Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:34 am

The pre-check list has been pre-checked. All safety measures have been ignored. The countdown has started... 10, 9...
I released my first album on January 26th, 2018.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:35 am

Lyric thread here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11365
I released my first album on January 26th, 2018.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:50 am

Songs posted!
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by thirdcat » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:59 pm

PACO

What a great groove on the verse. Love the bass. The percussion is great too. The lyrics are cool. And the vocal harmonies. I think you killed this one. Delicious guitar solo, the tone there just eats my face. Awesome! Chorus may be not quite as cool as the verse but overall one of my favorite Paco songs. On first listen to this fight this one came up first and I listened to it again before checking out the others. I don't think I've done that before but I really liked this song. Definitely gonna be voting for this one.

LICHEN THROAT

Welcome back! Been missing your interesting songs. I hear some improvements here over your previous stuff. Yes, the timing is wonky but credit for doing something original/interesting.

HOT LIFE

I like the ideas here I think, but the execution isn't great. Vocals have timing & pitch issues that take me out of it. Lyrics are cool but not enough to really get me into this one. The drum machine is either kind of boring/canned (verse) or awkward (chorus.) The individual parts aren't interesting enough to make the minimalist mix work. Very little low end, a bass part coming in at some point could have added some interest.

BSS

This is up my alley. Really like mix/production. Nice vocals especially the harmony vocals on the chorus. The acoustic guitars sound fantastic. Love the little guitar riffs/arpeggios. This is damn good. Maybe my favorite BSS song to date. The instrumental break is lovely. I know you guys usually do the live drums and that's cool - but it was really nice to hear something different, I really liked your drum machine groove on this one. Sounded great; kinda reminded me of drum machine era REM which I like a lot more than most people do I think (I love their Reveal album which seems to be an unpopular opinion.) If I have a complaint it's that there's a bit of staticy noise going on throughout (sounds like it's the electric guitar amp) which seems out of place with the rest of the production which is so clean. All said: Gonna smash the hell out of the vote button on this one. And like Paco's I had to listen to this one twice the first time I heard it because it's really good.

CARAVAN RAY

Love the psychedelic rock vibe and the layered vocals are really sweet. The phaser effects might be a bit over the top but hey, playing it safe is no fun. It sounds like the entire song is high passed which is a pretty strange choice but does make it sound unlike just about anything else I've ever heard. I think this could be a song that either grows on me or that I grow tired of hard to say just yet. Definitely some really cool songwriting though, I think I'm so distracted by the interesting production choices that I'm not giving the song itself its due. Vocals cut through nicely, lyrics are pretty easy to hear clearly.

LOOKOUT JOE

Some pretty wild trippy stuff going on here. Reminds me a bit of Caravan Ray's approach, again maybe a bit over the top with some fx but pretty fun. Mix does sound a bit muffled except for the vocals which are maybe a bit too out in front? - I'm thinking this is on purpose but I don't find it quite working for me. The vocals aren't bad but I don't really love 'em either, not sure if that's a performance issue or the fx putting me off a bit.

SOMEBODY NAMED SETH

Great vocal both in performance and in recording. I like the restraint you show in having it start so sparsely and having elements slowly come in. This is good but I have to admit I'm finding myself losing interest a bit over time, I think this is just because I'm not a huge fan of story telling type songs in general (I find usually wordy lyrics a bit of a turn off as they seem to just go on and on with not enough focus on melody). I'm in the minority on that probably, I can definitely imagine you winning the fight with this entry. It's a thoughtful arrangement, really nice sounding mix, and the performances are great (instrumentally & vocally).

CHTHONIC BLACK

Holy dissonance batman. This is interesting but definitely not my thing so I have a hard time figuring out what to say here other than "not my cup of tea" but that seems like a cop-out so... on the positive side I'll say that the distorted guitar sounds pretty good, good tone where it's heavy but in a musical way.

JAMES OWENS

I was looking forward to hearing your song as I've become a fan from your previous two entries I heard. This one is great too. It reminds me a bit of Kid A/Amnesiac era Radiohead instrumentals. Like some kind of combination of the guitar from "Hunting Bears" and the atmospherics of "Treefingers." I wanted it to go on longer. Really pleasant to listen to. I know this song fight and not instrumental fight but I liked this enough that I think you'll be getting a vote from me anyway.

