Army Men + Magnifying Glass = (Toy Puddle reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Army Men + Magnifying Glass = (Toy Puddle reviews)

Post by Rabid Garfunkel »

Light 'em up!
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Post by nyjm »

amy subach
- i rather like your voice; kind of childlike, but that really works for this song
- the vocals are a little too close to the mike, perhaps
- interesting; a nice way to showcase your voice, but the song itself doesn't do too much or go anywhere

boss mcgravity
- recorded live? the main vocal sounds a little distant; maybe just a bit too much reverb
- ooh, i like the vocal swell in the chorus with the backing parts
- good lyrics; they make me nostalgic and have good prosody
- excellent song, dynamic and evocative; into the mp3 collection it goes

electrocushin
- starts of as dr. seuss with a bossa nova soundtrack
- i like the ren & stimpy homage
- the ending bit might be a bit long

farmenther roundtable
- like your singing
- like the bass part, however you modulated it
- these lyrics make me smile; kind of goofy, but not too much so

son of supercar
- i like the guitar, reminds me of soundgarden
- the chorus doesn't work to well, and i think it's the off-pitch vocals
- the outro might go on for too long without something else happening

steve durand
- a solid vocal performance, but i'm not digging the way you use your voice (take this with a grain a salt from someone who can't sing to save his life)
- the lyrics are pretty straight-forward; they lack some poetry; good use of the title, though
- just not digging the overabondance of keyboards, maybe just too sonically monotonous

great fight, everyone; some really solid songwriting.
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Post by Steve Durand »

nyjm wrote:
steve durand
- a solid vocal performance, but i'm not digging the way you use your voice (take this with a grain a salt from someone who can't sing to save his life)
- the lyrics are pretty straight-forward; they lack some poetry; good use of the title, though
- just not digging the overabondance of keyboards, maybe just too sonically monotonous
Thanks for the comments.

Could you expand on the comment about how I "use my voice"? At this point I'm just trying to hit the right notes and not sound like Kermit the frog.

Steve
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Post by drë »

Amysue
++ Laidback, Cool and jazzy… like the background vocals “na na na” thing..
and the signing is good, a bit like suzaane vega.
++ Keeper
--Some of the keyboard parts are too much to take, and gets annoying. For a short time.

Boss McGravity
++ This has a 60’s rockabilly feel to it, witch I usually don’t like, but this song is the exception, mostly due to the well performed vocals and guitar strumming
++ Keeper, and you got my vote
- could of use 1 more instrument, (keyboars,drums,piano,organ)

Electrocushin
?? is this a song or commercial
++ either way , is well done and mild entertaining, specially the terms at the end.

Farmenther Roundtable
++ loungy, fun and cool.you can almost dance to this.
-- I don’t like the low vacals, too William Shatner like.

sonofsupercar
++ bringing the indie rock. Like the drums and bass, vocals are ok. The verses have good melody. The outro is very chaos melodic as well.
-- chorus is lame as hell.

Steve Durand
++ the music is good and fun, and lyrics are easy to follow. and the track has good vocal melody.
++ keeper
-- it does sound like you sinign in key, but is one octave to low. ( then again I don’t know shit about singing)

the BOSS guy gets my vote.
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Post by nyjm »

sdurand wrote:Could you expand on the comment about how I "use my voice"? At this point I'm just trying to hit the right notes and not sound like Kermit the frog.
hoo, do i know that feeling.

it seems mostly like you're resting on one note, but when you do change notes, your voice slides into and out of tone. a few glissandos can be quite impressive, but these aren't glissandos, they're just groping about for the proper tone for a microsecond. i do the same thing a lot.

lately, i've been trying to transpose my vocal melodies onto another instrument, recording it and using it as at least a reference for my rehearsals. might help. i'm sure some of the veterans around here could give some good pointers.
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good group!

