Bring Some of the Rock (Half a Stone Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
Bolio
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Bring Some of the Rock (Half a Stone Reviews)

Post by Bolio » Mon Nov 01, 2004 10:47 am

5-4-3-2-1 ROCK ON :!:
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Bell Green
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Reviews

Post by Bell Green » Mon Nov 01, 2004 4:41 pm

Reviews from Bell Green~:

A.A. Stone - Just piano and vocals. Good voice and good playing. I think it could be a bit more rehearsed as your voice and playing aren't lacking. I would say, count the number of syllables in your lyrics to match the notes. But other than that, really liked it. Great blues sound.

Bell Green - Left it a bit late and that's why it sounds a bit unfinished. Has the makings of a good song, but hate having half finished songs on my drive, so I just sent it in anyway.

Caravan Ray - Well, you got the mrs dancing! Inspired by "not your stepping stone"? Nice twist on the title. Great rock'n'roll ending. You have a gravely rock voice, which is nice, but could be a bit clearer in the mix. EQ.

Fifteen Years - This reminds of me Lamb. Very nice. Very trip hop. Interesting and unusual chord changes. Good sparse arrangement. You got a great voice. Very moving song. Great stuff.

Frankie Big Face - Sounds like a Beatles song, or maybe Bowie. You have a good voice too. It's a good song, but loses focus now and again. Nice. Well recorded.

Johnny Cashpoint - Tomato, tomaato. Why do British people sing with an American accent. I do it and my wife hates it. Yours is teetering betweening the two, but that's part of the song. If I sing with an English accent then it sounds like opera. Catchy, but sounds a bit Monty Python. Ok, Syd Barrett then - my head kissed the ground . . .

Kapitano - Nice effect on the voice, but needs to be louder in some parts. This is very well done and reminds me of the eighties. Quite well structured and arranged. Just push them vocals up lad.

Ken's Super Duper Band n' Stuff - ooh, nice and loud. Good mastering job. Nice live jam kinda sound to it. Lots of stuff going on but I can hear it all, so well mixed. Is this studio or in the jamming room? 12.51

The Likely Lads - Rock and Roll. Smoke on the water. That hi-hat sounds great. Very catchy and a great rock voice. Love it. Very clear and easy to follow. I have a friend called Roxanne, but she's not like this one.

The Masters of Grip - Nice distortion. Great drums. You managed to wake up the cat! Supersize me? Like it. Who is on backing vocals I wonder? This is fun. I think the title would be "You're just the size for me". Really liked the last chorus. Vocals could be a bit brighter.

PiGPEN - It's a nice vibe, but just a bit too many changes. Quite well mixed. Don't quite understand the meaning, but I don't know too much rap - bit of ice(motherfuckin)T and Cypress Hill. Ah, I think I'm starting to get it - the needle is jumping around. Is that the idea, with half a stone on top of the cartridge.

Pookah - Great. Tambourine? Do I hear a tambourine. Like it. Vocals clashing a bit with the lead guitar. EQing needed to make the vocals stand out, but maybe that was your idea. Send the guitarist on an errand when you're mixing. Hard to hear the bass as well. Good song. Just the mix needs sorting really.

Ron AmoriM - Reverb and lots of it. Too much of it, sorry. Nice song, but sounds like a guy who sneaked in to the church hall to sing his song when everyone was gone. Again vocals could be more upfront in this one. Good work on the "aaahs". Good consistent strumming. All one take or stitched together with software?

Ryan Rickenbach - Did you mean to leave out the bit at the beginning? More rehearsal needed. I know, I know, you only get a week. And so do I, and I didn't rehearse either. I think this song might work better with real close micing with lots of breath sounds, urei 1176 and all that. Good lyrics.

Stubby Phillips - Excellent production and performances. All sounds very live. Very clear. Like the jazzy, bluesy, slightly experimental fusion kinda sound. The production does however mask the song itself a bit. Did you really do this this week? The pre-recorded rule was waived wasn't it. Great stuff.

Well, I'm signing off. Where is everyone? There are loads of reviews in the other fight already. Get writin' y'all. There, I can do american as well. Supersize me.

Who gets my vote? Well it's a hard one. I feel embarrassed to have even put mine in. They are all really good. For most I'd say pump up those vocals, but not all. Who gets my vote? Fifteen years. :D
so . . . when was the last time you backed up?
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Post by j$ » Mon Nov 01, 2004 4:59 pm

Eep! I have just listened to my song again, and there is really nasty encoding nightmare on the file, making it all spongy ... I am sending another version to the fightmasters in the hope that they will swop the one up.

If they don't have the time to do it, you'll just have to bear in mind that this version is not how it is meant to sound. My production is better than that! If it doesn't change over, then I give you all permission not to review it.

J$
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Post by ken » Mon Nov 01, 2004 10:54 pm

Just a quick listen and some reviews:

A A Stone: Excellent piano and voice. Takes you a while to get to the half a stone kicker. Voice not always together, probably could've simplified the piano during those parts.

