Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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ken
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Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by ken »

Don't fall to pieces just yet. Write your reviews before the whole thing crumbles to the ground.
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - Berkeley Social Scene - Tiny Robots - Seamus Collective - Semolina Pilchards - Cutie Pies - Explino! - Bravo Bros. - 2 from 14 - and more!

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs are up, review away!
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by glennny »

I'm loving the James Owens song especially, and I really like all the songs! Good fight people!
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hillbilly

Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by hillbilly »

Toby---Much better recording and sound, sounded like you miked the Ovation or used a mild bit of the pickup. What do you plan to replace it with?
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by Chumpy »

After my first couple of listens of all the tracks I'm totally digging the Slickitude track, killer sound, vocals with attitude.
"How did these fuckin' guys get signed? Bring on the Beach Boys meets Ween." --boltoph
Toby Roktot
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by Toby Roktot »

Thanks Hill... I have a few more ovations, so i'm ok. a shure 58 mic near the hole. cya
hillbilly

Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by hillbilly »

try a 57 more up on the neck. toby
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by Toby Roktot »

will do, next fight. thx
hillbilly

Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by hillbilly »

owens----- great lyrics, love it.

Slick------you are kinda slick, like your voice style.


hey Toby, every one else on this site,thinks they are too cool to enjoy this style, check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... OqeiLU8his
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by Chumpy »

Berkeley Social Scene
Song starts with a bang, great guitar sounds, cool lyrics. At 'The only constant is chaaaaange' I'm really into it, but then comes the 'rearrange' and it's a slight buzz kill on the first listen. Dig the multi-tracked vox and synth on the bridge, and the guitar solo is perfect.

Glennny
I easily get with the melody on this song, toes are tapped. I personally dig the wide stereo separation of the guitar on the left and the organ on the right, and that classical guitar riff is really nice. Totally dig the synth solo, and how you make it sound like a theremin. The vocals are clear, and I like the multi-tracked high and low parts, but they sound like they live in a completely separate audio environment from the rest of the song. Lyrics are solid, but the song title feels tacked on at the end.

James Owens
Pretty, well written, well sung. I can get with the sparse guy & piano sound, but it really causes me to focus on lyrics and feeling. The feeling I got during the tree fort verse flirted with excessive sentimentality in a song already steeped in nostalgia. That said, it's still an excellent song and a standout in this fight.

Jerkatorium
Why yes, I did just recently discover the compression knobs in my DAW.

The John Benjamin Band
Distorted guitars and shiny clean vocals -- I would have thought that it would be a mismatch, but it works. I dig the lyrics, funny how "the only constant is change" was a shared line with BSS. The are eight lines ending with 'ic' at the end when the choruses double up, which gets a bit samey.

Johnny Cashpoint
Dig the beat, tempo and that high pitched dirty synth that works well against the fuzz guitar. Good use of melodic ah-ah-ah-ah backing vocal lines, which add a lot. Efficiently gets the job done without a lot of lyrics, nice use of clean and distorted chorus vox. Not wild about ending on the bridge, my ears want a chorus return.

Slickitude
Guitar and bass at the beginning sound gorgeous. I really like the way we get a taste of drum deterioration at around the 1 minute mark, and then come back to it at the ending fade. The 'deterioration' chorus hook really works, and there is something about the main vocals that I really like -- I think it's the rap-like quick rhythm of how their delivered, combined with the Rockabilly style. Both song challenges met with aplomb, and it's my favorite song of the fight.

Somewhereofftheleftcoast
I'm liking the Emo indie rock sound, the slightly muffed guitar sound at the beginning I think is a nice touch and adds character. The singing fits in nicely with the style. My complaint with the song is that it remains static emotionally, it doesn't have a real peak, and I felt like there was a perfect opportunity to have one at 1:07 which was missed.

toby roktot
Good intimate sounding recording! Lots of great dynamics captured here, and your vocals are super expressive and have this Leonard Cohen type quality to them. The darker melody works very well with the lyrics and vocals. I'm not a fan of three bounces on the strings at the end, it's not really musical.
"How did these fuckin' guys get signed? Bring on the Beach Boys meets Ween." --boltoph
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by Toby Roktot »

Thanks Chumpy !!
The bounces are prepitory to 'deteriorating' my guitar. basically, the song was over and the ...deteriorate something.... begins.
I will try to get to reviews soon, schedule changes and Italy being 'different'.
I really liked your song on first listen and have it earmarked for the playlist. thx agn
toby
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by glennny »

Lyrics are solid, but the song title feels tacked on at the end.
Thanks for the review Chumpy! I have to disagree with your last thought though. The whole song is about the moon deteriorating. (based on the book "Seven Eves" by Neal Stephenson), it's only at the end that I say the word "deterioration". "a billion bolides colliding" is the moon deteriorating.
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by j$ »

W.A.I.L. I.A.A.C.