PIGFARMER JR

You are the new king of brevity! I think that was a good choice for this idea because this kind of chaos becomes hard to to listen to after a bit. Still I liked the madness of it. And it's pretty catchy for a song that appears to be two songs playing at once?

____

Overall a really cool fight with lots of interesting experiments. After a couple of listens my favorites are BSS, Paco, James Owens, and Caravan Ray (probably in that order.) Seth's song is really well done too, just not quite my thing I think. Still he probably deserves a vote just for being so good.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:17 pm

The BSS song this week features chords and lyrics written by Ken, everything else by me. That's why it sounds different from our usual vibe.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Caravan Ray » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:41 am

thirdcat wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:59 pm


CARAVAN RAY

... I think I'm so distracted by the interesting production choices that I'm not giving the song itself its due.
Thanks for the comments

But - no - it wasn't "production choices" - I am just a bit out of practice, and the final mix was unintentionally crap. I was very keen to actually finish something after being out of the game for so long - and that is just how it came out.

Been spending the last few years trying to re-record old songs to a higher level - and getting bogged down in production. Need to get back into doing new songs and getting back into the swing of things

..will also get back to reviewing - coming soon....
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:40 pm

Third Cat, I'm really enjoying your song. Very cool key/chord changes. Is that an intentional "Space Oddity" nod in that first little lead guitar interlude after the first chorus?
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by lichenthroat » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:19 pm

Berkeley Social Scene—My favorite aspect of this song is the combination of percussion and guitar rhythm, which is done very well. Nice mix, pleasant vocals. My attention is not fully seized, but there’s nothing that stands out negatively, either. If I listened to this 20 more times, I can imagine that it might suddenly become a song I love. The instrumental bridge is another highlight.

Caravan Ray—As you yourself have noted, the mix sounds kind of weird, like all the low end is absent. I like the swirly guitars. I appreciate your innovation with the song’s structure. It doesn’t call attention to itself as being bizarre, but all the little variations keep it from ever feeling stale.

Chthonic Black—Queue the usual disclaimer about this not being a genre I’m familiar with. That being said, I think this would sound cool with a cleaner vocal, but keeping the guitar distortion as it is. I like the moment when the guitars come in after the pause right before the vocal starts, but then it sounds like the vocal and guitar are somehow competing for the same ear space. (I’m aware that the preceding comment may not make any sense; I feel like I don’t have the vocabulary to explain what I mean.) I like how you’ve mixed the drums so that they’re clearly present but not overwhelming.

Hot Life—This was a hard song for me to get an analytical handle on. There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on, but I’m not sure it all comes together. Or maybe you’re trying for something that I don’t quite understand. Pairing a conventional piano sound with a synth keyboard would not have occurred to me, but the contrast between them adds a layer of intrigue that I enjoyed.

James Owens—I liked this, even though I have to deduct a few points for the lack of a vocal. It does sound spacey and evocative of the title, however. The length is perfect.

Lichen Throat (me)—Here’s a case where my lousy guitar playing detracts notably from the overall result. For once, my vocal might not be the worst aspect of the song. There’s something wrong with the mix, too; if I knew what it was, I would have fixed it. I do kind of like the chorus, though. The lyrics came from an idea I recently had for a science fiction novel in which two civilizations develop independently in the same planetary system and can only interact through radio signals. (Since I’m not a novelist, it’ll never be written, of course.)

lookoutJoe!—Hmmm, a languid bluesy (or is it jazzy?) song with laser sound effects. I’m confused, but I applaud your originality. I can imagine this playing in the background of a movie when the characters are having an interesting conversation on a rooftop at night. I guess that’s a longwinded way of saying that you’ve successfully evoked an atmosphere.

Paco del Stinko—I like the 60s cop show vibe. This is fun, in a way that’s rewarded with careful listening (which is a concept that’s hard to pull off). The numerous abrupt shifts in melody might inhibit the listenability, however.

Pigfarmer Jr—This might be—dare I say it—my favorite of the fight. Sometimes a straightforward approach is the right way to go. The chorus is good, and the interlude where it’s just vocal and guitar is a nice variation.

