This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

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This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby ILB » Sun May 05, 2013 5:19 pm

I am starting a new job and a new bee hive. It'll be an interesting week for sure.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby foobar93 » Wed May 08, 2013 5:25 pm

Berkeley Social Scene
When the synth first kicks in is my favorite moment. The chorus works for me much more than the verses. I eventually get tired of the synth, though (it may be that it's a bit too high for my earbuds to handle). On a re-listen, I realize that I would have liked the song to go back to the extremely clean arrangement right at the beginning. It's like when I hit the button to restart, I have a moment of relief. I like the imagery, especially the clever pairs like venom/denim.

Give Our Regards To The Earth's Core
Laughing already by 0:15. Great interplay between the lead and backing vocals. "making lots of money" indeed. I don't have much to say except that I found this enormously entertaining.

TRJones
Has a little bit of a Nick Cave feel to me, which is awesome. Overall just too dissonant and sour for my taste. The guitars strike me as extremely narrow in the stereo field, with the overly-processed voice sounding almost on a different stage off to the right. I would like more variety and contrast in the sound, too.

Banana Dan
Almost silly space jam right off the bat. I like it more than I should. I can't decide if this is the demo song from a Yamaha keyboard playing at Target or something actually quite special. I'm going back and forth. By 1:45 I'm starting to lose interest, though. It's too similar throughout. I like the little minor chord riff around 2:10.

grock
The noisy unused pickup sound gives the intro an interesting ominous feel. Feels like something is going to explode eventually. I like the vocal tone a lot, but I can't make out the lyrics (on my earbuds). I like the groove around 1:45 especially. Solid guitar solo, although I was expecting it to build the explosion foreshadowed in the intro. When is that going to happen? You had me through about 3:30, now my interest is starting to flag. That great groove is back at 4:30. If I could have my pick, I'd have that come right back after the guitar solo and build and build into something dramatic and end right there.

Intentionally Left Bank
I like the contrast between sections. Fast-paced, fun. I can make out the lyrics clearly, which I appreciate given how much is going on. The vocal sounds a little strained at times, especially during the chorus. The bridge has too many unrelated things going on at once for my taste. But I do like how the chaos resolves gradually right into the ending. Short and sweet, I like it.

Hortus Ortus
Vocals too quiet to make (out on my earbuds). Don't know what you're saying but it sounds good. Backing vocals are a nice surprise. By 2:00, I'm finding it monotonous. The guitar solo comes too late for me, by that time I'm already ready for the end of the song. There's something cool going on stereo-left during the chorus; it's a little quiet to make out, but I like the contrast it offers with the main track.

Tyler Zahnke
Laughing by the time you say "online." Funny throughout despite obvious production challenges. I heartily endorse more meta-SF entries.

Foobar
That's me. We'd just had such a terrible week in the US with Boston, the West, Texas explosion, etc. I couldn't keep it out of my head. It was therapeutic to crank out some angry guitar parts. I wish I'd had more time to work on the vocals. I was laid low by food poisoning and only recovered enough to record right before the deadline. I hope it came out OK.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby j$ » Wed May 08, 2013 5:48 pm

Hello, I have some spare time from being the bastard judge in Nur Ein to come and offer my bastard opinions to the bastard leftovers  In fairness to any newcomers (or people I don’t know who have been fightin’ for ages) I chose not to check band names as I listen. So if my reviews make no sense, that’s why. Yeahhhhh ….

WAIL. IAAC.

Banana Dan – (EDIT: great crap name BTW!) 30 seconds I’m itching for some vocals, something that makes it not just another samples-off-the-front-of-the-music-making magazine song. There simply isn’t enough here. It’s all well and good, but there is nothng here I haven’t heard a thousand times, and that makes me sad. This week we’ll see me sighing despondently. Again. Still I am not a fan of instrumentals generally so pay not much heed ...

BBS -- SOOOOO many little things wrong with this song. No obvious link to the title for the first time listener. "Pit of snakes without an ounce of Anti-Venom" is bad enough without ‘bleed through your Denim’ as the pay-off. Please. Vocal a little bit all over the place to be mixed that far ahead of the rest of the song. However I do love that synth, and will listen to other songs by you to hear more of that. (EDIT: ooh the reveal on the name is very telling!)

