SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

SpinTunes online songwriting contest subforum
Post Reply
User avatar
BoffoYux
Panama
Posts: 924
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:22 pm
Instruments: Keys, Clunking, SFX and Strings
Recording Method: Audacity, Adobe, and other 'A' titled software
Submitting as: Boffo Yux Dudes
Location: New England
Contact:

SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by BoffoYux »

ST22 Round 2 Challenge

The judges have almost finished the arduous task of ranking and reviewing your Round 1 songs. While we wait for their results, you get a head start on the Round 2 challenge. Before I reveal the challenge, let me remind you that contestants eliminated in Round 1 are encouraged to submit shadow entries to Round 2; vacancies are common, and shadows submitted by the deadline are eligible for reinstatement to fill those vacancies, as if they were never eliminated!

This round, we're pivoting from Round 1's lyrical challenge to a musical one. The judges are all very excited about this one, and I echo their enthusiasm. We can't wait to hear your songs and respond to them with our reviews. Read on for your Round 2 challenge:

Marco! Polo!: Write and record a song that makes prominent and creative use of the musical technique of call and response, in which a musical phrase in one vocal or instrumental part is answered by a corresponding or contrasting phrase in another vocal or instrumental part.
A detailed discussion of various call-and-response techniques as well as example songs can be found at this MasterClass article. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/wh ... e-in-music

Submitting Entries:
Your entry must be received by Sunday, March 31, 2024 @ 11:59 PM EDT. Otherwise it'll be posted as a shadow. Received means that it has to appear in my e-mail inbox (spintunescontest@gmail.com) by the given deadline. I will be going by the time stamp on the e-mail. One minute late is too late.
You are allowed and encouraged to submit a draft of your song early just in case something horrible happens and you miss the deadline. Then you can add polish to your song and send in a better version closer to the deadline. The last version received prior to the deadline is your official entry.
Lyrics are mandatory. No instrumentals. Having no lyrics will get you disqualified.

SUBMITTING BY EMAIL: Send your file in a format that BandCamp accepts. (.wav or .flac) (at least 16-bit/44.1kHz) Do not send MP3s.
Name your file the song's title + your band name, without punctuation.
The subject line of the e-mail should identify the challenge and your band's name. Something like this would be fine: "ST22R2 - All the Robots".
Include the song lyrics in the body of the e-mail.
Include information on anyone that needs credited if you collaborated with someone.

ALTERNATE FILE SHARING OPTIONS: If your file is too big for an email attachment, you may email me a link to where I can download the song. The email still needs to land in my inbox by the deadline.
If you have a Bandcamp account you can just send me a link to your song if you include all the info I mentioned for emails. Info such as lyrics and song credits can be included in the email or on the song's Bandcamp page. Make sure you have it set as a free download, and have it set so that I don't have to put in an e-mail to download it if you pick this option.
You may also use a file sharing service such as DropBox, WeTransfer, Google Drive, etc. Include in the email any required information (such as lyrics) that you couldn't include in the file. Make sure I have permission to download the file, and please follow directions so your file doesn't wind up in my spam or trash folder accidentally.

SONG BIOS: In addition to lyrics and any necessary credits, you are welcome to include a "song bio", with any information you feel is useful. This could include your inspiration for the song, citations for any obscure references within the lyrics, an explanation of how your song met the challenge, etc. Some challenges may require you to supply certain info in your song bio. Since the judges are volunteers with lives outside of SpinTunes, song bios can help them zero in on aspects of the song you feel are important. However, if your song requires a multi-paragraph explanation in order to understand and appreciate it, this is probably a sign that it doesn't stand up well on its own, and its ranking may reflect that.

Side Notes:
You can send in an entry to SpinTunes 22 without competing. Just tell me it's a "Shadow Song". It will be played at the listening party, but won't be ranked and you might not receive feedback from the judges. Check the FAQ if you don't know what that means. You can even complete past challenges from previous contests. It's a nice way of playing along if you can't commit to the schedule or you just want to get your feet wet.