Post by MintyHandy »

I don't have time to fully review just yet, but I just took a preliminary listen to the entries for this section and gotta say, strong collection of songs. I'm really looking forward to sitting down with all of 'em.
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one-line reviews

Post by tonetripper »

Amy Sue - The music is great and the cuteness that is displayed by the performance is sooooo endearing, but didn't your parents tell you that playing in potholes is dirty young lady! 8)

Boss McGravity - Great lyrics and performance especially in reference to the puddle turning into a magical river that will descend into the cave according to your plastic people. 8)

Electrocushin - This is like a great commercial spot for one of the most insanely released toys and I love the disclaimer section which was very funny.

Farmenther Roundtable - Fretless bass is a nice call and answer to the lyric, but the lyric could have been shortened by a verse for me and didn't really sell me the title.

sonofsupercar - The vocal tone in the verses and mix is great until the chorus and then the song is a bit of a let down which after a few listens kind of grows on me, but not enough to make me vote for it.

Steve Durand - The toquey sounding vocals combined with the midi-intense backing and banal vocal delivery leave me feeling that the vocal just doesn't occupy the same space as the instrumentation whereas the song isn't half bad, but just didn't really move me for the title.

Top 3:
1) Boss McGravity - for great lyrics
2) Amy Sue - for pure genuine girlishness
3) SoS - for visceral energy
Last edited by tonetripper on Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Future Boy »

I am so in love with Amysue. I voted for her. Please don't tell moboid. :wink:
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Post by joshw »

Scoring Key: (Production, Performance, Song)


Amy Subach (7, 7, 7)

The first line of this is enough to win the "Digital Chimera" fight. The voice w
orks well for this, and the cheesy instrumentation is just right. Nice part at :
47. This is offically a very bizarre song, but I like it.

Boss McGravity (6, 7, 8)

This could easily be a sleeper, but your lyrics are top-notch which gives me som
ething to latch onto. Excellent melody with just enough unexpected twists. Ditto
the guitar part. Too much reverb. It'd probably work if it were real reverb, bu
t it has that "too big fake" sound, and it's in mono. Great ending. The first so
ng I've heard today that I'd be happy to vote for.

Electrocushin (7, 7, 7)

Cute and fun.

Farmenther Roundtable ()

I'm not much of a reggae fan, and that panflute thing gives me horrible flashbac
ks to those smelly guys who travel around to farmers markets selling their new a
ge CDs. The verses are a little tedious - it's a very worn three chords that rep
eat with a melody that just monotones itself over each chord. The spoken word pa
rts are more interesting.

Sonofsupercar (7, 7, 7)

Wow, very straightforward for you. It still has that low-fi feel to it, but it d
oesn't sound purposely irritating. I like it, but I never really get hooked in.

Steve Durand (6, 6, 6)

I'm not feeling anything until the cool part at :35. The vocal delivery really n
eeds some work, it's the weak point. More energy or something. In the end, it's
interesting, but this one didn't fully hook me either.

Boss McGravity gets it.
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Post by Boss McGravity »

joshw wrote:Too much reverb. It'd probably work if it were real reverb, bu
t it has that "too big fake" sound, and it's in mono.
I completely agree about the verb. Ironically, i hadn't planned on using any, but my roommate came home and started watching television, so i had to go record the vocals in the stairwell. :)

-m
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Post by darb_ »

Amysue - Cute vocals, they make me really want to listen to what you have to say, not just smile and nod while thinking about how to get out of the bar as fast as possible. I dig the great beat as well as the background vocals until the bridge at :34. The keyboard seems to smother you until the chorus. It sounds like you ran out of steam and bailed out early on your second verse. I know I wouldn't be complaining if it was longer. You can nag me about taking out the trash anyday.

Boss McGravity - Beautifully crafted song. Great lyrics. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Electrocushin - We're so gay. The dialogue is an homage to Dr. Seuss, the jingle is a tribute to the great Ren & Stimpy commercials, and the disclaimer pays respect to SNL's Happy Fun Ball ad, in which 2/3 of the spot was the discaimer. I had fun making it. We still are in process of recording the vocals cleaner. Hopefully you'll notice an improvement next time.

Farmenther Roundtable - Wow dude, I thought I was screwed up. The synth flute almost drove me to murder.

sonofsupercar - Liked everything except the chorus. Indie rock rules.

