Dan Rather's singing for the Descendents (Courage Reviews)

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erik
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Dan Rather's singing for the Descendents (Courage Reviews)

Post by erik »

NO! ALL! of you should do reviews.
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Post by jimtyrrell »

Haha, Dan Rather singing the Descendents! Too rich.

"Even though you'll never some clean you knoooow it's truuue --
Those (memo) sheets are dirty and sooo are yooou..."
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Post by Rabid Garfunkel »

Ahhahhahhaaah! That thread title ROCKED! Nice one.
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Post by Leaf »

man this looks like it's gonna be a wicked ass fight. Just started listening... damn this is gonna be a good one, I can feel it..
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Post by Remiss »

Alright, I'll do some reviews.

Sell Crazy - Wow, I really like this. Especially from about 2:11 to 2:44. That's probably my favorite part. I really like the chorus too. A great song.

Big Smokes - I like the story this song tells. Something about the voice kind of irks me though. Eh. The chorus is by far my favorite part. Good harmony near the end, too.

Kamakura - I love the piano. Not a big fan of the lyrics, but they're well delivered. The piano is nice.

Wreckdom - Wow, the beginning = there goes my ears. I didn't really like this song. "song". It was fun to listen to, I guess. Yeah...I didn't really like it.

Phunt; Don't tell - I remember hearing about this study. I guess this is an interesting song. I didn't really like it.

Puce - Oh wow, rapping. I think Tactless and I tried this. You do it rather well. I don't really like the chorus. Well, actually, listening it to another time it's pretty cool, actually. Hmmm...The kick in at 2:29 has potential but I feel it's wasted.

Smalltown Mike - This is a decent song, all in all. 1:29 to 1:44 is the only part I really enjoyed, though.

Boltoph - The lull from 1:07 to 1:09 and then the bringing back up is my favorite part. I really like the line "and there's a hundred and one ways to have a bad day/and there's at least a hundred and one to have a damn good one too." Great line. The rest of the song is pretty cool too, although I find myself losing interest toward the end.

State Shirt - Something about the intro grinds with my ears, and I don't really like it. For me, it honestly doesn't ever get much better. I didn't enjoy this, honestly.

Matthan Minster - Obviously you've got talent, but I don't really like this song at all. It doesn't feel like it ever goes anywhere. The lyrics aren't that great at all.

Jim Tyrrell - I like your voice a lot. I don't really like guitars all that much, but I still enjoyed this song quite a bit. Probably my second favorite of the fight.

Shelly's Cuzz - Yeah, this is mine. It's too loud and the beat is absolutely terribly placed. This was rushed. We're sorry. As much as the lyrics are cool, man, this song is not that good.

Jack Shite - I like the message here, although I'm not a big fan of the format of the song. Nicely done for what you were trying, though.

Luke Henley - I have to strain to hear your voice in the beginning, then it's too loud. And then I can't hear it again. I didn't really like this song at all.

Song Fight Orchestra - I like the musical part of this, but the vocals really don't agree with me. The music is nice though.

LonBobby - Not really my style of music at all, but I recognize that it's good for what it is, I suppose. I don't really go for the whole distorted vocals thing.

and that's it! I'd like to apologize once again for our crap entry.
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Post by j$ »

JS - nicely produced. I like the 'verses' a lot but not the 'choruses' so much - I wanna hear some jack shinging - the slowed down vocals are fine but they should be a side-dish not the main course. Nice trippy Becky vibe going on, mind.

The Big Smokes - damn, I don't like this and it's just gonna sound like I'm being bitter at being excluded from the band! It really gets going over the last minute - I like it then. I just think you need to break out of that mid-paced major-minor acoustic REM strummery sound, as pretty as it is, because there's more to Sarah's fine singing than that. There should be more SW mighty fret-wankery. The lyric oddly leaves me cold - I appreciate the average everyday life vignette thing a lot, but it just doesn't ring true this time around. I'm really sorry because I wanted to like this a lot more. Like I said, if it had all been dynamically in the same vibe as the last minute or so (when the multi-tracking vocals kick in) then I would love it. It just takes too long to get there for me. Actually, the functional bass-line is pretty damn good :)

Matthan Minster - Matthan is an odd name. Hmmm, folky emo.

