The corner of Mad St and Pissed Off Ave (Crossroads Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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The corner of Mad St and Pissed Off Ave (Crossroads Reviews)

Post by erik »

Your song is like Britney Spears lipsynching to Madonna while dancing around in her underwear: it's best enjoyed with the sound turned all the way down.
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Post by j$ »

Since no-one else is ...

Deshead - This is a bit too country for my tastes. A bit too bland - well that's the wrong word - just not edgey enough if you know what I mean - you sound like the singer of 'Deep Blue Something' or someone like that ... but it's very good. Just not my personal pleasure-hat.

Hoosenbergler - Ah, Hoos, you mixed the vocals way too low! the best thing about this song is the lyric and I can only make out a few. Still, I love your inner child (though this has more minor chords in it than the rest of your songs put together I think).

Hope Oath & Suspiscion - Nah, not my bag. Again, a bit too country-rock for my tastes. Nice vocal filter and lovely guitar tune / playing, just not my thing. I can't knock the production, or what is being played (though I can knock 'over the sea, she's calling to me and I strain to listeeeehehehehn' - yuk!) Should have kicked in as a mighty punk song at 1.17! As it is I can't see what justifies it being 4 minutes long. Don't get me wrong it's more than ok, it just lacks dynamic depth.

Jim Tyrell - reminds me of that song by Alison Kraus (is that her name?) Cute, but I wanted 20 seconds of this as an introudction to a monster garage blues number ... ah well

Loyalty Day - a lovely piano, perfect song for Erin's voice, I only wish it was a bit more lurchy/shuffly in the rhythm section - it's a bit too smooth, like if i was trying to clamber to the top to plant the 'vote' flag I would keep slipping off. Not that I won't try, depending on the remainder of the songs.

Luke Henley - Oh no, loose the comedy first 30 seconds, please, just kick into the song. Uke could stand to be a tad louder. The vocals are too close in the mix (in my humble opinion) nice boxtop bongoes (or good badly recorded real bongoes!). This really needs to be trimmed and tidied - it would make a delicious 1.30 song.

Max the Cat
- I love your voice on this one. But the alt-country sound which maybe not unnaturally permeates this fight is just not my bag. Also the chorus vocal seems out of time with the music - but the quality of the song around it suggests this is deliberate, or my mishearing. I got restless at 1.14ish for something else int he mix; i just don't think the lyric is particularly strong, and I don't like the way you say 'goodbye'

The Nutwalls - The Sober Irishman would vote for you. I hate civil war songs (unless it's 'English Civil War' of course) nice stomping kick drum and bass - you of all people could punk this out for the last minute really well; it's a shame and great that you are diversifying, but don't let the desire to win take you too far from the punk sound you do so well, is my suggestion - instead, try and incorporate all these other elements into the sound you make. Just an idea, and easier said than done.

A good fight of not-my-bagness. If Hoosenbergler had got the words louder, i would have voted for him in a flash. Also the smoothness (and guaranteed to win-dom) of Loyalty Day means I can't make it to the top of their personal vote mountain to place my own, so instead I'm gonna go down to the river and give it to Jim Tyrell
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Post by chucky »

Wow. Three short fights this week; damn.

Deshead> Guitar in this kicks ass right from the start. As usual, beautiful production. I forget who said it, but you really are the new Josh Woodward. Not that it's really my type of music, but why the fuck aren't you on the radio? The 2:06 - 17 section is perfect. Heck, the whole song is pretty damn near perfect. Awesome, wicked, cool.

Hoosenbergler> For some reason, I don't hate this. Even though the vocal sound is pretty lame, it was fun. So was the rest of the music. Also, I'm so glad you didn't drag this on for like three minutes. Neat song.

Hope, Oath and Suspicion> Needs a bit more lo-end; if you can't achieve that I recommend putting a slight echo in it post-recording. Good song, though. I enjoy what you're doing, but it's two minutes longer than it needs to be.

Jim Tyrrell> Nice. I don't know what else to say, but this is super well organized, and just plain nice. PrayForMojo would be proud.