Steve Durand - This is good but the tone of the vocals are holding it back. Maybe sing it in a higher key? Of course, you still sing better than me.

1 - Boss McGravity
2 - Amysue
3 - Electrocushin <--Bias alert!
4 - sonofsupercar
5 - Steve Durand
6 - Farmenter Roundtable

I'm surprised by the normalish titles for next week.
Electrocushin - Shockingly Uncomfortable
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Post by MaxMinimally »

Toy Puddle Reviews

Somewhat disjointed thoughts

Amysue – The stereo is nice, but what ear do I pay attention to? Is this really a female voice or is someone having fun manipulating the voice? Your mom must have been mean. Telling you that not everyone gets a toy puddle, were they starving in China too? I’m not sure about the ending. I was waiting for more. It could have used more. What about the summer days when the puddle would be gone?

Boss McGravity – I like the singing. This defiantly has the sound of a street performer. Yes… I say that a lot. It’s a good thing, I love street performers. See, the thing about street performers is that, to me anyway, they seem to be primarily interested in performing their music. Sure the random charitable toss into the instrument case or hat is nice, but playing for others is the real payoff. I remember sitting in downtown Cincinnati listening to a guy playing the sax. 5th and Vine I believe. The sound echoing off the buildings added a whole new dimension to what was basically just a variation on the scales we all learned in 5th grade band. I look forward to visiting New York and hearing a performer in the subway. That has to be an awesome reverberation chamber. I wish there were more places around here to hear street musicians. I have a preference for string duets and threesomes. Yeah, string threesomes. That would be a cool stop animation to see. The screeching from the strings rubbing together in blissful love making… And no, I didn’t give any money to the dude in Cincy. If you’re still reading, I liked this one.

Elecrocushin – Void where prohibited. No C.O.D.s Sorry Idaho. Ditto what Darb_ said. If anyone can provide tips on recording the vocals to cut down on the static, please let us know.

Farmenther Roundtable – Liking the bass. I would have sent that more to the front and the recorder to the back…or not at all. It seems like you’re singing about dildos at some points and varying sizes of puddle for sale… wait, now we’re talking about different liquids. Enemas maybe? I’m all fucked up… WTF is this about?! <question mark>

Sonofsupercar – The drums are a little buried. I’m not quite getting the chorus. I like the “jam session” feel that this song sends to me.

Steve Durand – I like the music, but the singing needs help. Try half and octave up or so. You might find that easier. The higher notes you seem to hit better. That would lead me to believe that you’re not singing with enough gusto down low, or your larynx can’t flap that slow. Use more air! The variation in the singing does keep me interested though. I really like the lyrics! I would have liked to hear the organs stronger in one ear and the singing in the other. Not too bad overall.

I’m leaning towards Boss McGravity

Later,
Mr. Minimally
Electrocushin - Not to be used as a floatation device
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Post by roymond »

<b>Amy Subach</b> – Now this is engaging, and the arrangement is great. Has an off-kilter charm. 7

<b>Boss McGravity </b>- Canonic guitar underpins sweet, crafty melody delivered with sincerity and to great effect. Harmonies punctuate beautiful changes in the bridge. Nice vocal lines and phrasing. So effective as simple voice and guitar, the harmonies really don’t add. Visuals throughout are familiar without coming off trite or cliché. Very nice. 8 & the vote.

<b>Electrocushin </b>- OK, I love the kind Dr. perhaps more than the next, but where do you plan on taking this? This is like one of those “greatest TV commercials of the 60s” compilations. The never-ending disclaimer is fun, especially with the background loop. “God hates fags”…you mean there’re subliminal messages on TV? Who knew? 6

<b>Farmenther Roundtable </b>- Clint Eastwood takes singing lessons from Spock and heads to Jamaica to cut an album. Stay home, Clint. Stay home. 5

<b>Sonofsupercar </b>– Is that backing vocals on an sos cut? I dig the laid back, almost restrained mix. This could really shine given a heavy production treatment. 7

<b>Steve Durand </b>– Nice bridge that really offsets the verse, which grooves on its own. Cute story. Well done. 7

