Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

And plant a juicy one.
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Please post your lyric here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11723
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

I listened through a few days ago and then again today. On the first listen I thought the whole fight was Meh. Today I'm digging a lot of these songs and even the ones I'm not as high on still have a lot going for them. Blame me and my mental state. At any rate, I'm glad I took the time to listen today.

Adnama17: Love the guitars, especially on the intro bits. This song has a cool lo-fi feel to it that I like a lot. I like the verse melody and the doubled vox is a tasty touch. This is a nice change of pace from your usual SF entries. There are a few flaws but overall I like the vibe and feel.

Berkeley Social Scene: Damn what a great intro, that guitar lead in and the lush sound of the mix. I like the lyric a lot. Like, more than I think I should. It's a pretty serious take and it's not over complex but still has a depth to it that I like a lot. Again, the doubled vox is a nice touch. Those lead guitars are tasty. Minimalist enough to support the song very well. This is a good one.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: What's your recording process like? Your songs seem to be consistently muddy to me (not like AWFUL, but....) but they have a live feel that I like. It took me a second to like the mix, but once I get into the song I like it quite a bit. This has a nice 70's rock feel to it (Iron Butterfly etc.,) I feel like I've put on an old vinyl to listen to and discovered a deep cut on an album in my father's record collection.

Cavedwellers: I think I've played this exact intro riff before. It's one of those likable and fun garage band jams. That being said, I like it and I like the song. I don't see your lyric in the lyric thread and would have liked to read through it. This one also has a little of that late 70's rock band feel to it. Maybe I should go listen to some 70's rock to get it out of my system.

The Gross Tones: Lots of cool bits here. I feel like the vocal could be stronger but isn't bad. The intro bit was great. The rhythm of the chorus is cool. That lead break around 1:40 is cool. All of the lead breaks are cool. I felt as if this was gonna end around 2:45 and would have been a nice, tight song and arrangement. Maybe a radio edit? At any rate, this is one of those songs that has a lot going for it but maybe isn't gonna be at the top of the rankings (not that I rank these things or anything.)

Hot Pink Halo: I like the rhythm and the melodies. The mix seems a bit cluttered to my ears. I like the sonic discombobulation but it's tiring. This vocal and melody actually reminds me of Owl a little bit. But the backing doesn't quite fit it or support it as well as I would like. But it's kind of cool especially at the end.

OG Lawn Darts: Ska feel is not overdone and works pretty darn well as a bed for the vocal. I think the vocal delivery is excellent. I like the arrangement. This isn't one of my favorites but from a purely writing/arranging perspective I think it's pretty damn good.

Paco del Stinko: Your vocal delivery works very well on this lyric and melody. Your bass lines are always cool/interesting/fitting. You pull this one off seemingly without effort.

Phlebia: There's a lot coming at me all at once and it's tiring to my ears. It's a cool effect but it's making my ears work too hard. I do like how it feels like it could fall apart at any moment but is actually very well performed. It has a cool loose feel but it's from a well played/performed angle instead of a sloppy one. I'm also one of those guys who likes to hear the lyric and I can't here. So thanks for posting the lyric.

Pigfarmer Jr: I was playing with the Harmony Singer pedal and this kind of came out. I had just watched Bohemian Rhapsody before writing this so the derailing party scene ego angle kind of popped out of it's on volition.

R. Mosquizzle: Sounds like y'all had a great time on this one. I can't help but smile while listening. I wanna be there drinking shots and helping to record this one. Also, I'm slightly jealous as I thought I'd have the shortest song in the fight and now I don't.