Loyalty Day> More female singers is exactly what Songfight needs. The singer here has a nice voice. Again, not my style, but the music is all pretty and well played, and everything just fits together without being super produced. It doesn't really go anywhere, but that could just be a genre thing.

Luke Henley> Don't know what to say here, except.. No thanks.

Max The Cat> A little too 'old-folk' for me, and a little sappy. But it's the best of all the other guy-with-guitar-in-his-bedroom submission this week.

Nutwalls> Cool. I dig this a lot more than the last folk song. Probably because of the presence of a band; and you sound lik you're just having fun. Good work.

Like Mr. Cashpoint said, a good fight but a lot of not-my-bag-ness. My favorite was Deshead, by far; with a nod to Nutwalls and Loyalty Day
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Post by Lunkhead »

Thanks to FutureBoy for the drum track for LD's song this week. Ken played the lovely guitar solo, in additon to playing the piano and one of the acoustic guitar tracks and producing the song. Craptastic bass by me, filling in for our bike-accident-injured bass player David.

crossroads review

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Post by EightLeggedOedipus »

+++ Dude, when's the album coming out? VOTE +++

+++ I enjoy the creepy bizarreness. Definitely some J$ ish ness. +++
--- Americans are reaised on Dr. Seuss, which makes us compulsive rhyme-whores. We even let rhyming usurp melody, harmony and intonation becuase it's just so amazing. God bless America, and God bless rap. Music? ---

<b>Hope, Oath and Suspicion</b>
--- The first verse and chorus is pretty rough. Noah's lead guitar sounds like it was played way high on the neck on heavy gauge strings that are wound so tight that the neck is warped. The reverb still doesn't mask how piercingly bright they are. And unfortunately I couldn't find a way to avoid the phrasing of "listen." ---
+++ I actually like the whole arrangement, once I cut out the drums. Personally, I've never thought myself capable of sincerity before. it was good to work with material that suits it. +++

<b>Jim Tyrrell</b>
+++ Good harmonies and rounds. +++
--- Too short, doesn't go anywhere ---

<b>Loyalty Day</b>
+++ Beautiful sound. Excellent presence of each instrument. +++
/// Now I wish I could vote twice. ///

<b>Luke Henley</b>
--- I know Luke Henley, and you, sir, are NO Luke Henley ---

<b>Max the Cat</b>
+++ I'm a sucker for a fingerpluck with a hot little harmonic in it. +++
--- You seem to speak out the last low notes like "crossroads" in a DYlan-esque manner. No me gusta Dylan-sing. ---

<b>The Nutwalls</b>
--- Following Max, this just doesn't do anythign for me. ---
+++ Decent progression, and I dig the persistent beat. +++
--- Karaoke ---
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Post by ken »

Lunkhead wrote:Thanks to FutureBoy for the drum track for LD's song this week. Ken played the lovely guitar solo, in additon to playing the piano and one of the acoustic guitar tracks and producing the song. Craptastic bass by me, filling in for our bike-accident-injured bass player David.
I'd just like to add that this song was an experiment for me in tracking directly through my laptop sound card with a stereo video mic. It was all done very hastily as I left town on Friday. Started Monday or Tuesday and finished Thursday.

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Post by drë »

this is probably the HEAVY WEIGH out of all the fights this week.

<b>Deshead</b> download Possible vote
music wise, pretty much a Deshead standard, am starting to think you have saved rhythm templates in you computer somewhere. what i enjoyed the most are the lyrics and that sweet sweet little guitar solo. ohh and piano too, plus +. the bass line after the break sounds very good(could of been use more through out the song ?), good ending as well. also you voice sounds a bit sharper than previous songs i think. i would like to see you experiment a bit more with your sound though.

sounds like a awful dance song from one of those former Soviet Union nations.

<b>Hope, Oath and Suspicion</b> download
like your voice and how emo it sounds. you could use a pop filter or SSSSS filter, if they exist.
music could use a bit more diversity, more instruments or at least another guitar part playing a bass line, to balance the thin lead guitar part. you lost at around the 3 minute mark, too long. the ending is good tho. like you voice, keep practicing. lyrics are somewhat lame.

