Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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ken
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Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by ken »

They have risen!
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - Berkeley Social Scene - Tiny Robots - Seamus Collective - Semolina Pilchards - Cutie Pies - Explino! - Bravo Bros. - 2 from 14 - and more!

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
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eggnogadam
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by eggnogadam »

King Arthur - Game Show opening. I immediately love it! Good lord you have a MAJOR Grateful
Dead vibe! My wife is gonna flip for this song! Are you using a clean Strat or a tele of some
sort?

LongFellow Street - Holy Schlamoley! It's like the Blues Brothers' cover of Ghost Riders in
The Sky. Very pro! Easily listenable over and over. (esp while playing Red Dead Redemption)

Berkeley Social Scene - It's like Rush and the Killers had a baby. A beautiful mutant baby!
Applause is given to you for this track!

Toshiro - I love FX and this opening has me hooked! Beck called. he's jealous of your genres
that you just blended! nice! The ending is sweet too!

Community Payback - It's like ATHF and Trent Rez made a cover of a Frank Zappa song. Made me
smile like Crazy! (also made me dust off my Zappa collection) I love the Computer Voice. How
is Stephen Hawking and have you seen him lately?

James Owens - Epic skill! Cash! STRAIGHT CASH!! Even your name wraps this track up nicely!
"Some say I'm a genius." I'll say! Save this instrumental and make like 5 songs out of it.
I'd listen to every one!

Panna Cotta Army - The opening makes me think of Richard Cheese. Lyle Lovett. Pimpin! This is
very pro! I think I heard this track on my CHICAGO soundtrack. Richard Gere sang it. hahaha.
the chorus lyrics are Superb!! (as is the slippery guitar solo)

Tibor - How could I forget ... this song! Great mix! The melodies seem natural and I like the
chord prog.

Daring Front - An opening worthy of a Shady song. Vocals are recorded with EXCELLENCE. This
is just poppy enough for me to DL it and iPod it. (I iPod most of these songs lately,
though.) Lyrics are sweet too! This has GOT to sound good in a car!! Do any of the singers
make the beat too?

Secret Submarine - If this were 8 bit it would be a KICKIN Super Mario Bros. tune! I love the
violin backing near the middle! I can never get that to go well for me. Jealous? yes.

Lake City - The bongos are a great choice! Jack Johnson called - he wants a duet. Is this a
guitar with at least one humbucker, like a Dot or a Paul or a Fat Strat? This is very Colby

Calet (spelling?) and I dig it. This is gonna be one my wife votes for, no doubt!

EggNogAdam - Boring lyrics. ...until the middle. PFffhahahahahahaha. I can tell that you
were just slapping shit together... but it works in a "nutty-ass entertainment" kind of way,
if not in a "musical" way. "take this you bony sumbitch!" "Stinky Necro breath." Hahahahaha!
(yes, I wrote a critique to myself)

Dirge - Daaaamn! I love the opening! The chord prog is tight. Your mixing is good and I love
every bit of the guitar solo!! Are you recording direct in or with a mic'd amp? Great sound!

Sanity - I can hear Bare Naked Ladies doing this. Of course they would mention Chimps or
Chicken Chow Mein but still... did you say "I'm givin' him head instead?" Hahahahaha. I'm a
fan of a fade out! Well played!

Hey It's Romer - "Old as fuck." "Debt keeps buildin up." "music schizophrenic" "call Ralph
Nader" Hahahaha. It's like you're in my head! ...except the Nader part. I'd love to hear you at every Fight!

That Guy - This is so Royal Tennenbaums. I don't know what to say. It's just "Finnegan's
Wake" enough to work. I listened to the entire song (twice) but I only got 12 pages in on
Finnegan's Wake.

Integration Test - For some reason the mix makes me think of Spinal Tap (but not in a 'Dieing
Band" way.) The track has a live feel. I like it. I like the crisp bass. It's kind of
Cranberries.

Jelizaboaz - Accoustic for the win! I love this song because it reminds me of... me (back
when I wrote nice lyrics). Well done, sir! Gone to seed? hahahahaha. Love it!

Nurvuss - Funeral Procession. Symbolic! Awesome! Curse Bill and Ted! "Unemployment check."
hahahaha. Status update "RIP." hahaha. The day after St. Patrick's Day!