Foobar – I should hate this, but badly mixed indie take on Andy Williams is always going to be a winner for me. Seriously, there’s just enough going on here to make me overlook the failings (occasionally vocally and the reverb chamber mix on the guitars, mainly) but no vote simply because it never reaches the crescendo the slightly portentous arrangement suggests is coming.) EDIT: You DO get a vote but only because the SF nanny vote assumes a single vote is friend-flooding not an aesthetic choice based on a fight you are not excited by. THANKS SPUD.

Tydon Docks – why change the band name? Are you ashamed? I liked this there, I like it here. As I said it massively improves 1.25ish onwards, despite its weird Supergrass undertones.

Grock - Hmmm, I fucking love this. At least for the first two minutes or so then I start getting itchy, Oh fuck 6 minutes of this with the vocal mixed so quiet? Very very sweet but very very indulgent / dull. I start skipping around 3 minutes, low attention span man that I am. And all I hear is that annoyingly predictable guitar solo. You lost a vote from me by not being more ergonomic.

Hortus Ortus – this is quiet. Almost painfully squintily so. Sounds like a nice LZ rejected jam. Sounds like some good stuff going on here, proficiency wise but nothing is screaming for my attention. Or whispering, for that matter. Sounds like a reasonably pleasant listen that I am too intolerant to endure ...

IBL – I like this. Despite the noisily meaningless lyric. By which I mean screaming for people to read meaning where there isn’t any. Musically this is fab, and doesn’t really outstay its welcome. I kind of want to vote for this but I really can't, until I realise what I am missing lyrically, if anything ...

TJR Jones - Oh I wanted a Beefheart vocal for this. I don’t believe it as is. Also the vaguely meta-ficitional chorus makes me (figuratively) vomit. If only I couldn’t hear the lyric so clearly on this. However that appears to be a common complaint from me this week so don’t take it too seriously, if you were planning on that. Not bad.

Tyler Zanke – oh, fuck off. You are no [insert outsider musician that gives you an erection here]. Please have an idea worth recording then I will listen again, Novelty shit. Worse because musically (including vocal) I like it, it floats my outsider boat, but really, my life is already too shortened through substance abuse to put up with this shrugged off lyrical toss. Sorry.

Tydon Docks gets a vote. Also FOOBAR, out of VOTE-RIGGING NECESSITY, THANKS SPUD / JB / THE MAN :)
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby Generic » Thu May 09, 2013 11:23 am

Horus Ortus
I like the bluesy vibe here, especially the bass. It could stand to be about 5-10bpm faster. Your vocals are mixed very poorly - almost inaudible in the mix. I can't make out the lyrics for large portions of the song, which means that the voice is just another instrument that blends into the mix, and there's nothing to differentiate between the verses, to my ear. Maybe, if I could hear the words, it wouldn't get boring by the two-minute mark. Just as likely, your song is a little too long and could use a little more variation. And take those vocals up a few db!

Berkeley Social Scene
That's a weak verse melody. I like synth that comes in for that chorus. Heh, I rhymed "venom/denim" once recently too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6dacR86aEo Man, it really sounds like your singer doesn't quite know the melody of the bridge. Did this come together kind of last-minute? That lead guitar part under the last chorus is one of the best things about this song. I also like how the whole piece builds energy as it goes. You were maybe a dozen or so run-throughs away from a classic.

GORTEC
I just reviewed a very similar-sounding song for Nur Ein… :-P There was some stiff competition in Nur Ein, and I thought you might even be in danger of getting eliminated. Here, you got a vote from me. :-)

grock
Nice mood-building, but this is way too long, and like Horus Ortus, your vocals are buried deep in the mix.

Tyler Zahnke
Oh golly, there's just nothing good about this, is there? I spent the whole song waiting for the punch line, only to realize that the closest thing to a joke here was that I listened to this whole thing. Your pronunciation is awkward. Your lyrics are way too wordy (and they're ABOUT Song Fight, which rarely works). The instrument—what is that, a cheap keyboard on "harpsichord" setting?—doesn't sound pleasant and it's not played very well, either. At least you kept it short…

Intentionally Left Bank
Even if you hadn't had to "out" yourself on the board, I suspect I would have known who this was anyway. I like the time signature wonkiness, and the groove you create in the chorus. The lyrics strike me as a little odd. "What a week it'll be!" is something a Disney character would say, not the singer of a prog-rock song. I like your take on the title, though, and your punchy brevity. Vote!