Somebody Named Seth—I really like your voice. I thought at first that the slow buildup was too slow, but on subsequent listens I did not find that to be the case. I like how this hints at early 80s hard rock without fully falling into the genre.

Third Cat—Not many people can successfully pull off a Belle & Sebastian sound, but you’re apparently one of those who can. The mix sounds just a tiny bit harsh. I also wanted the song to go on longer, but maybe that’s a good thing—certainly preferable to having it wear out its welcome.

Happy New Year, everyone! I feel like my comments make less sense than usual. My apologies to those whom I’ve confused or annoyed.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by AJOwens » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:59 pm

Berkeley Social Scene -- You said you wanted to break out of the box, and you've done it in many ways. First there's the studio sound, with its managed, intimate compression and careful balance, in contrast to the rough edges of live performance. Then there's the predominance of crisp, undistorted instruments, and the soft, pitch-perfect vocals. Even the songwriting itself seems different; it feels gentler, more relaxed. The major chord where the key suggests a minor accentuates the sense of openness and light, while the unusually close vocal harmonies add warmth. Everything about this is elegant, including the ending.

Caravan Ray -- As everyone so far has already noted, the low end seems to be missing; the song sounds like it's coming out of an iPhone. Setting that aside, there's lots to like about this entry: the playful words with their inventive scan, the controlled chaos of the accompaniment, the urgent groove of the beat, the well-timed breakdown and rebuild, the hypnotic backing vocals. Good singing. The ending trails off a bit; a more abrupt stop might have been better.

Cthonic Black -- Satanic metal seems to work for this title. I haven't listened to enough of the genre to offer helpful comments, but if I were trying to do this I would probably go with a more ominously present bass and a more consistently thick texture; the open spaces offer relief, which nobody expects from Hell. All the same, with its strident, dissonant guitars and intense, angry vocals, this does a pretty good job. The very last note, a brief slash, seems to convey a sudden loss of interest rather than a dread finality.

Hot Life -- This strikes me as a collage, lyrically and musically, along the cryptic lines of the 1970's graffiti artist Basquait. (To be completely clear, I'm not suggesting you're the next Basquiat; I'm just groping for a context to help make sense of things.) The various elements that make it up are not obviously related, yet in aggregate they leave a disconcerting sense that something just beyond reach is being expressed. This is reinforced by seemingly meaningful repetitions, adding to the feeling that this is about something so utterly alien that any attempt at communication requires extraordinary measures.

James Owens -- I was trying to convey the mood of a moonlit December evening. [EDIT: We're all aware that the full moon of December 22, 2018 was the thirteenth full moon of the year, right?] I tried writing some lyrics about snow and bare trees and blue illumination and stuff like that, but I'm no poet and it was pretty bad, so in the end I let the music do the talking. There are one or two things I'd change, but overall I'm happy with the result, even though as an instrumental it's likely to lose a vote or two. (The relative worth of instrumentals has come up before; see for example the Meat Grinder review thread. For what it's worth, I'd never submit some random instrumental with no connection to the title -- where's the fun in that? -- but I'll say no more for now. Just be thankful you were spared my bad poetry.)

Lichen Throat -- Another highly eccentric entry in the fight, but in contrast to Hot Life's, this one places an extended lyrical narrative over a musical track which, for all its curious nature, has a certain rhythmic and melodic cohesion. The effect is not so much a disturbing collage, in the manner of Basquiat, as a strange lens of perception, in the manner of van Gogh (again, no suggestion of van Gogh's genius is intended). I say these things because I really don't know what to say; self-expression takes many forms, and not all of them speak to all of us. Certainly there is a consistency in your approach. I feel as if your main interest is in the lyrics, which are always fun to listen to, and the accompaniment is an impressionistic conveyance.

lookoutJoe! -- A very interesting mashup of a danceable pop-rock tune played straight by a backing band; a slightly raunchy lead; an eccentric, swooping, oddly distressed vocal with a subtle flange; and some space-laser/game arcade noises added for effect. I'm not sure it all comes together as a cohesive whole -- the sound effects feel like they're attached loosely -- but I like the tune and the band, and the singing.

