A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

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A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:33 am

Does that make me above average or below? Put your reviews below.
Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:34 am

Please add your lyric to the lyric thread here abouts: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11692
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Ad astra per alia porci - Steinbeck
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:30 am

Songs posted!
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by owl » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:02 pm

Lunkhead wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:30 am
Songs posted!
Hey, no Balance Lost?
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:49 pm

I can't post songs I haven't received.
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by owl » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:58 pm

Huh, OK. I saw it over on FAWM and saw him say he'd submitted in the prefight thread so I thought he was in for this one...
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:27 pm

This seems like a mystery only Pete can solve for you. If folks are curious about why they don't see somebody's song, the most helpful thing for me as the admin is for folks to just check in directly with the other person and have them contact me. Hashing things out on the boards is not really the best for me.
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by jb » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:46 am

Parkway North - weird first note before the kind of radio intro bit prior to full fidelity. wish the lyrics were more visceral, or had more attention paid to creative interest rather than just getting through the story sort of thing. Harmony sounds good, overall well produced except that first note. Kind of a retro melody. I like when the crunchy guitars kick in, though I wish the vocals also got more aggressive— they stay the same while the guitars do the heavy lifting. Again, just wish for some really cool lines to grab my attention.

Nick Soma - 8:42 JEEEZ will this be epic or just long… alas IMO just long. I think the verse actually needs more words since there’s not a lot going on musically. Not bad production tho. Have a drink, feed the cat.

miscellaneous owl - i like the arpeggiated chord. i don’t like lyrics that start with the word “sometimes”. I’m pretty sure I’ve got some lyrics in songs that start with “sometimes”, and I regret them all. I like the bit that starts at :53, it’s pretty and the words are evocative. Momentary pleasures of mediocre art. And the philosophy is in line with my general outlook. Everything ends in the end, sometimes things don’t get better. I have a line in one of my songs “The world doesn’t owe you anything.” Nice song.

Sweeney Toad - this has a crap-ton of words going on. I kinda like it, I think. It’s really obscure, so I dunno exactly what’s the intent of the words— so without actually knowing what I’m hearing, the lines seem pretty cool. A little muddles in some spots where there’s either stuff overlapping or the doubles aren’t precise enough. I get a little sick of that bell synth line, especially at the ends of its phrases where that last note just sustains and sounds like you need to hit the MIDI panic button. But overall, I think I dig it.

Glenn Case - This is great, and catchy ‘cause it’s true. Nice one.

The JBB - this was an attempt at a kind of Pixies vibe. Midtempo, not too hard to sing or play. Guitar solos by longtime song fighter Mo.

ShoehornTC - I mean, at first I thought this was like, a retelling of a Dog The Bounty Hunter episode or something. But then it got a little more vague and ultimately I can’t quite figure out what you’re on about. The melody’s ok. Kind of an easy Dead kinda vibe. Not too bad. Maybe slightly less inspired that I’d like it to be? Like it could’ve used some sweetening with noodles or doodles and a few really cool lines in the lyrics. Kinda sorta feels like somebody who’s good at this shit just tossing a quick one off.

Slither - 5:36, I dunno man, lemme give it a listen but don’t ramble or… ok it’s a bit rambly I think. Not my speed I’m afraid.

Phlebia - man there’s a lot of words in here, you could turn this into a rap. The funk is cool, though I wish some more vocal lines came in to thicken it at spots and provide some variety. That’s my only real complaint is that it’s kind of the same from start to finish even though there are discernible sections. Lots of ideas in there, musically, it gets a little messy in spots maybe.

Caravan Ray - At the 54321 part the vox got buried in the mix and I couldn’t quite make out what you’re saying. I think the left is mixed louder than the right in general… the lyrics are interesting, a couple good lines in there, kept me listening, even though it’s kinda dumb.