TRJones
This is a decent track. The guitars sound a little janky, but they play nice with the bass, and the vocals are competent even if not spectacular. It needs drums, but something tells me you already know that. I'm not keen on the lyrics. "Cool as a mat, lying right there so you know exactly where I'm at" is a really awkward simile, and you've done yourself the disservice of putting it in the chorus, so I'm reminded multiple times about how awkward it is.

Foobar
Starts off promisingly, with that side-stick drum groove and the soothing synth broken chords. The first verse vocals are strong and very appropriate to the mood being generated. Things begin to go off the rails when the guitar comes in. That tone doesn't fit this song at all, and when the guitar starts up in full force for the chorus (along with a louder drum portion), the song never quite recovers from the misstep. That "we were blind, but not our eyes see" line is so old its grandchildren have become cliché, and you know what they say: Avoid cliché like the plague.

Banana Dan
I don't have a problem with this, I guess. The drums are programmed well, and the piece has enough variation and motion to keep it from getting boring. What it doesn't have, at least that I can see, is a relevance to the title. That's a built-in disadvantage of instrumentals (and the main reason that only one instrumental to date has ever won a fight), but that doesn't mean that an instrumental piece is necessarily bad, or even inappropriate for Song Fight. Just that I'm not sure what this particular song is doing here. You might chime in and explain why you think this song fits the title of "This Week We'll See," but then the problem is still the fact that I wouldn't have gotten it without you having to explain it to me, get it?
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby ILB » Thu May 09, 2013 2:56 pm

j$ wrote:IBL – I like this. Despite the noisily meaningless lyric. By which I mean screaming for people to read meaning where there isn’t any. Musically this is fab, and doesn’t really outstay its welcome. I kind of want to vote for this but I really can't, until I realise what I am missing lyrically, if anything ...

Well, I have some spare time from being another bastard judge in Nur Ein to come and offer my bastard opinions on your bastard opinions about my bastard leftovers...

"screaming for people to read meaning where there isn’t any"...ok, if you can't relate that's one thing, but who are you to say whether there is meaning behind my noisy lyrics? I am typically obtuse lyric-wise, and don't write on my sleeves like Jon Eric. Overwhelmingly, though, my lyrics are intensely personal and meaningful. While I don't consider myself a strong lyricist, I don't just rhyme and blurt crap into a mic.

Not sure if this will help, but...

"What a week it'll be when I'm counting the days like I would hours"
- I anticipated that starting a new job this week might make the days pass very quickly.

"What a week it'll be when we're counting the bees like they do flowers"
- I will be receiving 20,000 honey bees this Saturday. They are all female, and likely about one week old. I am anticipating that this will be sort of exciting.

"They say you should strike when the iron is hot and you've got the power
When it rains and it pours, opportunity soars, don't throw in the towel"
- having been without a regular job for 6 months, I was happy to have two good offers to choose from. This made me feel empowered in the negotiations that ensued. It also made me feel my strategy and patience in the matter was justified.

"What we'll see isn't real, you know
What you know isn't real, you'll see"
- I was apparently talking to you ;)
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby j$ » Thu May 09, 2013 3:12 pm

So this is my point, exactly! In this purely subjective world (where objectivity isn't anything than a codifier for the security that society needs to justify itself. Man.) you have some very personal words that come across to the blase, world-weary judge like me as gibberish. So ask yourself this question - what is the purpose of art? To express yourself correctly, regardless of being misunderstood by douches like me, or to find a way of communicating your emotions in a way that will be understood and likely appreciated by douches like me, at the risk of bastardising your vision?

It's a rhetorical question, BTW. Actually, semantically it's not, but let's not go there, right?

And as I have been writing for 10 years at the start of every review. Written As I Listen. I Am A C*nt. So don't take it to heart, as I'm sure you won't.

Your caring judgey-judge

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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby roymond » Thu May 09, 2013 3:20 pm

I take it to heart and completely agree.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby j$ » Thu May 09, 2013 3:21 pm

But like I said it's a good song and if i was smarter, I would have got it. Hope the day panned out well.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby g_rock » Thu May 09, 2013 4:47 pm

foobar93 wrote:You had me through about 3:30, now my interest is starting to flag. That great groove is back at 4:30. If I could have my pick, I'd have that come right back after the guitar solo and build and build into something dramatic and end right there.
Now that kind of feedback is exactly why I'm here...
thanks man
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby g_rock » Thu May 09, 2013 4:59 pm

j$ wrote:...You lost a vote from me by not being more ergonomic.
Hey man I truly like the honesty...maybe I'm highlighting my inability to comprehend the english language... but...it doesn't change the fact that I still don't know what that means. Yeah you might need to spell it out.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby Generic » Thu May 09, 2013 7:49 pm

ILB wrote:"screaming for people to read meaning where there isn’t any"...ok, if you can't relate that's one thing, but who are you to say whether there is meaning behind my noisy lyrics? I am typically obtuse lyric-wise, and don't write on my sleeves like Jon Eric.