Lonbobby - Oh now that is very Depeche Mode opening. Nice trippy vocal effects - though I wish I could hear your own natural singing voice more. Not quite grindy enough (on these 'phones) to be really dirty/sexy/good and I think the jazzy piano tone was a mistake, but pretty damn well-crafted.

Wreckdom - This kind of cut-up is sooooooo passe, unless one manages to do something different, new or interesting with the words themselves! Bushwhacked kind of set the benchmark for this sort of collage about 3 or 4 years ago. The backing track should be more varied. But kudos for experimenting with the formula a little bit.

Phunt Don't Tell - I can offer no constructive review as I only lasted 17 seconds, except to say to have someone doing something so repetitive (week in week out I mean) telling me that the majority of people lack the courage to defy order is a bit rich if you ask me ... perhaps you go on to make this very point later in the piece. I guess I'll never know. My bad.

StateShirt - great opening. gets a bit swelly and booming for my tastes as the song progresses, but you can't knock that it's superior within its genre (which I have down as U2's sonic-cathedrals period taken to its logical ealry 90s extreme and sprinkled with a little gothiness).

Small Town Mike - Oi oi? Hmmm, that I don't like. The rest I do.

Boltoph - I don't like it but it's good. You probably knew I was going to say that :)

Shelleys Cuzz - It's a shame the vocal is so loud relatively - it makes it hard to get through the song. You could do with a drum machine / loop to tie your rap to, at times you stumble when the misplaced hard/soft syllables of the lyric get in the way. (although I get the impression that maybe this was recorded to a drum machine which was later removed - because the second visit by the second voice seems to be at a slight but noticeably faster bpm than the song and the first voice. What's up with that? Porbably in my imagination.) Despite all this and the lack of any real substance to the song, there is a definite charm to it and I would like to hear more. Only with the vocal turned down into the mix rather than riding it round like a bay-utch.

Jim Tyrell - that starts out like Nirvana! But your voice is too smooth for the Cobain growl - when the bluesy chorus hits I am in more familiar Tyrell territory and am really enjoying the overall vibe. Just that verse keeps bringing into my mind Nircvana unplugged and it disturbs the flow of my enjoyment. I like Nirvana and I like this (as with most of your stuff) it's just unexpected (and therefore good in itself).

SFO - 10 seconds too long! :) Hmmm, pretty. A bit Pet Shop Boys middle 8 for my tastes but there was a nice sound to the words.

Luke Henley - whispy whispers? Whispy wind? Yuk. I don't really hear Cohen in this, well a little bit. The harmony swell in the chorus is great. Yeah if I listen to acoustic folky songs this is the sort of thing I would listen to, I guess. But it's nowhere near as nonchalantly poetic as Cohen, sadly. Good though.

Puce - Great guitar - and silly arabian backing vocals are good but the drums should maybe looser when it's up - give it more room to breathe. Chorus is cool. I don't like your rapping much but I think I am in a very small minority there, so no problemo. Great bass breakdown at 2.00. In fact the whole thing from 2.00 on is fucking brilliant. It's just the rapping that doesn't appeal and like I said there's nothing wrong with it, it's just a personal thing.

Kamakura - 'outs real name in ID tag' shocker? You do these slightly mournful ballads very well. The sparseness works to this song's advantage. It delved deeply in 90s Elton territory and mysteriously comes out not covered in shit :) Perfect length and a pox on those who may later say otherwise.

Sell Crazy - Nice bass tone and its mixed pretty well too - good fat sound on the low-end without it becoming rumbly or over-dominating. That is all I have to say.

Well, I don't think it will win, but I am voting for Kamakura, I think.
Last edited by j$ on Mon May 23, 2005 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by jack »

hey johnny, i just want to say you RTFO*.


for doing well thought reviews for a huge fight you're not in this week.
"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." - Mark Twain
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Post by Stolar Skye »

Hey, Puce, are those all samples from "Idiot Box" by Incubus?
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Post by Adam! »

I’m breaking these reviews into two categories, Laidback Acoustic Guitar Fests and Everything Else. I have deleted some reviews where I had nothing interesting / insightful to say. It has nothing to do with how much I enjoyed the song; I’m just sure people don’t want to read obtuse observations about an entry when they have probably already heard it.