Paco - I really like the music and arrangement. The lead vocals let this one down though, they come off kind of whiny and warbly to my ears when I want them more assertive and confident. I like the harmony vocals though, they’re cool when they come in. Man the music at 2:01 is really killer and makes me imagine Godzilla stomping through a town or something. Nicely ominous. I don’t have much to say about the words, though they did keep me listening. Couldn’t quite figure out what they’re about though.

Brown Word - I like the electric piano and guitar interchange. The vocals were a contrast to the pretty well-produced backing track. You have a little Stevie Nicks vibe in your voice, though I wish the vocal melody and tone was more closely tied to the arrangement. It’s a little like if Stevie Nicks did karaoke to a lesser Steely Dan song. I’m not sure what’s up with that harmony part at like 2:30. That wasn’t enjoyable. This one needed a lot more work.

Berkeley Social Scene — love a good bop bop song. And tambourine to boot! Catchy as hell intro. The mixed-back strident vocal is nicely retro. Most of the song sounds nicely planned out, but that mandolin solo is a little slapdash perhaps. I wish you’d have a new chord progression for the bridge— it gets a little samey samey.

Hot Pink Halo - catchy intro bass, then it gets a bit sloppy. Guitar might be somewhat haphazardly inserted. I’d almost rather it just wasn’t there, because I continue to like the bass and perf background. I also would ditch the doubled vocal. Super simple single vocal, bass, and perc, and I think it would’ve been a lot more compelling. Perhaps the lyrics are a bit rambly, though there are some good lines in there I think. I do like the harmony on “Here we go again”.

Vom Vortun - very much a Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs out-take feel, which I dig. The organ works. Dunno if I like the babababababas, they’re a little too pitchy for me dawg. But overall I like it.

Groggy Tin Portal - this is crap. the words are ok tho.
blippity blop ya don’t stop heyyyyyyyyy
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by furrypedro » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:47 am

I think I have problems with my email account. I've tried sending the file 3 times now and for some reason the attachment keeps getting ejected. Apologies to Sam. I didn't mean to cause any hassle.

Here's my drunkenly mixed entry anyway.

http://www.gocarpetburn.com/mp3/fawm20/peakmisery.mp3
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:16 am

I got it the third time and have added it to the fight.
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by furrypedro » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:51 pm

Thanks! :)
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by SweeneyToad » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:59 pm

groggytinportal - the beat is nice, the lyrics are pretty random which i personally appreciate, the rap flow however can use some work, keep at it!

*glenncase - love those drums in the intro! this is a feel good song about misery, i'm confused now, how should i be feeling? but seriously, what a catchy chorus, i think it's stuck in my head wow.

*johnbenjaminband - I knew I definitely liked this when I first heard it, another feel good song about misery. After reading your review and saw you were going for a pixies vibe I can totally hear it. Pixies are one of my favorite bands of all time. i really like the synthy sound behind the guitars and the mini guitar solo at 2:22 with the echoey vocals right before it. "knees on the floor, head on the deck"? yeah, totally a pixies line. i love this.

*misc.owl - I really dig this, and I'll just be completely honest here, every time I listen to this I keep picturing all the charlie manson hippie girls from that quentin tarantino movie sitting around in a circle on their ranch listening to this being performed by the singer as she stands in the middle adorned in owl feathers with her acoustic guitar. good job!

phlebia - I wonder why you and groggytinportal both mention sonic booms right in the beginning of your songs. that was weird. both times it made me think of guile from street fighter 2, so that was pretty cool. ANYWAYS, this is funky, it reminds me of the 70's, specifically of heather graham from boogie nights and also her character from the austin powers movie combined, but if she was a flight attendant jetsetting around living life, unaware that these are her glory days. she will realize it one day as she thinks back fondly of the best times of her life. i guess that's peak misery right? this song was pretty ok!

brownwordbigwhine - i like the piano a lot in this, right from the beginning. the singer has a cool voice. I feel like if someone came over and caught me listening to this they would think i'm cool. this song really does have a cool and chill vibe about it. overall, this song was really cool!