When did I become the poster child for on-the-sleeve lyrics?

Anyway...



Not sure if this will help, but...

"What a week it'll be when I'm counting the days like I would hours"
- I anticipated that starting a new job this week might make the days pass very quickly.

"What a week it'll be when we're counting the bees like they do flowers"
- I will be receiving 20,000 honey bees this Saturday. They are all female, and likely about one week old. I am anticipating that this will be sort of exciting.

"They say you should strike when the iron is hot and you've got the power
When it rains and it pours, opportunity soars, don't throw in the towel"
- having been without a regular job for 6 months, I was happy to have two good offers to choose from. This made me feel empowered in the negotiations that ensued. It also made me feel my strategy and patience in the matter was justified.

"What we'll see isn't real, you know
What you know isn't real, you'll see"
- I was apparently talking to you ;)


I did not dislike your lyrics, but I find it really interesting that my interpretation was nowhere close to what you had in mind.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby Hortus Ortus » Thu May 09, 2013 9:42 pm

WREEVYEWZ

Regarding our song..yep, the vocals are mixed wayyy too low. Very true. That's what I get for getting up in the morning and doing a final mix with a hangover, one hour before deadline. Anyway, thanks for all the input.

Tyler Zahnke....Funny. Recorded on a potato??

Banana Dan....Well done instrumental. Doesn't appeal to me personally.

Give Our Regards To The Earth's Core....A fun song. The drums could stand to have a bit more oomph to them. Well done though! I like it.

Grock......I'm liking that guitar sound! Nice groove, nice guitar hooks. Vocals are mixed a bit low (kinda like our song.) A bit too long maybe.

T.R. Jones....Could definitely use some sort of percussion. The melody could stand to be more hooky. I'd bet if you had more time, and drums, this could be a groovy song.

Foobar....Love the chords on this one. The vocalist has potential, but he sounds a bit ..untrained? I like the mix of soft keyboards and heavy guitar.

Intentionally Left Bank...The instrumentation is fantastic. Nice production. Very original. Doesn't make me want to sing along though.

Berkeley Social Scene....Vocalist kinda sounds like the guy from Foobar. A better trained vocalist would really make this song. Very cool song, nicely arranged, cool lyrics, nice production. I like it.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby blue » Thu May 09, 2013 11:44 pm

Well we wrote our first ever straight song, but then we moved the studio all around and didn't get a chance to record it until now. Please enjoy.

http://sonofsupercar.bandcamp.com/track/maybe-this-week
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby j$ » Fri May 10, 2013 3:00 am

g_rock wrote:
j$ wrote:...You lost a vote from me by not being more ergonomic.
Hey man I truly like the honesty...maybe I'm highlighting my inability to comprehend the english language... but...it doesn't change the fact that I still don't know what that means. Yeah you might need to spell it out.


Firstly you've got nothing to apologise for - I tend to scrabble around mentally for the word that nails exactly what I mean, and end up with a big one that doesn't quite satisfy (that's what she said etc) - you could probably substitute "economical" for "ergonomic" and it would be more or less what i meant.

But, since you asked - here's a dictionary definition of "ergonomics"

1. (used with a sing. verb) The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.
2. (used with a pl. verb) Design factors, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by minimizing operator fatigue and discomfort
ergo·nomic, ergo·no·metric (-n-mtrk) adj.
ergo·nomi·cal·ly adv.
er·gono·mist (ûr-gn-mst) n.

So I am suggesting that the tune itself is good but a little more thought with the listener in mind when it comes to the construction of the song (not just length, but the structure and format of the arrangement / dynamics etc - you can ignore them, but I think they're worth always bearing in mind) might indeed minimize this operator's fatigue and discomfort.

