I meant to write reviews, but... (It Never Happened review)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Future Boy
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I meant to write reviews, but... (It Never Happened review)

Post by Future Boy »

For all you procrastintators out there. (misspelling intentional)
Missed Connections | With Johnny Cashpoint: A Maze of Death | various noises on Soundcloud | modular synths on Youtube
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Sober
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Post by Sober »

Notice:

The vocals in my song aren't clipping, they're overdriven. On purpose. Ok, I guess that's technically clipping.

People will still mention it as if I had no idea.
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It Never Happened 1st impression reviews

Post by glennny »

I usually like to take in the lot of songs over a few days then review, but I'm on my 3rd round of listening, it's Saturday morning, and I have the time.

Beatnik Turtle- This is catchy, and fun. All the background vocal stylings really make this one for me. Very cool.

Ben Wong- Well I think you have a good voice, the tune is decent. For some reason the recording is very muffled. Sounds like you're down the hall in another rehearsal space.

Chin Music- This is pretty cool. The slide guitar is my favorite part. The vocals remind me of old Velvet Underground, circa Run Run Run. I'd like to hear this with a drummer accentuating the song, the drum machine keeps a steady beat but that's about the extent of it. Good song.

Dangers- This rocks! The music is just bitchin' guitar bass drums that is. I'm on the fence with the lo-fi keyboard. I'm trying to place the Emo Screamo Indie Punk vocals it reminds me of, can't place it, but very gutsy. This is a favorite.

Darkside of Archeology- The intro is pretty awesome. Then the song drags for me. I don't really like the guitar solo, but the tones are nice. Overall the production is pretty good.

Electric Spoons- This must be far too advanced and brilliant for me to understand or enjoy. The quirkiness is nice, but I can't find anything to ground to.

Futureboy- The electric piano is sweet, the chord pattern is beautiful. The vocals are great nice melody too. The drums at the 2minute mark don't really offend, but they don't add anything for me. I think it may have been slightly stronger without them.

Gangway Annapolis- Wonderful to hear some real piano playing. The piano sounds a lot more crisp than the vocals. Th singing is solid with a nice melody.

Jeff Travis Henderson- This is a totally solid entry. One of my favorites in the fight. The last 15 seconds are weird, the "ah" is great, the woosh at the end I don't like, but that's a minor nit pick. Very good entry!

Kweep- Kweep is a studio stud. The playing is top notch, the singing is great again. Production is as always among the best. This song is OK but doesn't rock my world the way other Kweep tunes tend to.

Max the Cat- It's tough to poke any holes in this song. It's very professional. It's got a really nice 60's 70's folk rock vibe.

Motor Monkeys- Nice riff, this reminds me of the Sex Pistols but with much better bass playing. This song is all about the rhythm section for me. Very cool.

The Older Brothers- This is my entry. It was almost "Glen of Dust Pipe", but then MT said he could come lay down some vocals hence the new band name. I brought the vocals up higher per nearly everybodys suggetion. We'll see how that fairs.

Ray Negro- This rocks and funks this mutha out. The band is really tight and good. I can't understand a damn word, but I don't care I love the timbre of the voice. Jammin tune! This is a contender for me too.

Sober Irishman-WOW, nice production! Nice guitar solo! Great vocals too! Although the keys and drum machine are crisp and clear, the patches are not really to my taste. I won't be surprised if this takes the fight. This is a good one.

Somewhere Off the Left Coast- A blues tune with no rhythm section. The playing is rhythmic enough to keep it together but I think at the sacrifice of being as interesting as it could be.

Spy vs. Pie- Short and sweet catchy swing tune. At this length you could change the lyrics to fit a product for a commercial and make more money than the lot of us.

Steve Durand- I can't place the Dr. Demento classic Steve Durand reminds me of. Oh yeah "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer". Anyway this is delightful, not as funny as some of the other SD entries, but musically good to my ears.

Wages- This recording is better than the last few Wages entries for me. Same usual comments great voice, needs more solid guitar.


So after an impressive 19 entries my favorites (that I wasn't involved in) are Dangers, JT Henderson, Ray Negro, Max the Cat, and the Sober Irishman.
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Re: It Never Happened 1st impression reviews

Post by Nigel (spOOn) Clements »

glennny wrote:Electric Spoons- This must be far too advanced and brilliant for me to understand or enjoy. The quirkiness is nice, but I can't find anything to ground to.
:lol: Nah! s'ok it's crap! :)
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Post by Steve Durand »

Hey Sober,
Your vocals are clipping. :wink:

Steve
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture" -Unknown
"Seems to me this is the point of Songfight" - Max The Cat
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Post by Sober »

Must... resist urge to post the O RLY owl... aghh..