ShoehornTC: I like old school country rock feel... This feels like a song that would come on a playlist after a Doug Sahm song or something. (High praise in my book.) I like the chorus a lot. I'm guilty of political content at times but I'm not a big fan of it. But this song works very well for me.
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:22 am

Phlebia
: There's a lot coming at me all at once and it's tiring to my ears. It's a cool effect but it's making my ears work too hard. I do like how it feels like it could fall apart at any moment but is actually very well performed. It has a cool loose feel but it's from a well played/performed angle instead of a sloppy one. I'm also one of those guys who likes to hear the lyric and I can't here. So thanks for posting the lyric.
.
Glad you liked some aspects of it haha, I know it's stupidly harsh. I tried to make the "get away from me" bit a respite from the chugging, but my mix was super rushed so it's all over-compressed. Yeah I was trying to keep most of the song with a constant 3/8 over standard 4/4 polyrhythm and extremely intense. Thing is, I couldn't make my vocals match the intensity of the music while keeping them easily intelligible (something a lot of metal is guilty of)...and so I just went for intense. In my brain the verses were supposed to be like Melt-Banana meets Meshuggah but my voice doesn't sound like a yapping dog so it didn't work.
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Adnama17: I like the drum start. The buzz on that guitar is kinda painful. Assuming this is not recorded live, you could try out playing the same guitar part onto two tracks and panning one left, one right. That will give things a more rocking sound. Your bass is too quiet I think. I really like the vibe of the song though and the lyrics and story. Your drums could use some hi-hat and symbols coming in earlier in the song. This style doesn't really need perfectly in tune vocals, but, the harmonies are really off sometimes in a distracting way, and when there's a solo lead vocal it could us some more sneer or edge or something to smooth over the pitch issues and make them seem more like a stylistic choice The other instrument (guitar? mandolin?) that comes in, I think mix wise it would be easier to hear if it were panned to the side. It seems like in the chorus you're going with vocals panned left and right and instruments in the center which is kind of opposite of the more standard approach. I'm not saying everybody should pan things the same way every time, but, just that this might be a case where that would have been good.

Berkeley Social Scene: I guess this will be our last in person collaboration for a while. :/ This started with lyrics from Ken, per usual. Then we met up as a group and wrote and recorded the music. Geech played Rhodes, Martin played bass, Ken played drums, Glen played the left rhythm guitar, and I played the right rhythm guitar. Ken then came up with the melodies and tracked the vocals at home. I took Ken's vocals and added lead guitar, organ, tambo, shaker, and all the backups/harmonies. I made a few editorial/arrangement decisions and mixed. I think this actually turned out pretty good! I've been enjoying us mixing things up style wise. I think Ken's melodies are catchy and I like the sinister/creepy undercurrent in the tone of some of the parts and lyrics.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: This sounds really really muddy. A quick improvement would be to pan a couple of the instruments like half way to either side. The cymbals of the drums could be louder, and/or the high end of the EQ of the drums could come up. I don't think the drums need the reverb they have on them or maybe they just need less. The organ could be brighter sounding, same for the guitar and bass. Sounds like the guitar is maybe using a neck pickup, maybe try a bridge pickup, and make sure the tone knob is turned up. I'm digging the vocals and the lyrics. The vocals have great attitude. I'm gonna vote for this one.

Cavedwellers: I'm way into the shaker. This rocks! I love the bit after the chorus going back into the riff. Lee's vocals sound good, though I kinda wish they had a bit more edge to match the balls out rock sound of the guitar and drums. I also wish there was a second guitar track. Ooh, fun breakdown part. Yeah shaker! Yeah kick drum 1 2 3 4! That solo is suh-weeeeeet. Total Mitch Mitchell vibe on the drums, Sam is tearing it up. Enthusiastic vote for this one!

The Gross Tones: Ooh, nice synth start. Sounds like it's live, maybe just one mic in a room for some stuff, with some overdubs or something? I wish the drums sounded bigger and fuller. I guess I wish the whole mix were big and full, like too many instruments feel like they're piled up in the center. I feel like the vocals I'd rather hear the vocals have less effects on them. But anyway, fun jam and fun song. Sounds like a good time.

Hot Pink Halo: I keep focusing on mixing stuff, doh! These vocals are too dry, they need more reverb. The guitars are way too loud and the drums are way too quiet. I guess the bass is a keyboard? It's pretty busy and it's a bit distracting. I like the vocals but there are definitely big time pitch issues. I think though they're mostly between them and double/harmony part. I think as a general thing here folks could maybe put 2x time into their main vocal and skip the second vocal track, versus doing the two vocal track thing. Anyway, the song's just ok for me.