LAGF

Bigsmokes: Really sweet voice. Clunky phrases jump out of the lyrics. The guitar punch-ins are obvious, and the plugged in tone is pretty nasty. Playing feels sloppy during the bridge. Catchy chorus. Good ending. The weak-sounding drums are the lowest point of the song. 6

Boltoph: This might be the best guitar intro I’ve ever heard on SF. Suffers many of the same problems as the last song: (intentionally) clunky phrases, weak-sounding drums. Good kick sound. The vocal melody is good. If this song had a hook it didn’t snag me. Blind-Melon-y: 7

Luke Henley: Nice vocal build around the minute mark. Otherwise I can’t even really hear you. Dr. Puce prescribes a compressor. It’s probably because of the recording quality, but the only part that grabs me is the chorus. Crap ending. 3

Matthan Minister: I love Royal Tenenbaums and/or Garden State. The picking is great, and the melody is better. The voice is pitchy in places. Sounds like an Iron & Wine and Modest Mouse collab. 9

Sell Crazy: I like the vocals, and I’m glad to see someone putting some power behind their singing in this group of songs. That electric sounds good, and I like the chord changes. The chorus gets too repetitive, especially in the last 45 seconds. Maybe a more distinct bridge would break the song up a bit. 6


The Remainder

State Shirt: How’s the studio? Aren’t you guys famous yet? One of the less catchy State Shirt songs, but absolutely killer production. Chorus sounds great. Vocals are pro-level. The drums sound somewhat panned to the right, with not much to counterbalance in the left. 8

Puce: I tried to do an AAD last night and failed miserably. I’m not one of those AAD nazis who disconnect their internet so as to avoid all outside influence while recording, so I borrowed one of the SF titles and thought I’d punish you all with the resulting track. Considering I only put a few hours into it late last night I’m pretty happy with it. The drumloop and the cymbals durring the bridge are both jacked from an Incubus song. I apologize for the rap, but my voice was strained to the point where singing wasn’t much of an option. Note to self: Do screaming songs last when doing an AAD.

Phunt and Such: Although I love Stanley Milgram’s study, this 'song' has no merit.

Shelly’s Cuzz: Brutal mix, dudes. Brutal everything really. Woo! Worse rapping than mine.

Small Town Mike: Very catchy chord progression. Hooky, especially the “Oy Oy”s. I don’t like that guitar tone. Feels overly simple. Good ending. 5

Lonbobby: Where do you get your technology? It happened so gradually that I never noticed Lonbobby becoming his own genre. Amazing groove, equally amazing instrumentation and incidental sound effects. Friggin’ 10. Make a CD, I’ll buy two.

Wreckdom: Wreckdom is songfight-done-wrong done right.


And the Vote goes to... *drumroll* Lonbobby or Matthan Minister. Good fight, all.
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Post by Lonbobby »

SFO: Love the opening and instrumentation, reminds me of Postal Service. The bass when it comes in is awesome. Would have liked singing as opposed to sing-speak. I tell you what, these SFO entries have been very solid including this one and looking forward to hearing the whole thing. When is it done?

Shelly's Cuzz: I like the sincerity of this. "You know that you have courage as long as you've got friends." If only I had friends...

Matthan: Have to say some of the best acoustic guitar I've heard on SF. Like some of your chords a lot. Not enough changes to keep me interested though.

Kamakura: I appreciate the use of piano and bass but I can't get into this song. Unlike Shelly's Cuzz, I actually don't find this too sincere.

WreckdoM: The drums are pretty cool. Is this a political statement? What are you trying to say?

Puce: Damn, you did what I was *trying* to do, but much much better. I loved this instantly, and I've been playing it on repeat ever since. Puce is exactly what the electronic genre needs. EDIT: I'm not just saying this because you gave me a good review, actually thought this before I read above.

Phunt: Some interesting sounds. I'd like to hear you be more cohesive and understandable. I read a quote recently: Just because no one understands you doesn't make you an artist.

Jim Tyrrell: Moody opening that I really like. I would like to hear this build with percussion.

State Shirt: You're very talented and very professional sounding. Reminds me of Trapt.