That's probably made it less clear, right? :)

j$
Last edited by j$ on Fri May 10, 2013 4:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby ILB » Fri May 10, 2013 3:55 am

Generic wrote:
ILB wrote:"screaming for people to read meaning where there isn’t any"...ok, if you can't relate that's one thing, but who are you to say whether there is meaning behind my noisy lyrics? I am typically obtuse lyric-wise, and don't write on my sleeves like Jon Eric.

When did I become the poster child for on-the-sleeve lyrics?

Ok, look in a mirror and ask yourself that question again. Answer honestly...

I did not dislike your lyrics, but I find it really interesting that my interpretation was nowhere close to what you had in mind.

Mission accomplished, then! Well, lyrics to me -- more out of necessity and lack of craft -- have always been a second class citizen. I usually aim to correct this, but then find a week long challenge is not the forum for such things. So the more I write outside of songfight the better my songfight lyrics will become. I have a couple examples and hope to be able to win over you and j$ in time.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby ILB » Fri May 10, 2013 7:31 am

There was lots to see this week (though less than usual)...

Hortusortus
Like the dirty groove. The wah solo is perfect. The backing vocals are a bit stuck on, but nice touch. Also, the little asides after the refrain shouldn't come each time, they become too predictable. Maybe the third time, and then the very last ("if I get things done"). They're more special that way.

Tyler zahnke
So many unwritten rules were broken making this submission. Plus, it sounds like you're chewing gum. Are you chewing gum? But you did it so we just have to move on.

Trjones
Repetitive and sort of stuck. The riffs develop too slow, too late. The bravado lyric doesn't get the ballsy support it needs, it just sort of rolls along. Work on building tension and energy in both the backing tracks and your vocals and it can get intense. You should be screaming by the end.

Berkeley Social Scene
I love the shape of this song. The keyboard seems squeaky at first, but then it's just what's supposed to be happening in there. Repeated listens helped for some reason. Really like this. Agree with others that the vocals hold it back, but the feeling is great. Lyrics are sort of John Cale. I love "didn't check the breaks and now your knees bleed through your denim." Glenny's solo rocks!

Gortte
I'm totally fatigued by this song.

Bananadan
More rules being broken.

Foobar
Like the first 48 seconds. Like the next minute and a half, separately. Then I was pretty bored.

Grock
Then apparently, it keeps going. Fortunately, I stopped it.

ILB
I always loved bands who treated meter like harmony (to flow and change as needed) and were able to support a lyrical line in an organic way, whether it's in four or seven or eleven. Led Zeppelin, Zappa, Steely Dan, etc. made it feel seamless and natural. But it's hard to program drums that way (at least for me). So, for as long as he's game, I'm exploiting Sanjaya's innate talent to feel odd meters and make them groove on real drums. My songs will likely be overkill in this regard until it becomes more balanced and comfortable.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby g_rock » Fri May 10, 2013 5:20 pm

-TRJones
Hey man I like your style! I am new to this songfight thing but I have to tell you after hearing last weeks’ song of yours, I was eager to hear what you had this week and you didn’t disappoint. The bass line pumps & drives the song. nice groove. It sounds classic right away. Nothin but praise from me!
This week well see
This week well see
This week well see
If your better than me.
It was even a fight - Reallygreat song man!

Hortus ortus
Funky and slow. Nice guitar solo- fits well into the song. Drums were the weak piece here.

Give our reguards to the earths core
Punky- the song stomps. Bridge is really nice smooth sounding vocal oohs. Doubled vocals sound really good. Well done overall. Song flows well.

-Foobar
Guitar came in strong and gave the song some balls. Bent guitar note on the transition really is well placed. When the drums came in riding the crash they stopped and went back to the toms and it tricked me. Mellow mood and vibe.

-Berkeley social scene
Synth adds quite a lot to the song. The bridge caught me off guard. I like where the guitar cops the vocal line maybe for like a few measures but good. Ending was well done. Overall song was done well and sounded pretty cohesive vibe-wise nice job.


-Ilb
odd time but done well. Doubled vox sound good. Drums are nice. Tell Sanjaya is nice work.
Really like the ending how it builds to the quick fade. Only thing I can offer is the doubled vox would have a greater effect if used more sparingly.
Good job man.

-Tyler Zahnke
I don’t know what to say about this. I cant tell tell if your serious or not. Sounds like some kind of parody.