<b>Jim Tyrrell</b> download possible vote
roww rowww your boat....
a canon, i love it. this is the shit, very dynamic, and melodic. could have used a pop filter tho.
i have a whole new level of respect for you man. great job.

<b>Loyalty Day</b> download
??? the intro sounds very disjointed from the rest of the song.. i don't get it.
like the laid back suzanne vega sound, and at least ken is not trying to sing all over the girl, but someone is FUCKING IT UP! with the woodpecker/typewriter noise in the background (why did that have to be there?)...everything else sounds find, the piano, strummed guitars, and the girl sings like an angel.

<b>Luke Henley</b>download
you have great musical energy, meaning potential.
this doesn’t mean you don't have to practice the song before hand, and then submit to SF.
i do this too, but unlike me you can actually sing.
its amazing how something that probably took you 15 minutes to write/record sounds allot better than most people that spent days laying down track after track, trying to build a song by the numbers, like a fucking coloring book.

<b>Max the Cat</b>
decent, but sounds like something my dad used to play to me when i was 2.
you should make albums for the little ones, if you don't already.

<b>The Nutwalls</b> download possible vote
holly molly, bubba. this is not what i was expecting from the nutwalls at all...
aren’t you guys British tho ??
nothing like good old southern rock.... i love it. its hard to point out the flaws when you enjoyed a song this much...
this reminds me allot of Creepy Little Noises by I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House
check him out at cdbaby.

<b>VOTING TIME..........</B>
Jim .... you had my vote for sure with that kick ass canon, but then
The Nutwalls ... kick the doors open with some southern rock, and GOT MY VOTE.
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Post by Nut #2 »

j$ wrote: it's a shame and great that you are diversifying, but don't let the desire to win take you too far from the punk sound you do so well, is my suggestion - instead, try and incorporate all these other elements into the sound you make. Just an idea, and easier said than done.
dre wrote: holly molly, bubba. this is not what i was expecting from the nutwalls at all...
aren’t you guys British tho ??
Thanks for the compliments, guys. It's kind of funny that you both mention our diversification. In real life, when we're not writing tunes for Songfight, we generally gravitate to this sort of folky genre. The three of us come from extremely diverse musical backgrounds, so it's always interesting to come up with a genre in addition to simply coming up with a song for a fight. We've never really recorded anything, and haven't really written a great deal of original music before we got into SF, so we've been experimenting a lot to see what we like to do and what sounds the best out of us.

No, we're not British, I thought our tongue-in-cheek "anti-metric" Feet song made that clear. :-) In actuality, we all live around Sacramento, CA. Anyone else in the region feel free to PM me, maybe we could jam sometime.

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Post by Lunkhead »

This is, of course, very solid as usual for you, so I'm going to be really nitpicky to find things I think could possibly be improved. The drum beat is cool but I think I'd like it better with more kick drum, like kick on the down beat of every beat of each bar, and on the fourth 16th note of every beat. At least some of the time. I think the instrumental bit between the first verse and first chorus is a bit too long, it feels like too much space. It's shorter the second time and I prefer that. I like the end of the chorus, with the drums hitting the ride or whatever. I'd like to hear the ride earlier on during the solo. I'm not so into the way the bass sounds when the guitars and stuff cut out and it's just the vocals/drums/bass. Good ending.

God bless SongFight! Where else would I hear stuff like this? I can't really get into this. The effects on the vocals make them sound like somebody from a David Lynch movie. I hate David Lynch movies. The drum beats are really cheesy sounding. Some of the lyrics that I catch here and there are mildly amusing ("...crave your sweet sweet booty..." " an evil eye that's winking out from trouser fly"...). It's too repetitive for me, I guess, but it's not too long so that's good.