*vomvorton - for the first couple seconds of this song it reminded of that song with cher and beavis and butthead which gave me a quick shot of nostalgia and dopamine right to my brain. the rest of the song was really enjoyable, especially the bababa's and the overall lo-finess of it. maybe it was the dopamine or maybe it was just a good thing, either way I think this song got me high!

*parkwaynorth - i like the way the music kicks in at 8secs, that guitar riff is dope. the singer has a cool voice. this reminds me of an alternative rock song from the early 90s i think. i feel like like the chorus is a little too long or may just needed something else added to it, the guitar solo bits that kick in after the chorus are really dope though. overall, good job!

*shoehorntc - I kind of got daniel johnston vibes from this and that is awesome. and you are awesome, and overall this song is just awesome. i really like your singing voice, great job yo!

*caravanray - this starts off really catchy and fun and when that riff kicks in at 24secs it get's even better. i really like when you go over all the levels of misery. this was short and sweet and i really like it!

slither - this song is pretty chill and pretty ok but not really my cup of tea i guess. i feel like i may enjoy it more if i had just smoked marijuana but i didn't so... anyways, it kind of reminds me of a song from an 80's movie or maybe the movie Hackers but like one of the slow montage scenes that is kind of boring but you just let play anyways because you don't feel like getting up and pressing fast forward on your VCR.

*pacodelstinko - sci fi and david bowie vibes right off the bat, i'm feelin this. i feel like this could have been in the director's cut of rocky horror picture show maybe. man this is pretty cool, as a wise man name borat once said: very nice!

*berkleysocialscene - more bababas! oh man that piano is dope, this song makes me feel nostalgic even though i've never heard it before. it make me think of schoolhouse rock from some reason, it would make a great music video in that style of animation. i'm getting that dopamine feeling again!

balancelost - this intro feels like its from the 80s and i like that. i'm not sure if like the singing voice yet, this instrumental backing is extremely good. i'm just not really feeling the singing voice i guess. i love the outro instrumental!

*nicksoma - i really dug this, i like long songs like this when they are done right, and this was done right!

*sweeneytoad - this song was brought to you by granddaddypurp with special consideration by heineken and peroni. i really enjoyed making this song!

hotpinkhalo - cool catchy beat, i'm not really feeling the vocals, this was pretty ok though!

*- these were my favorite songs and they got my vote!
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by owl » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:52 pm

SweeneyToad wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:59 pm
*misc.owl - I really dig this, and I'll just be completely honest here, every time I listen to this I keep picturing all the charlie manson hippie girls from that quentin tarantino movie sitting around in a circle on their ranch listening to this being performed by the singer as she stands in the middle adorned in owl feathers with her acoustic guitar. good job!
Haha thank you for the reviews, I love this and I totally wanted to make this my signature, but sadly it's too long.
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by owl » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:59 pm

@sleepysilverdoor so have you explained yet what's going on with the double-Phlebia thing? Are these both you?
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:38 pm

This is a great fight! Maybe my favourite since I've been taking part, so many great songs. I'm short on time lately but I'll see if I can get some reviews together for this one to show my appreciation.
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by crumpart » Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:17 am

I also really loved this fight. I was lugging furniture around the house and in a foul mood when I started listening, and that mood was completely turned around by the time I was done listening.
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:43 am

owl wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:59 pm
@sleepysilverdoor so have you explained yet what's going on with the double-Phlebia thing? Are these both you?
The only one that is me is the actual Phlebia. There's some MyStErIoUs person out there that decided to take my lyrics and rap them under a pseudonym that sounds suspiciously similar to my username though!
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:10 am

After spending two days doing little more than lying in bed feeling pitiful (not sure what I managed to come down with, so I’ll call it coronaSARSflu), I’ve mustered the energy to sit down and write some reviews. Peak Misery indeed.

