" isn't necessarily appropriate for the genre. The title is supposed to inspire -if it does that, then we've all been enriched because more music has been brought into the world. Even if the song is absolutely crappy, it's one less crappy song WAITING to be written. It'll be posted here, critiques will be made, and hopefully lessons will be learned and everyone's craft will be improved. Then we can all move on to writing the great songs that are in all of us.

If someone really, truly is not following the rules of the fight, let that be on them. I've been reading reviews here a while and it seems that there's always some accusation of loading up an old song. It almost makes me say: "Methinks thou dost protest too much."

Finally, you guys realize that there is no material or monetary prize for winning a SF, right?

***Fightmasters, please feel free to correct if I'm wrong here.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Spintown »

P.S. - so did we scare away Ranger Den(ni), or is she waiting for a title that's to her liking? DJRD, are you still here???
I follow her on Twitter, and she hasn't been online much during the past couple weeks. She's been busy with 'real life', her being gone has nothing to do with Song Fight so I expect she'll be back.
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by Generic »

bdog5778 wrote:Now, it's time for another Public Service Announcement***
***Fightmasters, please feel free to correct if I'm wrong here.
I'm not a Fightmaster, but I've been here seven years, so here ya go...

You're not wrong - title use is subjective, and need not manifest itself in the title being spoken or sung verbatim in the song. I can think of many great Songfight entries that have not used the title in this manner, and I've done it myself a few times, too.

So yeah. You're not wrong... but you are being kind of an ass about it. There's no need to take reviews so seriously. Learn to take from these reviews what you can use, learn to discard what you can't. Any one reviewer is just that - no one here is a mouthpiece for the community as a whole, and no one here is looking to crucify you out of spite.

You'll also find that no one here will quite agree with what you think makes a good song. The sooner you accept that fact, the less frustrating your Songfight experience will be. It takes all kinds, you know.
"Warren Zevon would be proud." -Reve Mosquito

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bdog5778
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Re: ...and then we all do the reviews (wdat Style reviews)

Post by bdog5778 »

Ah, you may be reading personal bitterness into my PSA that just isn't there. In fact,I did a separate post precisely so there wouldn't be confusion - one can always try. No, I was actually referring specifically to someone's cooment that THNs track should have been called "voodoo". Well, yes perhaps, but it's still quite excellent (full review later) so enough with the pedantry.

My only reason for expounding on the meaning of the lyrics was to clarify that there was a healthy amount of thought that went into them - they weren't just some stream-of-consciousness ramblings. Of course, if you have to explain the lyrics it's a lot like having to explain a joke: it obviously didn't work the first time. Point taken (still not changing them though; "Zed is dead" sticks in your head like crazy glue).

As for it taking all different types, um, yes, thanks for the early annual diversity training seminar (THIS is me being an ass). Given the fact that I'm one of the only posters to actually put metal stuff on SF, I was pretty well clued in to the notion that my stuff wouldn't be to everyone's tastes. My goal is always to write something catchy enough for everyone to enjoy; to write something with such mass appeal that its awesomeness can't be denied. This place is a great forum for that and I get the opportunity to get a totally different perspective on things. In other words it's a feature, not a bug. When I say "thank you" for the reviews, I'm being 100% sincere. So, again, thank you.
"In Heavy Metal... Precision is ALL. ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN AT ALL TIMES.... HAHAHA. Yes indeedy." --Slipperman

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