The only other way to get your music played at the listening party is to cover "Today's The Day" by Inverse T. Clown or "Right Again" by Mandibles.
User avatar
arby
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:21 pm
Instruments: Omnichord, vocals
Recording Method: ZOOM, GarageBand
Submitting as: Lucky Witch & the Righteous Ghost, Virgo Power
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Staten Island, NY
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by arby »

This is hard because I feel like we've already done it:

https://soundcloud.com/goodbyebandita/chupacabra

also, on our first album we had a song called Marco Polo:

https://lwrg.bandcamp.com/track/marco-polo
"That organ is piercing my soul" - Adam Adamant
"Lo-fi doom rock isn't my bag at all. I'm trying to imagine this with professional production and played/sung perfectly and I don't think I'd like it much more." - furrypedro
User avatar
arby
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:21 pm
Instruments: Omnichord, vocals
Recording Method: ZOOM, GarageBand
Submitting as: Lucky Witch & the Righteous Ghost, Virgo Power
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Staten Island, NY
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by arby »

Well, this forum is DEAD but we are IN with a shadow! I don't have high hopes seeing as nobody understood the Weather Song* but maybe, just maybe we'll get back in if like half the partipants fail to submit?

*I was going to talk about this if I did reviews (planning to do reviews haha hehe hoho) but Nivs wrote the lead vocal on the chorus to be outside the chord - at one point I believe there's a tritone with the harmony, so it sounds weird on purpose. Am I swearing that everyone was 100% on pitch? no. We do record live in the rehearsal studio. We don't comp our vocals. So all the shagginess and messiness that comes along with that is still there. but that one thing, the weirdness/atonality around the vocals was mostly on purpose. (but also our voice teacher told us how to change our intonation to blend better even if we're doing microtonal harmonies. so that was good to know!)
"That organ is piercing my soul" - Adam Adamant
"Lo-fi doom rock isn't my bag at all. I'm trying to imagine this with professional production and played/sung perfectly and I don't think I'd like it much more." - furrypedro
User avatar
Sober
Ice Cream Man
Posts: 1708
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:40 am
Instruments: Mandolin, hammond, dobro, banjo
Recording Method: Pro Tools
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Midcoast Maine

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by Sober »

arby wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2024 9:05 pm
Well, this forum is DEAD
Most Spintunes-related action is on Discord!
🤠
User avatar
BoffoYux
Panama
Posts: 924
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:22 pm
Instruments: Keys, Clunking, SFX and Strings
Recording Method: Audacity, Adobe, and other 'A' titled software
Submitting as: Boffo Yux Dudes
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by BoffoYux »

SpinTunes 22 Round 2 listening party: Mon April 1 - 10 pm.
27 tunes for the challenge 'Marco! Polo!'




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wXp3YTV0mk
User avatar
seemanski
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:54 pm
Instruments: Guitars
Recording Method: Reaper
Submitting as: seemanski
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by seemanski »

I'll have a go at leaving some reviews, I plan to do 5 a day which should get me to reviewing at least the competing contestants, if not all, and I figure if I commit these first five then at least I will have the incentive to keep going. For what it's worth, after my first initial listen at work I got the feeling of dread that the jig is up for me, the quality is very high.

Jeff Walker - Such Good Friends

A really lovely sentiment towards great friendships. I really liked the sad overtones of the verses mixed with the re-assuring chorus. I thought the vocal treatment of the "Oh ay oh" was great. Having the Oh's panned and the ay in the middle really helped bring it front and centre. The steel guitar accompany the slide was joy to listen. I couldn't make my mind up as to whether the drums where a bit too far back in the mix or just enough to drive it along and not detract from the guitars, I think the latter. I wasn't a massive fan of the bridge and the breakdown to the bass. The guitars were the star of the show to me and it just felt a little weak when it dropped.

Stacking Theory - Marco Polo

At the beginning I found this a bit confusing. It felt like it's a chilled song singing about the good old days. However, the vocals were so big and prominent I felt that it detracted from the chilled strummed guitars and groove the song was giving out. The chorus then kind of felt like I'd jump in the pool and you were pushing me under, it was so aggressive. That said, I did really like the contrasting vocals and the way you sang "I say polo". I started to spin my view of the song about 2/3 way in when I kind of got the impressive it was a bit darker than I was led to believe, lines like "don't stay submerged" and "come back up to breathe" got me thinking, actually maybe the intention was to make the listener uncomfortable and then the desperate "Please say Polo to me" got me thinking that was your intention all along.

