Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by Ross »

Pretty late for a review thread, how far were we going to push it?
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by Spud »

We will continue pushing it until there is cover art.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by jb »

I have some art to submit, awaiting account details when Spud gets done with breakfast or something. :)

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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip »

Dang, I just submitted art. I'm sure yours will be better.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by Ross »

Spud wrote:We will continue pushing it until there is cover art.
Oh, THAT little detail. :-)
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by RangerDenni »

i. love. the. art.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Wait, what? You guys actually use Git? I wasn't even sure any of the Song Fight! code/etc. was in version control at all. I was actually just thinking about if/how/where there could be a central repository for Song Fight! related code, including the jukebox, etc.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by jb »

Embrace the fantasy, Sam.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by the idiot king »

free time, meet reviews:

The Chocolate Chips- as soon as i heard the acoustic guitar picking i thought "uck. folk. that's for people with patience." aaand then the vocals happened. i actually dig this quite a bit. great arrangement and i like the synth sounds. i wish it had another verse on top of the synth stuff, it was too brief a section...maybe even a sustained outro where stuff slowly dropped out. good stuff, though.


Jay String- i like the arrangement and the pitch shifted BGs are cool. the stab at psychocandyish production is a valiant effort, but i need more heavy stuff. the hi hat drowns out the guitars and stuff...quiet loud stuff makes me sad. the vocal performance is not terribly strong, and burying them a bit could have improved the entire song.


AntBut-i always envy people who write prechoruses and make them sound natural. i'm incapable. slightly wonky mix (quiet drums, loud horns, very loud chorus vox) but i enjoy the track. it's like slightly more straight TMBG, or a less somber magnetic fields. i wish the chorus vocals were a bit quieter, the performance is strong but i'd like to hear them a bit more in context.


Jon Eric- the chorus melody excels at the "familiar but new" hook concept. i'm digging it. i can see myself humming this, it's the first legit hook i'm yet to hear this week. generally traditional acoustic/vocal stuff doesn't do it for me, and honestly, the verses and prechoruses still don't by comparison. but hell of a job on that chorus, i really like it. i'd be curious to hear a version of this track with the vocals sung very loudly.


Ross Durand- are those proper bongos or found percussion? i like the sloppiness. you've got a rich voice; it doesn't lend itself to doubling, and i'm glad you didn't do that here. good sounds, but not a song i particularly loved.


The John Benjamin Band- i love how cavernous reverb on such a stripped down song makes everything have just a hint of spookiness, even a relatively upbeat ukelele song. this quickly became background music for me, but background music i'd be happy to have on again.


Billy And The Psychotics- this reminds me a bit of poe. this is a good thing. i like how the heaviness comes in. the chorus lacks a payoff considering how well everything else builds. with a slightly catchier chorus, this would be a clear winner out of everything so far.


Sausage- great vocal fx selections. the crazy compressor attack time was distracting at first but i've grown to love it like an ugly puppy. for some reason this is orbison-y to me. quiet vocals, but still somehow a bit emotional. this is my favorite of the "songwritery" entries thus far.


Bad Boys at Bat Mitzvahs- the vocals are a bit too dry and loud. some high pass filter on them would go a long way, too...they're bassy enough to be unclear at points. if the performance was a bit louder and enthusiastic, i would enjoy this a bit more. the low key delivery in this case makes it seem a bit less genuine.


Paco del Stinko- man, i'm really appreciating tracks with drums this week. not enough of them. great bass tone. i'd love to hear a ringy, ride cymbal driven bit in the "i'll remember your life" bit. my only complaint is that the different parts of the song could use a bit more melodic and rhythmic variation.


Mom&Data- it's like you put this song together to win my vote. dropping the chords to create some space works nicely. vocals are pitchy...for this sort of a stuff a little chorus would go a long way. it'd blend right in. i really dig this. vote for you. we should collab sometime.


Pillar of Paprika- the latest heuristics inc/idiot kings collab. i did vox, guitars, and bass guitar, and bill did the rest. the solo at 2:11 is, in my estimation, the finest moment in this track.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by JonPorobil »

the idiot king wrote:
Jon Eric- the chorus melody excels at the "familiar but new" hook concept. i'm digging it. i can see myself humming this, it's the first legit hook i'm yet to hear this week. generally traditional acoustic/vocal stuff doesn't do it for me, and honestly, the verses and prechoruses still don't by comparison. but hell of a job on that chorus, i really like it. i'd be curious to hear a version of this track with the vocals sung very loudly.
That was the original plan. Plus bass, mandolin, and a room full of singalong vocal tracks.
I'll probably get to it sooner or later.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by EvelBist »

If there was something that would even out the good from the bad vibes, I would refuse to accept it and continue listening to everything the way it is. There is no bad or good, just different tastes taken with grains of salt. Enough equivocating, here's my take...