-Banana Dan
Interesting enough variation for me to listen all the way through. Do you sequence most of this or is it recorded? Just curious…. Balanced mix and well done. I don’t think this group is very fond of instrumentals from what I gather but good job man. By the way the name Banana Dan conjures up images of a male dancer in a tiger print speedo. Not sure if that is the image you are going for but just thought I’d throw that in.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby BananaDan » Mon May 13, 2013 11:56 am

Although this community isn't crazy about instrumentals, I do have great fun making them and the reviews are greatly helpful, besides, Song Fight could certainly use the variation!

g_rock wrote:-Banana Dan
Do you sequence most of this or is it recorded?

It is all sequenced, I do use a keyboard to develop ideas and sometimes I'll record and tighten it up.

g_rock wrote:By the way the name Banana Dan conjures up images of a male dancer in a tiger print speedo.

I'm certainly not making my money from writing music!

Now, my opinions:

Berkeley Social Scene
The two high pitched synths are my favorite part. It sounds like a key change for the third verse and I'm not convinced by the result. I might try to eliminate the synth sound there. I like the lead guitar a lot and I'm sad I had to wait 1:45 for it. By the end I like the chorus

Foobar
The arpeggios are a nice way to hold everything together. The distorted guitar before the first chorus is a bit distracting however I like how it's handeled through the rest of the song. The piano is used quite well to accent the guitar. My biggest problem is with the vocals, I would try to use the delay to assentuate important syllables and quiet it in the middle of a phrase. Very chill=very cool.


The Tydon Docks
British punk done well. I like the variation in the vocal production. The complex vocal textures on simple instrumentation is pleasing. My favorite aspect of this song is that I can enjoy it without having to listen to the lyrics, which could be better.

Grock
Is the static at the begining an attempt to distract from the static in the rest? I like the idea of using the feedback as a feature but something feels a little off about it, maybe a longer delay time (and watch the volume levels![5:00+])? The groove is great; I think I would like it more without vocals at all, their sparcity is a good way to handle them. Overall, a good way to spend 6:00!

Hortus Ortus
The sound is a bit flat and the instrumentation is a bit loose. The higher pitched "This Week We'll See" is good emphasis. Overall I think it would sound a lot better with a tweaked mix.

Intentionally Left Blank
The guitar solo sounds a little messy as do the vocals (and lyrics). The song structure feels good, the rest feels adequate but is nothing special.

TRJones
With the blues feel I can forgive the lackluster vocal track. The lyrics do not please me especially "Butterfly's poison"... I wish the song focused more on the blues guitar, I would like if the guitar played the melody for "this week we'll see". It has a nice feel, I would feel pretty badass walking into a fight with this playing.

Tyler Zahnke
I knew this was going to happen. I've made the mistake of writing a song about Song Fight. I feel like this was completed in 15 minutes. I think the biggest problem is the arrangement which can be fixed through practice with using a digital audio workstation (DAW). Surely this song is meant to be fun, that could be reflected better in the tone of the vocals.
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Generic
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby Generic » Tue May 14, 2013 8:18 am

Banana Dan, have you previously submitted under another name? Specifically, are you "Dan-O from Five-O?"
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BananaDan
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby BananaDan » Tue May 14, 2013 11:36 am

Generic wrote:Banana Dan, have you previously submitted under another name? Specifically, are you "Dan-O from Five-O?"


Yes I have; No I'm not. None of my previous submissions have been Dan related.
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Tue May 14, 2013 3:30 pm

BananaDan wrote:None of my previous submissions have been Dan related.

How about banana related? Image
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Re: This Fight We'll Say... (This Week We'll See reviews)

Postby rampantmusik » Tue May 14, 2013 4:29 pm

I've been lurking for a little while, so I figured it's time I post some reviews :D I've spent quite a lot of time writing these, so I probably won't be able to do such in-depth critiques every week, but I hope that they're helpful nonetheless. Just be warned, I'm fairly direct, and you'll find little to no sugarcoating here: my goal isn't to make you feel bad, it's to help push you to become even better songwriters.

grock:
The Leslie rotary speaker-style effect on the guitar is awesome, I must admit; congrats, you get bonus points for that.

However, your vocals are a little low in the mix. Your focus is definitely on the instruments, which is fine when you have the guitar solos (what I assume to be replacing the chorus); otherwise, it's just plain hard to hear your lyrics. (The guitar solo is mixed waaaay louder than your vocals.) So that, combined with the effects (reverb and, I assume, overdrive?), made the vocals generally difficult to distinguish.

