Reviews: Write There at the Edge

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Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby HeuristicsInc » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:34 pm

All reviews must be written in the margins of the page.
-bill
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Heine » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:23 pm

Wow! What a quality fight! Not one bad song and so many strong tunes!
Impressions after my first complete run: Ross and Pigfarmer (brilliant!); Paco, Steve, Berkeley & Manhatten (really cool & remarkable!).
Reviews will follow after some more listenings. Great work everybody! :D
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:45 pm

Tuners Union - Holy Jesus Almighty this is funky and different. I've melted into a puddle of ecstasy. I'll pick on it later with the others, but enjoy the love for now.
If I had a dollar for every one of my songs j$ has called a 90s pastiche, I'd have $1 for every song I've written.

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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Mostess » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:14 pm

That cover art is amazing!
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Father Bingo » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:34 pm

Mostess wrote:That cover art is amazing!

Thanks!
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Steve Durand » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:38 pm

Mostess wrote:That cover art is amazing!



I agree. Great work!
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby HeuristicsInc » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:50 am

Quick impression after first listen: good crop of songs. Favorite ones that stood out: MG and Paco!
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Rabid Garfunkel » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:14 pm

My asshole comments on the fight... and wait, my message contains too many smilies??? WTF?!?!? And... the automated review-a-tron threw this into the Skoochies thread. Piss moan whine. Here ya go, kiddos...

Berkeley Social Scene
Zappa! Oh wait, not quite. Nice '70s mainline feel. Singer's struggling in the upper register, but hey, don't we all? Damn, wish Erin was available for this track, if only to mask the lead's struggle. Damn, I want to send some honeyed tea to your studio.

DJ Ranger Den
Creepiest voice award goes to... (no, that's a good thing, and next fight you can mock me, 'kay?) Where's the melody, where's the hook, dear?

FauX
Waiting for '80s Charlie Sheen to walk onstage. Arrrrrrgh! Synth snare needs reverb! Anything to blend it in to the mix... But. There's a mike. In front of you. Don't hold back. If you start clipping, then dial the input down and let it rip, yo. Do spoken word, or let your junkyard dog out to HOWL.

heine
If you're gonna use canned drums, then at least sync 'em up. That ride cymbal's arrhythmic fit is killing the song. For me. Nice triumphant synth patch. Dig it. Those aren't canned drums, are they? No weed for the drummer until *after* the track's laid down.

Heuristics Inc.
Bill! Yay! Challenge my paradigms! Umm, the backing track is trés sweet, but the vocal track is lacking... something, the implicit intensity that the music implies. Sort of a depressing lullaby.

Jimbo Jangles
Erm. G&G ain't my strength, but I'd say get over your mixing-my-own-voice weirdness and put the vox ON TOP of the guitar track. Pay as much attention to your vocal track as you do to getting the guitar sounding right. Hell, even double the track and hard pan both the vox tracks. Because a song is the story the *vocals* tell.

John H
Dig the flavor of the backing track, hell, I've used 'em quite like it. But your... spitting... is that what you crazy kids call it? Is... sitting on the backing track like karaoke, it takes the listener (well, me) out of the story space and wandering away. And what, no Babylon 5 references? For shame [insert winkie smilie here]

Jon Eric
Vox buried, spank your piano into place :-D Dry vox aren't sitting well with the rest of the processed (natural 'verb, &c) instrumentation, alas. A song is a destination, not a road travelled.

King Arthur
Digging the Carlos-in-Mexico flavor of the guitar. This is a damned good mix (as usual). All the rest of y'all, pay attention! Okay, the harmonium (?) is a little weird for the mix, but this is the first vote-worthy song I've heard.

Lex Butera & Erica Lee
Real instruments of the strange variety? Yay. Vox up, though. Lead should cut through the mix like a diamond blade through flesh. Homework: A-B your mix with anything Portishead has recorded. The potential of this song has me unsafe to walk around children (the arousal issue [insert winkie smilie here]).