DJ Ranger Den - I've seen Ani DiFranco like 3 times and you (doing this song) wouldn't be out
of place on stage with her and her band. I think the simplicity mixed with the reliable voice
and solid lyrics make this a pleasure to listen to! Encore!

After typing this I'm sick of sitting at my computer so I'm not going to check for spelling errors or grammar frack ups. Whoo-ah!
Last edited by eggnogadam on Fri May 13, 2011 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stubby Phillips
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by Stubby Phillips »

I'm not trying to be mean. Really.

Tibor: Good production quality. I like the open, airy feel to the music -- instruments all have enough space. Multiple backup vox and fade-in strings add a nice touch. Could have used another divergent part here and there. The vox is the weak link here -- I don't know if it's the eastern European 'twang' or what.

Secret Submarine: Excellent lyric. 'Congressmen' line (and others) is gold. Vocals are great. Backup vox is very cool. Integration of instruments is good. Details abound, and everything fits. Did I hear a false fadeout about 2/3 through? Vote

Community Payback: This concludes our test. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Hey It's A Romer: Interesting melodies. Nice organ. Sometimes it sounds like the vox is trying to keep up with -- instead of lead -- the song. Pretty good articulation, and I like your voice, but the vocal calisthenics need a little work. It's gotta be tighter in that particular genre, IMHO. But it's all pretty good. I enjoyed it. Possible vote.

Berkeley Social Scene: Great playing all around. Nice breaks. Enough changes to keep it interesting. That last B sec right before the last verse made me wonder why? I like this song, but I found myself anticipating what changes were coming next, instead of just letting it flow. Is that excessive use of tension/resolution devices, or the fact that I'm on my 5th cup of coffee? Vote

Sanity: First -- turn the guitar up. And try a limiter instead of so much global compression -- it'll sound less like mush -- unless that's what you want, of course. The pitch bending is interesting at the beginning, and at the end. But by then I'm tired of it. Backup vox is distracting. O.K, I'll stop bashing it and say that I like the song itself. Good structure. Great singing, too. One more thing: the guitar is a main source of mush, so I see why it's turned down. I'd try turning down the gain, scoop the mids and add a little bass to the guitar. Or something else. But hey... good song. Possible vote.

The Panna Cotta Army: Great lyric. Obvious production and musical skills put this above most. But would I dance to it? Depends on what she looks like. Vote?

Dirge: Compressor ducking at intro drums is excessive. Whatever. Just thought I'd mention it. The guitar and vox fight for dominance at 500Hz -- who will win? This has an interesting feel, and the performances are good. Refrain riff is cool. Minor murky mixing/EQ issues. MMMEQI. Vox is good, but too dark. This song provides value --how much is anybody's guess. Possible vote.

More abuse later.
Enter a song? Review songs!
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Tibor
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by Tibor »

Stubby Phillips wrote: Tibor: Good production quality. I like the open, airy feel to the music -- instruments all have enough space. Multiple backup vox and fade-in strings add a nice touch. Could have used another divergent part here and there. The vox is the weak link here -- I don't know if it's the eastern European 'twang' or what.
Thank you. You are right on everything. I do not believe is the eastern thing, just human imperfection of me myself and I... I miss the human feelings touch from my vocals. Have to be more relaxed on recording... but the pressure of time ruins everything :)
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king_arthur
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by king_arthur »

eggnogadam wrote:King Arthur - Game Show opening. I immediately love it! Good lord you have a MAJOR Grateful Dead vibe! My wife is gonna flip for this song! Are you using a clean Strat or a tele of some sort?
It's a Strat (an old one, my dad bought it used in 1964 :-), running through a Pod XT. I often set the pickup selector on one of those "in between out of phase" spots, not sure if I did for this one or not. Yeah, major Grateful Dead influence, glad somebody appreciates it :-)

Charles (KA)
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Tibor
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by Tibor »

eggnogadam wrote:K
Tibor - How could I forget ... this song! Great mix! The melodies seem natural and I like the chord prog.
You are a bad boy... what you were thinking getting away so easily without any bad thing to mention. Just wait for me to listen to the songs (especially yours) and you'll see. :)
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AJOwens
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by AJOwens »

eggnogadam wrote:James Owens - Epic skill! Cash! STRAIGHT CASH!! Even your name wraps this track up nicely!
"Some say I'm a genius." I'll say! Save this instrumental and make like 5 songs out of it.
I'd listen to every one!
I like that your reviews are positive and encouraging, but they're all so effusive that the effect is lost.