Balance Lost:
Ooh! Lush! Soft! Airy! One early critique is that you flubbed a couple of the high notes earlier on in the track (“I’m afraid of changing” grabs me). The strings and synth arpeggiation sounds great, and this just sounds fantastic sonically. The back end of this track where you hit the line about “from the Squalor bring me hope” is well executed. Something about the structure of it, with the refrain getting swallowed up by the strings and digital beats is giving me strong Homogenic-era Bjork vibes, which deliberate or not, is a great vibe. It’s hard to criticize this too much more other than maybe re-do a couple of the pitchier lines. A solid track.

Berkeley Social Scene:
Something about this track reminds me heavily of...something else you submitted a few weeks ago, but more peppy and jangly. I couldn’t say exactly which one it was, but whatever. I love the glockenspiel! It makes me quite happy. I was going to say that I wasn’t quite feeling the I-IV-V that was so prevalent, but, well, that WAS the optional challenge so who am I to complain. Still digging that glockenspiel. Doo doo doo, bah bah bah bah!

Brown Word and the Big Whine:
Stop the presses, she’s got mellow! This is a nice change of pace from the past few entries that you’ve submitted and honestly I kind of like hearing this side of you. Though given the lyrical territory I’m not entirely sure exactly what kind of backing track I was expecting, something doomier, gloomier. But this kind of bluesy something-or-another really works for me. I know it’s a virtual drummer, but I’m not huge on the snare tone here. It’s too...punchy. Your vocals were a bit stronger in the first half than in the second half...when you ratchet up the intensity a bit you start to get kind of pitchy. Perhaps a couple more takes could solve that issue. Another this is this track just kind of...ends. I’m not super huge on fade-outs -- 90% of the time I think the track would be better served by a definitive conclusion. And this is no exception. Still, a generally enjoyable excursion into your mellower side.

Caravan Ray:
The only other track other than my own that brought the funk at all, and honestly I like the fact that someone else went kind of funky with their entry! I particularly like the bass tone you went with. Like that kind of trebly picked bass tone makes me think of some of that late 90s big beat type stuff which I still have a bit of a guilty pleasure for. It’s not even guilty, i just like it. Very catchy! I’m not entirely sure what I’d suggest to change about this number.

Glenn Case:
The drums in thesi sound kind of boxy, mostly just the kick. Like it’s clashing a lot with the bass frequencies and muddying up the low-end quite a bit. Either that or my ears are all congested from being sick. But I think it’s the former. I like the harmonized guitar solo and the general pseudo-reggae shuffle that’s driving the beat, and that chord shift that goes into the chorus is pretty clever. I kind of wish this one went on a little bit longer. The guitars and vocals are mixed well. All-in-all, maybe not my favorite of your tunes, but still pretty solid...it just doesn’t stick with me much.

Groggy Tin Portal:
She’s got those … wait. You didn’t write these lyrics, I did! Only now it sounds like Going Back To Cali. And your artist name is suspiciously similar to my user name. What kind of voodoo is this? In all seriousness, I won’t reveal the identity of who did this, but it was done with permission. So many clicky hi-hats!

Hot Pink Halo:
Hmm, I kind of wish that you did a little bit more with the guitar in this one. Like you kind of let your fingers find a chord, fret it, and then kind of keep strumming it longer than I think you should. Which, I dunno, I know you haven’t been playing all that long -- you’ve mentioned that you’d never written a song before before you started entering SongFight, so I guess I’ll just say “change up your guitar chords more often to add more flair”. Periods seem to strike at the worst times. It’s like “oh, you wanna do something stressful? Well, here’s your monthly visitor”! While I can’t personally relate, my wife certainly can, so that line was relatable-by-proxy.