Bell Green: Your double tracked vocal is a little weird. I'm not sure what it is, something about how upfront they are compared to the guitar, which is way in the back of the mix. Then the vocals are just different enough to be weird. Interesting introduction of the string synth. I think you could've used this a bit more. Good song though, maybe you just need some reverb to tie it all together and soften it up.

Caravan Ray: I think you need to compress the guitars more to bring them to the front of the mix. They seem so far away. I like the retro vibe of them. The drums don't seem to fit, and for some reason, your kick drum is super loud and annoying. I like this track though. I bet it would be fun to play live.

Fifteen Years: Interesting track. Lots of interesting elements. Nice song.

Frankie Big Face: Where are the horns, percussion, and cello? You raised the bar with your coverfight. I like how this track kicks in with the vocals at the chorus. There are some good lyrics in here as well.

Johnny Cashpoint: Nice chorus. There is something weird about this mix. I'll give it another listen when the right mix is up.

Kapitano: That's some synth. Excellent.

Ken's SBDnS: Rocking but kind of crispy mix. Fun song. I had the Cooking is Chemistry/Love is a Mystery part first, and tried to work the rest of the song around it. Not sure I did all that great of a job, but a nice song all the same.

The Likely Lads: There are some nice parts to this song. What is wrong with that crash cymbal? It sounds like it was recorded at 8bits. Otherwise, pretty good.

Masters of Grip: The vocal on this song feels very monotone. Drums are to loud for the rest of the mix. Fun lyrics though.

Pigpen: Wow, this is a pretty professional track. I don't like the A.D.D. quality to it, find a groove and hang with it for a while. Only one minute in, and I am already wondering when this track will be over. Sorry, I want a song, not a collage.

Pookah: Excellent pyschedelia. Didn't really hit any sort of peak for me, but an overall pleasant listen.

Ron AmoriM: Good vocal hamonies.This song goes on too long. Try taking out all the instrumental parts.

Ryan Rickenbach: Nice song there.

Stubby Phillips: The rythm here is a little to funky to me, where it doesn't seem like the band is playing together. Was that your desired effect? As this song doesn't go anywhere, it is too long. There is some solid playing in there at times, and overall it sounds really good.

Be well,
Ken
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - Berkeley Social Scene - Tiny Robots - Seamus Collective - Semolina Pilchards - Cutie Pies - Explino! - Bravo Bros. - 2 from 14 - and more!

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
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Post by Caravan Ray » Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:29 am

My judgement:

A A Ace: Phrasing seems a bit awkward in parts. Lyrics not really engaging me. This isn’t really doing much for me.

Bell Green: You mentioned this is not really completed – it sounds it. Double tracked vocals slightly sloppy. It’s a good song though – with more work I think it would work well - I’d like to hear it ‘countryfied’

15 Years: This is quite sensational – going to be hard to beat. Great voice and great melodies. Nicely put together with the two vocal lines running together. Also great use of the title – ‘half a stones throw away’ – it seems so obvious now I hear it – don’t know why I didn’t think of that.

Frankie Big Face: Shades of Bowie. Nicely played and sung, but the stories not really grabbing me. Nice work but not really my cup of tea.

J$: I think ‘dull’ is pretty much pronounced the same both sides of the Atlantic. Neither the lyrics nor the performance is doing much for me here. Not one of your better ones in my opinion.

Kapitano: Didn’t like it on first listen, but I think I’m coming around to it. Reminds me of Severed Heads. I don’t like the vocals on the chorus, where you use the higher voice – that’s spoiling it a bit for me – I like the synth though. Not sure about the lyrics. Interesting – well worth a listen.

KSDBNS: Good stuff. Nice conventional pop song – but there’s nothing wrong with that when it’s done as well as this. Plenty of hooks and it gets the booty shaking. Mission accomplished. Sounds like it could come from that awful 1970’s cartoon, The Flintstone Kids, where Pebbles and Bam-Bam are grown up and their band always sang a song at the end. (That was meant to be a compliment – even if it doesn’t sound like one).

Likely Lads: Not bad, reminds me a little of The Kink’s Lola for some reason. Just sounds a little bit too restrained and lifeless. When you’re singing lyrics like “I do fear I’m bewitched by your rear…” you’ve really got to sell it. It’s a dirty sleazy sounding song (ie. good) – it just needs a dirtier and sleazier performance. I recall you song last week was a good lively little number – so you’ve obviously got it in you. Overall though – good effort.

Masters of Grip: No, not for me sorry. Seems a bit plodding and tedious – vocals a bit off in places too.

Pigpen: Like your vocal delivery, but the backing music is killing me. Really don’t like this – I’ve liked your previous efforts a lot better.

Pookah: What is Pookah? Are you one bloke or a band? Whatever – this oozes class. I’ve got nothing to say about this one, other than it’s great. Thank you.

Ron AmoriM: This is pretty good. Suffers by comparison production-wise with other entries here – but not bad by any means. Like the way it chugs along with the acoustic guitar and you’ve got a good voice. Look forward to hearing more.