Only my 2nd listen but I do get the feeling my initial "this is a bit weird" conclusion might fade away after a few listens. I did, however, feel like it could have picked up the pace a little.

Berkeley Social Scene - I Need a Vacation

As soon as I heard the riff I wanted to start singing "I am a passenger" which I can actually get behind because your song is about a vacation and having that Iggy Pop nod is quite apt. You have a really great full live sound to the mix. I wasn't keen on the chorus, it felt like it was leading to something rather than delivering that killer hook. I also couldn't help but raise an eyebrow that the line "Get my acoustic guitar and play" was followed by a ripping guitar solo.

Joy Sitler - First and Prospect

Woo! I absolutely love that banging intro. It really just grabs you in and you are hooked from the get go. Some wonderful word play and I absolutely love the drop from the frantic drumming into the verses. You really deliver on the vocals, you get this sense of complete disarray and dissatisfaction at the world around and whoever it is you are looking forward, presumably yourself. Wonderful pace throughout and I was happily banging my head along all the way through. I did feel the mandolin solo got lost in the mix and maybe you could have brought the acoustic forward. However, I'm not sure if that would have detracted from that wonderful drumming. Really great stuff.

glennny - The Alaskan Camper

I'm not sure how I feel about a wah on a bass guitar. I do quite like it but my god, you put a lot of wah in this track. It's very quirky and extremely likeable. I really liked your "An oasis of my own, parked right in front of my home" hook line. Loved the sense of fun the lyrics give out. I did feel the balance of the mix was a bit off, for me the bass was too loud and the drums were too quiet. The cherry on the cake was at the end where I believe, correct me if I am wrong, you are using an ebow. I had a couple of double takes as I thought it was a fiddle at times.
User avatar
glennny
Jump
Posts: 2205
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:39 am
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Dobro, Banjo, E-Bow, Glock
Recording Method: Garageband
Submitting as: Berkeley Social Scene
Location: Castro Valley, California

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by glennny »

Seemanski said concerning Berkeley Social Scene:
....... I also couldn't help but raise an eyebrow that the line "Get my acoustic guitar and play" was followed by a ripping guitar solo.
The thing is, the protagonist needs a vacation. He doesn't have one yet. We all know words and lyrics are feeble compared to the pure soul expression of an electric guitar. His yearning and frustration come out in the assertive vibrato and sighing bends. He needs a vacation. If He said "I'm on vacation" you could hear him playing acoustic guitar by the crackling campfire.

And thanks for the reviews!
Phillipso, Older Brothers, Semolina Pilchards, Zipline , Thank Glennny for the Frisbee, The Odoriferous Valley, The Worldly Self Assurance, Berkeley Social Scene, Very Gentle Knives, Daddy Bop Swing Set, GUNS, The Kraken Lives, Cavedwellers
User avatar
seemanski
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:54 pm
Instruments: Guitars
Recording Method: Reaper
Submitting as: seemanski
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by seemanski »

touché
glennny wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2024 11:02 am
Seemanski said concerning Berkeley Social Scene:
....... I also couldn't help but raise an eyebrow that the line "Get my acoustic guitar and play" was followed by a ripping guitar solo.
The thing is, the protagonist needs a vacation. He doesn't have one yet. We all know words and lyrics are feeble compared to the pure soul expression of an electric guitar. His yearning and frustration come out in the assertive vibrato and sighing bends. He needs a vacation. If He said "I'm on vacation" you could hear him playing acoustic guitar by the crackling campfire.

And thanks for the reviews!
User avatar
seemanski
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:54 pm
Instruments: Guitars
Recording Method: Reaper
Submitting as: seemanski
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by seemanski »

Day 2, and another 5 coming over the net.

Cheslain - Stranger Danger

God damn that is one slick groove. I absolutely love that full rich sound you have got going on and the competing guitars on each ear is a joy to listen to. The music definitely fits the theme of the tune. It really gives off this devils coming to get you vibe. The only criticism I have is I felt the ending should possibly have been a middle 8 because it felt like it was dragging towards the end and I needed a reprieve from that riff. Although that riff did kick ass so I didn't mind as much.