Big fight. I'll review after I have some samwitches.
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Post by Märk »

Sober: I think there's something wrong with your mp3.. the vocals are all distorting.

Ack.
* this is not a disclaimer
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Post by Jim of Seattle »

TSI,

I could continue with this joke, but I think it's done now. Good song, and the clipping is actually cool. Wtf, the whole song is cool. If you had heavily EQed and heavily compressed that clipped vocal the clipping effect would have been more obvious. It's subtle enough that it might sound like an accident to some listeners.
Here's my record label page thingie with stuff about me if you are so interested: https://greenmonkeyrecords.com/jim-of-seattle/
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Post by Sober »

Beatnik Turtle - You rival Octothorpe for the muppet-rock title. Catchy, well-played, somewhat funny. The mix, aside from the vocals, feels very vintage. I would try to make the backing mix match the vocals, whether that's sparkling up the band to sound like the vocals or warming the vocals up to sound like the band. Pretty cool overall.

Ben Wong - Ooh, is this a tape recorder? The wretched qualities of this combined are appealing. I want to hate your voice, but it's somehow listenable and pleasant. Classical guitar is always good. I have a million bad things to say about this, I mean I could really tear this apart, but it's just too... cute. That's what this is. It's cute. This is the lo-fi track to beat this week.

Chin Music: Is 15 seconds of silence necessary at the beginning? Your voice is fricking great, Jagger. Your voice. It's the greatest. Needs some refining, but it's there. The rest of the track is god-fucking awful. Direct-in guitar, panned drums, overuse of effects, lack of any coherent mixing. It's like some kid shit together a track, and had his uncle come over and sing on it. Work on what's behind you, focus on your vocals, and you'll be making hits. Too much silence at the end.

Dangers: Fucking cool. The drums are a little weird at times, too obviously sequenced. Yeah, the keyboard is lame, and not in a cool retro lofi way. The fall-apart at the end requires drum fall-apart, which I realize you can't do with sequenced drums, but it's noticeably missing to the point that I'd recommend doing a real ending. Cool voice, reminds me of high school. Needs more polish, but there's potential for sure.

Dark Side of Archaology: Maybe you put a lot of work into this, I don't know. It remains really boring until the guitar solo at 1:30, where it quickly becomes boring again. The mix could use some work, the kick doesn't have any punch to it. Not my thing.

@eclectic Sp00ns: This is really bad, but you seem reasonably aware of that. Get someone else to sing for you. Really really. The verses are a complete mess, void of any rythymic coherence. No thanks.

Futureboy: You crack me up, man. This is awesome. Great rhodes sound, what board are you using again? This is absolutely gorgeous. The drum loop is a great thing to bring in, but I don't know about the swing feel. I'd like to hear how it sounds straight. What I'd like to hear most is a huge vocal arrangement, like 6 part SSATTB. The harmony parts that are there are great. This is such a great song, I want to hear so much more, though. At some point, it would have been cool to bring in a super-fat bassline. Something simple and sine-y. Awesome stuff, man.

Gangway Annapolis: The piano sound is lame. The mix is noticeably mono. Spread that piano patch, throw some wide reverb on it, anything. The vocal performance could be better. Decent song overall, not much to it.

Jeff Travis Henderson: The shaker is up too high. Back it off, maybe double it. This song has some real pop potential, but it lacks a lot. The drums need a lot more work, get a stereo capture of the guitar, or double it if you must. You need a bassline, which might be there but is invisible. Back up on the pronunciation of "H" when you're moving on a note (Mu-huch). The first and second higher notes you start each verse with are bad. And yeah, the wooshy stuff is definitely overkill. If the whole song was more full-band like the end is, this would be a lot more enjoyable. You got some work to do, but there's some good things going on here.

Kweep: Mud mud mud. 100-400 is all over. The joke-verses are pretty lame. The chorus smacks of Limp Bizkit. Maybe a tiny bit of Wesley Willis thrown in. Work on the mix, work on making non-gimmick songs.