Ryan R: Nice melody, but too sloppy. Not real keen on the lyrics either.

Stubby Phillips: I’m sure someone will like this – it sounds like you do what you do well – but it’s not for me. You’ve got a great voice but that jazz rhythm thing is driving me mad.

and…

Caravanray: I had a bad cold and lost my voice last week – putting the vox on this almost killed me – my voice is very weak and wavy in parts (although I do like the extra gravely tone I picked up!). Despite this, I’m very very happy with how this turned out. I think I’ve managed to capture a bit of energy in this that has been lacking from my previous entries. Still a long way to go obviously, but I think I’ve made a step in the right direction here.
Thanks to Ken for pointing out the boomy kick thing. I didn’t pick that up in my headphones, but on reading your review I plugged my laptop into my stereo and heard it though my sub-woofer. Don’t know how that happened – that’s a trap for young players I’ll have to watch out for.

Conclusion:

Pookah and 15 Years (both newcomers?) have really lifted the bar here. Great songs by both of them. Ken’s SDBNS also got me going. Really can’t choose between these 3, so I’ll follow my baser, more primal instincts and choose the one with the girl in it. Vote for 15 years.
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Post by Kapitano » Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:42 am

<b>A A Ace</b>
Um. I wish I could like this more. The playing is good, though the piano sound could be better. And the voice is good, though the lyrics are sometimes clunky.

The subject matter of gambling addition sits strangely with the kitch sound.

<b>Bell Green</b>
There's nothing especially wrong with this. It's just that the only things which made an impression on me were the problems.

Double tracking on vocals works well, except for when they drift out of sync. The guitar riff gets repetative after the first minute - it could use more variation, and some dynamic compression in the recording. 'if we're human cattle grazing i'd rather be a bird' - sounds corny to me. The synth bit at 2:20 doesn't work. Yes, the song does need something to break it up here, but the stringsynth (a sound I like) doesn't do it.

<b>Caravan Ray</b>
This sounds like it was recorded from a single mic on the floor next to the kick drum. It's a good example of how good playing can be made to sound weak by bad recording and production.

<b>Fifteen Years</b>
Everything about this is a cliche, but I like it a lot. The drum pattern with that rimshot, the lush piano playing arpegios, melancholy lyrics and strings. I bet you listen to Tori Amos.

Voice, performance and production are all great. You've got my vote. And welcome to songfight.

<b>Frankie Big Face</b>
Just as you sigh impatiently at electronic dance music, my heart sinks when I hear another boy-and-guitar song starting. Which is to be resisted, because this is excellent.

Lyrics that get the heartfelt message across without preaching, nice guitar sound and playing, and a structure and length that retain interest.

<b>Johnny 'One Take' Cashpoint</b>
The live version sounded better. The harshness of your voice gels much better with an electric guitar. The accoustic guitar is quiet, and the song could use more instrumentation. Apart from that, it's catchy.

<b>Kapitano</b>
Me. No great change of direction.

<b>Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff</b>
Straightforward rocking. Good musicianship and not bad mixing. One of the few SF songs that I thought could have gone on for longer.

<b>The Likely Lads</b>
"I do fear/That I'm bewitched by her rear"?! This sounds like a weak joke song being performed straight. Which is unfortunate, becuase you've got a good sound.

<b>The Masters of Grip feat J$</b>
The first minute makes me think of Joy Division with the distortion turned up. After that, I can't help thinking of a certain song by Spinal Tap. You know the one. The drums sound like they were dubbed on afterwards.

<b>PiGPEN</b>
Switching channels...and on all channels it's old school rap, all by PiGPEN. Some of the backings sound cheap or don't fit with the genre, but the rapping is good and competent, and even sounds authentic.

<b>Pookah</b>
Vocals sound like The Beatles when in ethereal mode, which fits surprisingly well with the rock backing. My only criticism is that it's about a minute too long. Supercar and MoG have some serious competition here.

<b>Ron AmoriM</b>
Another good boy-and-guitar song, though it <i>is</i> too long. It needs more variation if it's going to be four and a half minutes. There's something odd about the recording - it might be softclipping, or just be overcompressed.

<b>Ryan Rickenbacch</b>
Not bad, just ordinary. Again, you can't rely on just the lyrics to carry a song of over two minutes.

<b>Stubby Phillips</b>
There's a difference between syncopation and being out of time. All the elements are here for a respectable blues-rock track - especially the voice - but it sounds like none of the musicians can hear each other.


It's easy to review songs you love or hate, but not songs you quite like. And all of these songs I 'quite liked'. It's good to see some new people here, and good to hear not a single song that made me want to skip over it.
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Post by TVsKyle » Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:46 am

A.A. Stone- I wish there was something you could do about that airy background noise. Your playing is fine, but I wish there was more than just that little electronic piano there. I'm guessing that you've only got a one-track way to record. Like someone else I reviewed recently, you oughtta slam a Red Bull before you record so you can really belt it out.

The Masters of Grip- Hey. A bunch of guitars. Eh. The drums sound good, but they're overpowering everything else. The vocal style is amusing (on purpose?) but I wish they were on-key more often. Repetitious.