Jack Shite: The instrumental is crafted well. A speech recited over an instrumental is hard for listeners to get into though. But I think you did a good job.

Boltoph: I like the melody a lot. And the Southern feel is so cool. I like this one a lot.

Smalltown Mike: I used to be smalltown Lon and then I moved to the big city....and now I study all the time and don't see any of the city. But enough about me. "Six more beers and I drop the mic" is very funny. Lyrics and delivery are the best part of this. Guitar solo really fills out the instruments.

Big Smokes: I usually like wierd chord progressions but I don't care for the one in the beginning of your song. Once the chorus kicks in this song is great. I'd like to hear the singer be more emotive and....uh....courageous.

Luke Henley: Production hurts this song big time. Harmonies and singing are off.

Sell Kuhrazy: Reminds of Dispatch...I would say even better than Dispatch. Love the live feel. Great job.
Last edited by Lonbobby on Mon May 23, 2005 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by fluffy »

Lonbobby wrote:SFO: Love the opening and instrumentation, reminds me of Postal Service. The bass when it comes in is awesome. Would have liked singing as opposed to sing-speak. I tell you what, these SFO entries have been very solid including this one and looking forward to hearing the whole thing. When is it done?
I was still recovering from a bad cold, so no singing. Anyway I couldn't come up with a suitable melody.

Are you coming to my little <a href="http://www.songfight.net/forums/viewtop ... ">thing</a> tomorrow?
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Post by HeuristicsInc »

Puce wrote:Note to self: Do screaming songs last when doing an AAD.
I seem to recall blue making the same observation a while back... :)
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Post by A_Likely_Mike »

Boltoph
I like your voice, kinda reminds me of the guy from that Len song "Steal My Sunshine", your little backing harmonies are pretty too. This whole thing is well recorded and I like that little 7th coffee shop chord in the chorus. This is really well executed summery acoustic guitar pop.

Jack Shite
That ding ding ding thing reminds me of the Massive Attack song Unfinished Sympathy. In fact it's either a sample or the same notes. I'm not really sure on this genre, Baz Lurhman stuff I guess. I prefer singing and vocal melodies, but the music in the background is pretty enough, although the acoustic guitar sounds plasticy, maybe you recorded it "too well". The organ sounds are cool (a la Jerk it out)

The Big Smokes
I'm not sure what doesn't grab me about the verse here, but maybe it's the melody of the vocal or the la-di-da delivery but the song just isn't engaging me, which is a shame because it's performed and recorded nicely enough. The best moment is the chorus for sure, I kept expecting a peak after the 2nd round through, with some electric guitar, but instead theres the fiddling finger picking section which isn't executed too well. Some harmonies rather than call and answer backing vocals would have been a lot better in the final chorus. Outro outstays welcome.

Jim Tyrrell
Your singing voice sounds like deshead, but unfortunately the stark instrumentation here doesn't really do your songs any favours. Mind you the verse just flip flops between two chords, which is a little lazy. The Chorus is a little smarter, but by the time extra instrumentation arrives in the form of that mini solo I'm not really interested any more, sorry. Not spectacular.

Karmakura
I was really waiting for the vocal harmonies on this but when they turned up they sounded a little off to me, but well appreciated all the same. A little short but I liked it.

Lonbobby
Wow big wall of sound. I like the blips and bleeps, but vocoders leave me feeling really cold (they did even before the Cher thing) which is a shame as I think I'd like your song better with regular/distorted vocals instead. This has a CKY vibe to it which is strange because it's not their style. It's interesting though. Good job.

Luke Henley
Oh god this isn't very good I'm afraid. Get some free compressor plugins and get those vocals and guitar sorted out. the harmonies are painful except for the Glory Be bit which is nice. Volume all over the shop on this, which makes my eats hurt. Egg shaker percussion is just bad, have you not been paying attention?

Matthan Minster
That first fingerpicked chord was really familar. Like your voice, everything feels really nicely done, guitar is very elliott smith. I like this one, you hold my attention and it's very pleasant. I agree with the modest mouse comparison, voicewise. Perhaps some harmony vocals or swoopy Aahhh backing vox would be nice. Listen to XO. You have le Talent.