OG Lawn Darts: I've got major genre bias here unfortunately. It's all done well, but not my thing, which is lame. Is that guitar fake? It sounds kinda fake. The bass is shredding, I like that. Drums are great.

Paco del Stinko: Your vocals sound a little muffled. Are you singing them under a blanket or something? Per usual everything sounds great and is played well. Fun energy. I'll give this one a vote!

Phlebia: Whoa. This is intense. It's giving me like, 80s/early 90s industrial music vibes. The more "musical" interlude part reminds me a bit of Alice in Chains, then later maybe Butthole Surfers or something. I could personally do with a lot more of that part and a lot less of the noise/industrial part, haha.

Pigfarmer Jr: There's something real weird sounding about the reverb or something, it's causing a weird trailing pitchy noise, especially in my right ear. Are you using a harmonizer or something? Anyway, a cappella is a bold choice. The vocals are mostly good. Oh it's a short one. Not bad but not my favorite.

R. Mosquizzle: Doh, more genre bias. This one's fine. Well done, but not for me.

ShoehornTC: I don't really have much specific to stay about this one but I really liked it. Everything sounds good and is played well and the singing and lyrics are good. Definite vote!
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

Thanks for the feedback, friends! I have to say mixing is definitely not my strong suit. This go-round I had trouble finding an amp sound I was in love with. I think I need to take some time to sit down and create some presets so next time I'm up against the clock I don't have to just settle for whatever. I have some studio monitors finally, just waiting for the cables to arrive, and that might help me a little with selecting my tones and mixing everything. Up to now I have been doing it all on my own with headphones. I think once I get my monitors up and going, I can call in King Colon of WreckdoM to give me a hand with the mixing as he has the golden ear in the house. Glad you liked the tune, it was a fun one.
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

I actually sold my big monitors and downsized my setup. IMO a decent pair of mixing/studio headphones (<$200) is plenty good enough for Song Fight for me. I did wind up getting some of the smaller desktop monitors but I don't have them set up that great so I just use them for the broad strokes when I get started and then use headphones for anything detailed.
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by glennny »

PFJ wrote:
I don't see your lyric in the lyric thread and would have liked to read through it.
Ummm, I started the thread, I posted the lyric, and YOU provided the link to it.

Thanks for the review! We were going more for late 60's Hendrix Experience than late 70's , in either case it's certainly classic rock.

cheers!
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

glennny wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:25 am
PFJ wrote:
I don't see your lyric in the lyric thread and would have liked to read through it.
Ummm, I started the thread, I posted the lyric, and YOU provided the link to it.

Thanks for the review! We were going more for late 60's Hendrix Experience than late 70's , in either case it's certainly classic rock.

cheers!
Oh, hey, lookit that. Awesome. Thanks for umm... *blush* pointing that out.
Listening again I can hear the Hendrix feel. Especially his posthumous release stuff like a cross between Ezy Rider and maybe In From The Storm or Izabella. He wasn't my first go to, but I can hear it.
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Adnama17 »

You are most correct in all of what you mention, Lunkhead. I cannot find the buzz in my amp, and it's driving me insane! And of course I can't have it worked on at the moment. (Not sure why an amp repair shop isn't essential, but here we are.) I know the trick of doubling electric guitars and panning them, but never think about it as so much of what I write is on acoustic, and that doesn't work there. And that's my third drum track I've ever done, and it shows. My vox are pretty awful and I know it. No time to rerecord. My mixing skills. UGH. And most of all, I can't believe, knowing me, why I turned the bass down so much. So much to tweak, so little time.

