You can see quite clearly from up here (Black Mountain Reviews)

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Pigfarmer Jr
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You can see quite clearly from up here (Black Mountain Reviews)

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:05 pm

The (re)view is stunning.
I released my first album on January 26th, 2018.
Free download (for a limited time) or purchase a CD:
http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

Ad astra per alia porci - Steinbeck
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Re: You can see quite clearly from up here (Black Mountain Reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:14 pm

Songs posted.
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Re: You can see quite clearly from up here (Black Mountain Reviews)

Postby Sober » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:20 pm

Listened a couple times through while driving today. Interesting batch. Some good ideas in every tune. Good to be back, everyone. Full reviews to come.
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Re: You can see quite clearly from up here (Black Mountain Reviews)

Postby vowlvom » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:03 am

Bridger - I really like the way this starts with the arpeggio and vocals. It’s never quite as appealing to me once the big guitars join in but it’s well-written and performed. The vocals feel a little too dry to me and they get a bit overwhelmed by the guitar as well, but that may well be a conscious choice!

dark side of the attic - everything just feels a bit loose for my liking, like every instrument is playing to a slightly different rhythm. It’s not an unpleasant listen but this didn’t do too much for me.

Glennny - this is appealingly odd, the wandering odd-time-signature (?) guitar riffs and the strange vocal harmonies are very interesting to me. Is there some kind of auto-harmony effect going on there?

Lichen Throat - I like the verse but there’s not really any shift in dynamics for the chorus and it feels a little flat.

Nick Soma - really like those massive, moody guitars and the melodica (?) makes an interesting contrast. This one grew on me quite a bit after a few listens, it’s got something unusual about it.

Pigfarmer Jr - your vocal sounds particularly good on this one! Plenty of energy to it, as well. The half-time shift at the start of the solo takes the momentum out of it a bit though I think.

Sober - enjoyed this one a lot. Really gritty country sound with an excellent lyric, good lead guitar work and a strong melody. That distorted-vocal opening section really grabbed my attention, and I like the shift to a slightly higher register for the chorus.

Vowl Sounds - this is us! When I saw this title I imagined doing something uptempo and kinda synthwave-y but this slice of ultra-melancholy came out instead, perhaps because we were planning an incredibly sad song for ‘You Stopped Fighting’ but didn’t get it finished, and I had to find an outlet for my unused sorrow.

Glennny and Sober are my favourites this time out.
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Re: You can see quite clearly from up here (Black Mountain Reviews)

Postby glennny » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:39 am

Vowlvom,

Thanks for the nice review. I suck at auto-tune (you might say I suck at singing to need to try and be good at auto-tune). This is one of those cases where I should have listened on other systems before submitting. I was rather horrified by the auto-tune affect when I listened in my car and at work. In the project with my headphones, it seemed alright to me, but it's glaring when I listen elsewhere.
Anyway, i just did gift of music for Albatross, it was a Pretenders song in 15/8. So I was in the very odd time sig mood. So for this song I made the whole thing in 13/8.
One of these days I'll fix the vocals.

I should review all these soon. I love this fight, lots of really cool songs! Nice to hear Nick Soma again!
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Re: You can see quite clearly from up here (Black Mountain Reviews)

Postby Sober » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:21 am

Bridger: You obviously have an awesome voice. Embrace the Ben Gibbard-ness. I love the ambition of the arrangement; getting traces of SOAD's "Toxicity," and even CKY's "Disengage the Simulator." The verse rhythm guitar is so far ahead of the beat I want to cry. The vocals all sound a bit thin - there's probably some EQ or compression tweaking to do. With a bit of mix work and time correction on the guitar, this would be Songfight perfection.

dark side of the attic: This is an absolute mess, but I don't hate it. The the poorly played auto-quack guitar, the terrible sitar-sounding lead, the disjointed rhythm... there's so much that doesn't work here that, when it does, it's really satisfying. I'd be interested to hear this with a more... traditional production approach to see if I actually prefer it. I do like your voice; you pull off a "low effort" sound very well, which I'm jealous of.