Phunt
Why bother?

Puce
I love the groove, although I'm not sure about the vocal rap. The guitar noise on the left is wicked, as is the off kilter egyptian style prechorus. Oooh theremin. hot stuff. That bass line is fantastic. If I was more into hiphop and such I'm sure I'd dig this, as it is I appreciate it on a "Ooh I liked that little noise" level. Good recording, nice and loud. 2:13 will cause involutary bowel movements.

Shell Scuzz
Nice guitar, horrible vocal. Too loud, distorted. Wank.
I skipped through to see if anything happened, but nothing did.

Smalltown mike
Rawk. But horrible 80s keyboard drums and a washed out guitar sound. Short and sweet though. Kill that verb on the vox.

SFO
Starts very Postal Service, but the singing/talking isn't very good. the high synth mleody noise is poxy too, which is a shame because the rest is good, if horrendously derivative.

State Shirt
Rawk. Excellently record, everything sounds great and sounds great together. Good singing, like the augmentative harmony vocals. However it's not very catchy or memorable as far as the song itself goes. Quality drumming though.

WreckdoM
I just can't understand or get into your stuff.
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Post by WeaselSlayer »

A_Likely_Mike wrote:Luke Henley: ...have you not been paying attention?
I'm trying, but I don't speak asshole I'm afraid.
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Post by A_Likely_Mike »

WeaselSlayer wrote:I'm trying, but I don't speak asshole I'm afraid.
Don't want criticism? Don't write songs and post them on the internet.

Or put down the shaker, whichever is easiest for you.
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Post by j$ »

Not wanting to put words in anyone else's mouth but I think you'll find that Luke was complaining about the tone not the content of your review. Having scrolled back to read it, I find myself agreeing with him, not you, on this occasion.
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Post by A_Likely_Mike »

- Compression would really make the mix more listenable (
- Some of the harmony vocals were out of tune and should have been resung (or dropped)
- Some of them were good
- The Volume jumped around a lot on the song, making it hard to enjoy.
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Post by Smalltown Mike »

The Big Smokes

At first, this reminded me a little of Jonathan Richman. I really like the chord changes in this, and the laid back vox are great. Nice voice. They don’t go where I expect. I like the mellow parts best, and was actually a little disappointed when it built more at the end.

Boltoph

Great opening line, and great song. Great voice. I’m hooked by the rhythm in the vox. Great ending. I just listened to this again, played it for my wife, and she loves it too.

Jack Shite

Hooked at the opening organ—and then they’re gone. This is pretty cool. I was distracted by the effects on the vox. The part that starts at :48 could work with the same lyrics sung as well as spoken.

Jim Tyrell

Great haunting chords, great voice. Great production. What bumped at 1:37? I dig the solo, and it could have been longer. This is really strong. The last chorus could have been extended to build to the ending, I think.


Kamakura

This got a lot stronger when the second voice came in at :57 (strangely reminding me of Pink Floyd), and then it ended too soon after that. Interesting, but it seems unfinished.

Lonbobby

Vocoder isn’t my favourite, but it’s adds a good groove here. I like the second vocals in the chorus. The blips and squeaks in the background work well. The rhythm of some of the lines seem awkward, almost like they were adlibbed.

Luke Henley

Sooo quiet, which is too bad because it sounds interesting. I think the contrast in volumes for the two parts is too great. Hey, who hit stop on the tape player?

Matthan Minster


I know this is good, but it’s a little outside my personal preference. Although the chorus is growing on me.

Phunt: Don’t Tell

I don’t get Phunt, but I’ve tried. It always sounds to me like a too-loud TV in a neighbouring apartment.

Puce

Good beat The bass at 2:07 is great in the headphones; something gnawing into my brain. And the beat break down after that is great, too. The verses are good, but the chorus is better.

WreckdoM

Did you butcher the speeches yourself? Because this is a fantastic job. This is really good. My favourite is “What’s right is to kill freedom loving people.” This one I could listen to over and over. The music goes well with it.

Shelly’s Cuzz

The rap doesn’t seem in time with the guitar. This could use a strong beat.

Sell Crazy

Good chorus. “I lost my nerve today, I lost my lunch and ran” is great.