Manhattan Glutton
Nice arena rock. No complaints, hooky, solid... oh wait, the toy piano feels like an incidental :-( I just gotta bitch bitch and bitch, don't I? Might as well throw in swelling strings. Hell, this is tasty. I'd open for this song, if'n y'all dumped the toy piano.

Paco del Stinko
Earworm! Damnit, how am I supposed to listen to rest of the fight now? Can you change your name to X_Paco del Stinko or something farther down the alphabet so I don't get the mental reset? Yah, selfish cocksucker, me.

Pigfarmer Jr
Good mix in the G&G. But then, Ross Durand is after you, so the A-game is the minimum to bring... Damn, third (? I've lost count) vote in this fight. Crap, I was gonna compliment your vibrato and then you go into a flatline spoken word verse/outro... totally lost the passion of the singer's whatever :-(

Ross Durand
No complaints. No suggestions. Vote. Liking the plays on words. Question: what's synthetic and what's live? If I ever get close to Mike Watt, I'm throwing your stuff his way :-D

Sausage
Harmony bias. Drum machine bias. Good live (stage/club) sound, yo. I can see the long-tressed patrons filling the air with their head banging. (Not a bad thing, btw.) Good stompy proud song. Kudos.

Steve Durand
Nice swampy groove. Vox is too clean to mesh with it, but... the swamp has me getting my ankles wet. I dunno, some grit &or grime on the vox won;d tie it all up in a nice package.

Tuners Union
Your horns are too out front. Are your vocals (and your lyrics) important to you? It's a nice bibbledy bip groove, but... your instruments are wiping the slate clean with the vox.

WreckdoM
Ummm... yay WreckDom! Good f-in mix. Go, go, go! Oh wait, it's like a John Carpenter soundtrack/song. Good vibe, but not a transporting one.
"Urban cartoon music." -- Paco Del Stinko
Be my friend? --- Song of the Day
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:35 pm

Berkeley Social Scene
I like the verse. The instrumentation is good but the straining vocals at the chorus are painful to listen to. I want some harmonies/change-ups on the second verse because I've heard this all before 30 seconds ago.

DJ Ranger Den
This is very weird and experimental and amelodic. The FX and accentuations are neat.

FauX
Not bad! Not bad at all. The synths are a little 80s for my taste, but you have some good sensibilities about music in here. The weakness is in the vocals; a little nasally and uncommitted at points, a little off pitch.

heine
Cool riff. Obviously the drums are a little janky but I think I read something about that in the prefight thread. The vocal melody isn't doing a whole lot for me, but the echo effect is tasteful.

Heuristics Inc.
I scared. These drums are not very scary though; a little too dry for that. Vocals come in off-beat and a little too present in the mix to fit in with everything.

Jimbo Jangles
Nice vocals man! I think some accompanying instruments could make this pop a lot more. The song by itself in its thin state is not really my type of thing.

John H
I look forward to hearing your future entries. I hear the potential, but it's still pretty rough.

Jon Eric
I think you could do some round vocals at 0:22 for extra specialness. Chorus vocals got really quiet, but if they were louder and maybe verbed it would drive this home. Second verse at 1:00 would be cool to hear a second piano part come in, or somesuch. I like the note you end on before the bridge. Bridge kind of does not have enough going on to be this long.

King Arthur
Sweet guitar playing. When I got to this one I thought my comment would be the usual "Great instrumentation. Lackluster singing." but I think you done a great job on this one and your voice has definitely improved since I heard it last. I can't really cite anything wrong here. Kudos to you!

Lex Butera & Erica Lee
I like the voice tone. I'm not so fond of the instrumentation and melody choices at points. I kind of hear what you may be going for, which I totally dig, but I think there's a way to go to get it more accessible and polished.

Manhattan Glutton
My voice is squeaking at points and it's driving me nuts. I should have drank more water. Chorus vocals sound like I'm fighting the nasal too much. Mix is a little low-mid heavy. Drums could be fixed up - the hi-hats are kind of annoying. The delay on the vocals at the bridge is a little out of time. The last chorus could use a little more at the beginning. Piano tone is a little dinky on some riffs.

