Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

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Pigfarmer Jr
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Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:20 am

Write 'em if you got 'em...
Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Dcqs6LhwsoYS6EDGPhCCk

My solo Album: http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:21 am

Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Dcqs6LhwsoYS6EDGPhCCk

My solo Album: http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:00 pm

Songs posted.
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by codywalkerjr » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:06 pm

OG Lawn Darts! I love what you did with the podcast samples. Your song tells a good story. Lot's of great songs this week. Will listen a few more times and try to review.
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:10 am

I added a late entry from Geech Sorensen.
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by jast » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:57 pm

Reviews written on my phone while on vacation in the UK. I listened on ear canal plugs so I may have missed some finer details or gotten some things wrong altogether. I'll listen again when I get home if you want me to. As always, feel free to ask for more details about any of the questionable things I'm going to say about your song.

Balance Lost: Stylistically I can't really say anything meaningful here - I guess this is done well, I just don't like it. :) Two things that bothered me personally: with rather low amounts of low end and a lot going on in the mids and high mid frequencies, the mix felt rather unbalanced to me. This was compounded by the fairly busy arrangement of accompanying tracks that felt fairly repetitive to me and gave off a relentless feeling after a while. Might I also suggest experimenting with EQing the doubled vocal a little to avoid pushing the mid-to-high frequencies into uncomfortable territory in the sum... compressing the higher frequencies (without make-up gain) on one of the tracks is another, maybe better, way to achieve the same thing.

Berkeley Social Scene: The tags say "Merisan" - changed your mind along the way? ;) Anyway, cool song, nice synth parts and synth/guitar call-and-response. I like the chorus and how you built it up more in the last run. My complaints centre on the first layer of backup vocals (starting in the first run of the chorus) that doesn't always align properly and doesn't sit well in the mix. I think overall the lead vocals could have been given more weight in the mix, too, but I don't really have anything constructive to say about that from the comfort of a B&B in the middle of wherever.

CsmthngCcrtv0: This was an interesting one. If you're interested in this kind of style, definitely keep at it, you can do some really cool things with just vocals (I've done my share of a cappella songs so I should know). That said, I have two specific pieces of feedback. Number one: relative levels (loudness) of the individual tracks/voices are quite important. The background vocals are in a register you seem to be much more comfortable in, so they sound louder and they kind of overpower the melody and lyrics. When doing the mixing, that's something to pay attention to and you may end up turning down some of the tracks. Doing this really well takes practice, but even a half-decent job makes a big difference. Number two: in an arrangement of multiple tracks/voices, each voice has a specific function. Common ways to split it up: lead vocals; backup vocals to the lead that harmonize with it (for entire pages or just occasionally to accentuate things); "instruments" like bass, piano, guitar and the whole works. You can think of each vocal part providing either harmonies, chords, rhythm or a mix of any of these. In this song you tried to handle all of this in a single background voice (for the most part): low end/bass, a bit of rhythm and chords (arpeggiated). This is possible... but I'd only recommend it to someone with superior composing/arranging skills and pretty good vocal technique. Paradoxically, it all tends to be easier with four or five voices total, spending a bit of thought beforehand on what you want each voice to do.

Elephant Lovehouse: Solid. Well-executed for the most part - what really puzzles me is the modulation effect on the vocals. As an effect it kind of seems a little misplaced to me in this kind of music, and using that kind of thing to fatten up the vocals really only works well in electronic music, I think. I also feel like the pitch slides in your vocals, as much as they generally fit into the song, do seem rather more uncontrolled in many places which is a bit of a shame. Guitar, drums and bass sound good to me. I may have considered changing them up a little more, or having a bit of additional build-up, to help carry a song in which, musically speaking, not so much is actually going on. Still, overall this is easy to listen to.