Max the Cat: I'd say back the reverb off on the vocals, but it suits the cheesyness of the song. Ok, harmonies. Sounds like there are some slight pitch problems hidden in there, and intonation is especially important when you've got low harmonies like that. I want to shout at you to bring up the highs on the harmonies, but I think you're smart enough that you did it on purpose, and didn't leave them muddy on accident. Been listening to U2? Pretty well done overall, not the kind of thing I'd listen to in the car, but whatever.

Motor Monkeys: 7/8 TIME ALERT!!! British-industrial-post-punk. Cool. The bass feels too clean. The drums are great. Bring the vocals up a bit, maybe. Way cool, could use some mastering to get the most out of the mix.

Older Brothers: This is a mess. The high-end on everything is way too high. This physically hurts like hell to listen to. The vocal performance is grating and harsh, and not in a cool rock way. If the mix wasn't so awful, I might give this a few more listens and write more, but I have to stop.

Ray Negro: Sounds live. The electric guitar and voice are occupying the same space in the mix, which is why you can't really understand the vocals when the guitar is playing. Pan stuff around, eq, or something. This song is way cool, but it needs a rockstar-ass singer. Your voice is good, you're hitting the notes, the delivery is fine, but it doesn't have the balls that a song like this needs to make it truly memorable. If Perry Farrell (Janes Addiction) sang this, it'd be a freakin' hit.

The Sober Irishman: Pop! I put this together on Thursday, and I had a lot of fun. I put a lot of work into the micromixing/mastering phase, probably more than any other song I've done. I still neglected a lot of things, but I'm really happy with the result. The guitar solo took just over 100 takes, and I finally ended up having to splice a couple takes, but I love the result.

EDIT: As far as what I was trying to acheive with the vocals.. I wanted a natural saturation, like you get with a tube amp when you turn the clean channel up. The higher it goes, the tube begins to naturally saturate, overload, and distort, rather than the forced distortion found in the OD channel. I wanted that feel on the vocals, and I think I came pretty close to achieving it.

Somewhere Off the Left Coast: Green Onions. The vocal delivery is totally weak. The half-assed fake scream makes me want to punch you in the side of the head. Scream, for fuck's sake. Don't be a pussy. Everything else is fine, except that the same guitar riff over and over for 3 minutes without anything to break the monotony makes for undesirable music.

Spy vs. Pie: Doesn't Phil have something to do with this? Throw that fucking acoustic guitar out the window and put in a huge freakin' Gretsch semihollow, one that matches the color of your suit. The drums are great, they're Blue, right? This is definitely cool, but it lacks a bunch. The style you're going for is too close to Brian Setzer to not compare, so I'm gonna do it. Electric guitar is a must, some horns would be kinda cool, but I realize those are hard to come by. The vocal delivery doesn't feel like glam-rockabilly, and it feels like it really really should. The organ is great, but it's pretty buried.. maybe bring it up an octave. And the snare feels like it should be a 14x6.5, tuned way low. Blue should get that if you don't. The backing mix could use a little more high-end. Pretty cool.

Steve Durand: The guitar and bass are way way muddy. The guitar should be bright as hell. Seriously, the guitar should be like a bow-and-arrow shooting you in the face, that's how bright it should be. And instead of strumming, I'd like to hear some Luther Perkins-esque picking on it. The banjo is boring, play that son of a bitch. As far as vocal delivery, it doesn't fit the style at all. Give it some balls. Good song, mediocre track.

Wages: Guitar direct-in is a no-no. Throw a smidge of reverb on the vocals. Completely dry vocals have to be stellar to really work. The guitar solos are pretty bad. Needs a lot of work.

Weird fight. Lots of guy & electric guitar stuff. I guess that's the new guy & acoustic guitar. Nothing absolutely awful (close, though), and no one farting into a mic.

Max the Cat, Spy vs. Pie, Ray Negro, Motor Monkeys, Beatnik Turtle, and Dangers are all really solid submissions. I might have to cover Steve Durand's track.

Futureboy's amazing song will probably get my vote, but I'll sit on it for a while.
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Post by Heather. Redmon. »

The Sober Irishman wrote:
Spy vs. Pie: Doesn't Phil have something to do with this? The drums are great, they're Blue, right? Blue should get that if you don't.
Sober... It's not Blue, it's Brian F. and of course Phil, and together they are Spy vs. Pie. Myeah! The drums, bass and organ were all Phil and were all real. Brian F. did the rest, and a fine job at that! :)
jack wrote:heather is the hardest working mom on songfight (in addition to being arguably the rockinist chick....).
Listen to our music!
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Jim of Seattle
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Post by Jim of Seattle »

Because I'm a contributor this week (Peppermint Patty) I'm going to try and review everything. But right off I gotta say this is one of the strongest fights I can remember. Amazing work, everyone.
Here's my record label page thingie with stuff about me if you are so interested: https://greenmonkeyrecords.com/jim-of-seattle/
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Post by JeffHenderson »

Well The Sober Irishman handled most of the production concerns fairly well in his reviews, so rather than rehashing what he said as far as that goes, I'm going to try to stick to trying to reviewing just the songwriting and maybe some of the arrangement.