The tone of the song is very cool overall, though; not quite 60s rock, not quite blues rock, but not quite modern, either. And there's something very hypnotic about that simple driving rhythm. This is actually one of my favorite songs, not even so much for the content as it is just because the track sounds so damn cool. However, as a pianist, I was immensely bored by the plug-and-chug i-i-V4/2-V7 that was played almost entirely without reprieve.

With the exception of the midi piano (*ahem*), the mixing on this track is very good. And I absolutely love the guitar part.

Give Our Regards (and so on):
You win my prestigious award this week for "Best Mixed Vocals"; the lead, left-panned backing vocals, and guitars are mixed very well; the right-panned backing vocals are a little quiet, perhaps, in the bridge; I know they're only backing lyrics and you have two other vocal tracks playing over it, but even listening for them, I couldn't make the lyrics out. The bass is perhaps a tiny bit too quiet for my tastes, as it's fun to listen to.

Finally, your drums are just terrible. Sorry. They're way too quiet, so much so that - aside from the cymbals - they're almost inaudible. The snare just lacks any punch, which is a necessity in punk-rock tracks like this. The kick has a lot of beater/attack, but nothing else, which makes it sound hollow and weak. When using sequenced drums, you really want to take the extra time to play around with the velocities of each snare and hi-hat trigger: it can make the track sound a lot more realistic and can help alleviate the 'machine gun effect,' which is especially noticeable in your snare fills/rolls.

Intentionally Left Blank:
Right off the bat, your mix is very... lacking in bass. The drums sound washed-out and weak; there's no oomph in the kick, and there's so much reverb on the snare and toms that it sounds like it's my next door neighbor playing in his garage. The acoustic guitar dominates the left channel, but it isn't balanced out by anything else: meaning that the whole mix, for most of the track; is very left-heavy; the vocals are, comparatively, very quiet.

I feel that the verses would sound better with only one vocal track, rather than two: the timing is a little sloppy, and makes some of the words a little hard to make out. If you want to keep the double tracked vocals, at least in the chorus, then there should be some more harmonic interplay between them (counterpoint for you Bach fans); you don't need to go to The Beach Boys/The Beatles-level of vocal harmonies, but at the moment it's just octaves.

The strongest point of your entry, by far, is the outro, where you have reversed guitars playing over a mini guitar solo. This part I really enjoyed. (I enjoyed the whole song, but the guitar playing at the end was where it really shone.)

Foobar:
First things first, love this track. The tone is ominous, the intro synth is great, and when the guitars come in? Oh, yes!!

Ahem, but that doesn't get you off the hook. As I'm sure you know, your vocals need a little work. (As do, well, basically everyone's.) I was never really quite sure how your lyrics would tie into the theme, and you sort of lost me a little bit with the repetition of "California night" (yes, I know there were forest fires there); but it doesn't really seem to have much to do with the bridge/chorus.

When the distorted guitar first enters, and it starts playing the staccato stabs at the end of the verse, it's a little...distracting. They just sound out of tempo. Your guitar also lacks much low-end, which is what would give it its crunchiness – and also, perhaps, why others and I expected a big payoff, where the guitar kicks into crunchy, delicious overdrive.

The arrangement is very good on the whole, and the choice of synths used is excellent. Your vocals are mixed well, and the echo is really nice and complements the rest of the arrangement. (My only suggestion would be to mix them a little dryer, i.e. turn down the volume of the echo a little bit, so it's still there - and audible if you listen for it - but not getting in the way of the following lyrics.)

TRJones:
Sort of sounds like the rhythm of a Pink Floyd single with Pat Auberbach's vocals and guitar solo work from The Black Keys.

Honestly, the lyrics come off as a little desperate at times, mainly in the chorus. (And, lyrics or not, I'm afraid I simply cannot condone the poor grammatical structure of "so you know exactly where I'm at." Please, don't end your sentences with a preposition! Hahaha.) You seemed uncomfortable with the lyrics at some points or, at the very least, it didn't seem like you had quite practiced enough to fit them perfectly to the music. And, while the harmonic-rhythmic accompaniment was indeed very cool, there was little in the song that stood out to me as being particularly memorable.

In terms of mixing... eh, this just didn't do it for me. Everything in the mix sounds so closed in. You could double track the rhythm guitar, and then pan them far left and far right. Simply doing that would really open up your mix. It would give each instrument a little more room to breathe, and the music would seem like it was around me (esp. listening on headphones); otherwise, it just sounds like the band is standing in a straight line in front of me.