When it comes to chord progressions, I have nothing to prove at this point, so I just reeled out a standard C&W where one was needed. We were talking about Johnny Cash in the prefight, and he seemed like a good fit for the title. I did not know that I could channel him until I wrote this song.
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dirgetheband
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by dirgetheband »

eggnogadam wrote:Dirge - Daaaamn! I love the opening! The chord prog is tight. Your mixing is good and I love
every bit of the guitar solo!! Are you recording direct in or with a mic'd amp? Great sound!
Glad you liked it. I was much happier with this submission than I was my previous one long ago. Guitar for this recording was my Charvel San Dimas Wild Card (best sounding, playing, looking, etc., axe ever), run into a Line 6 TonePort DI, using POD Farm V1. I'm happy with the tones I can get from that (inexpensive) program and it sure makes creating music past 2AM a tollerable experience for all.
Stubby Phillips wrote:Dirge: Compressor ducking at intro drums is excessive. Whatever. Just thought I'd mention it. The guitar and vox fight for dominance at 500Hz -- who will win? This has an interesting feel, and the performances are good. Refrain riff is cool. Minor murky mixing/EQ issues. MMMEQI. Vox is good, but too dark. This song provides value --how much is anybody's guess. Possible vote.
Hmm. I use drum modeling thingys (Steven Slate Drums) so I'm sure there is a way for me to "open" up the sound. I'll get my crack research team on it, ASAP. I feel the 500Hz battle/too dark vox issue was caused by me recording the vocals 'round 2AM. I was in extremely close proximity to my condensor mic, had the mic-pre driving hard - I imagine that caused an undesirable mid-range build up. UMBU, if you will. Lots of plosives, too. I'm sure I'll eventually re-record the vocals at a more volume-friendly hour and that will fix the problems.

But the MMMEQI is an issue I've always, literally, always had (see pre-fight messages). I have no clue how to fix this. Anyone can hear it, it's that audible, and when you look at a frequency analysis of my work versus established recordings, it's even more drastic. Should I just boost high freqencies on guitar, vox, cymbals? Thoughts?
DT
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eggnogadam
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by eggnogadam »

AJOwens wrote: When it comes to chord progressions, I have nothing to prove at this point, so I just reeled out a standard C&W where one was needed. We were talking about Johnny Cash in the prefight, and he seemed like a good fit for the title. I did not know that I could channel him until I wrote this song.

Channel him? You dug him up and interviewed him! Wicked!
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eggnogadam
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by eggnogadam »

Tibor wrote:
eggnogadam wrote:K
Tibor - How could I forget ... this song! Great mix! The melodies seem natural and I like the chord prog.
You are a bad boy... what you were thinking getting away so easily without any bad thing to mention. Just wait for me to listen to the songs (especially yours) and you'll see. :)

hahahaha. "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all." Plus I tend to always look at the positive side of crap anyway. I call it happiness, some call it blind, naive, ignorance. I hear what I want to hear and encourage others to do the same.

I could be super critical about others' submission but that just puts me in a shitty mood because then I feel all critical of my songs which suck >85% of the time.
Read EggNog's posts if you want to hear something funny and/or positive about your track. Get your constructive criticism from others. That's all the advice I have for now.
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dirgetheband
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by dirgetheband »

eggnogadam wrote:hahahaha. "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all." Plus I tend to always look at the positive side of crap anyway. I call it happiness, some call it blind, naive, ignorance. I hear what I want to hear and encourage others to do the same.
I'm almost inclined to specifically record a track next go around that tests your ability to see things as glass-half-full-ish. I guess that's the inner devil in me rearing his head. :twisted:
DT
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by J3wmangi »

Thanks for the reviews so far and high fives to the other fighters, it's great to hear other peoples makings!
“If I decide to be an idiot, then I'll be an idiot on my own accord.”
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by dirgetheband »

Here we go. Lots of really good tunes.