Kapitano- This sounds very similar to Asymmetic by Dirty Sanchez. This loses a lot when you start singing, sadly. The sound in itself isn't the worst, but it's very derivative. As the song progresses, the music really starts burying your vocals.

Ron AmoriM- More airy background noise. More decent playing (ooh, that was a nice chord progression there). Overly-simple instramentations are really bunching my shorts this week. So are off-key vocals, which are mercifully only in the high parts. The song isn't bad at all, but the arrangement gets repetitious and boring as it goes on.

Ken's House of Style- At least you're using different kinds of guitars. The riff is nice. This is pretty solid, actually, but there's no new-and-different. Possible vote.

Fifteen Years- It was such a nice start, but the vocals sound way off the beat. The percussion sounds don't seem to fit the style of the song.

Likely Lads- Yeah, yeah. Guitars. Screamy verse vocals. The chorus actually has a nice hook to it, but the verse melody is weak in comparison. That chorus deserves better. It also deserves something more to the instrumentation. An organ. Piano. Something. The harmony vocals that come in help a bit, but I still want something more. A slightly faster tempo would be nice too. This'd be a possible vote if not for Ken.

Caravan Ray- The tinniness is hurting my ears. Badly. Ow. No hook. More boring-ass guitars. You're capable of way better than this.

Bell Green- The unison vocals in the beginning seem like overkill. Maybe if one of them was a harmony vocal. The vocals would sound good if there was just one, but both sound oversung when played together. All this song has is an A-part until nearly the end. The repetition is killing me.

Ryan Rickenbach- Very cool guitar part. When it's this nice, I don't mind guy-with-guitar too much. Sounds more like a demo than a finished song, though. You need the Cardigans backing you up. Possible vote.

Frankie Big Face- More guy-with-guitar, but not nearly as strong. The bg harmonies are cool and help, but they can't out-cool Ryan's songwriting.

PigPen- Too all-over-the place. Pick a song and make it.

J$- Guy with guitar, mostly. Not a strong enough melody to be supported by guy with guitar, mostly. I like the lyrics, though.

Pookah- I still want an organ, but this ain't arranged so bad. The vocals don't need as much of whatever-that-effect is on them. They'd sound better blending into the bacgkround a bit more. This is ok. The chorus is cool (is it intended to be a bridge?), but it takes too long to get there. Possible vote.

Stubby- I think I understand what you were trying to do, but the band needs to be tightened up to make it work. I like the vocals. Starts dragging pretty fast, sadly.

Ken gets the vote, but Ryan came in a close second.
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Post by frankie big face » Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:37 am

Kapitano wrote: <b>Frankie Big Face</b>
Just as you sigh impatiently at electronic dance music, my heart sinks when I hear another boy-and-guitar song starting. Which is to be resisted, because this is excellent.
I don't sigh impatiently at electronic dance music. Are you surmising this as the result of some comment I made on somsongs about bad electronic dance music? I'm not defensive, just curious. You may be noticing an attitude I didn't even know I had, but I'm pretty open to all kinds of music, including electronic dance, as long as it's well-written and well-produced. Thank you for the compliment, btw.
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Post by Ron » Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:39 pm

My reviews:

Ken's Super Duper: Rockin', uptempo, personal. The end part of the intro riff reminds me of the theme to "Kids in the Hall". I really, really like the lyrics. I dig the philosopher's stone theme.

Johnny Cashpoint: Love the style, and I love your voice. And the lyrics--especially the song's overall theme. Great use of the title.

Bell Green: Music--Nice. I really like the casual, hopeful, road-trip atmosphere...I can see the highway rolling under the car.... I think the lyrics could be tighter, though--how you use "half a stone" and some of your rhymes seem kind of lazy, and I find myself wishing the point-of-view was more consistent.

PigPen: I got a real kick out of it. Rythmically (which is what it's all about, right?) it's oh-so-sloppy...tighten it up, speed it up and the hos'll go wild ;)

Kapitano: Musically, I like it. I dig the seperate vocals and the drive of the whole thing. I enjoyed it very much lyrically, too. My only criticism is that the broken relationship hinted to at the end is kind of dwarfed by the size of the ideas in the other verses.

Stubby: Music--I really dig your voice, man. And I dig the funk...but it's all really disjointed and loose. So loose I have a hard time consistently digesting it all, including the lyrics. Lyrics--Unfortunately, I couldn't get into them because of the music.

Pookah: Music--I dig the music a lot, though I wish it was a little brighter and unmuted in delivery. Great harmonies, man! Lyrics--Hard to hear at times, so hard to judge. I wish you had put them in an archive thread.

Caravan Ray: Rockin', good beat. Not my kind of song, the whole "you're a bad girl" thing, but I really dig how you focused more on the "half" half of the title than the "stone" part.

Frankie Big Face: Tight. I like it a lot. Sad, surreal, infectious. Excellent...way to actually SAY something--this is a song that needs to exist.