Paco del Stinko
Pretty good Paco. I think one of the reasons I don't necessarily get into your songs are the wonky minor riffs that start in right away... maybe if you'd ease into them with a cool intro I'd be able to get into it more. Nice harmonies.

Pigfarmer Jr
Good song. The talking part is brave but IMO doesn't quite pull it off.

Ross Durand
Hmm this is how I feel right now. This is almost punk but with acoustic guitar. Starts off a little meh but the chorus kicks in and it's good. The ahhs are nice - some harmonies would work nicely at the chorus too.

Sausage
This guitar tone is kind of piercing. The riff is pretty catchy otherwise. Vocals are good too - could be a bit louder - because that guitar is just taking over everything.

Steve Durand
I like the music. I don't like the singing. The instrument tones are all really well chosen and that guitar in my right ear is a sweet touch.

Tuners Union
Great performance. Love the variety and funk - particularly the tone of all the instruments and then drum beat. I would like to hear this with less wet/doubled vocals and more wet drums. The drums and particularly the kick drum gets lost in the mix. I'd love to hear the kick really THUD as it should in something this funky.

WreckdoM
Cool instrumental stuff going on - drum beat in particular. The vocals are way too loud and/or monotonous.
If I had a dollar for every one of my songs j$ has called a 90s pastiche, I'd have $1 for every song I've written.

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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby JohnH » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:53 pm

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you guys for the feedback. As a new guy, this is exactly what I wanted to hear. I'll be asking you all for some mixing ideas/help in other threads to improve future entries, but this is why I wanted to get on this site. I want to be better. Thank you for being constructive, I appreciate it.
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby EvelBist » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:02 am

since i'm a noob, i wanted to wait till i had actually gotten bloodied in at least one fight before i started throwing punches around. my reviews are not criticisms, i will give my impressions of the song, they are just my opinions of the songs not of the artists.

berkeley SS: i like the offsetting clean and dirty guitars (right and left), drums. intro is cool: cross between foghat and the violent femmes. maybe loosen it up and leave more space between the verses - more room for the instruments to breathe?

heuristics: awesome intro, almost phil collins ambientish. electro vocals fit well. the song stays within its boundaries, nice work.

jon eric: the vocals seem buried a bit, but my feet were tapping. the lyrics are almost too sophisticated for the tune. love the bridge - i wish you had built the song around that beat and rhythm.

PfJr: really nice voice and phrasing - the lyrics poignant. the song is what it seems - and the balladeer does his work masterfully.

LBEL: haunting really. interesting use of background sounds - the repeating riffs offset by the intrusion of a harmonica(?) detract imo, i would have left out the harmonica. this took a dangerous turn - i was being sucked into the song - but it ended.

DJRd: stream of consciousness whammy disonance slap me in the face wake up call. by the end both my eyes were looking in different directions.

heine: this almost screamed to be done at a faster beat. when the synths came in later, i felt that could have been the right thing from the start and would have made an awesome intro. i felt i was just leaving the launchpad when it ended.

RD: i first got the impression you were into anger, but that would have been forced. i think its about frustration. and from that perspective, it works. i would spread the vocals out a bit - maybe add more reverb and separate them a bit.

SD: wow - i dont know what to say. but i will anyway. i really really like this song. it sounds like ozzy osbourne and zappa working together on a collaboration. there is no way i could do anything like this so i really admire it.

FauX: i love popish tunes - i'm so simple, i'm really biased here. first the intro shook me back into reality. the upfront vocals and minimal backing track with the upbeat rhythm had my feet going. smashing pumpkins redux, god i love this stuff.

KingA: all hail the king. the intro captures the flavor and the first verse brews it right in the cup that you are giving the listener. sweet harmonies. the storyline is a bit distant. could it be distilled a bit?

MG: if this had been done by green day, it would have been a hit. unfortunately for them, you did it first. the prechorus should have had harmonies like the chorus, but other than that i wouldnt change a thing.