Jan Krueger: I've been busy, so this is my first submission in a fairly long time... and I didn't get to spend much time on this either, having to leave for my summer vacation. I had a fair bit of fun choosing sounds for this, but almost despaired tuning the vocals. I wanted to go for a mostly flattened aesthetic but to my ears it still sounded out of tune after cranking the dials quite hard. Listening again now with my ears recovered a bit it seems okay, though maybe a hint flatter them I intended. Either way, I still would have preferred being able to spend more time (re-)recording takes, fleshing out the final section and adding some bells and whistles (figuratively speaking).

Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff: Good balance of structure and variation. Nice listen. Two production things bothered me a little: one is that the vocal doubling sounds a little too perfect. I can't actually tell whether you used a very short delay or recorded two extremely similar tracks. Either way it ends up sounding like a somewhat harsher or more metallic single vocal which isn't necessarily an improvement. The main job of doubling, as far as I'm concerned, is filling things out a little more, and that's not happening here. The other thing is that the bass is really buried, I can hardly hear anything except the fundamental. I think that takes away a lot of the "bass" feeling. A lot of the character of the bass is said to be in the 500/800 Hz regions IIRC.

OG Lawn Darts: the quotes at the start (and throughout) don't do anything for me. I don't care as much about why you made your song the way it is than I care about the actual song. My main issues here: I don't think vocal doubling is typically used in reggae style songs, and the melody doesn't really check any of the reggae tropes in my mind. Also, in the section starting around 3:15, the melody is often at odds with the chords. The first sections come across as somewhat academical to me - like you're not really all into the type of thing you're trying to do, but just dipping your feet in. Overall, this final section works somewhat better for me in that regard, maybe some of that is because you're doing something a little less formulaic (don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with formulas, but it can be harder to do those in an authentic way).

Paco del Stinko: I saved your song for last, just because I could. :) The opening is almost conventional by your standards - but not in a bad way. Your style quickly starts shining through, though - I think we talked about this before in past reviews. It does sound a little disorganized in a few places but not so much that it would fall apart. I think a half-time or downtempo section/bridge might have been interesting to change it up a little. Maybe with some sparser drumming, or none at all. You don't like letting go of that gas pedal, do you? ;)

Pigfarmer Jr: I like this but I think the instrumental break was way too repetitive considering its length. The only other thing that comes to mind is that your vocal pitch suffers a little at the end of some phrases and on some of the seemingly "easy" notes you're paying through. That's a common mistake, losing focus when the "difficult" bit is over. However, this is definitely one of your better vocals, so don't read too much complaining into this. :)

Scale the Spectrum: Nice guitar playing. Overall song gets a mite repetitive but not too badly. Some of the additional parts came in a bit haphazardly, specifically the drums and the backup vocals the first time around. The lower backup vocals sound a little confused to me, either not having clearly defined intervals from the melody or just getting mixed up with it. All of the vocals are a little held back but I realize that's not always so easy to figure out how to change. Let me just assure you that there's a lot more voice in you, though it may not be so easy to find it.

Thanks for the Frisbee: Short and sweet! You could definitely put it in the bag like this... but of course there's always room for improvement! In this case all of the tracks sound a little "harmless", like all of them tried to blend in and not offend anyone. You could have scaled it up a little - that's also a very popular way to mark out the chorus, make everything a little more powerful and a little wider. You used the background vocals to the same end - very nicely done, by the way - but cranking up the guitar and drum playing a bit to go along with it might have been interesting, too. By that I don't mean increasing the volume, necessarily, but the intensity you're playing with.

Third Cat: I was kind of worried during the Locrian intro - I have a really hard time getting into Locrian-sounding things. Thanks for recovering into something more accessible. My overall opinion is that this sounds interesting but could have been developed much further - it sounds distinctly "rushed for Song Fight" - not to mention the somewhat loose timings, which don't detract from it too much, though. Anyway, there's more to be gotten out of this idea!