So thanks for letting my process my musical angst in a public forum everyone. So far gone, so far to go.
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Adnama17 wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:38 pm
I know the trick of doubling electric guitars and panning them, but never think about it as so much of what I write is on acoustic, and that doesn't work there.
Actually, it can work there, too. Two tracks panned hard left and right. But the timing can't be too far off. Another trick is the Haas effect. Pan them both wide, nudge one track back 20ms (give or take 10 to taste) and then balance the volume. Works great on acoustic guitars. (I don't know if you remember RC, Randy Christopher, from Fawm and Spintunes etc., but he would ALWAYS record his acoustic parts twice (sometimes two parts) and pan them hard left and right. And he had lots of mixing fans according to comments and judges. I miss that guy.
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Adnama17 »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:22 am
Adnama17 wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:38 pm
I know the trick of doubling electric guitars and panning them, but never think about it as so much of what I write is on acoustic, and that doesn't work there.
Actually, it can work there, too. Two tracks panned hard left and right. But the timing can't be too far off. Another trick is the Haas effect. Pan them both wide, nudge one track back 20ms (give or take 10 to taste) and then balance the volume. Works great on acoustic guitars. (I don't know if you remember RC, Randy Christopher, from Fawm and Spintunes etc., but he would ALWAYS record his acoustic parts twice (sometimes two parts) and pan them hard left and right. And he had lots of mixing fans according to comments and judges. I miss that guy.
I am 99.9% sure you've told me this at least a million billion times PFJ. When will I ever listen?
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Huh? Whadya say?

(Yes, we've had this conversation in the past.)
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Adnama17 »

Drive-by reviews. How is it that I am I so busy, yet I'm not going anywhere..........................

Cavedwellers: Well, I’m never gonna miss a contest that I’m gonna win. ;-) Rocking fun. Most helpful review ever, right?

Phlebia: Sometimes I wonder what you sound like behind everything. Phelbia unplugged as it were. A vulnerable place, to be sure, but I wonder. Anyways, I dig the angst of this. Really hits the spot today for sure. I’m done with people. UGH.

Pigfarmer Jr: You are such a brat. ;-)

Paco Del Stinko: Catchy. Awesome internal rhyme. Like your inflection as well.

Shoehorn TC: Another catchy ditty. “Like the French…” hehehe… Cool take on the prompt too, ass kissing contest. hehehe…

Adnama17: You can add my lack of inflection to the long list I’ve already posted about what’s wrong with this one.

Berkeley Social Scene: Probably just my mood, but not feeling this one much. Tis a perfectly fine song though.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: Nice sassy main vocal. That organ is cool. As is the beginning recognizable line of each verse.

Hot Pink Halo: I always dig your lyrics.

R. Mosquizzle: Not my kinda jam, but an interesting listen. I can get behind the sentiment for sure. It’s a bit short.

The Gross Tones: Again, this is probably just my mood, but not feeling this one either. That flange is cool.

OG Lawn Darts: I can never pull off this kind of rhythm, so I jealous of this vibe.
And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves -Walt Whitman
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Adnama17 wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:51 pm

Phlebia: Sometimes I wonder what you sound like behind everything. Phelbia unplugged as it were. A vulnerable place, to be sure, but I wonder. Anyways, I dig the angst of this. Really hits the spot today for sure. I’m done with people. UGH.
Hmm, I'm trying to think of my "cleanest" produced song I've stuck on here now that you mention it. Terrible example, but this maybe? Four Corners had really minimal vocal processing, but yeah I'm definitely guilty of always layering on a crapload of effects. :p Anyway, I'm glad you like my industrial noisefest!

I promise I'll get reviews posted soon, I know I'm usually on it right away...

I will say that my favorites this week were probably yours and Brown Word's.
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Adnama17 »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:23 pm
Adnama17 wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:51 pm

Phlebia: Sometimes I wonder what you sound like behind everything. Phelbia unplugged as it were. A vulnerable place, to be sure, but I wonder. Anyways, I dig the angst of this. Really hits the spot today for sure. I’m done with people. UGH.
Hmm, I'm trying to think of my "cleanest" produced song I've stuck on here now that you mention it. Terrible example, but this maybe? Four Corners had really minimal vocal processing, but yeah I'm definitely guilty of always layering on a crapload of effects. :p Anyway, I'm glad you like my industrial noisefest!

I promise I'll get reviews posted soon, I know I'm usually on it right away...

I will say that my favorites this week were probably yours and Brown Word's.
I just listened to both. The 4 Corners is some pretty damn hilarious content. hehehe...