PdS: jerry garcia has nothing on you and your wah. deadheads will flock to your VW vanside when you go on tour. only thing i would do is bring up the crunch a bit on the chorus.

TU: right from the start, i remembered that i needed to go over to the fillmore west to get my tickets for your upcoming show. perfect harmonies and a standout presentation, it stays right where it should throughout.

JJ: a sweet ballad always tugs my heart. except it was too long. could you have tightened up with less verbage - the story is complete, maybe too complete.

JohnH: space-rap. i could see the bridge crew of the enterprise doing this and capt kirk singing lead.

WrkD: right from the start - i was on the edge. domination-rap. like JohnH, i could see DarthVader doing the gesticulations center stage on the video.
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Heine » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:18 pm

What a fine hour of SongFight!Music. This one is Right there at the edge to be my favourite fight ;-)
No real bad tune - so it's hard to create a ranking - but it's gonna be way like that for me:


Ross Durand - This one really got me. For me it is maybe your best song so far. I like the cord changes, the dynamic song structure, even the not exactly tuned 12(?)-string guitar - but most of all that slight Moody Blues feeling (backing vox and tambourine). Brilliant. Vote.

Sausage - Love the chord progression and the harmony voices. I wish I could sing like this. For some reasons I feel that this is the best song ever Uriah Heep never recorded during their High and mighty sessions - if you find some time please add some bass and Hammond. I'm going to love it. Vote.

Paco del Stinko - Strange and groovy. Back in to prog, again. Verses are very Hendrix alike. Nice breaks. Very fine guitar work.

King Arthur - This song is (nearly) perfect. Excellent writing, fine guitars. What kills it a bit is the artificial saxophone sound. Nevertheless: Vote.

Faux - Starting off with a bitter sweet melody, some nice piano. Are you British? Very Lightening Seeds alike to me. Vote.

Manhattan Glutton - I simply like it. Especially the canon vocal overdubs at the end. Vote.

Pigfarmer Jr. - Simple and pure. Your voice carries that song. Very fine. Vote.

Steve Durand - Something different which creates a special feeling. Simple but fine bass line. Vote.

Lex Butera & Erica Lee
- Again something different which gives a special feeling to me. I wish I could do songs like this. Very clever use of harp and noise treatments. Vote.

Tuner's Union - A very fine production. Fine singing, fine brass. But... some of the chord changes feel like they checked in at the Hotel California (and could never leave). But it's far too catchy to refuse a vote.

Jim Bojangels
- Similar to Pigfarmer. To me it would benefit from being a bit shorter. Vote.

Jon Eric - Nice song. Nice backing vocals. But what I like most is the piano interlude in the middle.

Berkeley Social Scene - The verses are sung so beautifully but the chorus seems to be at the edge... of your voice. So it fits into this fight. I particularly enjoy the breaks. Vote.

DJ Ranger Den - What I like most about it is that there seems to be no thought about any conventions. Just doing. Just letting it out. Within all these ordinary songs it is something special. And it's far too short to annoy anyone.

Heuristics Inc. - This one sounds quite cold. Gotta turn my heating system up. I particularly like the sounds that seem to come from far away. Nice effect.

John H. - I'm so sorry that I'm not into rap music that much. But as far as I understood this, there's a lot of humour in it. :) And it's got a catchy chorus. It sounds quite analogue - which way was it recorded?

Wreckdom - Cool arcade games sounds. For me this track is mixed a bit too loud.

heine - Started as a nice fun jam with my 11 year old son on the electric drum kit and me on guitar. Not perfect but cool enough to give it a try. Ok, it's a bit sloppy and you can blame me for using the first attempt and not trying to do it better. (Shame on me!) I like the way it develops from quite a boring start (build around a clone of Kraftwerk's Autobahn bass-line) into some more expressional singing, guitars and moog. My kids like it!
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Rabid Garfunkel » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:43 pm

Heine wrote:heine - Started as a nice fun jam with my 11 year old son on the electric drum kit and me on guitar. Not perfect but cool enough to give it a try. Ok, it's a bit sloppy and you can blame me for using the first attempt and not trying to do it better. (Shame on me!) I like the way it develops from quite a boring start (build around a clone of Kraftwerk's Autobahn bass-line) into some more expressional singing, guitars and moog. My kids like it!