Songfight Orchestra

Good, but I think I need to listen to this in the context of the whole project.

State Shirt

Great production. I like the quieter part at 2:30 and the build that follows. The outro seems really long, but that’s likely only in the context of a song fight song.

Smalltown Mike

This is me. The drums would have been better, but Leaf opted out of the song at the very last minute. He’s mean that way.


Boltoph gets my vote, but I also liked Jim Tyrell.
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Post by boltoph »

Smalltown Mike wrote:...played it for my wife, and she loves it too.
:) :D
I'll add that it's about a trip to the grocery store on Sunday morning. My internal dialogue of all that I saw there. When I got home I canned my idea for "Season Finale", and wrote, recorded, and submitted this tune all within six hours. Reviews to come later or tomorrow...courage: it comes in bottles and balls. YEAH!!
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Post by WeaselSlayer »

A_Likely_Mike wrote:- Compression would really make the mix more listenable (
- Some of the harmony vocals were out of tune and should have been resung (or dropped)
- Some of them were good
- The Volume jumped around a lot on the song, making it hard to enjoy.
Much better thanks. I'm actually going to try and really up the production on my next effort because I'm out of school now and have a lot of time to fuck with things. Thanks for taking the time to review my song, everyone.

Wuvs,
Luke
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Post by HANK. »

The difference between "guts" and "balls"!

Guts - is arriving home late after a night out with the guys,
being assaulted by your wife with a broom, and having the guts to
ask: "Are you still cleaning, or are you flying somewhere?"

Balls - is coming home late after a night out with the guys,
smelling of perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar,
slapping your wife on the ass and having the balls to say, "You're next."
Gaining mass like a lumberjack and knocking down trees.
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Post by Andy Balham »

And now the vote from the Balham jury...

The Big Smokes (us)
Contrary to popular views the majority of this song is based on truth. It's interesting to hear people's views about Sarah's wonderful voice against more mellow backing. Next time I'll stick the pin in :wink:

Boltoph
I wish I knew what a 'Basketball Jones' was. I've enjoyed every listen to this. I like the delivery of lyrics, sometimes slow sometimes fast. Would have been a contender if I didn't already know what was to come.

Jack Shite
I love the idea of this and I think it's very well executed. I would have liked to hear some JS singing though.

Jim Tyrrell
I'm splitting hairs a little here, but there's something in the voice that's not quite convincing me. The rest is immacualte.

Kamakura
You're going down a similar vein to ourselves here, but it's one with many melancholic possibilities. I love the piano and I'd like to do a collab with a bit of my Oaisis-style minor blues scale guitar.

Lonbobby
On third listen this has my vote. Out of a stellar crowd this has the extra bit that makes the difference for me. Wonderful dynamics and flow. How I wish commercial radio had this sort of variety (and I mean the last four tracks it that).

Luke Henley
This reminds me of LZ's Misty Mountain Hop until the profanity. That complety spoils the mood. I second the opinion about compression too.

Matthan Minster
Pretty picking. You have obvious talent, I'd like to hear you to over extend yourself. Now is your chance before you have to bow down before the record company.

Phunt; Don't Tell
Interesting the first time and the first track in the fight that I don't want to listen to again.

Puce
When I heard the initial rap I though 'Sub-MC Frontalot', but as it progressed I started to warm. The chorus really works well for me and squelchy noise that was annoying first time becomes welcome on repeat listens.

Sell Crazy
Something about your delivery really hits home for me. I normally would not identify with such an obvious sentiment, but you make it work for me. Thank you.

Shelly's Cuzz
No.

Smalltown Mike
Well executed if slightly derivative. Nice length too.

Song Fight Orchestra
Pleasant in a Moby sense.

State Shirt
The other main contender to Lonbobby. Oddly enough, you are being handicapped by being akin to Muse in my ears. They leave me impressed, but cold. This is wonderfully epic and I'm left wondering if you do t-shirts. They would be cool.

WreckdoM
Not this time fellas

The Balham vote goes to Lonbobby with the most honourable mention to State Shirt
Last edited by Andy Balham on Wed May 25, 2005 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Some may say I couldn't sing, but none may say I didn't sing" - Florence Foster Jenkins
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