Beatnik Turtle - This is fun. The "Ba-da-da-da-da-da"s are fantastic.

Ben Wong - This sound like the type of song I would hear on mainstream radio in 1998. So that's pretty good. Sometimes it's hard to keep people interested when you have pretty much the same chord progression for the entire song, but I think you pulled it off. So good job.

Chin Music - I like this one too. It has a lot of cool Bob Dylan-esque elements. The single-toned verse melody definitely works for this song especially when you sometimes rythmically delay some words, but I especially like the chorus. It has a really nice feel coming out of the verses.

Dangers - This one is mostly pretty good, and I actually think the keyboard does work. I don't think the part where it slows down at 0:25 is very good, but the rest of is definitely alright.

Dark Side of Archaology - This song is poorly written. It doesn't sound like you put a lot of thought into the melody of this song. The guitar solo starts out with a good idea that improves the song when it comes in, but soon reverts to repeating the idea until it is dead.

Eclectic Spoons - You are doing what I am tempted to do sometimes. Sometimes I get so sick of writing normal songs, and I feel like writing very unconventional melodies and arrangements. The problem is that I cannot imagine a situation where anyone would sit back and enjoy something like this. You are the exact opposite of the type of people who write I-IV-V-IV songs.

Future Boy - I really like the harmonies. You clearly are a very talented songwiter. You come across to me as a person with a really well-refined pop sensibility, but who doens't want to sound like everything else. The result is that you (probably intentionally) have a lot of unresolved musical ideas, and I think that leaves the average listener a little less satisfied than if you simply resolved them in an intuitional way. So I guess I encourage you to give into your pop intuitions a bit more, but overall this is one of my favorites.

Gangway Annapolis - It sounds like you wrote the piano part first, and then tried to add the vocals afterwards. If you took the vocals away, and just left the piano, it would be a very good listen. The piano part is enjoyable to me in the same kind of way that listening to some of Gershwin's piano stuff is. The problem is that your vocals sound like they were forced onto this song and they don't belong. That ruins a lot of it for me.

Jeff Travis Henderson - Hey it's me! I mixed this at 5 in the morning after hours of recording, and so I was horrified with the mix when I listened to it the next morning. The bass needs and piano need to be brought up and the drums, shakers, and ahhs need to be brought down. But there's nothing I can do now, so oh well.

Kweep - I'm glad you worked in the word "loanded". The chorus is okay, but the whole thing seems lacking in a way that I can't seem to point my finger at.

Max the Cat - When it first came in I thought, "whoah, Paul Simon", and then you switch things up and they get even more awesome. You do a similar thing to the harmonies that the White Stripes do on "Little Ghost". But yeah, this whole thing is really kick-butt. The lyrics are good too". I'm downloading it.

Motor Monkeys - I don't like the melody of this one, but the rest is pretty cool.

Older Brothers - I like the sitar-sounding guitar deal. I hate the dissonant melody in the verse, but I love the smooth pop in of the chorus. A lot of this has a Turtles vibe to it.

Ray Negro - This one is really cool, especially the verses. The falsetto vocals are a really good idea, but it ends up sounding like Teen Girl Squad by the time we get to the chorus. This is a well-written song.

The Sober Irishman - I really like the way this one starts with the distant "ahhs" and the cool rythm. The rest of the song turns into something that I normally wouldn't listen to, but I have friends who would. So there you go.

Somewhere Off the Left Coast - This song reminds me of the White Stripes first album. So it is pretty well written, but you definitely could use some Meg White drums, and the lead guitar is sorely lacking. I'm trying to stay away from talking about the production, but I think drums are essential to making a song like this work. Or at least they could help.

Spy Vs. Pie - The best band name. This song is great. You manage to get an original sound from a very familiar style. It is short and succinct, and very well done. The Organ is really awesome too. I'm downloading this one.