Oops :lol: Definitely no weed for the drummer then!
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby JohnH » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:59 pm

Heine wrote:John H. - I'm so sorry that I'm not into rap music that much. But as far as I understood this, there's a lot of humour in it. :) And it's got a catchy chorus. It sounds quite analogue - which way was it recorded?


Heine, I used Audacity for all my vocals. "All"... I've recorded six songs in my life. :D I don't know anything about mixing besides what basics I've figured out with the program. All I really know is if it sounds too loud or soft to balance out the dB's, clipping is bad, and... not much more, which I guess is kinda obvious to everyone. Also, thanks for the kudos!
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby HeuristicsInc » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:02 am

Berkeley Social Scene
The chorus kicks up nicely. Voice gets a little cracky, but who am I to judge. It's enjoyable.

DJ Ranger Den
Interesting. It goes along pretty well, but then it just seems to... stop. A song about falling and hitting the ground should have more ending impact, no? ;)

FauX
This lyric just feels a bit too earnest for my tastes. The bass + piano working well together.

heine
The parts where you are singing out are better. Seems like some pretty personal lyrics. That "right there at the edge" seems like it could be an earworm... I really like the outro synth.

Heuristics Inc.
My song. It's based on a minor character from "The Colour of Magic" by Terry Pratchett. Discworld is a flat disc, with oceans at the edges. This guy lives at the edge with a long net that catches any flotsam that would go over the edge into the void. I kind of wanted the last verse to be more strongly sung, but that was all I could do.

Jimbo Jangles
This one kind of rambles along pleasantly. Sounds kind of like you're emulating an old song... Poison? Somebody like that. It's pretty good, but it's not sticking with me.

John H
I like the story. The mention of M&S is a good one. Also great effect on the end of the chorus. I wonder what you could have done if you believed...

Jon Eric
I really like the cadence of the chorus. Not sure what you're trying to say in the beginning - why would you spill tequila on the brain that was wet? I guess I'm mostly not following your story. But I dig the piano.

King Arthur
Wow, I know who this is right from the first note. That's probably not bad, you are very distinctive. I am finding your story compelling, and I think it's good that you left the ending ambiguous.

Lex Butera & Erica Lee
wow, you're far away. What I can hear, I think the voice is doing some interesting stuff, but there is too much squeaky sounds in the mix.

Manhattan Glutton
This is great. Loving the guitar and the vox. This song appeals a lot to my taste for bands like Jimmy Eat World. I especially like the plinky piano solo changing the mood a bit.

Paco del Stinko
I love the main riff. I love the solo. Great vox and chorus. Nothing bad about this.

Pigfarmer Jr
This one sticks in my mind way more than I would expect it to. Congrats! The guy that just took my garbage can says: "Sounds like he's going to jump over a cliff, gotta change that"

Ross Durand
I like this song, but the lyrics are only ok. Except I really like the "Everybody wants to know" and "both sides are down" parts.

Sausage
Doesn't sound like Les Claypool. The higher note at the end of each of the lines is getting old - it's too much.

Steve Durand
That's a good bassline. Think the vocal needs to cut through the mix more. It's hiding in back! Was this written for the "Big Topic" challenge at FAWM?

Tuners Union
This one is cool and varied. Sort of epic. Love the plucking.

WreckdoM
Liking the drum stutters - what did that? Not keen on the autotune here. I am enjoying this anyway. Good electronics.

favorites: heine, hinc, joneric, king arthur, manhattan glutton, paco, pigfarmer, tuners, wreckdom
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Rabid Garfunkel » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:22 am

Really? Guess I should read the damned lyrics, then I might/would have gotten the water-guy-on-the-rim reference (no, I can't remember his name, nor can I find my copy of "The Colour of Magic", damnit) there, Bill. Oy! Off to the lyrics thread!