Hope, Oath, and Suspicion
This is OK. Just OK, though, and it looks like it's going to be too long for that quality level... Is it the same chord progression forever? Oh wait, it's changing. Oh wait, it isn't. Dang. This sorely needs some variety to take it a notch above standard open-mic level guytar. The lead line especially needs some variety, to make up for the acoustic being the same thing ad infinitum. Maybe it should just be more sparse? Hey, a new chord!!! That's "ironic", you started the bridge with the lyrics, "No bridge". Intentional? Kick in the wall of heavy guitars in the outro, that would be fun, with some drum smashing. Aargh, back to the same old chords. Oh well... Nice singing at the very end, there.

Jim Tyrell
Ooh, a round! Cool idea. Nice singing. I've heard a cappella on SF! before, but I can't remember hearing a round. Good job, I like it.

Luke Henley
Off to a rocky start so far. Uke, that's good, I guess. Clicking/popping noises, not so good. Your voice is OK. Is this another song where the chords are the same nearly the whole way through? It's not really so amazing that that can completely sustain my interest. The harmonies sound OK. Some casio drums or something might sound better than the box/guitar slapping stuff. That solo sucks. You should try to get a louder signal into your mics, like play uke louder, sing louder, etc. possibly. OK song.

Max the Cat
I like the guitar in the chorus a lot. I think this would sound good with some more instrumentation coming in at the second verse, like bass and light percussion. Then step it up in the bridge. Was that distorting/clipping on the vox during the bridge? Then back to just guytar in the last verse and/or chorus. Really nice finger picking in there, I'm realizing in the third verse. Was that you hitting the key on your keyboard to stop recording at the end there?

The Nutwalls
More acoustic guitar, this is a fairly acoustic heavy fight. This is the kind of building with the instrumentation that I was thinking of for MtC's song. It's a little loose here, tempo-wise... The singing's kinda shaky, too, and is probably the weak link of the performance. Pretty good otherwise, though. Good idea to bring it back down to guytar after the bridge. The guitar at the end seems to end a bit abruptly.
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Post by Nut #2 »

My reviews:


well mastered, as usual. i really didn't like the vocals on this one.
compared to your previous works, this is a B track, imo. the vocals felt
really strained, and the usually crisp tracks seemed muddy. the solo
is pretty weak. usually you take the cake, but this time, it feels a
little tired to me.


cool, the aliens in area 51 have finally decided to post a track to SF.
the lyrics might be cool if i knew your language. awesome synth work.


thin mix. got a real 60's coffee house thing going here. i like the lyrics a
lot, but the music is repetative. this would be awesome with some bass
counterpoint to fill out the melody.

jim tyrrell

you have got a great voice. this would be a great intro to a bluesy song, but
without that connection, this leaves me wanting more.

loyalty day

Are you Merril Bainbridge? I get a great Merril Bainbridge/Edie Brickell vibe
from the vocals, but this song bores me to tears. Fantastic vocals and
harmonies, but the content is .. sleep.. must sleep.. I would love to hear
you in a song with energy.

luke henley

this could be really good. you've got a great uke vibe and some nice vocals
and then .. jesus. all of a sudden the uke is out of tune and there's this ..
thing.. i guess it's supposed to be a uke solo, but man, it's so out of time
and out of tune, i have a hard time even classifying it. tune up your uke and
fit it into time and you'd have a keeper here. HUGE potential here, just tune
up your instrument and feel the rhythm. dunno what you're recording with, but
you hit it a few times, there's a lot of thumps and weird mic noise. with a
little bit of practice, and care in recording, you will be awesome.

max the cat

fantastic recording. love the harmonics. the vocals are spot on. this
is a really interesting sound for an acoustic guitar, and the talent behind
the guitar is impressive.


us.. running with the civil war vibe of the battle at Parker's Crossroads in Tennesee.

Real tough fight vote-wise. everyone who participated in this one had a really good take. As always, I wish more people would post their lyrics.

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Post by erin. »

Well, here goes.

max the cat.
Pretty guitar! The lyrics for the verse are very nice, your voice is comforting like the old guy in the commercial who used to tell me that eating oatmeal was "The right thing to do". If you have no idea what I mean, take it as a compliment.