RD: You know, when I hear a song about the open road, a silly little grin crosses my face. While listening to the repeating ending verses, I realize you were really singing about a broken heart and how maybe a road trip might fix it. So as usual, the true folk artist has accomplished his task in the clear, succinct manner he innately has. He fools you right till the end, then drops it right in your lap even though you were grinning about something else all along.

JE: Breathlessly falsettoing is your trademark. That is your unique gift. There are parts in this that I wish you had brought the vocals out front more, and others where a little more reverb or delay might help, like in the bridge when you are trading spaces with the strumming guitar. But those are merely technical details that don't really matter to the song because I listen to your voice, not anything else. Beautiful.

CC: I was hearing a woody club slugging, barging, pushing, intruding in. Probably made of Norwegian Wood, but again, maybe it was a Swedish Wood wacker I heard. It ended much too soon, as I was just getting into it. The autotune isn't annoying at all, this is a fun song to listen to over and over, one doesn't have to force himself to keep it on.

AntB: Jumpy and powdery, its hard to pin this down. I hear lots here that I like, but theres one part I'd want to improve. And ironically, you beat me to it, just not in the same place. The second chorus has the effect I would have duplicated in the first, there's the extra power of doubled vocals and a harmony part that would separate the first chorus from the first verse. The third chorus works like the second. I wish you had made that first like the second and third. Overall, this is really a catchy springy tune that works really well.

M&D: From the first notes, I was thinking New Order. Now, I love New Order, so already I'm biased. But I'm also going to get picky with you. I am so torn, the vocals are sublime but I want to hear them with more depth, reverb or spacy. They are great, but remember I'm already thinking NO. This is a standout from the perspective that it evokes the genre without detraction. Awesome.

B3M: This is stark. There's no mistaking the frustration behind the lyrics, and it does have a slight beat to it. Maybe a drum track, buried deep but there, could help me tap my feet, which they were doing, but not in time.

JS: I was listening to the song, then I started paying attention to the lyrics. AAAAAAHHHH! Ok, I get it. There's a subliminal message here, but I would rather listen to the tune. The background baby cries and guitar work is where this song stands out for me.

BTP: With a guy plugged in and also singing in here, this could easily be the B52s. That's how good this works as an alternative pop song. Nothing more to say, its all right there in the box.

JBB: NICE!! Wow. A folksy, rythmic sound garden that makes those superlatives come to mind. I can see myself in a school auditorium actually paying attention to something.

POP: Out of the gate, I was caught between two worlds - one where the vocals were dragging me in, and the background distortion guitar subtly drugging me in. This is the kind of mesmerizing aural treat that you dont have to pay attention to, it actually takes over your mind.

PacMan: All kinds of evocativeness comes into play here. The guitar intro evokes the Dead, Doobie Bros, and even Brian Adams all at the same time. Then when you finally get going, all that is forgotten. I got to know why you didnt add more to the chorus, thats where you were really getting mad. Then the second verse comes in and there's nothing to separate it from the chorus except no drums or bass? And the solo ended much too soon, dammit!
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by BBABM »

EvelBist wrote:B3M: This is stark. There's no mistaking the frustration behind the lyrics, and it does have a slight beat to it. Maybe a drum track, buried deep but there, could help me tap my feet, which they were doing, but not in time.
garageband on the ipad has horrible fake drums, i would not have heard the end of how bad they were if i had put them in. yes, frustration is what i was going for.
the idiot king wrote:Bad Boys at Bat Mitzvahs- the vocals are a bit too dry and loud. some high pass filter on them would go a long way, too...they're bassy enough to be unclear at points. if the performance was a bit louder and enthusiastic, i would enjoy this a bit more. the low key delivery in this case makes it seem a bit less genuine.
again, ive never recorded on the ipad before, but due to the breakage of my actual mic, it was the best i could do given the situation. when i mixed it the vocals didnt sound quite as loud as they do now, i dont know if this is because i mixed on headphones, or if there is something funky with the mp3 converter i used. as for the key, it was written even lower, i moved it up 3 steps, i just have mad bass in my voice, and the built in ipad mic blows goats.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by jb »

I always have to mix in logic when I record on iPad, because it has no EQ functions. Very frustrating. I like the fake drums though. There are a bunch of kits. Works for me, when I use it, for what I use it for.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by RangerDenni »

I was actually mixing something at a cafe when a friend came by and said to try Garage band for quickness. I experimented with the smart drums and found the whole grid thing to be game-like and pretty intuitive. I ended up actually using the test piece I wrote - simply because one of the vocal effects you can use is "chipmunk" :)
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by jb »

Yeah, for quickness it works well. It makes it pretty easy to at least get a structure of a song down. Strum a bit, copy/paste the sections, export to Garageband, import into Logic, and you've got a skeleton to work from.