The Pannacotta Army - Can't Do Nothing

This is absolutely class, I'm speechless, I really really really love this tune. The lyrics are very relatable and the mix is superb, everything just fits so beautifully. I love being able to listen and get little pockets of instruments that just pop out a little in the mix to say hello, the accordion, piano, electric guitar to name a few. The feel of the track is lazy and laid back which fits in perfectly with your lyrical theme.

Loved it!

Ironbark - Last Call

I'm getting a real treat now, just wow, this is so creative and sounds unlike anything I've heard before. I love how you have used silence to create a really unusual uneasy sound that feels wrong but is so compelling. The ending was just awesome! Your voice melts over the top of the entire thing. My jaw dropped to the floor, this is something special.

I AM NOT WORTHY!

Chamomileon - Cool Kona Breeze

I'm sorry to say the guitar detracts from the entire song, it's just so fake and I really can't get into it. I want to like it's quirkiness but it just doesn't sound right. I do wonder if you could do something to make it less midi, maybe humanize it so it isn't as much on the beat and slap on some delay to fill it out some more. You might have also been able to tweak the EQ to make sound less jarring. Either way, without a real guitar you are always going to struggle to find something to do what you want.

It's a shame because I do feel if you had picked one of the other sounds to put in front of the mix it might not have stood out as much. I thought you sang it very well but it just wasn't for me.

▷ - Brain Brain

Absolutely freakin BRILLIANT! This has a Taika Waititi charm about it, from your accent I would take a guess that you are from New Zealand, apologies if I'm wrong. Therefore having an Aussie that acts as your counterpart is brilliant, I'm also assuming the Aussie, New Zealand rivalry that is in flight of the concords is very real and I haven't just offended both yourself and Gizo. This is so much fun, it sounds like you had a blast making it and it shows. So charming and funny. Massive fan of this one, you have outdone yourself.
User avatar
glennny
Jump
Posts: 2205
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:39 am
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Dobro, Banjo, E-Bow, Glock
Recording Method: Garageband
Submitting as: Berkeley Social Scene
Location: Castro Valley, California

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by glennny »

ST22r2 Marco! Polo!

Reviews in reverse order. Procrastinating last minute entries first.

Winterloper- I Keep Calling

Welcome back! The call and response is done very well. I’m worried about how little lyrics there are. Usually, I’m on the side of less is more. I think most folks commit the atrocity of verbosity. Songs shouldn’t be stories; stories should be stories. Songs should be emotional companions to stories. So though the call and response is very clear, I don’t feel much of an arc beyond. Harmonies are nice! I always dig the iPad double bass. I assume that’s what the bass is, it sounds a lot like it, I’ve used it a ton. Enjoyable listen.

Temnere- Sons of the North
The video game synth is unexpected. Soon enough the metal emerges. I’m liking the drums a lot more this time. I’m not sure why. Perhaps I expected to be annoyed by them, but I’m not. You’ve got such a killer right hand on your guitar playing. I do love me some DragonForce, and this feeds that well. The vocals are amazing! I’m listening again and listening for a call and response section. Is it here somewhere? Oh Row (row!) is the call and response. I’m going to call that box checked, but not really embracing the challenge. This is going to be racing through my head all through my next game of Raiders of the North Sea. This rocks. Vikings! Metal! Good job!

Dream Bells- Sugar Plums (Just Enough)
The Dream Pop synth pads are lush and dreamy. The call and response I hear most clearly is the chorus lyric call and the piano (or piano-ish) response. I like your voice in the high register, but I wonder if maybe it’s too much all of the time. It’s really catchy, I’d save it for the chorus. Perhaps have another register for the verses? Just a thought, this is a very chill and pleasant listen. I think it evokes the emotion you’re going for in reading your song bio. I dig it!

Sober- The Morning Call
A fellow Jack- Mormon. Who knew? Makes all the sense in the world to me. Dude! You’re killing it these days! This is a banger! Production is flawless! The playing is immaculate! Great lyrics, great structure! Fantastic singing! I don’t see how this won’t win. It should. I was sure you were going to trade 4s or 2s mandolin, guitar, bass, drums. It didn’t happen. So, the call and response is left to the main vocal and backing vocal repeat. Missed opportunity. I wish you did some breakdown with the instruments calling and responding. As it is, the box is checked. Great song though! I loved it!