Paco del Stinko -- The main part is a finger-snapping gumshoe riff that distantly evokes the theme from Peter Gunn, but builds and develops eventually into an inimitable PdS vision, complete with some screaming solos. I notice there are actual finger snaps, which must be hard to record. There is a less gritty, rather melodic part for contrast, and yet another part at 1:41 that manages to draw on both the other parts while remaining independent. The lyrics are unusually political. All of this is good, with a fine ending to top it off.

Pigfarmer Jr -- Very different from the acoustic approach of your other recent entries, this short, hard-driving rocker took me by surprise. It has a really solid feel, thanks in no small part to the very tight performances on all instruments. The trusty acoustic guitar does put in an appearance, but I'm not sure the effect is as desired; it feels like a folk singer has been sitting completely unnoticed in the middle of a stage full of Marshall amps, until suddenly they fall silent. Bands like Led Zeppelin can make this work, but I don't know how; maybe they make the insignificant tiny acoustic guitar sound bigger and more awesome with some big reverb, or they leave in a cosmic backing pad for drama. Must check it out. Apart from that minor quibble, this is a refreshing, energetic, and enjoyable entry.

Somebody named Seth -- The music has a long, thoughtful, deceptive arc. On the first listen, during the first minute or so, I thought the arrangement was too dry and the song seemed to be wandering aimlessly, but by the end, having the larger picture, I was a fascinated convert. The intimate, out-front vocals command centre stage immediately; then the arrangement grows around them, introducing textural and rhythmic drama, and increasing steadily in ominous intensity. On second and subsequent listens I liked it almost from the opening notes. Even at four minutes plus, it holds interest. In fact the music is so interesting I have to force myself to pay attention to the lyrics -- which also build suspense nicely. The music and lyrics complement one another perfectly, and the vocal delivery has an appropriate urgency and desperation.

Third Cat -- This is a pleasant composition, with one part in the I-VI-II-V tradition, and the modulated second part built on two major sevenths separated by a fourth. At 0:41, echoing Lunkhead, I get the same "Space Oddity" vibe from the step up and the suave, relaxed reverb guitar. The song alternates between a tranquil mood and a happy, upbeat vibe. It's very likeable, one of the better entries in the fight.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:50 pm

Berkeley Social Scene -- There is a... quaint? feel to the verses that I like a lot. A quiet command of the song, the playing, the arrangement and song. Like a quiet confidence that shines through very nicely. There is a touch here and there that maybe could be glued together a bit better (the electric guitars in the brief instrumental break could use some depth or something in order to fit with the rest) but this is well constructed and sounds fine to my ears. Not sure how much actually like the song compared to the feeling it gives me, but I want to listen some more to find out.

Caravan Ray -- How do the backing vocals sit in the mix better than the main vox? Is it the reverb/spatial effect? I like the melody/vocal performance. And the more I listen the more I like it. But the cymbal crashes are a bit tiring to my ears. The wall of sound in the music also tires my ears out. This is cool but literally hard to listen to on tired ears. And that's not meant to disparage the song. But there's something about the mix that... just hits me in the wrong spot.

Cthonic Black -- Cool subtle dissonance on the intro. When it hits it's pretty mushy, though. It's a good effect but I prefer some definition. The doubled vocals seem to work with this harder rocking submission but this is another song in which certain elements of the mix are hitting my ears a little off. In this case those uber driven guitar layers, especially in certain places.

Hot Life -- I like the keys with the 8-bit rhythm track. It's a cool sound. There is a tentative element to the vocal that isn't helped by the pretty raw sound of it in the mix. A touch of space and eq would let it sit in a better place. And where the vocal and the horn sound double each other, they don't match up very well which is a little distracting. (It's also something I have to work on in my songs, so I sympathize.) I really like the keys in this song.

James Owens --This sounds good. I love the texture of the music/mix. That shimmering guitar is cool, the higher pad-like synth sounds works wonderfully. Whatever that non-lyrical vocal sound you are using is, use that more. It worked great for me. You'll definitely lose some points for the instrumental entry (based on past fight discussions) but I thoroughly enjoyed listening.