Tuners Union: Overall very good (not my preferred style but that's not your problem, of course :)). Obviously that doesn't mean that I don't have any nitpicks. Number one: the shaker/hat (not sure what exactly it's supposed to be) gets a bit harsh in the more sparsely arranged parts, I'd probably have automated some high shelf EQ or maybe just the volume. Number two: starting around 2:30 where you have multiple competing vocal parts, I think the timing is a little too off. I think these parts sound less "chaotic" and more "complex" if the rhythms are really spot on. Number three: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think the first part has too backup vocals. Thing is, with none of the voices having that "edge" that you get in powerful lead vocals, it starts sounding mushy the more you layer voices. For backgrounds that might even be an advantage, but for a semi-lead part it sounds a little amateurish - with less voices they're easier to doctor in the mix for more clarity. Overall, none of these things manage to ruin a well-executed song.

Wolf Transformation: Solid writing and layering of tracks. I liked it. With that out of the way, let's get to the fun part: taking it apart. :P The first thing that irritated me in the first two or three guitar solo parts is that your guitar melodies tended to fight against the chords quite a bit, with long notes just a semitone away from the triads of the chord. If done sparingly it can accentuate parts of a part, but personally I felt like you overdid it here. Some of the keyboard playing seemed to play fast and loose with the timing. Finally, considering that you were obviously struggling with the higher notes, the simpler recommendation is to play to your strengths and stick to the more comfortable pitches. If you're like me and don't like to be smart not realistic about writing, keep in mind that panning two voices apart highlights any imperfections even more. I feel like your panning was good overall but I would probably have chosen to pan the vocals dead centre (which it didn't sound like you did on my portable listening station consisting of a phone and earphones).

Late entry - Geech Sorensen: very solid. Your voice likes to get stuck in the throat/soft palate region, am I right? Not so easy to fix just based on a few words on the internet, unfortunately, so let's focus on the things that are easier to focus on: the rhythm guitar is a little sloppy sometimes. The backup vocals are a little too up front sometimes - it's okay for them to be quite prominent in theory, but you might want to keep them a little further back if they are a little less polished. ;) Overall a good song with potential for a little more variation to keep us folks with short attention spans engaged, but that would be the icing on the cake.

PS. this thing is still limited to 4 smilies per post? Curse you, internets!
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by Geech » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:22 pm

Jast - That is an amazing, detailed set of reviews, especially considering your humblebrag prelude. The specifics really direct people how to make point improvements. I mean, assuming they come to agree with you :) .

I'm glad you liked my song. I have to admit, though, I don't understand this comment:
jast wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:57 pm
Your voice likes to get stuck in the throat/soft palate region, am I right? Not so easy to fix just based on a few words on the internet, unfortunately,

Could you elaborate on this?
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by jast » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:04 am

I did have a reason to include that disclaimer at the top... for one thing, assume details really are hard to hear with my current listening setup. I made some comments about panning but it's hard to tell whether my impression of the panning has any actual basis in reality. (And the other side of the coin is that people frequently disagree with my thoughts about their songs - I figure if I acknowledge that ahead of time, the disagreement might be slightly less violent and nobody will walk away with any limbs missing. Who knows.)

About my comment on your vocals - my background here is that I've been taking vocal lessons for almost 10 years and I've listened to many of the other students, and over time I started getting a better idea of the hidden potential of each singer, and which elements they are likely missing in their technique. Unfortunately, in singing it's particularly difficult to turn theoretical insights (and that's putting it optimistically - there is no single agreed upon "correct" approach to learning to sing) into actual changes in technique. Doing it "right" involves an intricate balance of various factors, most of which you need expert feedback on whether you're even doing that - it's really hard to tell without a fair bit of experience with doing it right. So, I'm often tempted to comment on vocals despite knowing it probably won't be any help...

I can explain a little more about technique later when I'm back home, that would be a lengthy write-up that I don't really want to do on my phone. ;)
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by furrypedro » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:30 am

I gave these a few spins each on headies and monnies.

Ken's Super Duper Band n Stuff: The harmonies in the chorus here are spot on, very much enjoyed those. I like the variation in rhythm between the chorus and the verses. The general upbeat indie-poppishness is up my street, albeit with the touch of melancholy in the lyrics. It doesn't break out of it's box at all but that's okay. Oh yeah, the "too perfect" comment above cracked me up. Why can't you be less good dammit!