Eric Baer- We Work Together
Nice singing! I like the slow progression of instrument introduction. The banjo sounds great! Ummm, was there call and response at all? 2nd listen, listening for it. Backing vocals are doing some great harmonies, but they’re following in step. When you repeat the first line of the stanza, I think that may be Call Call at best. In my humble opinion the challenge has been shirked. That’s too bad, this is a nice song.

Governing Dynamics- Feverishness
The challenge is embraced here. The 2 guitars stereo conversation is my favorite part. Great tones on both. The fuzz tone is okay, but I don’t love it as much as the clean tones you have going on. The solo call and response is great! I wish the chorus was catchier. It’s okay, but I enjoy the verses more than the chorus. There’s so much goodness going on in this song, I’ll see you next round.

Hot Pink Halo- Looking at You
You get quiet on your lower notes. I would raise the faders for those low notes. That’s a small nitpick. The drums and bass sound great! I really enjoy this song. Your voice sounds great. I guess this technically meets the challenge, but that’s not what I think of as Call and Response. I think the chunks are too big. It feels more like the next part rather than a conversation. You pose a question, and there’s an answer. Call and Response is a common thing in jazz and fusion which is my wheelhouse. I expected more of a back and forth. I’d also add some tambourine in the chorus to make it feel more like a chorus and differentiate it more from the verse. Cool song! I’m not convinced challenge-wise though.

The Alleviators- Hear Me Out
You wrote the lyrics ahead of time. I consider that cheating. I don’t think you really felt these things. It’s all staged and premeditated! Just kidding. I only bring this up because the lyrics have not been corrected to the performance. I wonder if Micah will mention this in his reviews. Okay, seriously: This is excellent! Challenge is embraced and knocked out of the park. This is much better than any of those Daisy and the Six songs. They need to hire you guys for the next mini-series of that ilk. I love this song! It’s got drama and emotion. The melody is catchy! Your voices sound amazing juxtaposed to each other. Does this edge out Sober because of the challenge? Maybe. This will be top or near the top for sure. Bravo!

Chewmeupspitmeout- Nobody Likes a Purist
Yes! Off the bat the call and response is nailed! I think the vocals are too loud in the mix. I love the wailing solo. There’s great dynamics in this song! The Hammond organ tone is awesome! I love all of the 60’s tones and sensibilities. The vocals just don’t feel like they’re in the same room as the band. Anyway, the song writing is great! Performance is great! I’d just remix it. Good job! (maybe the best take on the challenge?)

The Dutch Widows- Johnny Roadhouse
I’ve told you before, my girlfriend really loves your music. I do too. I still intend on throwing you those backing vocals from last round. It’s been a weird and busy couple of weeks. This song: It’s great! Your production skills shine! You’ve got some catchy melodies here! I like this song because it feels very Kinks (is it because of a protagonist named Johnny as in Johnny Thunder). As much as I love this song, I’m not getting the call and response challenge. Piano on the 1 and 3 and guitars on the 2 and 4 in the intro? I’m trying to lawyer this song into meeting the challenge. I hope the judges get it. Good chance I’m just thick. Great song!

The Moon Bureau- Never Know
Challenge is firmly met in the chorus with calling lead vocals and responding backing vocals. I really enjoy how the lead guitar is on stage left. I find the drums really strange for the verse, I think they’re too busy, a little distracting. It’s interesting, the drums really work on the intro and in the chorus. The dynamics are great in this song. I enjoy the arc of it. Great emotion! This is very fun! I also think the vocals are too loud in the mix. We don’t need to hear the lyrics clearly, that’s why we’re required to submit lyrics to be posted. (I was mostly making fun of myself there). Anyway, this is a gem! See you next round!

Distance- Brain Brain-
This is bananas. This is by far the most original of the album. Yes! The challenge is readily handled and demolished. That solo is killer! This should rank rather high. The production is very good. This is funny too! This makes me smile! Excellent job! See you next round.

Chamomileon- Cool Kona Breeze
Plenty of challenge fulfillment throughout. Well done in that regard. This is another song with super loud vocals in the mix. Vocals sound great, great singing, but so much louder than that response synth, so much louder than the drums and bass. There’s not much of an emotional arc to this song. It’s nice. I enjoyed it. Good job.