DJ Ranger Den – Your voice is awesome. Someone mentioned Ani DiFranco – I agree. Tone and syncopation, enunciation, etc., are eerily reminiscent. But I hate when people are like, “Dude, you totally look like Geddy Lee!” (That seriously happens to me.) So, regarding who you are: nice chord selection, clever lyrics and cool delivery. How did you record the guitar? It’s a little boomy – try using a condenser mic or, if you’re using a dynamic, point the mic closer to the fretboard and not the soundhole.

Berkeley Social Scene – I like the synth tone. You guys have been doing this a long time. I don’t like when you harmonize the lead guitar line. It makes what is a rockin’ tune feel less rocking to me. What do you guys record on? It all sounds so clear and nicely balanced.

Sanity – Either you have a delay on the snare or one of your hi-hat patches sounds very similar. It’s driving me nuts. Like, totally effing crazy. Seriously, I just smeared guacamole over my ears and ran into the street screaming “I work for Publisher’s Clearing House and you’ve just won a mop!” After returning to my computer, I gave the tune another listen and it’s got a lot of neat stuff going for it. The organ part rules, the rhythm guitar is smartly written and resolves from one section to another very nicely, the bass pushes the tune forward. I would try varying the drum pattern, bringing the guitar up in the mix more, bringing the bass up in the mix more, and putting a bit of reverb on the vocal – it’s just too prominent. Whatever button you pushed at 2:51 – push it at 0:00 – for two sparkling measures everything sounded brighter.

Daring Front – So, why is it that so much hip hop I hear over the airwaves has like, absolutely no musical value? What I mean is, why can’t more stuff sound like this? Your song (emphasis on SONG) is awesome. Nice beat, cool variation between verses and chorus. And holy hell, a synth solo! With a fade out! Great work. Only complaint – snare is a little too tinny. I like a beefy snare. (Ed: That’s what she said.) Best snare sound ever? Dave Grohl’s on Nirvana’s Nevermind.

Nurvuss – I’m unsure of what to make of this. It’s like sado-masochistic-euro-folk-synth-pop. The instrumentation just sounds so synthetic.

TOSHIRO – This is a pretty cool tune. The vocals, both lead and background, are nicely done. I would turn off the tremolo effect during the “can’t change your mind” part – it sort of saps the energy of the electric guitar at a time where it needs energy to hang with the rest of the instrumentation. Also, I like experimentation, but the vocoder effect on the vocal in the opening doesn’t do it for me.

Tibor – Your song does a great job of building tension throughout, culminating with the repeating title phrase at 2:09. Nice bass playing. I thought I read somewhere (Time, People, The National Enquirer, maybe :wink: ) that English is not your primary language. What are your thoughts about doing a Fight in your native tongue? I would be interested in seeing how that shapes your accent. Nice job in EQing the background vocal so that it doesn’t fight with the lead. This is a really great, haunting tune.

Hey It’s Romer – Man, the vocals are just so hot. Everything buzzes. Try recording them with a little less gain next time. Did you use a pop filter? Plosives abound.

Lake City – This is a cute tune. The guitar tone (or lack thereof) is so glaring. It sounds like it was recorded direct – and that’s it. Amp modeling software is so reasonably priced, or you could try to re-amp the direct sound, anything to give the guitar life and body. If I’m wrong and you did mic the guitar, let me know, there are lots of ways to make tiny amps sound huge. This would have worked so much better with an acoustic playing the rhythm and a dirty Fender combo driving the lead. The vocals are so good and the rhythm section is so good, it’s a shame the guitars don’t hold their own. I wish I could sing this well.

Jelizaboaz – Can you lend your guitar setup to Lake City? Is the refrain “Who said I’m dead? I just gone to seed?” I dunno, I’ve just never liked songs about babies or dogs that I could tell were about babies or dogs. And I love my dog.

James Owens – This is so clever. Everything about it is perfect. Nothing more needs to be said. Well, maybe a rollicking kick/snare combo. But that’s it.

Secret Submarine – My wife said “You’ll probably hate this one” when I cued it up the first time, and she was right. But the second listen makes me think differently. Great arrangements - you give everything the appropriate room to breathe. I like the white-boy-reggae-guy-with-guitar feel. I like how you drop the drums to accent the other elements of the arrangement. Smart.

Community Payback – I couldn’t make it all the way through.