I guess it comes down to preference too. I'm such an acoustic player that I get lost in all the production you guys do sometimes. I'm like, "Why the hell did they add all that stuff to a perfectly good song and clog it up?" And the flip side is true for you I'm sure, "Why the hell doesn't she add more to her perfectly good song to make it better?" Mostly b/c I'm not good at it, and when I try I just make it worse, and then get frustrated and don't do anything. But every song I do can't be girl-with-guitar, so I'm trying to evolve. I'm not going to grow doing the same thing over and over.

The Fight Master really should charge us for these musical angst therapy sessions... I wonder if he'd take TP in lieu of cash...?
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Adnama17 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:56 am
sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:23 pm
Adnama17 wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:51 pm

Phlebia: Sometimes I wonder what you sound like behind everything. Phelbia unplugged as it were. A vulnerable place, to be sure, but I wonder. Anyways, I dig the angst of this. Really hits the spot today for sure. I’m done with people. UGH.
Hmm, I'm trying to think of my "cleanest" produced song I've stuck on here now that you mention it. Terrible example, but this maybe? Four Corners had really minimal vocal processing, but yeah I'm definitely guilty of always layering on a crapload of effects. :p Anyway, I'm glad you like my industrial noisefest!

I promise I'll get reviews posted soon, I know I'm usually on it right away...

I will say that my favorites this week were probably yours and Brown Word's.
I just listened to both. The 4 Corners is some pretty damn hilarious content. hehehe...

I guess it comes down to preference too. I'm such an acoustic player that I get lost in all the production you guys do sometimes. I'm like, "Why the hell did they add all that stuff to a perfectly good song and clog it up?" And the flip side is true for you I'm sure, "Why the hell doesn't she add more to her perfectly good song to make it better?" Mostly b/c I'm not good at it, and when I try I just make it worse, and then get frustrated and don't do anything. But every song I do can't be girl-with-guitar, so I'm trying to evolve. I'm not going to grow doing the same thing over and over.

The Fight Master really should charge us for these musical angst therapy sessions... I wonder if he'd take TP in lieu of cash...?
Well I don't know about you: but for me, my background is way more heavy in electronic music. To the point where ten years ago I was making exclusively techno cause my roommate was a rave promoter. And that's almost entirely synths and production work...sticking to primarily live instruments is something super new to me, even though I've been playing drums and bass since 2003 and keys since 97.

Maybe just for kicks I could switch it up and do a guy and guitar song next round? As for angst therapy...I swear I'm a really chipper guy in real life! I just get out my angst and doominess on songfight.

These days tp is a great medium of exchange. I should have asked my boomer neighbors for some of their TP in lieu of cash when I brought them groceries earlier...it's a good time for barter!
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Lunkhead
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

The Gross Tones win again.
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sleepysilverdoor
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Favorite: Brown Word
Second place: Adnama17, Paco, Shoehorn, a three way tie.

Amanda 71 - I don’t care -- I love the amp fuzz. And I found this story rather compelling. Though it did kind of remind me of this girl Claudette that was at my elementary school who used to chase me down, tackle me, and kiss me over and over. It was more of a kiss assault, but while I’d complain there was a part of 11 year old me who kind of enjoyed the attention. But I’m a guy so the part of the story that has y’all meeting up in college and it turns out that you’re both still into kissing girls does not remind me at all of Claudette’s kiss tackles. Regardless, this is a catchy song, and I find it well structured and one of the most memorable of the fight. It’s a bit pitchy during the first bridge (“boy” in particular) and the entry of the mandolin for some reason seems slightly awkward, but that goes away after a couple melodies.

Berkeley Isolation Scene - I want to like this song more than I like it. Maybe it’s because the pitch of the vocals sounds way too accurate. I’m assuming correction is used...either that or you just have good intonation and a super deadpan delivery that doesn’t work for me at all. Anyway, the guitar work sounds good, I dig the descending lick you’ve got going on in the verses. The chorus melody doesn’t stick with me, but “we could win the kissing contest” sounds good to my ears. Nice solo. Well produced. Some of the harmonies sound good. But mostly this tune seems kind like you’re playing it safe in ways that don’t make it all that compelling. But you tied for fourth and I came in last, so what do I know?