Steve Durand - It's funny, I considered going this direction lyric-wise, but you did a better job than I would have. This is fun and I really like the oohs in the bridge.

Wages - If I was in a coffee shop on open mic night and you were at the front, I would lean to the person next to me and say "This guy is alright".

Most of you had respectable entries, but my vote will probably go to either Max the Cat or Spy Vs. Pie.
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Post by brianf »

Jeff you may be pleased to note that playing our (Spy vs. Pie) tune counts as Can-con!
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Post by JeffHenderson »

brianf wrote:Jeff you may be pleased to note that playing our (Spy vs. Pie) tune counts as Can-con!
So it has at least 3 of the 4 MAPL requirements?
Perfect. I'm going to study broadcasting next year too. Maybe I'll give your tune a hit up on the old campus station.
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Post by brianf »

JeffHenderson wrote:So it has at least 3 of the 4 MAPL requirements?
it does, but I thought you only needed 2? At any rate Spy vs. Pie = The Can-Am Connection!
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Post by Kweep »

The Sober Irishman wrote:Kweep: Mud mud mud. 100-400 is all over. The joke-verses are pretty lame. The chorus smacks of Limp Bizkit. Maybe a tiny bit of Wesley Willis thrown in. Work on the mix, work on making non-gimmick songs.
firstly, i wrote and recorded this in 5 hours and barely got it in on time so of course the mix is gonna suck... not an excuse, just a fact. (personally, i hate the mix, too... so, i'm with ya on that.)

secondly, i'll work on whatever the hell i want to work on... i don't do this to make you happy [EDIT - or make you like me], i do it because SF! is probably the best reason to write music that i've found [EDIT - by found, i mean, been introduced to]. that being said, i really do appreciate your comments and criticisms... it's how i'm gonna get better.

thirdly, i'll take any comparison to wesley willis! :)

fourthly, i wanna stress again how much i appreciate the comments and criticisms... SF! rocks.
"You’re a little like heroin..." - Smalltown Mike
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Nigel (spOOn) Clements
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Post by Nigel (spOOn) Clements »

So far thanks for the three very honest reviews, and I'll be taking all your songs to work with me on Monday for an intense listen, probably wont take my own though (hehe) your actually spot on with your analysis, I've been trying very hard to please others recently (in my own limited kind of way) and this was a bit of a reaction to just go outside the stream for a while and try some things that probably are not exactly musical!!
I was inches away from submitting this as an instrumental (because me vocals are so awful) but anyhoo!

I know I'm out of my depth
But I really enjoy taking part in songfight
And being aware of my own limitations makes it easier to take critisism
Who knows maybe in a million years I might hit an accurate note or hold a rhythm/beat :lol:

All the best to everybody, spOOn.
(there is some excellent shit here, far too good to give an instant impression, and it's all free!!)
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Post by max the cat »

Kweep Delightfully whiney, love the ring modulated intro. Everything works together the little stories, the low techish track, the vocals . Very hooky hook. Nothing wrong here.
Beatnik Turtle kinda cute, I assume that the lo tech is a matter of economics. I like the nasal backgrounds, uniquely perverted, explains why this guy can’t succeed. The lyric is cute I think it could work harder, more specific. Play a cherry 1956 Fender Strat with A Marshal stack, yeah I know it doesn’t rhyme. The point is that when you say you never played guitar it would be funnier. Same for all the verses. This is a lyric driven song If it were funnier the track would be a plus.

Steve Durand Other than a too washy guitar, kind of spills over everything I’ve got to give kudos to this classic country story. Well done. Might have gone one step further with a WMD bridge and out with a verse about a revenge fuck.

Ray Negro I must apologize. I’m in a lyric reviewing state of mind and I can’t decipher a lot of these words. I’m not in love enough with the track to take an hour to figure out what’s being said. Interesting European Prince vocal.

Chin Music Moon tan andâ€
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Post by max the cat »

The Sober Irishman wrote:Notice:

The vocals in my song aren't clipping, they're overdriven. On purpose. Ok, I guess that's technically clipping.

People will still mention it as if I had no idea.
Missed this so my question would be why?
hillbilly

Post by hillbilly »

Max I thought the vocals were great, good job, review you others later.
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Post by Sober »

max the cat wrote:Missed this so my question would be why?
Because. Read my review of myself for more.
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Post by max the cat »

The Sober Irishman wrote:
max the cat wrote:Missed this so my question would be why?
Because. Read my review of myself for more.
Neglect?
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