Geech Sorensen: Ah, the latecomer (raises an eyebrow). There's a few good things to say about this. There's some decent dynamics and the drums help change the pace. It's got a good jam feel and it's fairly catchy, plus it doesn't feel like the various guitars and vocals get on top of each other too much, they've all got their space. There's a couple of weird things about it, the vocals feel like they're behind the guitars, they're possibly a bit too reverby or just a bit too low in the mix. I can hear them well enough but they just feel a tiny bit far away. Also there's a bit just before the 2 minute mark when it builds some good momentum which then just fizzles out into nothing. So yeah, a couple of mix tweaks and maybe an edit would tighten this up a bit, but overall not bad stuff.

Wolf Transformation: I spy a widdler, I'm waiting for Glennny's vocals to come in. HAha! gotcha. This has a pretty cool flavour, I like the mix between the chugging parts and the psychedelic freakouts. Some parts remind me a bit of Air which is a plus in my book. I even like most of the guitar work, the bending and wobbling is cool. Btw, thanks for providing the line-up in the lyric thread, that was going to be my next question. Some of the lyrics are good, but I don't get the last line, how do you cinch something? The dictionary didn't help me. Overall, an interesting song with cool sounds.

OG Lawn Darts: I'm not sure, but I feel like the samples might irritate me in a normal (i.e. non-SF) context, but since I like the Jerk's podcast I found it entertaining. Also, I have a bit of a thing against reggae but you made me want to listen to this, so well done there. I like your vocal style actually, it feels nonchalant, I think you know what you're good at and I'm all for playing to your strengths. There's enough going on in here with the arrangement and fills etc. to keep it interesting. All of the weird parts are obviously intentional. I can't honestly understand why anyone would have a problem with a song breaking out of the tropes of its genre, I always thought that was a good thing.

Scale the Spectrum: This ain't a bad song. It's skips along at quite a satisfying pace and the way it builds is good. It has a couple of execution issues, mainly the vocals are occasionally off the beat, or the line doesn't scan very well possibly due to having too many words. I like the little lead bits of guitar, I'd like a few extra flourishes to keep the arrangement interesting over the course of the song.

Tuners Union: I really dig how this starts. The first two and a half minutes are full of cool riffs and chord patterns. I like the mix of slightly scratchy electric guitar and rhodes, and the vocals have great melody and dynamic shifts. I also appreciate how you don't shove the title down my throat. By the end, however, it's lost itself in a mess of overlapping vocals and a middle 8 which by that point had become unnecessary. It feels like you're going for a massive chorus, so my advice is to cut the vocal line that was added last (I can't hear what it's saying but it just sounds like you're having an argument with yourself/selves), cut the middle 8, and make the final chorus longer. Do that and you'll have a tight, catchy tune on your hands. I'll still probably vote for this based on all the good stuff you did.

Thanks for the Frisbee: I still think you're one of the best writers of lyrics and melodies on Song Fight. I'm probably less a fan of the robo-Frisbee drumming as it slightly detracts from the organic feel your older stuff has, but I don't want to discourage you from perservering with this approach. What I would like to hear is another instrument line adding a little more colour around the twinkly frequencies. One other tiny gripe I have is the slight overuse of drumfills and cymbals. I once heard somebody say that using only one cymbal hit in a song has more impact than crashing your way through the whole song, so a bit more sparing use at the appropriate moments might help the dynamic of the track. For all the time I spent picking holes in this I want to emphasise again that I did actually really like this. The arrangement may need some work, but the song itself was really good.

Paco: I always enjoy it when your in Violent Femmes mode. The lyrics are stoopid as yours often are. The backing vocals are great. The lead guitar stabs that come in are really cool. Nice bit of piano overlaying the verses, and I love a kazoo solo. Don't have any crits. Gonna vote for this.