Lichen Throat -- There are a few timing issues in the music, but nothing terrible. I think this works pretty well. The timing/phrasing in the vocal is just enough off to give it that off kilter feeling that seems unintentional. But I find that this vocal still seems to be one of your better performances.

lookoutJoe! -- Cool guitar tone on the intro. I like the feel to this. That's some cool panning effect on the vocal but I think it takes me out of enjoying the song a little bit. Maybe it's just a tad louder than the rest of the music and that draws my unintentional attention. I really liked that first minute. That section just after that mark is a nice change up but it doesn't quite live up to the rest. This is another cool track that has a lot of little details that I like. Not sure where it would rank if I were ranking these songs, but I like the tasty morsel.

Paco del Stinko -- Ooh, cool jazzy hi-hat and bass line to start. This puts me in mind of some tv spy show theme song... or a dark jazzy bar scene in a show somewhere. The chorus has that paco touch. It's hard to sit still listening to that bass riff. Ooh, I like the bit just after the 2:00 mark on through the solo. That bit alone makes this pretty damn cool in my book.

Pigfarmer Jr -- (me) I mis-remembered the optional challenge as "unwrap it" which is why it starts strong and dissolves into a G&G section. The length fits this song pretty damn well and is my attempt at hitting the real optional challenge "wrap it up." It was fun to rock out.

Somebody named Seth -- I like the tone of your voice. I think the vocal is a hair up front that the very beginning. I'd like to hear it.. maybe slightly telephoned or effected until the bass hits around :35. After that it works or me. I like your melody/vocal delivery. I found myself really paying attention to the lyric wanting to know what is coming next. You have a 4:00 minute song but it certainly didn't feel that long. I might have wanted to hear some sort of dynamic climax in the music toward the end, but I definitely enjoyed this one.

Third Cat -- I like the contrast in sections. But the transition seems just a hair sudden. I like the outro bit. This songs feels really complete even though it's well under 2:00.

The one's that stand out for me: Paco, Seth, James, BSS, Lookout Joe and maybe Third Cat, too. Which ones make the voting cut will be determined by how much I wanna hear the songs again after listening for a while longer.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by AJOwens » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:20 am

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:50 pm
. . . Whatever that non-lyrical vocal sound you are using is, use that more. . .
I think you mean the electric guitar lead, for which I used a rapid tremolo picking technique usually heard on a mandolin. To augment my imperfect string-tickling, I also put the guitar through a tremolo pedal switched to "hard" (square-wave-ish) and set to maximum speed. If I recall correctly, I also applied a delay pedal in front of the tremolo pedal, set to a slapback speed with a little bit of feedback dialed up. In the DAW, I added a cathedral sort of echo. I'll probably never find that exact sound again. . .
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by nobodyetal » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:05 am

So these reviews are kind of high level and off the cuff. If you didn't post your lyrics I didn't comment on them. If you particularly want me to be more critical and dig in a bit on your song, PM me.

BSS - California feel off the bat. Not sure how to quantify that or why it made me think of Sugar Ray, but there it is. I like the pseudo-psychadelic feel, and the drum machine makes it kind of future-retro. Harmonies are really nice. Solid entry as usual!

CR - Also kind of psychadelic, but full-on 70s. Great lush soundscape with all kinds of different textures. It builds nicely. I like the vocal delivery too. Props for using "triskadecaphobic" in the lyrics. Lyrical content makes me think peyote or something connecting with a sort of spiritual madness where everything is crazy but you're sort of calm inside. Maybe that's my baggage more than the lyrics, haha.

CB - Dissonance and harsh grindy tones I associate with NIN and industrial music. The intro is suitably moody. Nice alternation between noise and the ponderous main riff. It could have had more bass though maybe? The breakdown reminds me of Sabbath. That's probably because I know almost nothing about metal. Lyrics are kind of post-apocalyptic, but with an Dungeons & Dragons evil cult flair which is fun!

HL - Spacy and sparse, a motif I need to try one of these fights. It's not quite tight enough an arrangement for my taste though. Everything feels like it's going in different directions. I like how the purchasing power bit changes up the feel, but the transition was a little stark and jarring. Second time was better. The lyrics are kind of a commentary on the consumerism of the holidays?