The John Benjamin Band:
How are we supposed to go up from peak misery? Wouldn’t we at the bottom of the valley of misery? A minor quibble in the metaphor aside, I’m enjoying the harmonies that you’ve got going on in this one. My wife points out that there are elements of this that remind her of the Beach Boys, and I agree with her...and then you add in the “woooo-oooooo!” and it becomes more apparently. You should cover Kokomo. Anyway, I guess if I had one critiique of this one it’s a similar one to what I had for Parkway North - the refrain just pops one a few too many times.I don’t know if I found that issue quite as severe in this case, but it remains something that grabs my attention. Maybe longer verses? More words? I don’t know. And I’m not entirely sure I like how it sort of ends on that sustained guitar note with no real resolution. But I can still say one thing that I like a lot about this: you are very good with harmonies. Delightful, tremendous harmonies!

miscellaneous owl:
I’m swimming in your reverb. And those dreamy 9th chords are hitting me exactly the right way. Have I mentioned that I really like 9ths? I can’t hear lyrics that start with “sometimes” without my brain going to that one RHCP song, but obviously this sounds nothing like RHCP (mine on the other hand…). Anyway, the pacing on this is extremely well done, though admittedly I’d say that the pause before the back third of the song is maybe a little bit too long. This seems like the sort of song that would fit well in a movie soundtrack somewhere around the 75 minuite mark when all-is-lost for our protagonist and the audience is feeling strong pity for them as they pick up the pieces of their lives/the plot.

Nick Soma:
Well, you did warn us in the prefight that this song was ridiculously long. The good news is that by and large, it DID hold my interest, though like JB said, you probably could have added another verse in here to really keep the interest going. There are some parts of this -- and maybe this is off the mark -- that kind of remind me of the last couple Opeth albums, though I’ve only listened to them in passing. Kudos for essentially entering a prog-rock epic into the competition though, cause I don’t remember the last time I heard anyone do this. Not since I ended my multi-year self-exile back in August. Anyway, the mixing in this track is a highlight, like those kind of chiming echo-ey guitars are really doing it for me. Live drums would have been nice to hear, but you’re hardly the only person who uses a canned drummer (actually, most people do). The switch to 7/8 at around 4:30 was deftly executed, and at first it took me a minute to figure out exactly what you’d done cause all of a sudden it was still 1-4-5 but sitting differently. And I caught that you had I-IV-V going on in the chord progression for a bit while you had that 1-4-5 accent pattern going so good job there. Not going to lie, a gentle fade out around the 6:30 mark would have been appropriate and probably worked a little bit better given the (generally) limited attention spans of people around here. But hey, I’m alright with the reprise of the first section that follows after that. Notice I’m still typing. Means I’m still listening. I like how you’ve got that throbbing synth bass doing on the whole time. It’s vaguely 303-ish. I’m a sucker for 303s. Your vocals kind of bring to mind early 70s King Crimson. I can’t remember which vocalist exactly, since they had like 5 million of them.

Paco del Stinko:
Intruiging sci-fi themes. I’m not entirely sure what this song is about, but that isn’t really much of a problem for me because I do enjoy the track. The bass-work is filled with all kinds of yummy slides (maybe you do this all the time -- I did more than usual this week so it’s possible that my ear is just more attuned to them than usual). That switch up halfway through with that super heavy riff is pretty great. I know it’s a cliche almost to describe those kinds of riff as as “Sabbathy”, but...i mean, it IS very Sabbathy. There’s a certain “hamming it up” quality to your vocal delivery in the first half of the song that I’m not entirely sure is doing the track justice, like it sounds like you’re adding TOO much dramatic flair. Not sure I agree with JB in that it sounds whiny, maybe just a tad overdone. Still, one of my favorito PdS submissions in awhile. And that riff. Dadgum, that riff.

Parkway North:
Weird filter cut on the intro. So my biggest gripe on this track doesn’t lie with the majority of the track...but the outro. Like I think you could have repeated “we’re living in Peak Misery, ohh oh oh” maybe ten less times and gotten the same effect. By the end of it all I’m thinking is “okayyyyy I get it, end it already”. That aside, the misile effect in the second verse was a really nice touch that I really liked. Though the combined acoustic strumming mixed with the electric is something that I like better in theory than in execution, as for some reason they just don’t QUITE sit together in the mix for me. But that solo where you launch into the pinch harmonics (though a couple of them sound a little flubbed) sounds really cool and I like it. But it needed to end not long after there. This song just isn’t epic enough and that melody isn’t compelling enough to justify the massively repetitive nature of it.