Brown Turd and Too Much Wine - Okay, this track made me giggle. As usual, I’d tell you that your guitars are super muddy and it needs some clarity in the mix. But I end up getting told my mixes are barely coherent, so whatever. You’ve got this inflection you adopted in your delivery this go-round that I found super infectious -- “SHIVAHHHHH”. I love it. And while the chorus isn’t really all that strong and that pitch-bent synth sounds kind of cheesy, the blatant sarcasm that’s going through this track is great! The coughing, the YEAHHHHHHH!!! At the end, the bit about “it’s the American way!”. Like I don’t know why this didn’t get more votes, cause this is by far the most fun track of the round. This is my favorite. I ought to enlist you for vocals on a heavy doom track some time.

Yaodong Tenants - Okay, this has a catchy pop-rock chorus and a great riff, though it’s not really a riff that sounds particularly inspired for some reason. Those harmonics in the bridge though, two thumbs up! And that little break after the chorus with that pentatonic guitar line that goes into “just how bad can it be?” is great, and then that rocking solo comes in. I think I’m just a sucker for flanger or phaser or whatever you’re using. Like I think this one would have been higher in my “I LOVE IT” list if I liked the riff in the verses more. I mean it’s a strong riff, it just doesn’t work for me. Like I dig every part of this song that isn’t the verses or the chorus. Like the “how bad could it be” part could take up most of the song and I’d like it more.

Nasty Sounds - Okay, I really like this soft-rock synth sound over the I-IV chord progression. It’s simple but effective. And then it moves into this reggae groove out of nowhere, which is unexpected but nice. I wish there was a little less slapback on the vocals and that they were a bit lower in the mix. I mean this track is pleasant enough, but all in all the melody doesn’t really seem all that strong, and there aren’t any lines in it that really jump out at me as “this is stellar!” I mean I like the synth choices you make, and it’s not a BAD song. I’m just curious what other reviewers are hearing that I’m not, cause this just doesn’t do anything for me and yet it won by a large margin, just like your last tune.

Carnation Circle - Wait, what’s this distortion? I’m not used to this level of fuzz being present in your tracks! It works for me though, something about the cheerful sounding synths and major keys being combined work, especially since it’s something that you don’t usually hear together. Personally the double tracked vocals aren’t really working for me. I kind of wish that there was a bit more variety in the vocal melody, it kind of hangs out on that major third way longer than I think that it really ought to. I mean it doesn’t ruin the song or anything, but I feel like it would be a lot more compelling with a little bit more adventurous of a melody. Didn’t you record this at Gizo’s house? Was he involved at all?

Injury Fodder - The second song with a prominent reggae bounce to it, and I like this one a little bit more than the other one. Your voice is as good as always, you remain one of my preferred vocalists who enters on a regular basis. I like the chorus, though I wish that the “whoaoaoaoa” part that comes up in the bridge wasn’t interrupted by those solo bass and guitar bits...they kind of mess up the flow to me. By the end of this track I start wondering if it’s going to end soon...the good news is that it does end right when it seems to be running out of ideas. Is that a fake guitar? Not my favorite, but not bad.

Stinky Spaniard - This is one of the better entries this week, and the votes show. I like how you abruptly shift the time signature when you jump into the “kiss me now!”. Your chord changes remain all over the place, but in a fantastic way. I think you just like playing with the modulations. This is probably tied for my second favorite entry. Vocals, instrumentals, composition all on point!

Meruliacae Genus - “Let’s play almost nothing but distorted harmonics, chug endlessly on my bass’s b-string, and play a Meshuggah-esque polyrhythm pattern on the drums while just kind of shouting a doomer rant about the pandemic, yeah, that’ll get TONS of votes!” Oh, I came in last. Completely unsurprising, ha! Super fun to record though.

Young Porkman - I...don’t like this. But I guess I can kiss your ass for saying that, right? The harmonizer is pretty cool though. I will say after my “let’s infect everyone and just fucking die” outro, the “I’m not afraid!” a capella line was a hilarious transition though, but I guess that only works if you listen to the songs alphabetically.