JO - Great guitar tone and well arranged. Nice and moody. Haha, it's in 13/8. Well played. The lack of drums make it nice and floaty, sci-fi film-soundscape-appropriate! In my head it conjures slow-spinning space ships and astronauts. Very pleasant to listen to. Makes me want to go play with delay and reverb in the studio. :D

LT - I like the kind of space opera filk thing you were going for with this, layering and changing up the feel. But nothing lined up rhythmically and it was really hard to listen to for that reason. Your phrasing was awkward, but you're telling an interesting first contact story. It was like this whole song was teetering on the brink of being good but never quite got there due to production value. Keep at it though. There was a lot of potential here.

LOJ - Kind of a Steve Miller meets Neil Young feel on this. Nice mellow straight-ahead arrangement. Tasteful guitars, almost a Santana vibe in the solo. Vocals pitchy, but maybe artfully so? It doesn't detract so much as give it a vibe; I'm not knocking you for it.

PdS - Solid arrangement as always. Great bouncy rhythm with a nice notey bass driving it all too. Should have known somebody was going to take this tack lyrics-wise, but I'm glad it was PdS because you did it masterfully. As usual. Synth solo into a guitar solo was a nice touch. I can find nothing wrong with this.

PJr - Pretty solid arrangement! Grungy but still relatively high fi, with some good lead work. Like seriously the verse riff tickles something in my 90s-rock happy place. Nice acoustic breakdown, repeat the chorus, done. Boom! I get vampire from this, whether it's sci-fi or a metaphor isn't terribly important. This tune is about the dark energy and you pretty much nailed it.

SNS - I was pretty happy with this. In hindsight I jumped into arrangement and production before the song itself was quite where it needed to be, but playing in the studio was a ton of fun. Onward and upward I suppose. I'm grateful for the kind words and patience as I get back into the swing of Songfight!

TC - Something like this was my original concept for the prompt, but you executed better than I would have I think. Nice jangles where there should be jangles and a touch of spaciness. I like how the song changes up when the verse goes into the chorus. I could have put up with another 45 seconds or so of it.

Nice work everybody!
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:12 am

Carrying on my new Regular Process of listening to these songs a bunch of times in the car and then playing them on proper speakers while I write the reviews in case I missed anything important buried in engine noise. Annoyed that I didn't get my act together and get in on this fight, because I love moon songs, although the idea that I had went a bit metaphorical. I had a really good cover art idea too, but an unusually busy Christmas period got in the way.

Caravan Ray - there's definitely a slight weirdness to the mix (although it still sounds pretty good to me - I just had to turn it up more than the others in the car) and musically this doesn't quite inspire me as much as some of your Nur Ein entries did (which I think was the last time I heard your stuff). However, I think these lyrics are really great, which pushes me over the edge into a vote.

Paco del Stinko - total spy-movie vibes from that intro, like Pigfarmer said, and I love the finger clicks and handclaps; solo is ferocious, great guitar sound. I've definitely heard Paco songs that I like considerably more than this one but this is still definitely among my favourites from this fight and is another vote.

lookoutJoe! - pretty interesting. The slightly-strained-but-not-in-a-bad-way vocals remind me a little of Built to Spill, and I like the bit somewhere in the middle of the song where the guitar really hits the off-beat (1:30). The spacier / jammier sound-fx-ier bits don't quite work for me as well. Not quite a vote for me although I still like it.

Pigfarmer Jr - I like your takes on the challenge (both real and imagined) and there's a good energy to this. Some vocal timing issues particularly on the very last line, which always leaves a slightly bad taste in my... erm... ears when this song finishes, which isn't really fair to the rest of it. The drop out to acoustic works for me too. Overall though, I don't click with thiis quite as much as I have with some of your other songs recently so it's not quite in vote territory.

Hot Life - this song has some real problems with timing and arrangement that are hard to ignore. Half-quoting PigJr again but the bits where the keyboard melody syncs up with the vocal aren't tight enough to really work and that really put me off on my first couple of listens. As I listened more though I found a lot to like in this though, the mix of synth sounds and tumbling piano arpeggios is really appealing to me, and I eventually came to the conclusion that this would probably be my favourite song in the fight if you could sort out the timing issues a bit, so I'm giving it a vote.