Glennny: Had a hell of a time trying to find the time signature. The walkup guitar line at 0:40 does a great job of getting me to feel the 13 groove. I really like the synth sounds, and how virtually everything sounds. Vocals are dry to the point that they feel like they aren't part of the mix at all - like someone recorded themselves over a karaoke track. Yeah, the autotune gets a little out of control, but the vocal still manages to be pitchy in a lot of places - try more takes rather than leaning on the tuner. Interesting listen!

Lichenthroat: I appreciate that you probably have no real instruments to work with, so I won't harp on the MIDI sounds. I will say that you gotta figure out a place or time where you can sing louder. It's very Songfight to sound like you're trying not to disturb mom in the next room. As it is, the delivery in an uninspiring, pitchy mess. You've put together a well-structured song here - I can hear potential, but it's far from realized here.

Nick Soma: The melodica is cute. Back off the bass and bring up the vocal and snare a bit. Barely getting any bass from the kick. Probably the best execution of this week's optional challenge, intentional or not. Love the progression, really like the guitar lines throughout, though it seems to get off-beat in places. Your voice is well-suited to this style, but I'd like to hear you lean into a bit more - go full Ville Valo, and follow that up with a bit of tube warmth.

Pigfarmer Jr.: There are a lot of instances where vocal accents fall on syllables that wouldn't be emphasized in natural speech i.e. I try to hush all of these dark thoughts. It's hard work to make those square in the lyrics, but it makes a world of difference. A song like Paul Simon's "Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes" is a masterclass in singing sounding conversational. Solo is too long for the level of playing (granted, there are plenty of examples in the archive of me playing longer, worse solos). Shorten the solo and repeat the chorus rather than leaving us with an awkward, sudden ending.

Sober: When writing, this felt very Townes Van Zandt, but during recording it moved towards... whatever this is. Brown Bird? Felt very rushed on this. Would have liked to spend more time on mix elements, and polishing the last chorus. Should have put the time in to having vocal harmonies on the chorus, as well. Still, it felt good to dust off the rig. First time recording my dobro, and was surprised by how tough it is to get a decent performance out of it.

Vowl Sounds: Very Dido. You have a lovely voice, would like to hear a bit more focus/push in the performance, and a mix that didn't mud over you. Ack, please anything but fake trumpet. The vocal rushes a bit, in the chorus particularly. This seems like one of those songs where the title feels inserted - "Black Mountain" could be any three-syllable phrase and the meaning wouldn't really change (another case where there are certainly examples in the archive of me doing the same thing). Good ideas here, and it's always nice to hear a female voice - look forward to hearing more from you.

Neat group this week. Bridger and Nick Soma are my top picks. Good to be back!
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Re: You can see quite clearly from up here (Black Mountain Reviews)

Postby vowlvom » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:51 am

glennny wrote:I suck at auto-tune (you might say I suck at singing to need to try and be good at auto-tune). This is one of those cases where I should have listened on other systems before submitting. I was rather horrified by the auto-tune affect when I listened in my car and at work. In the project with my headphones, it seemed alright to me, but it's glaring when I listen elsewhere.


Hehe, if you were aiming for subtle pitch-correction then yes, you kinda failed. But I think it sounds really cool and unusual as an effect!

Sober wrote:Ack, please anything but fake trumpet.


Nothing on our track intentionally aimed for trumpet, but I guess if you don't like the sound(s) then that's small consolation. The words "fake trumpet" would fit into the chorus in place of "black mountain" though which I find oddly pleasing.
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Re: You can see quite clearly from up here (Black Mountain Reviews)

Postby lichenthroat » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:11 pm

Sober wrote:I will say that you gotta figure out a place or time where you can sing louder. It's very Songfight to sound like you're trying not to disturb mom in the next room.

Aside from making me laugh, you have a good point here. When I was recording this, I was torn between trying to make it sound sad and heartfelt vs. more aggressive and angry. I think this indecision showed and resulted in a below-average vocal performance, even by my low standards. In the last few days, I've noticed that the way I've been singing it to myself is quite a bit different than how I recorded it. I tried rerecording the vocal tonight, so here, in honor of your comment, is the "Wake Up Mom" mix of Black Mountain:


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