A. A. Ace: I dig this humble rag a lot. A brave, lighthearted, intelligent blues. I've played it more than once, just for the entertainment value. :)

The Likely Lads: Rockin'--I dig the vox. Hahaha...I love the chorus--silly and unforgettable. Though it makes use of the title I feel the idea should be referenced throughout the song more, so it's worthy of being the whole point of the piece.

Masters of Grip: Fun, smartass song. I had more than one laugh. It's like Sisters of Mercy meets Weird "Al" Yankovic. I wish the mix was more even, that lead guitar was so far away...

Ryan: Nice song, nice vocal melody. But I wish I knew what "half a stone" meant, when all was sung and done.

Fifteen Years: I love the music and the tone--unfortunately, the drums kinda drown that beautiful piano. The "half a stone" somehow feels artificial lyrically, though...like you didn't really didn't want to say "stone" but had to.

All in all, it was really fascinating to hear where people went with this. Rock on, peeps, even if you're not strictly rock-rockin'.

My vote?: Tough call... Frankie Big Face.
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Post by Ron » Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:56 pm

Bell Green wrote:Reverb and lots of it. Too much of it, sorry. Nice song, but sounds like a guy who sneaked in to the church hall to sing his song when everyone was gone. Again vocals could be more upfront in this one. Good work on the "aaahs". Good consistent strumming. All one take or stitched together with software?
Thanks. It was one take per track (guitar and vox, bass and vox). Good call on the reverb. It's a habit of mine--I just like the sound, but I do go overboard occasionally.
Ken wrote:Good vocal hamonies.This song goes on too long. Try taking out all the instrumental parts.
Thanks. I pretty much just delivered just the song's bones. I should've slapped a little more meat on there--I think it would've made the time less of a drag for some.
Caravan Ray wrote: This is pretty good. Suffers by comparison production-wise with other entries here – but not bad by any means. Like the way it chugs along with the acoustic guitar and you’ve got a good voice. Look forward to hearing more.
Thanks! Oh, I know it on the production. I look forward to setting up a decent studio...Right now I'm working with a crap mic, Cakewalk, FruityLoops, and about 500Megs of hard drive space.
Kapitano wrote:Another good boy-and-guitar song, though it is too long. It needs more variation if it's going to be four and a half minutes. There's something odd about the recording - it might be softclipping, or just be overcompressed.
Thanks. I agree about the variation. I'm learning. The oddness could be the compression--I'm still learning that magic.
TvSKyle wrote:More airy background noise. More decent playing (ooh, that was a nice chord progression there). Overly-simple instramentations are really bunching my shorts this week. So are off-key vocals, which are mercifully only in the high parts. The song isn't bad at all, but the arrangement gets repetitious and boring as it goes on.
Thanks. I wish I had more time to dress this one up.
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Post by Leaf » Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:19 pm