EggNogAdam – “Death is a tool.” Does Death really have a crotch? I always thought of Death as a eunuch. I liked the jazzy guitar chords in the first half and the walking bass line, too. The Rhodes sounding piano ruled, too. Song just seemed to lose all its steam after the “epic duel”. Maybe some drums or something would have made the last half more interesting for me.

Longfellow Street – Great vocals – both the lead and the chorus! As awesome as James Owens’ take on this Fight was, I have to say I like this more due to its mean ‘n nasty feel. The call and response from the male to the female is a slick touch. Perfect electric guitar tone. Might be my fav for this Fight. Sounds professionally done.

Dirge – I’m much happier with this one than my last try back in ’08. Title assignment helped (Who Said I’m Dead vs. Hollywood Wax - no contest). The vocals are squashed – they were recorded at approximately 2 AM, so I was about 12 mm from the mic, singing very softly, with the mic pre cranked to get the levels up. I liked the bass line I wrote for the middle part. And the solo was a nice off-the-cuff take. I’ll have to go back and relearn it. A little more variety in the drum patterns would help.

King Arthur – I like the tune, but the production needs more punch for me to listen over and over. The performances are sharp, from the staccato guitar to the bell-like keyboard. The bass lays a real crunchy grove – too bad the drum pattern doesn’t follow. If you simply re-did that aspect it would improve this tune a ton.

Integration Test – The hi-hat is really loud. I like how the bass lets the listener know what chord is being played and the guitar only plays single notes or diads hinting at the chord. Cool noisy solo. Too bad “obituary” has all those syllables – that line sounds rushed. Great ‘80-ish guitar tone.

That Guy – I don’t know if there’s another instrument I dislike more than the accordion. As a result, I can’t really offer anything constructive.

The Panna Cotta Army – My leg just started shaking. Great enunciation of “Cemetery” to make it fit. Nice mastering. I think this is the “loudest” of all the songs.
DT
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SchlimminyCricket
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by SchlimminyCricket »

dirgetheband wrote:That Guy – I don’t know if there’s another instrument I dislike more than the accordion. As a result, I can’t really offer anything constructive..
I guess I'll take over from here, since I don't know if there's any one instrument I love more than the accordion. That said, I'm not so sure I heard one in this track. It sounds more like a synthesized horn section to me. Is that correct? If so, then it's far too high in pitch. It's piercing and it distracts from the guitar, which is generally nice and should be more front-and-center. If, on the other hand, I'm wrong and it is an accordion, then those oom-pahs really ought to have been played on the left hand for a much less obtrusive sound. Anyway, I think this is a good song, but it's recorded in such a way that hides that fact. Try to blend everything a little better.
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eggnogadam
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by eggnogadam »

SchlimminyCricket wrote:
dirgetheband wrote:That Guy – I don’t know if there’s another instrument I dislike more than the accordion. As a result, I can’t really offer anything constructive..
I guess I'll take over from here, since I don't know if there's any one instrument I love more than the accordion. That said, I'm not so sure I heard one in this track. It sounds more like a synthesized horn section to me. Is that correct? If so, then it's far too high in pitch. It's piercing and it distracts from the guitar, which is generally nice and should be more front-and-center. If, on the other hand, I'm wrong and it is an accordion, then those oom-pahs really ought to have been played on the left hand for a much less obtrusive sound. Anyway, I think this is a good song, but it's recorded in such a way that hides that fact. Try to blend everything a little better.
hahahahahahahahaha
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ken
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by ken »

dirgetheband wrote:Berkeley Social Scene – I like the synth tone. You guys have been doing this a long time. I don’t like when you harmonize the lead guitar line. It makes what is a rockin’ tune feel less rocking to me. What do you guys record on? It all sounds so clear and nicely balanced.
I'm using Cubase 5 to record and mix BSS right now. The mix is all stock plugins, nothing special. I use a M-Audio Fast Track Ultra to record with the addition of a DBX 386 for a total of 6 preamps. Instruments are recorded with a variety of low and mid range stuff. Vocals are a mix of CAD M177 on backing vox and I recut my lead vox with a Shure SM7. First time I've used it!

If you have any specific questions, I'm happy to answer them.

Thanks for the nice reviews.

Ken
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - Berkeley Social Scene - Tiny Robots - Seamus Collective - Semolina Pilchards - Cutie Pies - Explino! - Bravo Bros. - 2 from 14 - and more!