Banana Dan:
If there's one thing I really love (read: hate), it's a midi piano. Luckily for you, that sparkly synth that appears in the intro and occasionally through the song is awesome (it kinda sounds like a cross between bells and a synth from my really old Casio keyboard). There is a sort of warbley/wobbly bass that sounds like it *wants* to be dubstep, but never quite gets there - which I also like a lot. It sounds like a Hammond organ, or something, but it wouldn't sound out of place in the soundtrack to Star Trek: The Original Series. In general, your mixing is good, although there are perhaps a few instances - mostly with the swelling orchestral synth - when the kick sets off the compressor, which makes the track sound, for just a moment, a tad overcompressed and flat.

It's cool to hear tracks in these contests that attempt to work to the theme without using vocals; however, while the arrangement is good, it's quite simplistic on the whole. The absence of lyrics, I feel, is a missed opportunity for the week's theme, and the lack of any major key changes or adventurous chromaticism somewhat prevented me from quite getting that sense of going somewhere, or - in other words - a sense of wondering "what might happen this week?"

Tyler Zahnke:
This was a joke, right? I hope it was a joke. Please tell me it was a joke.

I would go into detail in re the things that are wrong with this, but that would take too long. So, here's a basic rundown:
1. The lyrics are quite abysmal.
2. Stylistically, the song is all over the place. You go from sort-of-rocky, to bluegrass, to the driving repetition of punk.
3. Midi instruments are generally awful. (The complete lack of humanization suggests to me you either used Finale or some similar notation program.)
4. There's no real melody to speak of, which is bad. If there's not a strong, memorable theme or motif, what am I supposed to whistle, hum, or sing to myself? And if a piece of music lacks a melody that's catchy enough for me to recall later, then it has - in my mind - failed as a song. (Bear in mind, I'm no musical amateur. Some of my favorite themes are by Tchaikovsky - and sometimes his main themes go on, and on, and on for minutes; yet they're very memorable, and I can recall many of his themes in their entirety.)
5. The mixing and arrangement are terrible. Your vocals sound like they were recorded on a phone inside a shopping mall; there's no harmony to speak of; everything's centered in the mix.

Hortus Ortus:
I implore you: please, please, please buy a metronome, or run a click track through headphones - something, anything! - when recording drums.

A couple of odd things I noticed in the mix. First off, strangely, your backing vocals are louder than your lead vocals, which were positively buried behind the bass. Which leads me to point numero dos: the bass line is cool, and has a great tone, but the is pushed way too far forward in the mix - it sounds loud even on my headphones, so I dread to think how much low-end would be cranking through my monitors! Third, and back to the vocals, I don't know what microphone you were using, or if it was just some weird mixing job, but the vocals sounded very tinny; while that works fine for backing vocals, there was absolutely no low-end to the lead vocals. Fourth, pretty much everything sounds like it's panned dead center: while I understand wanting to keep the mix simplistic, the only thing that's really panned is the wah guitar.

Berkeley Social Scene:
I love the crunchy double-tracked and wide-panned guitars, and your chorus is very good overall - the first half, in particular, is extremely catchy - not necessarily for the lyrics (I can't actually understand the first line), but certainly for the melody.

Unfortunately, what you have working against you are some fairly cringe-worthy lyrics: e.g. "the bleep-and-blip of morse code," "didn't check the brakes now your knees bleed through your denim," and - as mentioned before - the "anti-venom/denim" rhyme seemed desperate. You're also stretching a lot of your lyrics to fit the music, which makes it sound almost like they were either written separately of each other. In general, the vocals sound strained.

As for mixing, it's pretty good overall. The guitar solo at/near the end of the song just sort of...appears out of nowhere, center-panned, which is a little jarring the first few times you listen to the track, simply because the guitars have always been off to the sides. I would have liked a more rounded-sounding bass drum (maybe smoothen out the attack?), but it's not necessarily bad. The high-pitched synth, when it first appears, is awesome: after that, my personal preference would be for it to only appear in the instrumental pre-choruses and actual choruses. The only last recommendation I have is that the vocals be a tad quieter: not because they're by any means bad, just because the guitars seem to have the more interesting harmonic/rhythm, and so that the guitar solo at the end is a little more audible.

So, as far as voting goes:
- grock;
- Foobar; and,
- Berkeley Social Scene

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