<i>Not sure who the next artist is or even what song this is, so in the event this belongs here (please use ID3 tags, people. they're nice):</i>

<b>b. Ellison </b>- I like the lowered 7th in the bass (or something), but something’s out of sync at that point so it sounds wrong. Tuning among the instruments is haphazard and dangerously close to distraction. But it does add a field-jam quality to the climaxes. 7
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Post by EightLeggedOedipus »

Amysue
+++ Cute. I like the ostentato throughout. +++
--- Vocal intonation. Some lost melodies. ---

Boss McGravity
--- Too quiet. Normalize then run a 2:1 Compression on the whole track from about -15Db. ---
+++ Nice chorus with backing vocals. Helps overcome the GnG bias +++
/// A sweet song that reminds me of some sickening hippy benefit festival. Probably the way you sing. ///
+++ Nice voice, though +++

Electrocushin
+++ I guess it's a clever idea. +++
--- Execution is just NOT funny. Discouraged from ever making my album "Ad Nauseum." Your vocals are all so talky ---

Farmenther Roundtable
+++ I like the reggae beat, and the fretless ??? bass sound. +++
--- Karaoke night. And Middy is the worst drummer ever, but he seems to play on every Songfight song. ---

sonofsupercar
+++ You will be signed to Sub Pop any second. verse is awesome +++
--- Chorus melody is really stale. ---
+++ I dig the voice, though. Who sings? And holy shit this ending! Awesome. +++
Vote!

Steve Durand
/// The loungey Durand brings the gothic vocal style this time. ///
+++ It's a good song. The lyrics sound interesting, but I wish they were posted in the archive so I could confirm and maybe make some sense of them +++
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Post by Niveous »

Niv's Review Paragraph

One last fight to review then I'm going to Octofest. Yay! Toy Puddle begins with Amysue. I dig the voice. In the right situations she could be the new Nataly (x-tokyo resident creepy voice). This is ok but nothing thrilling. The empty spaces are a nuisance. It's short but doesn't grab me. Next. Since when are there commercials in the middle of the fights. Did jb finally sellout? Oh, it's just the Electrocushin. Ah, someone is ripping off the Super Happy Fun ball. But the FOIA comment made me chuckle. Next. Steve Durand. The music is grating to me. It just seems so cheesy and it makes the song into some cheap novelty song you'd find in the possession of Dr. Demento. Ugh. Next, Boss McGravity. Someone tries to make Toy Puddle serious. uh-huh. it's ok and i'm amazed you didn't miss that high note. Just ok. Next sonofsupercar. Having sos in a small fight like this is like putting a pitbull into a cage full of cavies. The jam at the end of this song is awesome. This has the vote easily unless someone pulls off a miracle. Last song, Farmerther Roundtable. I like the pipes but that's about it. It doesn't nothing for me. Lines are a bit ackward and it doesn't hook me at all. Vote time. Easy win for Sonofsupercar. #2 is Amysue and #3 goes to Boss McG. Off I go to Octofest!
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Post by blue »

thank you for the kind reviews. the chorus.. well.. it IS Octoweek, after all.

RE-BAR RE-BAR, TOY PUDDLE.

you'll like it if you listen to it more.

[edit] the singer's name is dennis, and i'm sure he'll say thank you for liking his voice.

Roy, it's a live recording, exceptin' the vox and delay guitar crappity. We're much too lazy to track crap. TT failed to compliment me on my lack of use of compression. Sadness.

I will review!
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Post by tonetripper »

Naaaa, I heard it..... it seemed better than the last, that's for sure, in the world of compression, especially for the drums. I can't lie though, I did think that the attack was also altered by your snares being off, so I didn't really comment cuz I wasn't entirely sure. They definitely gave way in the mix better than the last SoS submission.

Strangely enough though that chorus is eerily catchy in the weirdest of ways. I didn't like it at first, but it's kind of grown on me like a strange fungus. Like something you hate to like. I still have it hanging around especially since you posted those wacky lyrics......... :)
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Post by blue »

hah, sos is officially snare-free for three songs and counting.

reviews:

AMYSUE: nice vibe, very Mitch Froom build going on there, and good use of panning on the vox. .. ooh.. it's over pretty quick. More of a soundscape than a song, I guess, but nice.