Phlebia:
Well, this was an out-of-genre experience for me. I don’t think I’ve ever written something this funky. Anyway, I fed the prompt to my live-in-idea-generator and she said “write it about blue balls”. And then she pointed out that “balls to the wall” was originally an aviation term. Which eventually just led to trying to fill the lyrics with as many dirty airplane metaphors as possible and writing a song about a sexy flight attendant. Cause what’s funkier than airplanes? Anyway, I feel like the original “blue balls” them got kind of lost in the mix, but it’s still present at the end of each verse and the chorus. Also, slapping my new Boss Dimension C pedal on my bass made it sound kind of like a fretless, which was neat.

ShoehornTC:
THis has kind of the same cheerful jangly vibe that BSS’s entry had. It’s a mix of the rhythm, chord progression (which I know is mostly not I-IV-V, I hear I-VII-VI was more frequently throughout this track...which is fine, I do like that chord progression, simple as it is). There’s something that seems to kind of be missing with this track, and I think that it’s just missing a really strong hook. And that descending triplet guitar line sounds...like something else. I don’t know exactly what. Maybe some Jimmy Buffett song? I don’t know, definitely something my dad played me on cassette a lot on long car rides. It’s passible, decent, but kind of forgettable unfortunately.

Slither:
I enjoy your mellower side. I think that this would sound cooler if you added a bit more delay to your vocals throughout here to add to that cool atmosphere. But as it is, this is generally fine. But then you get to the chorus, and you start doing exactly what I just said. So hey, there we go. Wife says this has a strong Chicago vibe and makes her want to eat chocolate-covered strawberries while watching the ladies man. I’ve seen people on here give you flack for so-cooly ending half your vocal phrases by dropping the pitch. But I like that aspect, and I think that’s just your thing. I noticed you aren’t doing it AS much as you historically have. But man, this is some smooth quiet-storm goodness. I just ended my review session with owl’s entry and then your yours and after being sick for the past few days I don’t know how I’m still awake. Your production is immaculate as always.

Sweeney Toad:
I’m with JB, what’s up with that crazy long sustain on the end of that chimy keyboard melody. And I have no idea what in the hell you’re talking about. But your flow is pretty good, if not necessarily the most original. You kind of like like you’re somewhere between B-Real and Slim Shady from a flow standpoint. But I mean the beat is pretty good, so it’s not half bad...I’ll take it. But seriously, I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking aboutttttttttttttttttt. Some clever lines in here.

Vom Vorton:
I can’t hear I-IV-V drenched in reverb with 6/8 arpeggios and not think of a specific couple of bands that I used to listen to a lot. Spacemen 3 comes to mind. JB said it was very Magnetic Fields but I’m not familiar with Magnetic Fields so I’m sticking with my sonic comparison. Anyway, I dig this. There’s a certain amount of pitchiness in the “ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba” but it’s not off enough for me to diminish my enjoyment of the song. And this is one of two entries where I’ve heard a prominent glockenspiel, and for whatever reason I’m really feeling that tinkly charm this week. The organ is a nice touch. I feel like my review is EXACTLY what JB said. Just wordier.
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:07 pm

Also, I'm digging sweeney toad's off the cuff phunkyphresh reviews.
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by shoehornTC » Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:59 am

Having been on the internet, and a regular user of forums, for over 20 years, I come to this eyes wide open. Everyone has a right to their opinion, this is art and we all have different likes and dislikes, so please take this in the spirit of healthy discussion.