BTW, new Pratchett Discworld book in September, whoo!
"Urban cartoon music." -- Paco Del Stinko
Be my friend? --- Song of the Day
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby HeuristicsInc » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:28 pm

Oddly, I can't find my copy of TCOM either - I gave it to my wife to read before we moved and it hasn't reappeared. I perused the TCOM/TLF comic book though to remind myself of all that stuff. Figured that was close enough :) His name is Tethis.
Just finished Snuff, which was a good read.
-bill
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby kaz » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:28 pm

Someday I might write a full set of reviews. Overall I'm impressed with all. Today, though, I felt I needed to give special mega-kudos to King Arthur. That opening lick has been going through my head for days now. Fantastic!
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Paco Del Stinko
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Paco Del Stinko » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:41 am

I am bullshit. I wrote lengthy reviews on these songs and when I hit preview, I was instructed to log in. Apparently, I got logged off, without notice, during my write up session. Now everybody gets a brief one, cause I ain't spending another 2 hours writing them again. Grrr!! Ask for clarification if needed, please.

Berkeley Social Scene Like the intro. The tone knob off guitar sound like a keyboard at times.


DJ Ranger Den Subconscious meanderings. Mr. Rogers slightly disturbed daughter.


FauX Sounds like OMD. Good energy, could use a different instrument coming in at some point.

heine I like where this goes and what it does, even if it's a bit shaky. Synth a nice touch.


Heuristics Inc. Glad you had time to submit. Master of the creepy key-scape.


Jimbo Jangles Sounds good and your voice sells this, although I find it too earnest for my liking. Hope your gal enjoys it.


John H LIke the Martian raygun beat and sci-fi themes and sounds. Good delivery, song could use a dramatic changeup.


Jon Eric Loose, but almost TV show theme-ish at times. Would like to hear your voice soar on the chorus.


King Arthur Great riff/theme. The troubled lyrics work well with the energetic and strong progression. Good chorus too.


Lex Butera & Erica Lee The rhythm is missing one small element. I dig the sounds that come and go. Please continue to experiment and submit.


Manhattan Glutton HUGE guitars and catchy sweetness. I wish Melvin would come out of retirement and challenge you to a duel.


Paco del Stinko Plopped on top of a beat from my dwindling supply of home recorded drum beats. Q-tron guitar, not wah pedal.


Pigfarmer Jr Good music to open a vein to. I don't care for the spoken part after the strong sung ones. Well played.


Ross Durand Ross via 60's era Neil Diamond. I would love to play on this one live with you. Great dynamics and progression.


Sausage I like this better than Extreme, thank you. Energetic riff and strong vocals, needs bottom end.


Steve Durand Up there with my faves of yours, I love this one. Is the voice sped up? Regardless, this is wonderful.


Tuners Union Best song of the fight though a short edit somewhere might make it punch even harder. Great vocals, deserves a win.


WreckdoM Superheroes return with autotune, which I hate, but love here. Great rubbery and greasy ride, thank you.
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Ross
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Ross » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:23 am

Paco, some names appear darker than others in your reviews. Is there a reason for this?
"I don't like this song, but at least it's good." - veGetar Ianra Ge
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Paco Del Stinko
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Posts: 3133
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:20 am
Instruments: Basic rock, at a basic level.
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Location: Massachusetts. God save the Commonwealth!

Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Paco Del Stinko » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:26 am

Oh? I don't see them that way on my computer, Ross. And I didn't do anything to highlight anything. At least not deliberately. No, I always try to be uniform.
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Re: Reviews: Write There at the Edge

Postby Generic » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:33 am

Paco Del Stinko wrote:Oh? I don't see them that way on my computer, Ross. And I didn't do anything to highlight anything. At least not deliberately. No, I always try to be uniform.


The color appears uniform on my screen too. Ross, could you try from a different computer?
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