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
Stubby Phillips
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by Stubby Phillips »

More reviews.

Darin: I like the keys. I like the lead and bu vox. I like it all! I'd like to hear a sax or harmonica somewhere in there -- you know... something reedy. It seems like I should be tired of the somewhat piercing organ by the end, but I'm not. Great production, too. Vote

Integration Test: Vox reminds me of Todd Rundgren. Awesome solo noise! How the hell did you do that? I assume it was a soft synth, but which one? Very unexpected, so points for that. Everyone is playing good, the song structure is fair, the vocals are OK.

DJ Ranger Den: Great vocal and lyric. You are really good at vox melody, meter, and lyrical twists. Ever listen to Melanie Safka? The guitar is booming pretty badly, but otherwise it's good. You definitely get my vote.

TOSHIRO: The ring modulator at the beginning is cool. The modulation and delays almost work -- would have been nice to work that sound/feel into a melody or riff, but as it is it kinda sounds like your going off with a new toy. The middle part has a good feel to it, but it's way farther back than the intro/outro part. Two ideas mashed together almost works -- maybe more elements of each in the other? Most importantly, it's interesting.

That Guy: Very unusual -- in a good way. Kazoo? Cool. A little sloppy, but you have the bones of a great song here. Imaginative and visibly twisted, almost to the breaking point. Possible vote.

James Owens: "I thought you was dead." "Not hardly."
Made me smile. For multiple reasons. Nearly perfect, merely awesome. Two votes.

More later...
Last edited by Stubby Phillips on Mon May 16, 2011 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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AJOwens
Panama
Posts: 926
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Instruments: bass, guitar, keyboards, drums, flute
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by AJOwens »

Berkeley Social Scene -- Skillful playing. The open spaces in the guitar arrangements bring a clean sound. Interesting goings-on musically. Good chorus, but the high harmonies need to come up in the mix to bring it to life.

Community Payback -- This sounds stochastic, as if you swapped in different sound samples on a Windows pinball program, recorded a game, manually rode a sharp low-pass cutoff filter over it for a while, and then got Timmy the Talking Terminal to read some depersonalized prose at the end. It's weird, if that's the effect you were after.

Daring Front -- This is very cool. Great organ sound, intriguing dischords, subtle treatments in the arrangement, strong beat. Persuasive singing, but the lyrics aren't getting through to me for some reason. Some of the ooohs sound like rounded-up roommates, and it feels like it ends too soon, but those are my only complaints.

Dirge -- The song has potential. You have an impressively heavy sound going with the guitars, but everything is squashed into a sandwich by the extreme compression, and the quiet vocals, vaguely audible in the mix, make everything seem unnaturally suppressed. What I would try is to start with a parametric EQ on the instruments to notch out a space for the vocals, bring the (still quietly sung) vocals up and in our face with some compression, maybe loosen them up with a subtle reverb effect. For the instruments, I assume you're after awesome sustain, but whatever you're using is clamping down too fast. A little attack might give it more bite and restore the impression of dynamic range. (That's not to say any of this would work. That's just what I'd try!)

DJ Ranger Den -- Poetic lyrics; I don't completely get them, because I tend to be stunned, but I like them. The melody is varied and interesting. It seems to pass through several moods, which makes it difficult at times for me to get a sense of direction. The singing is a little pitchy at some moments, at other times lovely.

eggnogadam -- I believe you warned us in the prefight that this would be silly. It's fun. I like it better the more I listen. It's probably not going to win the fight, but that's OK, it's entertaining. The postscript is a good capper.

Hey it's Romer -- (Is that an anagram?) This one isn't working for me, for a number of reasons. The synths all have the same sort of fat sound; I'm craving contrast there. The vocals are muddy, they need some treble, so I can't always make them out. The song itself feels like it's made of two parts that are disconnected, and the lyrics are too repetitive for the genre -- they don't launch into the amazing sustained flight that makes rap interesting (for me, anyway). The vocal performance is fine. Sorry, that's a pretty harsh review, but it just doesn't work for me. If it's any comfort, I'm in my fifties. . .

Integration Test -- From the bright guitars to the clear bass, the production has a rich quality. Good band sound, fairly straightforward arrangement. Vocals are a little subdued, occasionally pitchy. Good bonzo solo. Reminds me a little of R.E.M.