I'm not sure how you have the time for SF!, and all of the work you put into your own songs, because you clearly do some sort of sound production for a living! All of your songs are solid, and this one is no exception to that. You could probably play with your percusion sounds and mix it up a bit just to branch out. ( I notice that you have some favorites, as we all do)
The chorus has a lyrical and musical hook, well done.

luke henley.
You're so lonesome... I understand that your solo is about gettin' stupid because "somebody's" not around.
Sorta cute.
When you quiet the chaotic solo down and come back to your melody, I'm happy again.

loyalty day.
I really wish I had more time to develope these lyrics and vocals...but who has that in SF!? Ken was kind enough to peice together the random handfull of decent takes to string together a complete track! Props to him..big time. Despite my complaints, I do enjoy the finished product, rushed as it was. Sam contributed some gorgeous guitar per usual, and thanks to Future Boy for his drums.

the nutwalls.
I really like the way your drums sound on this track. The story behind your song is interesting and fun. Your vocal delivery reminds me of Mike Ness from Social Distortion before he starting drinking and smoking. (Not a bad thing)

hope, oath, and suspicion.
Great name to begin. Fantastic melody and instrumentation. I'm not connecting with the lyrics because I'm too distracted by the pretty music, but I like your voice.

I don't sprechen zee. This song makes me giggle. The somewhat evil techno riff coupled with the strange Grace Jones with a robot effected vocals makes for an entertaining trip to a defunct Berlin Goth club.

jim tyrell.
Lovely round sir. Makes me wonder what kind of damage you could do to "Michael row your boat ashore".

This fight was very accoustic! Thank god for Hoosenbergler for mixing it up. Jim Tyrell went out on a limb as well. Fantastic job to all, keep cranking out the tunes!

erin. :roll:
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Post by deshead »

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I agree with most of it, and worked as much as I could into a remix.

Hope, Oath and Suspicion:
Best part: Great vocal. Sincere, indeed.
Heh, this sounds like the "hey, they're live in our street-front studio" version of a Wallflowers track. I like the song, and the last chorus comes in to good effect. But I think the arrangement is too sparse for the breakdown .. I mean, I know why it's in there, and I think it would work great if there was something filling up the space, maybe just on the bottom end.

Best part: sweet, sweet boo-ty
I'm sure you new this'd be one of those songs that people either love or hate. The length is perfect for either. I agree with j$ about the vocals, though. I can only hear 10% of the words. Or was that the idea?

Jim Tyrrell:
Best part: The way a rhythm devlops from the interaction of all the parts.
I don't think I can add anything that wasn't said above. It sounds fantastic.

Loyalty Day:
Best part: the piano is perfect. So Wilco ...
Great performances from everyone involved. I've listened to the song a half dozen times, and while I still can't find a real hook, I'm also not getting tired of listening. It's sunday afternoon music! Do compliments on the flawless mix go to Ken?

Luke Henley:
Best part: the harmonies
The off-beat picking, from the solo onwards, is really distracting. I think I know what you were going for with that, but it doesn't work. I like a lot of the lyrics, though.

Max the Cat:
Best part: everything finger picked, but especially the little harmonic rolls.
After 6 times through the fight, this was the track that a) most stood out, and b) I most wanted to hear again.

The Nutwalls:
Best part: nothing would work better than the banjo (or whatever it is that sounds like a banjo.)
I love the way this builds. I mean, it's a straight-up southern-folk song, but it's perfectly executed. Your voice goes flat a few times, and I can't decide if that detracts from or adds to the song. I tell ya, though, given the lyrics, the voice really should be way out front.
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Post by Lunkhead »

Yes, Ken mixed the LD track. Thanks Ken!
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Post by jimtyrrell »

Deshead - This is great. Nice singing, dude. A strong start to a strong fight.

Hoosenbergler - Creepy. I need to read the lyrics. Good length, excellent ending. I've warmed up to the sound of this by the end.