I love JB’s off hand compliment as it states that I may be “good at this s%$t just tossing a quick one off” The second part of that comment was right on the mark. I’ve been having a hard time finding time to record over the last few weeks. When I found some time to write a song for this fight I wrote it fast, and then I questioned it. I decided to keep going. I had to skip a thing to get it done and when I finished tracking, and started to mix, the song kept drawing me in further and further and now I’m just glad I stuck with it, a song about misery, and it makes me very happy. I will have to toss one off more often. ;)

As for whether it is 1 4 5: When I saw sleepysilverdoor’s comment I thought, how did I miss that? I started the song in E and then went to D. I completely screwed that up, that’s not 1 4 5 in E (E, A, B). But then something did not make sense in my head, or my ear, so I did some research. I asked the internet how to determine the key of a song. The first thing I looked at said it was typically the first note/chord of the song OR the last note/chord. In my song the last chord is an A. The little “Jimmy Buffet” lead part at the beginning, middle and end, ends in A, and that A sets the table for the verse to follow... Then I went down a rabbit hole about the “tonic” and all that and I think this song is in the key of “A”. which means I used the 1 4 5 of that scale. A D E (just not in that order, like ever). I fully admit that when I started this song in E (fully intending to make it a 1 4 5 song) playing that D was an accident. But it was a happy accident, which is my favorite kind. Now you all must listen to it over and over to make sure I am correct. Ha!!!

P.S. most bestest comment though was: “something my dad played me on cassette a lot on long car rides”. If that something ever comes to you in mid air some day or when you are forced to listen to soft rock at the grocery store, please share. :)

Just want to take a moment to thank everyone for all of their comments over the last few months. Coming back to SongFight has been a gas!!
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:31 am

First reviews in a while, sorry if I'm rusty, but couldn't resist writing about this Particularly Excellent fight. With so many good songs my vote / not vote threshold is slightly arbitrary so I won't bore you with which ones made the cut!

Balance Lost: I already commented on this one over at FAWM, now in a more criticism-heavy environment you get to hear my Brutally Honest opinions! And, well, I agree with sleepysilverdoor that not all of the high notes in the verse totally work. But everything else is pretty delicious, especially when the string sample comes in and smears gorgeousness all over the place. Lovely production, a bit of a stretch to the classic BL sound that I appreciated, and one of my favourites for the round.

Berkeley Social Scene: So catchy, good lead vox from Geech, great ba-ba-ba backing vocals and I love the glockenspiel. Shifting the trademark BSS solo to mandolin is a good idea although it seems a little sloppy timing-wise in places. That's my only minor complaint though, this is one of my favourite BSS songs for a while.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: I'm impressed with the variety in the songs you've submitted recently! This one has a spacy, bluesy ambience to it and your vocals are really good apart from possibly those harmonies late on that feel a little shaky - although I really love the "sun reaches the peaks before it kisses the valleys" lyrics in that section, a really nice ending to a clever take on the title.

Caravan Ray: I'm not really sure why, but when a song is a dual SF! / spintunes / nur ein entry I always find myself biased against it before I've heard it. This does a good job incorporating the spintunes challenge and the songfight title though so nice work. I like the funkiness and the layered vocals, although in some places it feels like the more interesting vocal line is quieter than the less interesting one. The piano sounds very dry, if I'm stretching for another thing that stood out to me as imperfect, but I enjoyed this!

Glenn Case: I love this one, it's so fun and bouncy and makes the state of peak misery sound quite bearable! The guitar is lovely and crunchy and the layered vocals sound excellent.

Groggy Tin Portal: I really like this musically, the beat is very cool and the horns sound great. The vocal delivery didn't really work for me though. It feels like it needs more bite so that the first syllable carries the beat a little better, or something? Although I'm no expert on rapping, obvz. Is your voice pitch-shifted or just at the very bottom of your register? Either way I wonder if that's responsible for the lack of bite that I'm detecting. Yes I'm just going to keep saying "bite".

Hot Pink Halo: I really like the drum / bass backing, the lyric is well written, but I have to agree with other comments that the rhythm track and the guitar kinda feel like they're from different songs - the percussion has a swing to it, the guitar is very straight. Interesting writing as always though, and I know you were recording under extreme limitations this time around so I'm still impressed by the end product!