Ironbark- Last Call
Wow! This is nice. Excellent use of space and silence. The call and response is excellent. Your vocals are really beautiful! The music is really beautiful! I feel the isolation of space. The almost all hope is lost. This is another top of my list , contender for the win. Regardless of this contest, this is a keeper for the ages. I love it. Wild success!


See-Man-Ski- All For You
You and Gizo are killing me with using “Call and response” and “Marco! Polo!” in the lyrics. You are ten times the singer I am. I can not do what you do. However, I wish I could direct you to dial down the vibrato for some sections. I’d accuse you of over-singing for parts. I think you should unleash your super powers in the chorus and bridge maybe, but dial it down to Earth for the verses. The repeated line for the chorus, really works well! I think the chorus needs more cymbals and tambourine. I am not getting the challenge. Unless you’re counting the 1 calling and the 3s are responses. I hope that’s enough for the judges. This is a great song! Your vocals are the star, but the backing tracks are excellent too! I love the mix. This is a great example of the vocals being the star, but they sit in with the band perfectly. Cool song!

The Pannacotta Army- Can’t Do Nothing
Challenge nailed many ways. Top tier! The mix is awesome! Tasty guitar playing! Everything is flawless. Vocals and backing vocals are perfect, melody is catchy. The drums sound wonderful, it’s so good to have some swing. This is a favorite of the album. It’s light and breezy, puts a smile on my face. The playing is pro! What guitar is that? Awesome job! See you next round.

Cheslain- Stranger Danger
Dirty! I’m loving it! Captain Beefheart vocals are much appreciated. There’s something Clutch-Electric Worry about this song. The backing vocal response works well with the main vocal call for the challenge. Also the trading licks stereo guitars. This is all about vibe. The lyrics aren’t poetry, but they are rock n roll. Cool song! Great performance!

glennny- The Alaskan Camper
This is a tribute to my dad. He loved this old 1966 Chevy utility truck with a pop-up Alaskan camper on it. Many fishing and camping trips in that thing. He would go take naps out in the camper because the neighborhood kids and I were too loud in our house. That thing really stuck out in the 80’s, but dad didn’t care. I think the call and responses are obvious with the mock purchase scene and the intro bass vs. guitar conversation. I like the funkalator tone on the bass and the heavy wah on the guitar, I think it gives the jalopy vibe of this truck and camper. Anyway, I find it fun. I hope I pass.

Joy Sitler- First and Prospect
High energy! Starts with a bang! These verses are really strong! Call and response is done well. I really want an electric guitar in the chorus. Those acoustic lead lines after the 2nd chorus are very feeble, can barely hear them. I’m not a big fan of the melody in the chorus. These lyrics are really good, I think the chorus lyrics let us down a bit though. There’s some great pictures painted in the verses, but the chorus I don’t get. It serves the challenge but maybe not the song so much. The intro and verse are worth the price of admission though. Great performance!

Berkeley Social Scene- I Need a Vacation
Ken and myself on guitars. Martin on bass. Geech on drums. I did some call and response in the vocals with the backing vocals. Then there’s the call and response between myself on guitar and Martin on bass for the bridge. Everything was live in the studio except the vocals. I also over dubbed the last choruses counter guitar melody and added some spacey guitar. I really dig Geech’s beat on this song. Luckily this was a musical challenge. So when I was searching for a lyrical subject, luckily the new Song Fight title was published. So I took the title and ran with it. I hope we pass.

Stacking Theory- Marco Polo
I love the production. The challenge is done well. At first I thought the lyrics were too on the nose. I like how dark it turns at the end. It reminds me of the Long Winters- the Commander Speaks Aloud, the way it stars out beautiful and then the tragedy is revealed near the end and it’s a gut punch. Similar tempo and beat to that song too. Ultimately you win me over. I dig it. Your vocals always sound really cool and really good. You have the longest song on the album. Were we to order the album, this would be a closer. Good job! See you next round.

Jeff Walker- Such Good Friends

I need some friends to say Oh ay oh to me. This works very well for the challenge. I don’t understand friends that say Oh ay oh. It’s a catchy hook. Maybe this will take off. This is done very well. All the instruments sound superb. Excellent playing. I have a bit of a genre bias, but I still like this a lot. These lyrics would make a really good AC/DC song. Bon Scott era, but the friends would be saying Oy Ah Oy! Ever hear the Mark Kozelek album What’s Next to the Moon where he does folky versions of AC/DC songs? That’s what this reminds me of. Anyway, this is top notch! Well done! See you next round.