Berkeley Social Scene - this is right at the super-poppy end of BSS that I love the best, so it's an easy vote. Love the drum machine, shimmering acoustic guitars and glockenspiel, vocal layers sound great. If I stretch for criticisms for this one, I guess it would be that the chorus lyrics are pretty uninspired (not that it really matters when listening) and that the instrumental break later on miiiiight benefit from another melodic element but I'm not even sure. Anyway, this is probably my favourite.

Third Cat - another Third Cat song that I wish was slightly longer! First verse sounds almost a little TOO conventional but once this blasts off into the chorus there's no looking back. I love the little guitar break before the second verse and the strings on the second verse work really well. Another definite vote, I want a sprawling 5+ minute Third Cat full of guitar atmosphere and unexpected diversions at some point though please!

James Owens - really solid instrumental, gorgeous guitar sounds. When I first played it I wondered if it was in some thirteen-related time signature, thanks to Seth for confirming that!

Somebody Named Seth - this is really well written and performed, but there's something that stops me from quite putting it among my favourites from this fight... although if most of my listening hadn't been in the car then things might have been different - there are a lot of subtleties in the mix.

Lichen Throat - guitar playing (which I'm guessing has been chopped up and edited a bit?) still definitely needs some work but the tone of it is much more enjoyable than your MIDI guitar stuff. The drums are a little odd and scattered in places, I wonder if more of a solid beat would give this a more compelling edge? The main timing issue that bothered me was that some of the strums seemed to be starting on the beat rather than ending on it which feels a bit weird in places. But generally this is interesting and compelling, if not among my favourite LT songs.

Chthonic Black - sorry to be rambling on about guitar tone in so many of these reviews but the guitar sound here is really interesting. I'm used to metal stuff like this having far more low-end chug to it, the sound here is surprisingly trebly and I actually quite like it. I really struggle with this kind of vocal though, it's way out of my genre comfort zone and although you seem to be doing a good job I can't say that I particularly enjoyed this.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:59 pm

vowlvom wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:12 am
Pigfarmer Jr - Some vocal timing issues particularly on the very last line, which always leaves a slightly bad taste in my... erm... ears when this song finishes
I know you're busy, but any other parts except the Thirteenth coming in a fraction early on that last line? It's noticeable to me, but it didn't bother me. If you hear other parts, lemme know... if you're busy, no worries.

thanks for the critique
I released my first album on January 26th, 2018.
Free download:
http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

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(To the stars on the wings of a pig.)
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by AJOwens » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:30 am

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:59 pm
vowlvom wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:12 am
Pigfarmer Jr - Some vocal timing issues particularly on the very last line, which always leaves a slightly bad taste in my... erm... ears when this song finishes
I know you're busy, but any other parts except the Thirteenth coming in a fraction early on that last line? It's noticeable to me, but it didn't bother me. If you hear other parts, lemme know... if you're busy, no worries.

thanks for the critique
I'm not the OP, but if you want more input, the "b" in "obey" at about 0:24 seems slightly late to me, and "sex" at about 0:54. I put it down to the breakneck pace required of the pronunciation. It didn't bother me, and if no one had asked I wouldn't have paid it any attention.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:00 am

Thank you, Mr. Owens.
I released my first album on January 26th, 2018.
Free download:
http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

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(To the stars on the wings of a pig.)
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:20 am

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:59 pm
vowlvom wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:12 am
Pigfarmer Jr - Some vocal timing issues particularly on the very last line, which always leaves a slightly bad taste in my... erm... ears when this song finishes
I know you're busy, but any other parts except the Thirteenth coming in a fraction early on that last line? It's noticeable to me, but it didn't bother me. If you hear other parts, lemme know... if you're busy, no worries.

thanks for the critique
Just listened again a couple of times. TBH I probably wouldn't have mentioned it if it weren't for the last line, elsewhere I feel like the vocal delivery could be a little more punchy to really sell the up-tempo feel, on words like "first" and "sex" with softer-sounding opening letters, but those are really just nitpicks.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:54 pm

Thanks, Mr. Vorton. I thank you for your time. I intend to go back and hit this mix again and maybe spend some time on editing.
I released my first album on January 26th, 2018.
Free download:
http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Chumpy » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:28 pm

If listening to a couple of opinionated jerks opine on this week's batch of SongFight songs is your thing, you should check out our latest podcast where we review The Thirteenth Moon fight.

