Friday, November 18, 2011

the last afternoon of a woman he only thought he knew

As seems to happen with frightening regularity, a new Song Fight is up! The Fightmasters often like to chuck out impossibly-long and awkward titles and it's a fantastic prompt for creativity, in my opinion. I would have loved to contribute to this fight and the title is tucked away on my list for the future.
Let's start with the cover art, which is awesome! Love the blending of textures, text and images. I could easily see this on a professional album cover.

Berkeley Social Scene
--- opening vox ---
+++ fem backing vox +++
+++ lead guitar tune +++
+++ chorus melody +++

This is much more catchy than many other BSS songs to my recollection, and I love it. Vote!

bgm | lyrics
+++ rhythm +++
+++ story & imagery +++
+++ dynamics +++

Everything I love in a song: melody, solid production and performance, a biting story with evocative imagery. Huge vote!

Billy and The Psychotics | lyrics
--- I dislike fake openings ---
/// wait, that's not Denni... but it's still damn fine +++
/// I'd like more grit from the bass tone ///
+++ CHORUS! +++

The chorus is hands down the best part: has me immediately pumping my fists and singing along. Do more of that. I love the way the second verse goes; I would open with that, and move the guitar shredding to the middle. Not a fan of how this begins, but it does nothing but get better the whole time, so vote!

+++ creepy opening loop +++
+++ lovely vocal harmonies +++
+++ solo +++

This is a fantastic study of tonal counterpoint. Great layers that compliment each other and create an evocative aural fabric. Even when the tune takes a left turn at Albuquerque during the guitar solo, it's an awesome detour. I'm less a fan of the choppy break-down towards the end, but still: Vote!

Dejected Motives
+++ low-end guitar +++
+++ there's some good melodies here ... +++
/// but they're not really fleshed out ///
--- that screeching tone ---
--- clipping vox ---
--- way too gorram long without any interesting dynamics ---

Vocoding is a favorite whipping boy these days. Given the electronica bent of this tune, I think it's okay. But you've got to get that damn microphone out of your mouth and/or check your levels while mixing.

Dirge | lyrics
+++ soundscape +++
+++ solo guitar +++
--- singing ---
+++ did I mention that solo? +++
--- lyrics ---
--- metal power breakdown ---

This was such a promising tune, then you turned on the Metallica. *sigh*

DJ Ranger Den | lyrics
+++ melody +++
+++ imagery +++
+++ story +++

I'm generally a fan of DJRD, (aka, Denise Hudson) and I'm happy to hear her deliver again, ditching her usual piano for some sparse guitar that still takes us in interesting directions. As has been mentioned on the review boards already, I'd love to hear this fleshed out with some more instrumentation, some nice R&B drums and an organ tones. Vote!

Emperor Gum
+++ creative instrumentation +++
--- hate that reedy flute sound ---
--- poor performance misses the beat here and there ---
--- why are you singing in a Port-a-Potty? ---

This submission gets full points for ambition. It follows in the footsteps of The Beatles' White Album, but it has too many production and performance flaws.

Future Boy | lyrics
+++ opening swell +++
+++ dynamics +++
+++ story +++

As this opens, I feel like I should be snapping softly along with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of red wine on the café table in front of me. Then the bridge hits like TNT. Fantastic: vote with enthusiasm!

Hip Hop Anonymous
/// reminds me of "Nightmare on My Street" ///
+++ creepy plot-twist +++
--- misogyny, rape and torture ---
I started a row by using the "M-word" last round, but I'm sticking by it. Straightfoward stories of rape, torture and victimizing women are not entertaining. Nor is yours even edifying; Kechiche you are not.

/// props for taking on the awkward title right in the first line; but it doesn't work to grab me ///
+++ it gets better the second time when you let the grove take you +++

This is straight-forward garage rock that was probably really damn fun to play, but I don't feel part of that vibe.

Life in Decibels
/// meh ///

Pretty much standard Euro-pop that has nothing to stand out or interest me. Solid production and pretty good performance. Please come again with something more creative.

+++ dynamics +++
+++ melody +++
/// singing is a little flat ///
+++ guitar tones and panning +++

I really like how this builds. It takes a while, so it won't grab impatient listeners, but I think it's worth the wait. Small mixing quibble: that backing organ, the primary instruments, is too loud. This is lovely, so vote!

Paco del Stinko | lyrics
+++ FUZZ +++
+++ dynamics ///

As much I love that fuzz tone, you need to lower it in the mix during the more melodic bits. It ruins the dynamism of this tune.

Pigfarmer Jr | lyrics
+++ story +++
--- boring prosody ---
--- chorus ---

This this sounds like an amateurish version of a much better song. Such a simplistic chorus needs to be sung with much more conviction; you need to channel Kurt Cobain

Ripping Hammer
+++ immediately gets me dancing +++
/// those electronic blips on 1 and 3 are little loud ///
--- it just stops ---

I would have voted for this if it had gone somewhere.

+++ lo-fi RAWK! +++
--- that slightly out-of-tune rhythm guitar ---
+++ doubled vox +++

This evokes a little bit of The Dead Milkmen, Stone Temple Pilots and everything great and raucous about a ton of '90s independent rock. Vote!

Sportswriters | lyrics
+++ lyricism +++
--- awkward drumming ---
+++ story +++

This would be a great song were it not for the deliberate odd time signature, which for me is just constantly jarring. I want to sway and waltz to this and the tune keeps tripping over itself.

T.C. Elliott | lyrics
--- robo-drums ---
/// nice, but predictable melody ///
--- boring guitar tones ---

Like your other entry for this fight, this has some good elements, but the performance (and, in this case, instrumental) choices make it sound amateurish.

Wicked Cripple feat. dont reply
+++ rhythm of vocal delivery +++
--- misogyny ---

Hanging a lampshade on your fear does not excuse you.

1 comment:

Nutrients said...

Thank ya kindly!