The Likely Lads AC/DC brings the RAWK! .... The tune has alot of potential, but the drum part doesn't work. It doesn't support what the lyrics and guitars are doing, and it's rather boring. Lyrics are good, the ideas are good, but this is not a contender, it is, however, DECENT.
Pigpen This sounds alot better than last weeks, but it's still not great. Production wise: it's cluttery, and unbalanced. The rhyming is delivered alot better, you almost sound present and confident... but the scattered style and cut and paste mix isn't much fun to listen to. Still, I like this better than last weeks, so I'm gonna keep listening to your stuff as you enter, cause I'm a fan of improvement.
Bell Green It's interesting how particular songfighters can have a "distinctive sound". As soon as I hear a Bell Green track, it sounds familiar. (In a good way man!) You also got a jack Shite vibe going on! It's the doubled vocals... I'm not sure how I feel about the way the two vocals don't line up all the time... in this contest, I kind of think that one of the doubled parts should be a little lower in the mix, so it doesn't mess with your phrasing, except at the times where your obviously using it as a natural "delayed" effect. A nice song, although it soulnds like you may not have had much time to lay your tracks down, as you have little skips and misses on the guitar part here and there. It's a nice tune, those strings sound lush. I think this whole thing needs to have a few more takes so it could sound more "cohesive" and the listener could get into the groove and feel, rather than the subtle distarctions. Pretty good though.
The Masters of Grip Dark..demonic... I like the sound of the snare, tight. The mix is unbalanced. The kick needs more bottom.. it sounds tightly compressed, but all mids and thus, while punchy and present, lacks ... well, bottom! Nice drumming. This is ok... the tune isn't doing much for me. You can here the Britishinfluence on this track...kidding.... well, it's ok, but not a tune that's rocking my boat. Id' proabaly dig it if I saw it live, cause it has good energy in the performances.
Ron AmoriM Good sound right off the top.. and I like your playing...guitar is too infront of the vocals, but this is an interesting listen for a guy/guitar tune... nice singing. Nice emotional qualities too. For the style of tune that this is, it seems too long at the 2:23 mark... so I'm waiting to see if a bridge or solo section is gonna lift it up a bit...hmm...not really. this is good, not a contender in my books, but I enjoyed it.
Pookah Right away, I'm not liking the mix. Drums sound too ... cheesy and rolandesque. Guitar lead tone is .. not right for this tune. I like the vibe of it, and the vocals are great....very smooth and well done. I'd enjoy this tune alot more with live drums, better guitar tones and a more balanced mix. Got my head bobbing though... you/or you all have a nice energy in your playing that needs better production to do it justice. Almost a contender.
Ryan Richenbach When ever I see your name, I first think of your avatar fiasco... I think you know the one I'm talking about. damn funy shit ...hopefully you can look back and say the same!! Anyway, your tune...the boy/guitar thing rarely interests me... I'm not big on it. Your voice needs more treatment... it's buried at times behind the guitar, but it has a nice quality to it... guitar playing is nice. It's just too boring for my tastes, but it's good from an objective point of view. At least you recognize that you can't go on for over 5 minutes on a groove like this.. the length was MAYBE 20 seconds too much, but bear in mind, this isn't my kind of thing either... so .. good.
Kapitano The mix relationship between intrument/vocals isn't working.. is this a theme in this fight? I'm enjoying the instruments though, but those vocals are buried man. It was an ok listen, some interesting parts, but not a contender... I'd say it's an "ok".
15 years Nice vocals.. good delivery. Ok, I can't stand the drum track... it's too static and pre-fab. But I like the sound of this one. It's already a contender, and it's not over yet. Good production and mix. Kinda creepy in a way too... I don't know why. Those drums need work though. It detracts from the song, cause they cheapen it...this reminds me of my buddy PinV for some reason too... his old band Bright red and black had a sound like this ... well, I liked this, it's a CONTENDER.
Stubby Phillips Good capture of the sounds... if those drums aren't real, they sure sound like it. I'm not a fan of the ecclectic arrangement of parts... the production is super, but the song isn't. Very disjointed in a way that doesn't work for me. The sound is good. I'd like to hear this group/person doing a song that rips cause all the elements are here... great lead... a very fusionish (gambali) tone! Wow. I've never heard something on songfight that had all the elements that I liked but just didn't work for me before!! It just doesn't groove, there is no pocket to it, so everything is floating on top of nothing... however, I'm excited by Stubby Phillips, and look forward to more stuff , this one just wasn't it!
A.A. Stone Production is ok. Song is... eh. Your voice is good, and your playing is good, but the tune doesn't do anything for me as a listener... it's a boy/guitar tune with piano instead... it's ok. The solo section is interesting... once again, I wish I could play piano like that... nice boogie woogie stylings going on there... vocals seem too dry.
Frankie Big Face Nice sound. I like your little falsetto moment there, bravely done, and well done. Nice vibrato on the voice too, just a subtle use.. your vocal performance is interesting and well done here. Boy/guitar tunes, as they seem to have been called around here have to really kick ass and stand out to get any respect. This is pretty good. I'm enjoying it, and I hear a little Bowie in there too.. yeah. Man. I love the vocals on this. CONTENDER.
caravan Ray Ya.. you sound Australian.... I don't like the mix, although it isn't bad, I just think the decsions on where to place things doens't work as good as it could.. also those drums are boring. The basic idea of it is good, and your vocals are good. you need a drummer man. Yeah, the groove chagne around 1:55 was better. I liked the overall sound of it in terms of "band sound". These vocals seem too processed... i think this tune needs more tweaking and work...it's a bit of a mess at the end. I was nodding along through the whole thing, so I could get into it, I think it winds up as a GOOD.
Johnny Cashpoint Nice feel to it, always like your vocals, wasn't too keen on the lyrics... not one of my favourites of yours, and I know you weren't sure if you were gonna enter this one.. production is good, sound is good, playing is good, so it's a GOOD.
Ken's super duper band n stuff Great sound right off, although I'd love more kick drum. A head bobber. Good vocals. Is this all you, or do you have other players with you? Nice tight groove man. It's a college bar swayer for sure. Good job. I thought the lead could have had a bit more melody in it... just to push the song around a bit more, but a CONTENDER.


Well, I got:
CONTENDERS:
Ken, 15 years, and Frankie Big Face.

Each has qualities that I like, although I'm leaning towards Frankie cause I really dug those vocals... but Ken's groove was happening, while the vocals on 15 years were pretty damn good too... a very enjoyable fight... I'll vote later...
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Post by DELETED » Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:37 pm

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frankie big face
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Post by frankie big face » Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:42 pm

Ron wrote:Frankie Big Face: Tight. I like it a lot. Sad, surreal, infectious. Excellent...way to actually SAY something--this is a song that needs to exist.
Wow, that's a really nice review. Thank you very much.
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Post by spacedog » Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:48 pm

these were my top picks for this one:

ron amorim
this is totally the kind of guitar i wish i could play. good vox and great multi-tracked vox. instrumental section could've been a bit more interesting, but it was fine.

ryan rickenbach
lo-fi, nice and chill. i hear some hawaiian background singers for this one. verse kind of EBTG-esque, in a good way. (btw, great pic you posted.)

bell green
good song, but vocals a bit at odds w/ the vibe. they're a bit nasal, which makes them feel tense. really liked the chorus. i liked the double-tracking vox. the pause before "pretty" in the chorus (mostly the first time), though, gives it a weird, kind of bitter emphasis.

frankie big face
def. enjoyable and well-produced, but it sounds a bit too much like early pink floyd or beatles.
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Andy Balham
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Post by Andy Balham » Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:38 pm

And now the votes from the Balham jury, written as I listen on headphones…

A.A. Stone
Jolly piano. Nice to hear a song about scratchies. The lyrics and music sometimes doesn’t seem to quite fit. The simple instrumentation lends it a bit of a one paced feel, which means the three and a half minutes seems longer than it is.