There are a few ways you can listen to it:
Send us feedback at: feedback@twojerksonevote.com.

Maybe you'd prefer not to hear all that blah-blah-blah and just jump to your song? Here are some time points to help with that.
  • 00:00 Intro song
  • 01:00 Beginning-of-podcast yammering
  • 04:38 Berkeley Social Scene
  • 07:41 Caravan Ray
  • 11:36 Chthonic Black
  • 14:56 Hot Life
  • 18:22 James Owens
  • 21:26 Lichen Throat
  • 25:35 lookoutJoe!
  • 28:17 Paco del Stinko
  • 30:44 Pigfarmer Jr
  • 34:26 Somebody Named Seth
  • 37:17 Third Cat
  • 40:57 End-of-podcast yammering
Enjoy?
There are some sparks of something good here, especially in the lyrics. I’d like to hear more for Jerkatorium. More experimenting and finding a good niche would suit this well. --Niveous
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:41 pm

Re: BSS, yep, 60Hz hum on my guitar, single coil pickup, guilty as charged. :(
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by thirdcat » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:42 am

Cool podcast guys, as always listened to it all, not just my bit, find your comments on the other songs interesting too. I tend to generally agree with your views although not always.

Re: my chorus, it's a sudden key change from C in the verse to E in the chorus, that was the idea, an experiment. I usually prepare key changes (more like the the first chorus going into 2nd verse, and that transition is actually my own favorite bit of my song) and dont just jump into them.

In the verse it is meant to be depressed (it's major key but kinda a sad melody/delivery I thought) and goes into a happy dream world kinda thing in the chorus, but I agree it didn't work, although I thought it was because I couldn't get the vocal right on the chorus maybe it is more intrinsically just something that wasn't gonna work even with a better vocal.
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Re: Time to post some (inter)stellar (The Thirteenth Moon Reviews)

Post by Caravan Ray » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:37 am

My grading.

Distinctions and High Distinctions get a vote.


HIGH DISTINCTION
Somebody Named Seth:
Great job. Beautifully understated build up. I don't think I like the lyrics. Not sure what you on about - seems like some werewolfy thing or something. Whatever - the song sounds great and it is ambiguous enough to be about anything you want.
Berkely Social Scene:
This is pretty awesome. So simple, so well put together. the guitar lick is perfect. Great job.

DISTINCTION
Look Out Joe:
Sounds like one of John Lennon's outtakes from the White Album sessions. I enjoyed this.

CREDIT:
Pigfarmer Jr:
Love the energy of this. Not keen on the lyrics - but the delivery makes up for it. Very nice production too - good job.
Paco del Stinko:
Paco del fucking Stinko - you old horse thief! You still doing this shit!! Love the finger clicks. That is cool. Otherwise - it is just another cool song by you, but I know you can do better. Not bad at all - but yes, you can do better.
Chthonic Black:
Great guitar sounds. Sloppy vocals. Good effort. Tighten the vocals

PASS:
Lichen Throat:
I appreciate the effort - but dude - TIMING!!!! Your voice isn't great - but if you line up the beat, the guitar and the vocals - this will sound pretty good. The guitar is sloppy as fuck. You get a pass because I think you could sound good - get your fucking timing right.
Third Cat:
First - my plagiarism antennae is up. Not sure why - this just sounds like something - I can't put my finger on what it is. I don't think it is a song by Bread or The Carpenters - but this reminds by that soft-cock 70s stuff - so - I don't like it. It's not bad - but I don't like it.

FAIL:
Hotlife:
Bad drum beat and bad vocals. Just stop. Please.
James Owens:
WTF?!? Is this an instrumental?!?!? It's SONGFIGHT! Fucktard. Not INSTRUMENTAL FIGHT!. Fucktard.


And me - yeah - my mix was awful. Too many christmas drinkies perhaps...
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