Hope Oath & Suspicion - Not bad. Could benefit from more variation in the chord structure. Does that make sense? What I mean is, it doesn't stray (much) from the I-IIm-IV-V. Oh wait, this bridge is a nice changeup. Ooh, and you come out of it nicely too.

Jim Tyrrell - That's me.

Loyalty Day - Holy great good God this is beautiful. The lush mix is wonderful, but it's the perfect vocals that really get me. An outstanding piece of work.

Luke Henley - Fun. This makes me want to get a ukelele. Good lyrics. Oh, that solo is a little rough though. What are you using for percussion?

Max The Cat - Mmm, listen to that guitar. Nicely done, a solid contender.

Nutwalls - I liked this one so much I recorded a cover of it. But the files got corrupted or something, and I don't have it to pass along. I use a crappy multitracking package, and seriously need to replace it. Anyway, I'll re-record it if I can. This song fits the title extremely well, and it's well-executed. Kudos!

So yeah, as usual, I like just about everything, and feel like I'm offering little constructive criticism, but hey. There's a few standouts in here, but nothing outright bad. It'll be tough to decide on a vote.
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Post by nyjm »

- ooh... putry guitar intro
- i really like your voice
- the chorus use a different instrumentation to differentiate it more from the verse, like a keyboard tone, perhaps

- interesting fun with J$'s vox
- danceable, but doesn't make me get up and shake it

<b>Hope, Oath and Suspicion</b>
- wow, that lead guitar didn't sound that bright on this side of the atlantic; huh
- i was shooting for an indigo girls kind of sound with this; the drums i put together were based on "galileo"
- ... however, it's best that 8LO didn't include the drums; i did a no kick-bass, no snare sound and it really didn't work
- it's too bad it didn't work b/c a lot of the dynamism that this mix is lacking i had placed in the drums; this is definitely one that i'm going to revisit
- the vocal sincerity is really incredible

<b>Jim Tyrrell</b>
- very cool; i love rounds
- could be a very cool connecting piece in an album, but doesn't feel complete as it is

<b>Loyalty Day</b>
- sounds like nathalie merchant/10,000 maniacs
- pretty, and a nice laid-back feel; a perfect tune for sitting back on a sunday afternoon with an ice tea on the porch
- the robo-drums ruin the acoustic feel

<b>Luke Henley</b>
- that off-kilter banging ruins the nice uke strumming
- and so does the solo
- the vocal harmonies are nice

<b>Max the Cat</b>
- like des, i really love the timbre of your voice
- the guitars are fabulous; they remind me of early paul simon
- the lyrics walk that line between uplifting and sappy; fortunately, they succeed at being uplifting without being a hallmark card

<b>The Nutwalls</b>
- neat music; when the bass kicks in, that's nice touch, and when everything comes together it does so very well
- the lyrical theme, however, is kind of tired
- and the vox are often buried, which they shouldn't be in such a narrative song
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Post by HeuristicsInc »

1: hoosen (bizarre! i recognized j$ right away. i like the synths. good!)
loyalty (great sound! fantastic. catchy. my wife should love this.)
nutwalls (this is v good. vocals should perhaps be a bit more upfront. banjo is great.)
2: luke (this is my favorite of yours so far. you lose me at the solo. the picking is out of time. i'd cut that whole section out. not bad though!)
jimt (cool, i like the vocal rhythms, but the end result isn't as captivating as i'd hope. maybe it ends too soon.)
deshead (this is good, but it's lacking something to me. actually my favorite part is the solo. maybe the whole thing needs piano? seems to be hook-lacking for a style that should have a hook.)
max (i feel like i should like this more, but i don't. maybe it's the woohoos. they're not working for me.)
didn't like: hope (not fond of the vox, and the song seems to just meander. good bandname tho.)

i gotta vote for loyalty day, but hoosenbergler is in second! and nutwalls third.
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 11:52 pm

Post by Nut #2 »

jimtyrrell wrote: Nutwalls - I liked this one so much I recorded a cover of it.
Wow, glad you liked it! We'd love to hear the cover!

-Nut #2 - Chris
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