SHADOW- LW/RG- Dead by December
Cool drums, cool riffs! I’m rockin' to this song. I’m dying to strap a bass on and play along. Why no bass? I think the guitar could be dirtier. The punchiness of the guitar in the verses is really cool and effective. I hope this makes the set in Denver. This rocks, though the ending seems cut off. (I’ll play bass if you need a bass player). Good job! Challenge done well!

SHADOW- West of Vine- (Baby I’m) Drunk
It’s a good beat, I can dance to it. I like the drums a lot! The call and response is great, it’s also super funny. This feels like a Son Volt B-Side. I’m enjoying the vocal drawl. This is a great drinking song. Great stuff! Keep shadowing!

SHADOW- Menage a Tune- Little Red Antiphon
Certainly nails the challenge. I wonder if the little red hen explained that if they helped they could enjoy the bread when it was done, if the other animals would be more inclined to help. It was not really a question, it was a proposition cloaked in a false choice. I could imagine farm animals like myself not making the right choice and then not getting any bread. If I understood I would get bread eventually, I’d be more inclined to help out.

SHADOW- Siebass & the Fingerlings
I love it! Record as much as you can with your kids! They grow up too fast. I have about a dozen recordings with my kids over the years, but they’re 18 & 16 now and totally refuse. This is catchy and fun! Awesome! The kids rule!
Last edited by glennny on Thu Apr 04, 2024 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Phillipso, Older Brothers, Semolina Pilchards, Zipline , Thank Glennny for the Frisbee, The Odoriferous Valley, The Worldly Self Assurance, Berkeley Social Scene, Very Gentle Knives, Daddy Bop Swing Set, GUNS, The Kraken Lives, Cavedwellers
User avatar
seemanski
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:54 pm
Instruments: Guitars
Recording Method: Reaper
Submitting as: seemanski
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by seemanski »

The Moon Bureau - Never Knew

There are some serious Cure 80s vibes come out of this track. I like the energy that the music brings, I do feel the vocals never really took off. They were kind of hidden in the mix and I really wanted some serious crooning to come along in the chorus with a killer hook but it didn't quite deliver on that front. I thought there was some clever use of panning and vocal pitches to accentuate the call and response aspect and I liked the extra sustain that was placed on the bass guitar to fill it out.

The Dutch Widows - Johnny Roadhouse

This is a nice little rocker this, I really liked the bass piano rundown leading into the verses and the picking guitars give off a Smiths vibe in the chorus. The solo was very cool, reminded me a bit of the strokes.

chewmeupspitmeout - Nobody likes a Purist

That organ that accompanies "Nobody likes a purist" is a right hook. I really liked the bass line in the verses and the lyrics are relatable as I too am very stuck in my ways and know best! I don't think the stop and start sections really work, they feel more like a tick boxing exercise rather than something that complimented the song and as you already have the call and response in your vocal performance I felt it was unnecessary. I though the bass line the verses was very cool indeed.

The Alleviators - Hear Me Out

It's almost like the challenge was written with you in mind. You've nailed the brief, the interplay between the troubled couple is really really good, you feel their frustration and confusion in the way it is sung and what you are singing. I loved that looped finger picked electric guitar that plays through out. It is just a little out of place to give the track that something doesn't quite feel right vibe. The piano was mixed in perfectly adding a little extra lift but not enough to subtract from your duetting. If I was going to give any criticism, and this is nit-picking, as a listener I felt like the gooseberry i.e. I'm stuck in the middle of a domestic that I really don't want to be involved in. I wanted to feel like the song is written for me rather than I'm acting as the intermediary.

