Nothing like being a month and something late doing this. Not to make excuses but Christmas, multiple computer problems and basically life got the better of me on this one. Anyway, since no real winner was determined, and I didn't vote, I don't want to break the deadlock we got going. I thought all the stuff was great, but here's my official reviews.
I’m calling everyone’s entry a composition or piece or something other than song because of previous discussions I read about a song having to be melodic and contain lyrics to be classified a song. I hope none of the participants are offended by that. I’m just trying to avoid offending anyone else that might read this and who might take me to task for referring to the entries as songs. With that out of the way…..
Heuristics Inc.: The bangs at the beginning are great, they roll on like thunder especially with the flanger effect. If that’s what you were going for you captured it very well. In fact the whole composition has the feel of driving in a storm. The title made me think of that as well. I’m picturing driving down a dark 2 lane highway at about midnight, the building storm off in the distance and BOOM! Lightning crashes out of nowhere and scares the crap out of you, you struggle to keep it on the road, you know more is coming and BOOM! Again, out of nowhere. I don’t know if that’s what you were going for but it’s definitely cool. I know that’s like a really long analogy but, and don’t take this the wrong way, since this piece is mostly about sounds as opposed to melodies that’s the only way for me to accurately describe it. I normally wouldn’t go in for this sort of thing but knowing it was done on guitar and not a synthesizer, it really appeals to me. And having just re-read that, I really should be a lot more open minded to the synthesizer guys I usually blow off as Casiobots. Very cool. If we do this again I want to try to incorporate something more experimental like this.
Glenn Case: As previously stated, I really like this. The opening melody is very appealing, it has a jazz type feel or something. I’m not wild about the first chord part that follows, but then that melody comes back in and rescues it very well. The next few movements are very well constructed. The opposing guitar parts are great with one moving up and the other moving down the register. I can definitely tell where you left off the one night at about 6:35 and came back to it the next night, but it doesn’t really detract from the piece as a whole. Again, these changes make me think of movements in a symphony which makes your composition very much in line of the premise behind this fight. My biggest gripe, and it’s a small one at that, is that I just don’t like the tone of the pre-amp you’re using for the guitar. Those types of pre-amps, for me at least, don’t seem to work well with guitar. The distortion just starts to sound manufactured to an extent. You can accomplish the same thing with the gain knob on a mixer fader. The worst part is I don’t know why that is. It’s a tube pre-amp, you would think it would be fine to use like that. In the end I’ve just found that a modeler or some, not all, pedal devices work better than a pre-amp if you’re not going to use a mic / amp combo (IMO of course, take it for what it’s worth) All in all I really like the song, sorry for harping on the tone thing. This is a good composition and closer to what I would have like to have done with all the different movements in it.
Dre: You had me at hello, Oh and the bass intro. There’s nothing like a good bass intro, and when the drums come in they sound so good. But this is a guitar song all the way so I’ll focus on that. The acoustic guitars sound very well recorded and there’s a part in the back right that at times takes on a feel not unlike a violin. It’s very odd because I can’t tell if it’s electric or acoustic. I like a lot of the chords you’re using in this. They have an almost made up feel about them. That adds to the inventiveness of the piece which has a kind of Western feel to it. By that I mean American Southwest. I kind of like the absence of any effects on the guitars but I think the piece could also benefit from something added like that. I hate to keep repeating this but your composition has several movements in it that change the mood and feel of the song. It’s worth noting for me because I don’t think I had enough of that going on. I like this for the same reasons I like the other works in this fight, it’s outside of the box and invoking good ideas from me as to where I might try to explore musically in the future. Nice work Dre.
LunkHead: The intro is so cool, did you do that some or all of that by reversing a reel to reel tape? Damn that’s fucking cool when the the beginning fades and you start doing those hammer on harmonics. You have got to teach me how to do that dude, very nice. You’re overall guitar tone is awesome but just a hint, and I mean a hint, on the trebly to midrangy side. I wish your lead parts had more of a stereo pan to them, they feel to dead center to me. It just would add such a full sound to things if you did the delays panning side to side in parts, not all, just some. The slowdown with the slide is very effective and comes in at just the right moment. The next part that follows comes in like “OK I’m done with my slide so here’s the next part”. I wish there was something to bridge that gap. I can’t tell you what that might be but it just feels empty in between those parts. Don’t get me wrong, I like the change I just wish it flowed more freely from one movement to the next.
Eddie Bangs: Josh Woodward usually harps on this point and I usually agree with him to an extent, mic the acoustic guitar man! However here I think the direct approach works well with the chorus effect and adds a nice contrast to the distorted solo going on over the top of it. When the distorted power guitar comes in at about 3:30 it sounds great but the transition could be a bit smoother. Like I said about LunkHead’s piece it’s kind of like “OK I’m done with that so here’s the next part”. And Like I said in his review, I like the change I just wish it flowed more freely from one part to the next. The hard guitar works well but it sounds a little to "Journey"ish. It's the kind of stuff you hear on an ESPN Winter X highlight reel. The next part at 5:45 is slow and mellow which is a nice change but I really don't like the sound of your wah. Sorry, I know how harsh that sounds, but I've got an old '60's wah and your's just sounds too processed and digital. In fact, that would be my gripe about the whole production, too much digital going on. It's a pretty good mix, it just sounds like Howard Hughes did it in a completely sterile environment.
Well that's it and the winner is.........probably never going to be determined. As for my piece, it's grown on me the more I have listened to it. Kind of like moss. Seriously, this was a fun project. I suggest selling the pedals and giving the resulting funds to charity or something. Lord knows, I don't need any more pedals. Let's do this again everyone!
jb wrote:Dan-O has a point.