These are all good songs - maybe nothing mind-blowingly brilliant, nothing mind-blowingly awful either - which may be me projecting my own feelings about my own song on to all of you. Sorry if that's the case...

BBS - I like this. It's got a bit of the 'Paco's about it. The synth in the bridge is great. There's a bit of the 'words that rhyme with deterioration' about it on first listen but it all makes sense. Nice fat solo, too. I think if I was being picky I'd like some BVs/harmonies in the chorus but as I say, good song. VOTE.

Glennny - Those vocals are a little too off for me to fully engage with the song. Or maybe they're not but they're mixed too loud against the backing track? It's got a familiar tone to it. Maybe I'm hearing Vampire Weekend, or someone of their ilk? It's not bad at all, and there's loads of lovely ideas in here but I'm less than two minutes in and finding it unneccessarily hard going. Sorry, who am I to judge 'rough' singing? Love the synth theramin-esque solo - actually from that point in I am enjoying it enough/far more not to complain about the slightly clunky words.

James Owens - 'Peabody's Coltraine'? 'Peabody's Coal Train'? Not a reference I get. Sounds good musically to me. It's got that Tom Waits feel to it (not vocally but just overall) .... oh hang on, this has gone all musical on me. It's a very well done song but it's not doing anything for this grumpy old punk, sorry. It's dramatic-doing-sensitive for me. But as I say often, what would I know? It's a good song.

Jerkatorium - (s)punky power pop! A very pleasant listen indeed. Something of the early Elvis Costello here, I think. Not following the story on the first listen but it doesn't matter. Great bass tone going on there. Doesn't outstay its welcome. 'One thing's for sure' surely should have been half-rhyme 'One thing's for certain''? No, only me? Anyway, liked it.

JBB - Love that dirty little guitar riff. It sounds like 'What if Devo were a guitar band' - which works for me. Catchy as. 'So bizarre it's implicit'? If I heard that right, I'm not sure what it means 'in the cold light of day' - but hey, who cares? Like this a hella lot. Was worried at 1.30 it was too long for what it was but by the end I had corrected my error. VOTE.

j$ - that's me. One hour songs always suffer from 'should'a, could'a, would'a' ... and I wish that after 12 years, I was in any way better at mixing, but hey, it captures everything I want to say about the circular decline/incline of London property. The deterioration in case you can't tell is the slow 'wide-to-narrow' on the backing vocals and the gatemask on the already deteriorated keyboards at the end. I love a subtle interpretation of a challenge, me ... I lam pleased with the riff, dirty down-shifted guitar-as-bass-line and the spluttery, too-thin drum pattern; even if I say so myself ;)

Slicktitude - The song structure itself is a little bit too rock / blues-rock / whatever the right term is, for me, but there are so many amazing, clever bits that pop up - the BVs are great, I love the post-chorus bits where it takes a breath, the 'fall apart' at the end (albeit 'tacked on'), I particularly like the jazzy discordant piano from 2.09-2.29 (approx). I may well vote for this. You made me like a sound I wouldn't normally warm to, so that's a small victory, if these things matter :) VOTE.

Somewhere Off ...- Potentially a little too Interpol for me ;) There's something weird with the reverb-ed deep kick that's a bit off-putting and it's all a bit gothy, but I like it, right up to the too-abrupt fade-out. It feels like there's another 30 seconds in this that's been hacked off - that, in its own way, is meant as a compliment.

Toby Roktot - This is totally my prejudice but I'm hearing 'let's do Cash's version of 'Hurt' in the inspiration. If there's any scrap of truth to that, it's done well. I love the quavering parts very much. It's honest and I believe in it. That weird clanging against the guitar towards the end makes sense but doesn't quite fit the mood. I do like how it goes on 'a little bit too long' because it hammers home (in a good way) 'this is the challenge'. One of those songs that's very pleasant on the ears (apart from the rushed syllables of 'deterioration', for me at least) but it would take me several more listens to really fall in love with. There is nothing wrong with that, except under the arbitrary nature of a 'weekly' songwriting competition ...
Last edited by j$ on Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by jb »

Thanks J$! The line is "So bizarre, and simplistic".

JB
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j$
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by j$ »

Ah, OK, that makes more sense! Now I have to work 'so bizarre, it's implicit' into a song and make it mean something :)

j$
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by AJOwens »

Berkeley Social Scene -- A crisper, more studio-like sound than usual from BSS, with a rather Paco-esque construction and melody (and performance, come to that). Snappy and inventive, with an interesting take on the title.

Glennny -- A warm, comfortable, intimate mix, composed of rich bass and understated guitars and keyboards, against which the vocals don't quite seem to fit; they're sometimes strangely distorted in delivery, and hard for me to make out. The composition is tuneful, and the arrangement has nice details and changes.

James Owens -- I'm not a sentimental person, honestly. It's just that my voice always sounds kind of sad. The music is meant to evoke an empty, unfinished feeling, and the words are wistful and a little dark, and -- well, it all starts to pile up, as my wife warned me.