James Owens -- The vocal levels are sloppy, and in one or two spots the delivery is murky and the accent and timing are off, and I should have cleaned up a weak spot or two in the lead guitar. If I'd known what Longfellow Street had in store, I might have spent more time on this. But I don't know where it came from -- I've never played in a country & western band in my life. And anyway I'm a bass player. The guitar licks are influenced by George Harrison -- take his work on I'll Cry Instead, for example. Apparently he was a fan of guitarists like Carl Perkins and Chet Atkins.

Jelizaboaz -- You're not going for production the way some contributors do, so I won't focus on it. The song is lively and entertaining, the performances good enough for a sketch. The harmonies clustered below the lead vocal feel muddy, but that might just be the mics.

King Arthur -- That organ adds great texture. Imaginative composition and clever, well-focussed lyrics, as always. Comfortable rhythm. I like the bass lines. For "not understand" I appreciate the effect of the E chord, which raises suspense by sharpening the G, but it leaves the vocal riding the B, which after the step from B to C in the previous phrase feels anticlimactic, to my ear anyway. I might have tried to sing C# over something (don't know what though). That's my only quibble. Good song!

Lake City -- Very sweet singing. You have a striking voice. The song is pleasant, although the rhyming scheme disappoints my natural expectations. I assume you're not trying for a production prize, but to avoid that overtracking feel you need to add some air by way of subtle reverb or echo on some instruments, and tighten the rhythm until it has a life of its own.

Longfellow Street -- Outstanding. My pick to win. OK, let's be honest -- my pick to tie. :wink: . I particularly enjoy the wagon-train rhythm with its mysterious bells and wood blocks; the rich haunted guitar; the laconic piano, and of course the singing, especially the intensity in the female vocals. The closing harmonies are perfect. The sustained guitar is slightly anachronistic here and there, but more in the execution than the concept. That makes at least three country-western entries -- is this a first for Songfight?

Nurvuss -- The choice of sounds, rhythms, and musical patterns Very effectively supports the lyric silliness. I like the various voices. I assume the opening organ was meant to be funereal -- almost works. Nice telephone ring, by the way; you don't hear that sound much any more.

The Panna Cotta Army -- Very smooth and professional. I don't know if it's fair to complain about that, because you've done such a good job, but something about it -- maybe the relentless happiness, maybe the sheer flawlessness -- gives it a kind of studio-musician invisibility. Needs salt, and maybe vinegar. Still, it is extremely fine work.

Sanity -- This song has a lot of character. The guitar seems low in the mix, which bleeds away some of the energy, and I'm missing a bass, which would give it punch. But I like the idiosyncratic vocals and the fearless keyboard wanderings.

Secret Submarine -- Pretty cool textures, well-recorded, varied, interesting to listen to, especially the break with the cellos. Cryptic, somewhat hallucinatory lyrics. The smooth, Beach-Boy-like chorus bothers me for some reason. It reminds me viscerally of life when I was about ten years old -- that would be 1966. Apart from that I really enjoy it. Nice fade.

That Guy -- Enjoyably eccentric. The accordion-based chorus reminds me vaguely of music by Kurt Weil. This successfully challenges preconceptions about beat. The instrumentation and arrangements give it a lot of charm.

Tibor -- The well-balanced, sombre arrangement gives this a powerful dramatic effect. The song itself is deceptively simple, but the way the parts are handled make it beautiful. Some of the vocal harmonies seem dissonant though. Their close arrangement and their thin tonal quality don't quite fit with the spacious, noble accompaniment.

TOSHIRO -- All the sections are interesting. I'm not a fan of delay as a compositional technique -- its possibilities seem limited. The short passage of vocal harmony is well done. The two rhythm-driven sections have good grooves and solid arrangements, but in both, something is slightly out of time. Oddly, although it could pass for a sampler, the whole thing feels like a coherent song, with a message somehow mutely expressed by its disconnected parts -- almost like one of those ransom notes composed of cut-out letters.
Sikokat
A New Player
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by Sikokat »

Thanks to all those that listened to my song. I was not able to put a ton of time into the recording for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who listened to the lyrics. And the 10 year old computer and $10 mic I used to record sure did not contribute to the quality. I hope to be able to dedicate more time to the process in the future - and maybe get my brother to contribute a real guitar solo instead of the meandering line of drivel that I ended up with. at the very least, i will make the time to track in some drums and bass, so the thing sounds like a complete thought rather than just a sketch.