Hot Pink Halo - Looking At You

That's a cracking beat and those hand claps are infectious. I felt the call and response is very subtle, although I suppose it has got some vocal treatment to distinguish between the two but on my first listen I felt the "TEDIOUS, TEDIOUS" was more of a continuation rather than a response and it only dawned on me when I actually paid attention that it is a response to the pre-chorus. It's a really charming track and sticks out because of how quirky the rhythm is. Not sure about the f-bomb. I can't decide whether it cheapens it or adds that shock factor.
User avatar
seemanski
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:54 pm
Instruments: Guitars
Recording Method: Reaper
Submitting as: seemanski
Pronouns: he/him
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by seemanski »

My thought was to try and use the instruments for the call and response, in the 3rd verse the organ is responding to the acoustic guitar. I also tried to place some subtle things i.e. the echo in the 1st verse and the chorus does have "You didn't learn, anything at all" singing along in between in that high pitch voice. Although I don't disagree with you and fully accept that I am skating on thin ice.
glennny wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2024 12:59 pm
See-Man-Ski- All For You
You and Gizo are killing me with using “Call and response” and “Marco! Polo!” in the lyrics. You are ten times the singer I am. I can not do what you do. However, I wish I could direct you to dial down the vibrato for some sections. I’d accuse you of over-singing for parts. I think you should unleash your super powers in the chorus and bridge maybe, but dial it down to Earth for the verses. The repeated line for the chorus, really works well! I think the chorus needs more cymbals and tambourine. I am not getting the challenge. Unless you’re counting the 1 calling and the 3s are responses. I hope that’s enough for the judges. This is a great song! Your vocals are the star, but the backing tracks are excellent too! I love the mix. This is a great example of the vocals being the star, but they sit in with the band perfectly. Cool song!
thanks for your review :)
User avatar
crumpart
Ice Cream Man
Posts: 1127
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:04 am
Instruments: Fuzz
Submitting as: Hot Pink Halo
Pronouns: She/her
Location: Laois, Ireland
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by crumpart »

seemanski wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2024 1:20 pm
It's a really charming track and sticks out because of how quirky the rhythm is. Not sure about the f-bomb. I can't decide whether it cheapens it or adds that shock factor.
Ha! I know an F-bomb always divides, but those response parts are made up of actual things real people wrote in a guestbook I left for my art show once. To be fair, the person with the F-bomb actually wrote W T F, but the W would have made it too many syllables, and "F" doesn't rhyme with "enough". :)

Who lets these people out of their houses?
Devil’s got me Lindt! Devil’s got me Lindt!
User avatar
Niveous
Beat It
Posts: 7179
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:45 am
Instruments: vocals, songwriting, guitar
Submitting as: Lucky Witch and the Righteous Ghost
Pronouns: He/him
Location: Staten Island, NY
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by Niveous »

glennny wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2024 12:59 pm
ST22r2 Marco! Polo!

SHADOW- LW/RG- Dead by December
Cool drums, cool riffs! I’m rockin' to this song. I’m dying to strap a bass on and play along. Why no bass? I think the guitar could be dirtier. The punchiness of the guitar in the verses is really cool and effective. I hope this makes the set in Denver. This rocks, though the ending seems cut off. (I’ll play bass if you need a bass player). Good job! Challenge done well!
Thanks Glennny. Glad you enjoyed it. Our bassist was away in Canada that week and I didn't wanna muddy the mix with my just-passable bass playing.
"I'd like to see 1984 redubbed with this in the soundtrack."- Furrypedro.
NUR EIN!
X-Tokyo
Lucky Witch and the Righteous Ghost
User avatar
DutchWidows
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:52 pm
Submitting as: Dutch Widows
Pronouns: he/him

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by DutchWidows »

Hey Glennny - sorry to hear about your dad - hope you and your family are doing ok...

Thanks for the nice words!

Just on this point:
glennny wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2024 12:59 pm
I’m not getting the call and response challenge.
The call and responses are in the interplay between lead and backing vocals in the verses - BVs asking questions, lead vocal answering them. I thought they were obvious enough to not need mentioning in the liner notes, but maybe they're not distinct enough from each other to be as obvious as I'd hoped... I fear I'll be sunk this round - oh well!
User avatar
sleepysilverdoor
Ice Cream Man
Posts: 1092
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:02 pm
Instruments: Drums, Guitars, Keys
Recording Method: Focusrite + FL Studio
Submitting as: Phl*b*
Pronouns: bruh
Location: Not super far from Atlanta but definitely not Atlanta
Contact:

Re: SpinTunes 22 Round 2 Challenge: Marco! Polo!

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Thanks for the reviews Seemanski and Glennny! I've been waiting to read these cause I didn't want them coloring my own opinions.
"There's a lot to be said about a full-on frontal assault on the ear drums" - Pigfarmer Jr.
Post Reply