Boss M: I.. did not get a lot out of this. The first two chords of the guitar remind me of ADD's "Birds" - I guess that's something. The vox.. you must have been the person who said he had to record em in a stairwell. They're oddly centered, and either you have weird mp3 artifacts or some serious autotune abuse. But.. that's all subjective stuff... It's a servicable, if not-rocking, song.

EC: I was grinning right up till "God hates Fags." What the hell was that all about?

Farm: Guitars seem a little loud and hella panned. Has a fruity little pirate ditty feel to it. YARRRRRR.

Steve D: TMBG much? You should scream in the background or something.
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Post by roymond »

blue wrote: [edit] the singer's name is dennis, and i'm sure he'll say thank you for liking his voice.

Roy, it's a live recording, exceptin' the vox and delay guitar crappity. We're much too lazy to track crap. TT failed to compliment me on my lack of use of compression. Sadness.
I know you always record live and its always great. I was just sayin'...

and I love dennis' voice, you know.
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thanks!

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Re: thanks!

Post by Bolio »

amysue wrote:Hi everyone
Welcome!

Amysue – Immediately gives me the impression it’s a dance remix from a much better song. You have an interesting voice, & the melody has it’s moments. This offsets the cheesy sounds a bit. But overall, can’t listen more than a couple times. Your voice is interesting enough to carry you on Songfight, look forward to hearing more.

Boss McGravity – Voice very similar to Plat (but can you do talking hands??) Not my style. Hook on the chorus is almost okay, but for Boy+Guitar you need something pretty spectacular to get me to come back.

Electrocushin – Fun idea. I can buy it. The sung parts should be tightened up if you want it to really sound like an advertisement though. Still would fit well on a ‘Ren & Stimpy’ episode & the rambling disclaimer is a nice touch.

Farmenther Roundtable – I hate that flute patch, sounds like it’s gonna take off into a ‘Outback Steakhouse’ commercial. I like the production quality, guitar & drums sound very good imo. But the flute totally ruined it for me.

Son of Supercar – Cool style, just what the fight needed. Major points for awesome production, something lacking this week throughout SF. (If I could get drums to sound like this I’d be a happier person…. )Especially that outro groove, wished that had shown up earlier in the song…. with a build into a much more rollicking final chorus… Is that lyric ‘Ah Reba, Ah Rebar or Arriba?’ Odd Comment: The fact your vocalist sounds almost identical to Michael Stipe at time ruins it for me & I have to start the track over again. But not much you can do about that, heh. Still, the class of the fight by a country mile.

Steve Durand – Too much cheese for me. I’m a cheesy patch user too, but too many at once really turns me off. A guitar, horn, something real added would do wonders imo. Vocal style not scoring points, need a break somewhere & the melody gets tiring. Really need some variety here. Also noticed when you don’t put that vibrato on your held notes, they tend to go out of tune.
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Post by blue »

AH REBAR, AH REBAR, TOY PUDDLE, TOY PUDDLE (everyone sing along now)

he totally sounds like Stipe there, and is even (unconciously) ripping off some Green or Fables-era REM melody. luckily, we all dig old REM.

drums are 1 mic (the famous crappy low-end MXL condenser TT and i pimp so often) about 12" above the rack tom, aimed across the kit at the low tom (not that it matters much where you aim it, with that mic), with about a 6" square of tar shingling duct taped to the outside to keep the guitar bleed out a little, and a d112 in the bass drum (empty (as in, no foam or whatever) and tuned almost totally slack on both sides). i had to hand-edit the hats in the chorus, cuz they were really freakin' loud. bass drum has some waves MAXXBASS on it, and probably a tiny bit of waves l2 compressor. bass guitar and the 2 drum tracks are bussed together into ozone 2 for some light compression. uh.. i think i set the bass guitar to one of the ridiculous maxxbass presets and the bass drum to the other one.

WAVES + OZONE + group tracks = teh win.

thank you for the review.
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