Bell Green
I like the guitar tone and the doubled vocals. The guitar occasionally sounds a little stilted, like it is part of a loop that doesn’t loop quite right. The general mood of the song works well. The instrumental change sounds a little artificial. I would have preferred if something from it was carried into the following chorus.

Caravan Ray
I like the dirty feel and the rhythmic delivery. It’s a nice take on the title too. It’s early on for possible vote, but it’s a definite contender.

Fifteen Years
The sound quality is good, but the bit rate is bad – so no vote. Ah, I thought of the stone’s throw idea too. The vocals are very well done and the trip-hop feel works well and builds nicely.

Frankie Big Face
Good rhyming of ampersand. Not the only song about body mass and skin and bone I suspect :) This is kind of reminding me of Bowie and that’s no bad thing. This is pretty good for boy and guitar. Possible.

Johnny Ca$hpoint
It’s Ca$hpoint unplugged! I like what you’ve done with it, though I still prefer the rockier version. The “Lapdance for the US” line is tops.

Kapitano
I’m enjoying the overall sound and the gentle build throughout the song. Good track.

Ken's Super Duper Band n' Stuff
Hurrah, a full band sound. The production quality sounds really good to me and at 128kbps too! The chord progression sounds a little too familiar, but the rest more than makes up for it. I like the length and the ending too. In the running.

The Likely Lads
Good rock riff and fine rhyming of gorilla and bigger. I’m bobbing my head along to this nonsense :)

The Masters of Grip (us)
Still far from happy with the chorus, but had a lot of fun doing the overly long outro.

PiGPEN
Can’t complain about the bitrate on this, but as for the rest…

Pookah
Opening reminds me of ‘Run To You’. Nice blend of sweet vocals and guitar. It’s going to do well to sustain my interest for four and half minutes though. The axework is good, but overall it still lacks enough variation for the length (pot calling kettle black considering our entry this week).

Ron AmoriM
Another four and a half minuter. Quite a lot of hiss is detracting a bit. I like the verse vocals though the vocals on the chorus are not really working for me. Three minutes to go and I’m praying for some variation. That strumming pattern is getting a little much. An instrumental would have been nice, just for some respite.

Ryan Rickenbach
The guitar sounds well recorded. I like the shoe-horning of some of the lyrics and the take on the title.

Stubby Phillips
Interesting start. Interesting delivery. Interesting lyrical content. Good solo. Top fun.

Tough one to call, I shall revisit Caravan Ray, Frankie Big Face, Ken's Super Duper Band n' Stuff, Johnny Ca$hpoint and The Likely Lads tomorrow before casting my vote.
"Some may say I couldn't sing, but none may say I didn't sing" - Florence Foster Jenkins
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Andy Balham
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Post by Andy Balham » Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:46 pm

TVsKyle wrote:The Masters of Grip- The vocal style is amusing (on purpose?)...
Not really, but if they entertained then that's good by me
TVsKyle wrote:... but I wish they were on-key more often
Moi aussi
TVsKyle wrote:Repetitious.
Ditto
"Some may say I couldn't sing, but none may say I didn't sing" - Florence Foster Jenkins
frankie big face
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Post by frankie big face » Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:09 pm

I'm mainly interested in how people approached the title--it was hard! When I did a search on the title, I got all these weight loss websites from Great Britain and ascertained that half a stone is 7 pounds (weight, not currency). This was not a phrase I was familiar with and I wasn't sure how I was going to use it. Eventually, I ended up reading some story about a girl who stopped eating and eventually becomes really really small. I liked the idea and tried to make more obviously metaphorical, but also more cloudy as to what it was about. Anyway, that's my story--let's see what you guys did. I'm going to try to limit my comments to the lyrics and approach to the title.

<b>A A Ace</b>
I don't understand the connection to gambling, but it's an interesting approach. Song is kind of awkward. Well played, if not a bit clunky. Delivery of the lyrics also clumsy sometimes.

<b>Bell Green</b>
Leave no stone unturned, not even half a stone. Hmm....that seems like the kind of take on the title that would only be appreciate by those listening in the context of SongFight. I'm not sure it would hold up elsewhere.

<b>Caravan Ray</b>
Well...that's kind of cheating, isn't it? Some clever lyrics here, but on the whole, I'm not that enthusiastic. I like the sound of the recording a lot.