Reve Zika Vector - Well, this has a remarkably standard but well produced trap-beat. Am I listening to hot 107.9 in Atlanta? I like your aggressive flow when you get away from the refrain, which probably could have only been repeated once. Like this is one of those songfight tracks that probably would have been at its best if it were like 30 seconds long and no more. I know it’s an old reference, but one of my favorite ever songfight entries -- Urine Luck’s “Thank God For Memphis” was maybe 20 seconds of hilarious brevity and then ended. So no, this song isn’t too short at all! It’s too long! Come to think of it, like an 8 bar rap with no intro about kissing chickens would have been tremendous. This straddles that middle ground of being too long to be a short funny novelty and too short to be a full fledged track. But I do like your flow.

SneakerTrumpet - Listening through the fight, I was convinced that this was going to be the winner. The lyrics about Duck Dynasty got a grin out of me. I don’t understand the appeal of that show at all. I dig the virus/kissing contest metaphor regarding the complete stupidity of the media. This is also in my “three-way tie for second place”. I have no criticisms, this is a pretty solid track and I enjoyed it a lot. Something about the style of it kind of reminded me of some album I used to listen to a lot back in high school. Some Conor Oberst project maybe? I don’t know. Anyway, great job!
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ken
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Re: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by ken »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:04 am
Berkeley Isolation Scene - I want to like this song more than I like it. Maybe it’s because the pitch of the vocals sounds way too accurate. I’m assuming correction is used...either that or you just have good intonation and a super deadpan delivery that doesn’t work for me at all. Anyway, the guitar work sounds good, I dig the descending lick you’ve got going on in the verses. The chorus melody doesn’t stick with me, but “we could win the kissing contest” sounds good to my ears. Nice solo. Well produced. Some of the harmonies sound good. But mostly this tune seems kind like you’re playing it safe in ways that don’t make it all that compelling. But you tied for fourth and I came in last, so what do I know?
Sometimes I think that I can sing on pitch, or I can emote, but not both. BSS does use autotune to fix up our usually hastily recorded vocals. I thought I was generally in tune this week, but I'm sure there was still some level of correction.
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: Pick a cheek (Kissing Contest Reviews)

Post by crumpart »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:04 am
Carnation Circle - Wait, what’s this distortion? I’m not used to this level of fuzz being present in your tracks! It works for me though, something about the cheerful sounding synths and major keys being combined work, especially since it’s something that you don’t usually hear together. Personally the double tracked vocals aren’t really working for me. I kind of wish that there was a bit more variety in the vocal melody, it kind of hangs out on that major third way longer than I think that it really ought to. I mean it doesn’t ruin the song or anything, but I feel like it would be a lot more compelling with a little bit more adventurous of a melody. Didn’t you record this at Gizo’s house? Was he involved at all?
Unfortunately @gizo ended up at work a lot more than he had planned because of the corona, but we talked about ideas. The vocals were recorded quickly, probably too quickly, because I wasn’t having a great singing day and didn’t want everyone else in the house to have to put up with that for too long. I would’ve had more time to record them if @Toshiro’s mum hadn’t insisted, against all advice and our wishes, on coming over to see us one last time before we left.

I didn’t know how the song was going to sound at all before I started. I knew I didn’t want to do something depressing about the current situation. I looked at the “existential deliberation” challenge and that took me to Kennedy’s moon speech, about doing things because they are hard. Up until now I’ve avoided writing any songs with a traditional full F chord on guitar, because I find it really difficult, so for this I decided to use that shape deliberately and do power chords all up and down the neck. I modified the G and C to minor chords to fit in the key, but to spice it up, turned them both major at the end of the choruses.

After that I looked at the flip side, which was the speech Nixon was going to give if Armstrong and Aldrin had died on the moon, and came up with a little story about someone who’d gone to the moon and unexpectedly become trapped there. Love in the time of extreme social distancing. I started with that clichéd line about loving someone to the moon and back, then tried to cram in as many moon/space idioms as possible. My personal favourite bit is probably the least obvious of these, “An old world love in this new embrace”, which comes from the idea of “the old moon in the new moon’s arms”.
Devil’s got me Lindt! Devil’s got me Lindt!
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