Jerkatorium -- The bass and sometimes the rhythm guitar seem to pull away from the beat here and there, but the song is energetic, the arrangements are well-crafted, and the mix lets everything come through. The hook is strongly reminiscent of something, I just can't put my finger on it. There's a little bit of early Elvis Costello about this one.

The John Benjamin Band -- The lyrics and their timing stand out in this entry, slightly reminiscent of Paco in some of the changes. It has a fascinating sound. The singing and composition offer a bright, smart, upbeat precision that contrasts very effectively with the words. Highly original and rather infectious, not for any hook but for the whole strange shape.

Johnny Cashpoint -- This has an experimental, art-house quality that kind of works, except that the vocals sound like they're in someone's living room, and the music, to get properly over the top, needs at least twice what's already going on. But it does have a frantic intensity, and the saw-like, gated guitar defines an atmosphere.

Slickitude -- Very tight sound, strong syncopation, effortlessly melded genres, quick and lively composition, powerful and confident textures and change-ups, solid performances: in short, loads of imagination and a good ear. This one deserves to do well in the fight.

Somewhereofftheleftcoast -- Some of the guitars are just a little too out of tune to get by, but the song itself has a haunting edge, sold by the vocal performance and well-placed effects, and accentuated, despite all expectations, by the oddly thin mix. The decision to fade comes as a disappointment, but in the fast-paced world of Song Fight, sometimes choices are driven by necessity.

toby roktot -- I know I'm not the only one who's getting a Leonard Cohen vibe here, but there are also elements of Tom Waits in the growliness, and Southern influences in the pronunciation. The song ebbs and flows well, with lyrics that are as much punctuation as narrative. Nasty things you're doing to that guitar at the end.
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by AJOwens »

j$ wrote:- 'Peabody's Coltraine'? 'Peabody's Coal Train'? Not a reference I get.
The reference is to Paradise by John Prine. I left the possessive in to make the allusion more obvious, but afterwards I realized that the line would be much better, phonetically, semantically, and historically, if I had sung "Peabody coal train."
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by j$ »

AJOwens wrote:Johnny Cashpoint -- ... the vocals sound like they're in someone's living room
That's because they were - mine!
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by Chumpy »

AJOwens wrote:Jerkatorium -- The bass and sometimes the rhythm guitar seem to pull away from the beat here and there, but the song is energetic, the arrangements are well-crafted, and the mix lets everything come through. The hook is strongly reminiscent of something, I just can't put my finger on it. There's a little bit of early Elvis Costello about this one.
I haven't figured out how to quantize my tracks without making it sound sorta fucked up. Next time I'll do it the old fashioned way, and do more takes.

I'm not sure where the hook came from either, but it popped right out when I was fooling around with the chord progression like it was obvious, so it's probably from something. Deterioration is a mouthful, and the first thing I thought of was Carly Simon's song Anticipation. And good call, you and j$ caught us trying to sound a bit like Elvis. This Year's Model was on heavy rotation the week we worked on the song.
j$ wrote:Jerkatorium - ... Not following the story on the first listen but it doesn't matter. Great bass tone going on there. Doesn't outstay its welcome. 'One thing's for sure' surely should have been half-rhyme 'One thing's for certain''? No, only me? Anyway, liked it.
Yeah, the lyrics don't really have a narrative. I was going to joke that the quality of the lyrics were deteriorated from verse to verse, but after some time I think they're good enough. As Mr. Jerkatorium often points out, most people don't really give a shit about your lyrics, and they can be just about anything that rhymes. Certain doesn't rhyme with endure, so it wouldn't have fit with the end of the chorus.

Thanks for the reviews folks!
"How did these fuckin' guys get signed? Bring on the Beach Boys meets Ween." --boltoph
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Re: Reviewioration (Deterioration Reviews)

Post by Smalltown Mike »

Just a couple thoughts about songs that struck me. I thought this title was going to lead to awkward pronunciations and forced songs, but not the case overall.

Toby Roktot
I think you need to enunciate a little more clearly. And you sound really close to the mic. You might actually be inside my head. Guitar sounds nice.

Berkeley Social Scene
Really nice bass, and really nice chord progressions (which I generally find to be true with your stuff.) I’m not sure about the vocals, which could just be a personal preference, but you may try singing some of the bits slightly differently so you’re not straining to hit certain notes. I do like a nice guitar lead.

Jerkatorium
I really like the back-up vocals on this. Fantastic. The chorus is really fantastic. Great work.

JB Band
There are some really nice elements to this. The chord progression is odd in a really nice way. I love the way you rhyme/pronounce terrific/simplistic. It’s great. The hook is really strong.

Slickitude
Me and a friend from work.
Punk rock is for children. Grab a six-pack at Half-a-Dozen Records.
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