Csmthngccrtv0: At first I had a little difficulty taking this seriously. All the vocals seem so lacking in confidence there's no power or lustre in the delivery, were you trying not to disturb the person in the next room? The mix doesn't help. I recommend panning the "instrumental parts" left and right and keeping the lyrics central. This will help make the words clearer. It might be worth googling how to EQ vocals too. Apart from that the backing melody is interesting, sounds almost classical. Also the tempo change is a nice touch.

Pigfarmer: Ha, yeah why is that guitar solo so long? Why not eh? This song is okay though. The playing and singing is mostly decent. The unusual structure may be the most memorable part of it.

3rd Cat: I like that weird vocal effect at the start of the second verse. The song does lurch slightly uncomfortably in and out of the second pre-chorus. Again, I like your arrangement choices and the chorus is catchy, but this feels unfinished. It feels like it wants to go somewhere but then it doesn't. Definitely worth returning to for the sake of more fully realising the seedling ideas here.

BSS: For the most part this is carried by the vocal line which keeps things interesting and fairly hooky throughout a largly meat and potatoes verse and chorus. I do like those prechoruses, both the kind of instrumental mini-break feel and the mix of guitar and synth in the arpeggiated crescendo. I think the middle is probably my other favourite section musically, good vocals there too. In fact good vocalling all round, both lead and backing. I want to say that for a song with a pretty standard structure the length seems excessive but I honestly enjoyed all of it, so fair play...oh wait, not all of. The intro - seemed tacked on and unconnected from the rest of the song. Still in the running for a vote.

Elephant Loveouse: Hey, if The Jam can rip off Taxman then why can't you? The exhuberant vocal style is humourously entertaining. This is a pretty groovy little jam though, I can dance to it. I like the sort-of-drum-fills around the 2.35 mark, and the way it breaks down is really cool. I can imagine you dragging this out for another 5 minutes before bringing it back to the chorus during a live show. As it is it just pootles to the end but no worries. It was fun.

Jan Krueger: I do love a bit of electropoppery and there are some nice synth sounds floating around in the back of this and the filter-sweepy fade out is quite cool. The overall feel is a bit doomy and that's less to my taste. The main problem I have with this is the vocal always seems behind the beat. Sometimes a more casual vocal style works, but in this genre it feels like it needs to be tighter and so the lasting effect is one of sloppiness. The hi-hat has a good sound but when the snare comes in it lacks punch. The relentless octave jumping of the bass gets a bit wearing after a while. Also the crashes are weirdly harsh and cut-off, it feels like someone sneezed on the song.
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by Thanks For The Frisbee » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:28 pm

furrypedro wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:30 am


Thanks for the Frisbee: I still think you're one of the best writers of lyrics and melodies on Song Fight. I'm probably less a fan of the robo-Frisbee drumming as it slightly detracts from the organic feel your older stuff has, but I don't want to discourage you from perservering with this approach. What I would like to hear is another instrument line adding a little more colour around the twinkly frequencies. One other tiny gripe I have is the slight overuse of drumfills and cymbals. I once heard somebody say that using only one cymbal hit in a song has more impact than crashing your way through the whole song, so a bit more sparing use at the appropriate moments might help the dynamic of the track. For all the time I spent picking holes in this I want to emphasise again that I did actually really like this. The arrangement may need some work, but the song itself was really good.
Thanks for the review friend 😁 if anyone is going to rip holes in my songs I am glad it’s you. Playing songs this way is like learning a different instrument. I hated the cymbal crashes...but was too lazy to fix them. I really just needed a better way to keep time. If I do another sf anytime soon maybe I will just do an old fashioned acoustic, severely off time simple gng for old times sake.
Thanks for the kind words too!

Jast wrote: super detailed reviews:
Thanks for the helpful hints and in depth reviews. I will try to employ some of your suggestions!
Thanks for the frisbee is on SoundCloud
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:36 pm

Heh. Thought i was in Neil Diamond mode. No, seriously.
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by furrypedro » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:13 am

Now you mention it there is a hint of Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon. Of course, my musical comparisons are only based on what I know. In this case (and probably many others) I'm clearly way off.
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by thirdcatmusic » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:00 pm

Haven't had time to do my usual reviews this time around, but my favorites are probably Thanks For The Frisbee and Tuners Union.
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by Geech » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:08 pm

Coming in after the starting gun went off, I felt I really needed to at least contribute some reviews this round...