The John Benjamin Band: I had this song stuck in my head this morning, which is a good sign! The Pixies homage is strong, definitely hearing Wave of Mutilation in this particularly, although the chorus is maybe even poppier than the poppiest Pixies stuff. Excellent work on the solo from Mo, he boosts any song (including my entry for the next fight, woo!) Slight criticism is that the vocal layering felt a little overdone to me, I think it'd have more impact used more sparingly, but I dunno, it's a stretch. Good song.

miscellaneous owl: another one I've already commented on elsewhere, but in the harsh world of Songfight critique I will add that the verse to this sounds unexpectedly like 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. Not that that's even a criticism really! And it's kinda thematically appropriate, too. Anyway this is very lovely, the melody is totally beautiful and the reverb is just right to hold everything together in a big, soft, heartbreaking pillow of sound. VOTE.

Nick Soma: bold choice to submit an almost nine-minute song - I was wary at first but this is really good stuff. The lyrics are quite witty in their despair, and the production is excellent. You lost me slightly in the heavier mid-section but I think that's just my anti-rock bias showing through. I really like the atmospheric verses a lot.

Paco del Stinko: This is another intriguingly different side of your musical personality that I haven't really encountered before. I like the atmospheric synthiness and as always your backing vocals are first rate. It suffers a little in comparison to some of the other tracks this round for me because a lot of these songs are amazingly hooky whereas this is more of a sustained vibe. I feel like it'd be a grower, though.

Parkway North: this is massively catchy and I like nearly everything about it, especially the lead vocal and the dynamic shift as the fuzzy guitars kick in after the first chorus. A few issues that kept it from being among my favourites though - the filtered intro is a neat touch but it kicks in like a second after the song starts and ends before it should, that would work so well if it was right on the beat. And the chorus just gets too repetitive over the course of the song, if you're going to have a one-line repetition for the chorus I don't think you can get away with hammering it this many times. But I still liked this a lot and I hope we get to hear more from you!

Phlebia: LOVE the drum sound on this, and it's generally very well done indeed, but... god I absolutely hate the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and this veers far enough into that territory that I struggle to enjoy it, even if you're infinitely less annoying than they are.

ShoehornTC: I think I've voted for every song you've submitted since your recent revival and this is no exception. Right from that catchy opening riff I am totally on board with this one, it's so catchy and just the right level of lo-fi to feel warm and welcoming. I like the subtle harmonies on the pre-chorus and chorus, the slight cracks in your voice, the jangle of the guitars. I kinda wanted a guitar harmony to join in when the riff comes back at the end but other than that I have no complaints at all. VOTE.

Slither: excellent production, and I like the mix of your two contrasting vocal styles. It's an atmospheric track, and does a good job making the most of a fairly hefty runtime, although you may have Nick Soma to thank for making this seem comparatively slim!

Sweeney Toad: That super-sustained synth backing feels like there's absolutely no way in hell that it should work, and yet... I love this, it's great. Some of the best rapping I've heard on Song Fight, loads of clever rhymes and witty lines, and somehow despite sounding BASICALLY like musical tinnitus, I loved that weird backing every time it kicked in.

Vom Vorton: really enjoyed making this one, although I was restricted vocally by a cold I've been struggling to shake off for most of the month (which has been VERY ANNOYING). The backing vocals were recorded using a soup-can microphone to hide the fact that my voice was totally broken, but I managed to sneak back in with a better lead vocal using a real microphone just before the deadline. I feel like I am trying to distinctly channel another band in my style here but I'm not sure who it is, haha. Definitely not the Magnetic Fields, although I love them so I will happily take that comparison any time.
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Re: A year late and 48 (Peak Misery reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:38 am

Hmm, the board crashed while I posted those reviews and the thread still says the last post was the one above it. Just posting again in case something got stuck. Please ignore me.
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