Since I am a new contributor who has not really even been to the site on a regular basis since about 2003, I don't feel like I can really comment on everyone who had been contributing regularly for so long. I am honestly impressed by anyone who can bring a song from inspiration to finished product in such a short timeframe.

I have never been a prolific songwriter and I really would like the practice of putting tunes together on a timeframe, so you will probably have to suffer through my stuff. Hopefully next time it won't end up writing another weird little country tune.

thanks for taking drop ins.
-justin
J3wmangi
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by J3wmangi »

@ajowens - Thanks, I prefer a harsh honest (and helpful) review to a half hearted word of encouragement any day!
“If I decide to be an idiot, then I'll be an idiot on my own accord.”
“I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed . . . equally well.”
--J.S. Bach--
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dirgetheband
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by dirgetheband »

Sikokat wrote:Since I am a new contributor who has not really even been to the site on a regular basis since about 2003, I don't feel like I can really comment on everyone who had been contributing regularly for so long.
Really? Never stopped me. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we want to hear your opinion. Everyone's opinion, for that matter. If you've got two ears (or one) and a semi-intact sense of hearing, you're qualified to review.

Give it a shot. If people get offended by your opinion that is their choice.
DT
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Spintown
Push Comes to Shove
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Re: Who Said the Review Thread is Dead? (Who Said I'm Dead Rvws)

Post by Spintown »

http://spintown79.blogspot.com/2011/05/ ... -dead.html

I was grumpy today...just so you know...

Longfellow Street - The attitude in the vocals...teach this to your fellow competitors... Loved everything about this, please enter more often.

The Panna Cotta Army - I paused this after 5 seconds just to say I'm already diggin' the cheery music. Ok...back to the song. And....done. Ok, you didn't blow it. Lyrics were alright, and I smiled throughout while bouncin' in my chair. I don't know if I liked how you repeated/layered certain lines like "ready to stop", "cemetery plot", etc... It's a very minor complaint, but just not sure I like that.

James Owens - This made me laugh. Topical & funny Johnny Cash.

Berkeley Social Scene - My favorite recent entry from you. The bridge was a bit long, and normally I'd knock a song that goes over a minute without lyrics, but the music was hot so it gets a pass.

Daring Front - Really liked this. The music didn't seem hard enough considering the lyrics...if that makes since.

Tibor - I didn't care for the lyrics, but they were better than your last effort. The music was GREAT. Really relaxing, and even the vocals were alright despite the accent. Just loved the way it came together. If the lyrics were more up my alley, I would have voted for this. Very good entry though.

DJ Ranger Den - Your voice sounds great in this (even better than usual). I know your kinda our piano girl, but use that guitar more. Lyrics keep you from getting a vote. (shocking)

Community Payback - If I ever lose my hearing, I would get a little joy outta knowing I would never have to listen to your crap again. Honestly...I'd love to know the percentage of people who actually got to the lyrics before hitting stop.

Dirge - Are you afraid of someone hearing your vocals? You sound like it. The guitar at the end is the only thing that didn't make me sleepy.

EggNogAdam - Meant to be funny...wasn't. First line kinda sucked.

Hey it's Romer - Uninspired, and the flow was weak.

Integration Test - You never really hit that last note...no point in holding onto it. Overall it wasn't bad, but not really for me.

Jelizaboaz - If you want people to believe you can be the life of the party you need to sing like it. Your performance doesn't convince me that YOU believe that.

King Arthur - It's odd for me to say this about one of your entries, but nothing stood out for me. Your vocal performance was the best thing about it for me, and everything else just seemed bland.

Lake City - Music was dull. I think you can sing, but this song does show much of it.

Nurvuss - Music was...annoying. Performance seemed awkward.

Sanity - Repeating the title over & over shouldn't be 50% of your lyrics.

Secret Submarine - Dug the music & performance, but I didn't get the lyrics at all.

That Guy - Hated the vocals. They either bored me or had me laughing. Really, this just did nothing for me.

TOSHIRO - No! *smacks with a rolled up newspaper*

Side Note:
There's a lyric forum...for people to post their lyrics...feel free to use it sometime.
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