Balance Lost - This is so shimmery and slick sounding. You maxed the loudness pretty high. I took a look at the wave form, and as I suspected, except for the brief intro, outro and breakdown parts, this is basically brickwalled. This is a real shame as you have parts in here that would work well with some breathing room and dynamic range. If you had more of a build to the “The Way it Isn’t” lyric, with more of a release afterwards, the song would really benefit. You do try a release with the move to the breakdown and that’s nice. I have to say that your whisper-talking/singing is a bit of an acquired taste. You deliver each line in exactly this same style with little range and variation; it just makes them not that memorable. As for the lyrics, I like how there’s a bit of a mystery in their meaning. Your rhymes with “the way it isn’t” are pretty interesting. They don’t always work (ie, “television”), but the I like the effort.

BSS - I sang background vocals on this. In my brief tenure with BSS, usually one person does all of the vocals alone, after the jam session where we compose and record the basic tracks. (This could be immediately after, but more generally, later in the week). This time we tracked all of the vocals together in a separate session, which was pretty fun to do. I hope we do it more. Besides the gang "Ah" vocals at the end there are four different singers. I missed the previous session where the basic tracks were written and recorded. It’s all pretty epic. The instrumental keys and guitar leads together remind of mid-seventies AOR like Kansas or Styx. The chorus is pretty catchy. I like the bridge a lot and we joked how it was like a dozen different classic rock songs - Dream On, All Along the Watchtower, Stairway to Heaven, etc.

CsmthngCcrtv0 - I tried, but I couldn’t make it through this track. It’s basically unlistenable to me.

Elephant Lovehouse - This is a fun song, it would be great at a house party, you could jam on it for 30 minutes, no doubt, but it’s so obviously derivative of “Soul Finger” by the Bar-Kays (ie, the Spies Like Us movie song) I had trouble taking it seriously. My compliments on getting it tight rhythmically. I would have liked some screams and yelps along the way a la Jon Spencer, but maybe that’s just me. I like the way you bring it down, it’s nice work of dynamics, but I really think that it was a big mistake to end the song that way. You should have brought the chorus back full-on!

Geech - Tis me. Trying to anticipate the turnaround? You might get the extra day or two, or you miss it and get burned, like me. Thanks to all of you for not holding this against me. (I'm assuming you're not anyway ;) ) This is just my third song that I’ve recorded and mixed in my DAW and I feel like I am only beginning to understand what the hell I am doing. It’s probably too quiet, the lead vocal should be more prominent and there are some other peculiarities, but overall I like this song, I like that there are real dynamics in it and it has a good number of hooks in it.

Jan Kruger - Not really my style, here, but I can dig the vibe. And that’s what this is to me - a vibe; a mood. It reminds me of Fischerspooner. It’s sounds cool, it’s put together well. It has decent dynamic range. I just wish it were hookier. It’s more like background or ambient music; there just aren’t enough memorable parts to this as a song.

Ken - I think that the lead vocal is a bit too prominent, but overall this is well put together. Sans vocal, most of the parts of this song really remind me of Stereolab. The instrumental part introduced at 1:34 is a nice shift; it’s probably my favorite part. All very tasteful.

OG Lawn Darts - This is the first song I have heard in my limited time doing Song Fight to really crack me up. Including snippets from the Jerks podcast was great for this audience. Not sure what it would mean for an outsider, but I really appreciated it. “Finally, their comeuppance!” LOL. That said, I think it’s weird that you sing about having sold your soul to punk rock in a reggae song. It takes an mind-expanded punker to welcome other genres, no? And isn’t that what you’re saying you’re not? The hardcore interlude from your past was cool. I am not sure how this will stand to many repeated listens, but I really enjoyed it.