You can go further with it, as I did in my "That's Enough" entry, but I've found that once you reach the mixing/mastering stage you hit a wall in Garageband. And I haven't found any iPad apps that have EQ or mastering functions so I can do it all on the pad. Alas. Seems like a touch interface would be great for audio signal manipulation-- imagine smoothing out a rough spike in a signal just by literally rubbing it with your finger.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by Ross »

I am bummed because it won't record two mono tracks at once, I like to record "live" with my acoustic, but also have two tracks for mixing. I end up using a third party pid app, but I still find I have to master in Logic as well.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by BBABM »

short reviews before work
AntBut: some of the vocals are a little loud. personally not a big fan of the synth music, but everything was very ably performed. the chorus is fun
Bad Boys at Bat Mitzvahs: me. not my best recording ever, among a list of relativity bad recordings. but i like the song. the fade out ending sucks. i have not experimented with exporting the tracks to a "better" daw to mess with them, next time i may have to see if i can work something like that out.
Billy And The Psychotics: the wacky high guitar riff is not my favorite, but i am loving the 90's alternative vibe. sounds like a Poe song.
The Chocolate Chipsthe hard left pan off the bat is a little weird, and im not the biggest fan of auto-tune, that being said when it breaks out into the little groove at the end i was really digging this song.
Jay Stringthe only thing i dont like about this song is the drums, really mostly the high-hat sound. with live drums this would be amazing.
The John Benjamin Band: i applaud you sir for not going halfway with the reverb. whats wrong with a couple ukes in a grand hall? nothing, that's what. you have a great voice, and play very well... ukulele songs always make me smile and chuckle, i dont know if this was really a smile and chuckle song.
Jon Eric: is that a 12-string guitar? other than a few vocal pops, i like it a lot... and i dont know if it was just me but it cuts out half way through
Mom&Data:interesting. i like the slow drum beat with the fast synth part. the vocals dont quite do it for me, but they are performed well, and dont sound as bad as mine, so there's that. towards the end the vocals grew on me a little. i wish the energy that was there at the end was there the whole time.
Paco del Stinko: another good PDS song, not quite as energetic, or fast paced as im used to, but not at all bad.
Pillar of Paprika: this is indeed hypnotizing. i may not agree with all of your choices in vocal melody, or the bass at parts, but i did end up enjoying this much more than i though i would at the begining.
Ross Durand: who doesn't love a song about a truck?... at least i assume its a truck, because if it was about a ford fiesta, that would not be a cool song at all.
Sausage: As BGM has told me, never only record an acoustic guitar through the pickup, always use a mic. plugging in gives it a weird "metallic fart" sound (im quoting myself, how bout that?) that in my opinion sounds completely unnatural, and not how a guitar was meant to sound. that being said, your song was great, kind of chris issac rocks out. redo the acoustic guitar with a mic, and it will improve 100000x.

that's it. thanks for the reviews thus far, and those to come

p.s. that "review current fight" button is pretty cool
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by JonPorobil »

BBABM wrote: Jon Eric: is that a 12-string guitar? other than a few vocal pops, i like it a lot... and i dont know if it was just me but it cuts out half way through
It's not a 12-string. It's two acoustic guitars in different keys.

It's actually kind of a long song (over 4min.), and it fades out in the end, so if you got the impression that it cut out, then you're probably right. Anyone else getting this problem?
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by BBABM »

Generic wrote: It's actually kind of a long song (over 4min.), and it fades out in the end, so if you got the impression that it cut out, then you're probably right. Anyone else getting this problem?
i think it was my vlc player being funky. it happened with another song too, and when i replayed the song, it didnt cut off.
hillbilly

Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by hillbilly »

jay string---- would hate to be your child, thats some wierd shit. you might have issues.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by j$ »

WAIL. IAA(hungover)C. I found it hard to engage with this fight but that's probably because I am disappointed with my own entry, so apologies if I seem a little off-hand.