<b>Fifteen Years</b>
"A stone's throw" is one of my most despised clichés (I don't know why), but this is still a good song. I appreciate the dissonance and the vocal counterpoint. I could do without the drum track.

<b>Johnny Cashpoint</b>
Hey, I bet you haven't had Hershey's chocolate! Or Wilbur's!! I will send you some if you send me some clotted cream. Although, maybe that's not such a good idea... As an American, I'm not sure I'm "meant" to like this, but I do. Use of the title is obvious, so I won't say much about it, except I wish you had a bunch of drunk guys singing along during the chorus at the end.

<b>Kapitano</b>
You sort of used the title. ;) I like the song and the sounds you use. Vocals are buried much of the times, but your lyrics post helped. The chorus could have come from a Bowie song on one of his weirder late-period albums. Pretty decent.

<b>Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff</b>
Reminds me of Pete Yorn. I don't understand your use of the title--please explain. One of my favorite songs by you.

<b>The Likely Lads</b>
I don't like the song at all, but I think that's genre bias on my part. I like the bridge between the verse and chorus. Straight-forward use of the phrase. Respectable entry, just not my cup of tea.

<b>The Masters of Grip feat J$</b>
Too silly for my tastes. I didn't care for it.

<b>PiGPEN</b>
"please your so trife"? what does that mean? i don't think trife is a word, dude. brilliant concept and the four lines that generated the song are quite good. unfortunately the concept in practice makes this almost unlistenable. but damn, it was a good idea.

<b>Pookah</b>
I can hardly understand any of the words. That damn guitar buries everything. seriously, i tried--i have almost no idea what you're saying. sorry. a remix of this might be nice.

<b>Ron AmoriM</b>
Very clever take on the title and good execution of the lyrics. Song is well-written, but the recording is so-so. Especially the backing vocals, which are painfully out of tune during the choruses. I wanted a harmonica solo. I would love to hear a recording of your voice not drenched in reverb. I bet it's fantastic.

<b>Ryan Rickenbacch</b>
I didn't understand these lyrics at all. A little too obtuse, I think.

<b>Stubby Phillips</b>
Weird lyrics sung in a wonderfully gravelly voice. I like that guitar chord that sounds like a train. Nice guitar playing. I warmed up to the title concept after a few minutes. Is the same guy who played guitar playing the bass? I'm guessing yes.

Better fight than I expected. Some really interesting ideas and a few really good songs. Good to see a whole bunch of reviews this week too!
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Post by Bell Green » Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:14 pm

Leaf wrote:Bell Green It's interesting how particular songfighters can have a "distinctive sound". As soon as I hear a Bell Green track, it sounds familiar. (In a good way man!).
This is good in a way, but makes me itch to try a new style or whatever. Last week's was a bit different wasn't it? Right, next week will be different. Maybe. Better get my Santa hat on.

By the way, no one seems to have sussed the Kerouac reference, so I'll just spell it out.
so . . . when was the last time you backed up?
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Post by j$ » Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:12 pm

Those reasons I wasn't sure about entering this -

a) I don't own an electric guitar. The one I played with live was Andy Balham's. (Thanks again A). I must get one. As it's undeniably true that it sounded better live.

b) what worked in a 'we're all UK songfighters together' element of the lyric doesn't really translate in this bigger arena. it's not really meant as a dig at the US, more about depression about the way we cowtail to all things US. There was a long spoken introduction that explained it pretty well, but I ummed and ahhhed about starting a 'studio' song with a spoken explanation ... so I'll precis it roughly here, I guess ...

'I have just spent a week in Stratford Upon Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare, with a bunch of American students, so I found myself thinking about differences in language' ...

c) Also you can't see how much I'm smiling without seeing the video ...

:)

j$
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Post by Caravan Ray » Tue Nov 02, 2004 6:10 pm

frankie big face wrote: <b>Caravan Ray</b>
Well...that's kind of cheating, isn't it?
I was wondering if anyone would call me on that!

But is it cheating? What's the consensus? If the title is "Half a Stone" and I add an 'r' to sing "half a stoner" - am I guilty of Title Abuse?

I suppose my song was inspired by the phrase 'half a stone' - but for the finished work "Half a Stoner" is a more appropriate title - which I guess, isn't the title we were given - so I'm probably guilty as charged.

In my defense though - at least it's not an instrumental.


Oh - I also surprised to see Frankie write that American's don't use 'stone' as a unit of mass. I never knew that. That explains J$'s song a bit better now. (Of course, the use of 'stone' as a unit of mass has been illegal in Australia since 1974 - the metric system RAWKS!)
Last edited by Caravan Ray on Tue Nov 02, 2004 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ken
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Post by ken » Tue Nov 02, 2004 6:18 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:If the title is "Half a Stone" and I add an 'r' to sing "half a stoner" - am I guilty of Title Abuse?
Please reference Octothorpe's Been to China.

Ken
Last edited by ken on Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
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Post by Lonbobby » Tue Nov 02, 2004 6:35 pm

Andy Balham wrote: Fifteen Years
the bit rate is bad
What do you mean?
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