Paco - Lots of great hooks. Every instrument and voice is as clear as a bell. Not as insane sounding as many other Paco tunes. I felt like I understood this one. All of the parts work really well with each other. The background vocals are particularly nice. I feel like they were too sparingly used for the “The Way it Isn’t”. It should be in there starting at the first line of the second and third choruses. What happened? I don’t like the kazoo solo. Well, I just don’t like kazoos. Too silly for me! You could break it down more at 1:46 before bring it back. But overall, these are minor complaints, this whole thing is really well done.

Pigfarmer - The open chord classic rock vibe on this is a bit much for me. Overall, it seems like an excuse to do a bunch of guitar leads. I like your vocal when it gets really vibrato-full. It becomes like Corin Tucker. Do that more. But you frequently go out of tune in your vocal and ahead of the beat. The song is really short, and with not that much vocal melody, there isn’t that much memorable in it.

Scale the Spectrum - Cool vocal rhythms on this one. It’s hard to do this sort of thing and also not obviously attempt a rap. The instrumental elements of this song don’t hang together well. The drums are so on the beat. The guitars and vocals are clearly not. And the various vocal parts get in each others’ way when they should work more together. This results in a big distraction for me, which is a drag, because I like this song - it’s hooky and has good dynamics.

Thanks for the Frisbee - I have played a lot of frisbee in my time (don’t get me started) so I paid special attention to this song. There are some decent hooks and the vocal stays fresh with a good variety of melodies. But there isn’t enough dynamic range; the vocal is delivered in the same self-conscious-indie way throughout. I don’t feel like the song goes anywhere. To me this is a too-short demo for something that could be much better and more interesting than it actually is. The ending is particularly frustrating. It’s like someone unplugged your computer when you were mixing it down.

Third Cat - It surprises me nil that Thanks for the Frisbee was one of your two faves from this fight. You guys have a lot in common and a lot of what I said about that song could all be applied here, except that this is worse. It’s less thought-through. It’s less memorable. It’s shorter. It’s less hooky. Your technical proficiency with echoes, delays and other tricks is always fun to listen to, but I challenge you to throw all of that stuff out and just submit a decent straight song with little manipulation for once.

Tuners Union - This is generally well put together - there is some real technical skill in your production. I question the number of vocal parts you have in this song. It reminds me of an attempt at ELO or something. The verse melody is not that memorable, though, you could have done better than that considering the quality and number of hooks in the rest of the song. At 2:35 when you have all of the voices happening at once - is way too much. You should remove that rapping/talking voice that starts here and continues through the end. Granted, I am not into that style of singing so maybe there’s some genre bias, but when it happens over your other vocal parts, the song becomes a mess.

Wolf Transformation - I dig this. There is not enough creepy, dirgey, high-tension kind of music in SF. There is a good variety of feel in the various parts. The slide guitar is done nicely. Your pre-chorus creates a good amount of build which you then release in the chorus. “I hope that this is the way that it isn’t now” is a great lyric for this title. My only real criticism of this tune is that it should hit harder, it should have more of an edge. There is something too soft about the production, its too mushy, it's foggy, it doesn’t have enough attack.

My faves besides the ones I was involved in are Paco, OG Lawn Darts and Wolf Transformation. Ken and Scale the Spectrum are next.
owl
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by owl » Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:28 pm

A bit busy (read: panicking) with SFL stuff so I am not going to have time to write up reviews this week, but I just wanted to say I totally appreciated my surprise cameo in the OG Lawn Darts song and I would like to hear more hardcore screaming in the future from Smalltown Mike.
Lunkhead
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:50 pm

Balance Lost and Thanks for the Frisbee tie for the win!
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vowlvom
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:38 pm

Damn, I think this is the first fight since I signed up where I haven't posted reviews. The two winners were probably my favourites though, good work both! Really liked Ken's song as well.
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glennny
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Re: Prepare to elucidate (The Way It Isn't Reviews)

Post by glennny » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:59 am

Congrats Friz! Congrats Fpedro!
You guys had my 2 favorite songs as well! Really cool you guys tied for the win!
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
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