Ant Butt - oh there is something really odd here that I find jarring. It's not the midi-esque ninetndo synths, which I love, or the vaguely "let's put the show on right here" 80s musical feel to the song, which I don't mind. I think it's the slightly awkward word choices? It’s also too long and very camp. But I do love “what’s a button for except to push it?” line and it’s well created.

BBABM – the words are a little hard to make out at times (not volume just bluesy slur getting in the way) – which draws to the bare instrumentation. I started imagining a sparse backing vocal and percussion arrangement from the second verse onwards – I am not sure if that’s a good thing or not. The chorus is lovely. I might cut down the (absolutely fine) verses so you get to that chorus quicker each time? You could do with keeping GnG as lean as possible. 5 mins is probably 2 mins beyond its acceptable upper limit

Billy et Al – Nice insistent riff and great vocals. I don’t like the bluesy second guitar much, but I appreciate it’s not-riff-1-ness. Well produced (as far as I can tell). I *love* the break down, kind of want it to go on longer. Hmmm, this ticks all the boxes but I don’t feel like I’m engaging with it. Don’t know why – maybe it’s my massive hangover. Actually I think it’s this – together all the hooks and riffs and swirly twiddles and grindiness sounds amazing, but individually are any of them particularly strong? What could I listen to individually on repeat for ages without losing interest? The vocals and the insistent ping riff. Nah, actually, it’s probably just my hangover. This is a good song. So I vote for it.

The Chocolate Chips – ha ha ha! Bruce Haack goes medieval on our arses - this is so *camp* I feel like erecting a tent. I don’t like the drum machine tone and could I listen to an album of this? I dunno but have a *vote* anyway for the devil-may-care attitude and the swirly stylophon-esque solo.

Jay String – yeah, that’s me. Paranormal Activity 3 annoyed me because it suggested all women are secretly evil and all men are stupid (and obsessed with cameras). This may be true but I don’t want to hear it.
This song annoyed me because as I mixed it down, I realised I had got nowhere near my concept. So it got dumped on Jay String.

JBB – A pretty, pretty song. Possibly too much reverb (or delay) on the uke / guitary thing … Sounds a bit cavernous? i voted for this, sucking up to the boss. (actually because I really like the imagery of the 'go ahead and push the button' lines in the chorus.

Jon Eric – nice lady voice, Jon. Nice to hear such a clean, define-able melody as well. On first listen only certain phrases are making an impression, but the chorus lyric is a little, urr, facile isn’t the right word, ack, my hangover! When something appears to be profound but actually not saying anything at all? It’ll come back to me. Also demo or not, a 4 min G’n’G song? Finally I think this is a potentially good song that needs some tightening up.

Mom & Data – This is really well done but I find it shockingly drab. It’s not an anti-electronica thing, or an anti-drone-ish thing, both of which genres I am famous for loving and doing badly, in fact I think it’s I *should* f**king love this, and I just don’t. Sorry. I know that’s not very helpful (or called for) but I can’t think of anything to say.

Paco Del Stinko - not quite your usual bounciness – perhaps a few bpm too slow for my taste, and also a little too ‘west coast rock’ for my tastes but great bass tone and a good tune!

Pillar of Paprika – Weak vocals too loud in the mix? Right back at ya, sir :) Intriguing, a little bit fragmented but that I find interesting. The 90s indie guitar chord progression sits oddly but appealingly on the electro. I love the squiggling synth. I wish that was louder. In fact I wish the whole song was louder. On my crappy laptop the mix doesn’t sound great. Maybe on headphones it would be stronger. That solo is by far and away the best thing in the song. A wall of spazz in yr face.

Ross Durand – Ha! Great percussion. A bit throwaway lyrically perhaps (despite attempts towards the end to give it portent?) but a cute take on the title. I (think I) can hear the fun you’re having singing it in your voice which makes me like it all the more. Have a vote, why don't you?

Sausage – I am not sure whether this is utter rubbish or utter genius. *gets out comparision list* Sparse instrumentation? Check. Monastic vocals which appear to be mixed in from another song? Check. Melody that reminds me of a slowed down version of something else? Check. Solo just when I’m hoping the song will end? Check. No, sorry, no idea what to make of this, especially not with this hangover. This is not hangover music. Weird, possibly in a good way.
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Re: Push it to the top of the threads (reviews)

Post by j$ »

hillbilly wrote:jay string---- would hate to be your child, thats some wierd shit. you might have issues.
That's alright, hillbilly, I wouldn't want you as a child, so we're equal :)
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