Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

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Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:37 pm

And you know what?! That's right, your drums. And another thing. Like I said last week. Tune your keyboard, man. Told you!
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby Spud » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:18 pm

Feels good to be back in the ring after six years. Mad Dog was in town to do an Octothorpe set for my 60th birthday party, so we gave it a shot. Recorded live in mono on fluffy's iPhone and encoded at 64kbps for that classic Octothorpe sound.
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:20 pm

late-listen if you want to, or not.
whiskey drinking.mp3
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby Chumpy » Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:16 am

Bombernaughts: I'm a fan of the story and the hands motif. On the glass, on the waist, in the sweater / raincoat. The synth that builds in the left ear at around 1:40 is great. I like the way the chorus starts out, but the theatrically sung lines at the end (like 'passions overcome') I like less. I think it's the way the melody ascends combined with the vibrato.

iVeg: You nailed that spaghetti western sound, so kudos for that. That horn synths sound decent in places but cheesy in others. The line 'hopped on his bike, and rode into the night' the word 'on' is stretched a lot there, which sorta puts a spotlight on it. I've complained about pops, crackles, and editing glitches previous iVeg reviews. The one at 1:40 is distracting.

Macaque Attack: The verses I really like a lot, dark and brooding sounding with lyrics to match. When the chorus kicks in though, something about the drum pattern just seems wrong somehow, not sure I can describe why. The 'oh the pain' and 'make it go away' lines seem slightly at odds with the stoic tough guy vibe from the verses.

Cazaro Taro: I like the verses, fun rhymes and vocal style, reminds me of the Flying Lizards. The meter and melody of the chorus vocals is decidedly odd though. Not sure if I like it.

Octothorpe: "Lips that touch whiskey will never touch mine." Isn't that a temperance movement slogan? Cool, it gives it an old timey feel. The 'change my underwear' line is a real groaner, it might have been less so if you could hear the ellipsis in 'change...'. You folks were clearly having fun, which I think I got a touch of vicariously.

Ice weasels: I really like the shoegazing guitar sounds and simple drums, the hooter fits in nicely too. The vocals go with the style, everything is working for me. My only complaint is the sloppy ending.

Mark Makers: I can't understand hardly any of the vocals, and maybe I don't need to, but throw me a bone here. Give me more phrases I can latch on to so my imagination has something to work with. I'm conceptually down with distorted vocals, but the distortion here isn't working for me. I dig those Black Francis style yelps and howls and the music is cool. With some vocal and lyrical polish you guys could be on to something.

Big Crouton: Nailed it. One one hand, I really dislike this particular style of macho-yet-emo growly grunge-rock, on the other hand it's expertly done and radio ready. Massive drums, scorching guitars, pro production, yuck.

Cookie: Sparse instrumentation, sweet harmonized vocals, I'm a fan. I like the "straight no fuckin' chaser" line a lot, it really made me take notice when I first heard it. I think repeating it two more times lessened its power though.

Jerkatorium: Pitchy rhymes with whiskey right?

Paco: Nice slide guitar, spot-on southern rock guitar solo, and those "we love whiskey" and "we're so high" BVs are on point. The vocal additions like "all right", "out of sight", "tonight", "oh no", slightly exceed my personal cheese thresholds. YMMV.
"Nice and quirky. Like the lyrics, but Is this arty enough for Songfight?" --Spud
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby Toby Roktot » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:51 am

Haven't listened to any songs in the fight this week, but, I did listen to hillbilly's late submission....

Mr Hill,
I really like your new bass sound. Also, the harmonica, though subtle, is effective. My only critique is this :::
Man, when you gonna write and record a WHOLE song. The snippets we hear are so intriguing and, as any rancher will tell you...MORE IS BETTER !!!
Adios Amigos,
Tob
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby josh » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:34 pm

@chumpy: You're really not missing much with the lyrics. Haha. I honestly don't know exactly what they are, it was my friend singing. He asked me to name whiskeys beforehand and wrote them down so I think he's mostly just saying names of whiskeys. And then yelling.
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:25 pm

@chumpy: Should I take the omission of a review for BSS as a sign that you had nothing positive to say about the song? :P
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:48 pm

Dear Mr. Roktot--Thank you for the kind words, But that 5 string bass was not included on that little, sample. That was just selective picking on my old Strat thru my new Ampeg BA112 Bass Amp, thru a mike pointed at the speaker. I had many more crude verses but could never find the chorus, I needed. Drank too much and just gave up. Shit happens. I lose intrest in things very quickly. Toby hit me up at james_suttlemyre@yahoo.com we will do one together.
Last edited by hillbilly on Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
i like the sound of wood.
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby Chumpy » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:56 pm

Lunkhead wrote:@chumpy: Should I take the omission of a review for BSS as a sign that you had nothing positive to say about the song? :P

On the contrary, my BSS review this week (#15 in a series) is chock full of profound insights and thoughtful analysis! I am however holding the review hostage until someone, anyone, in BSS writes their first review of a Jerkatorium song. ;)

C'mon guys, there are at least four of you, and you're all experienced and accomplished musicians, how about somebody gets assigned review writing duties every few songs?
"Nice and quirky. Like the lyrics, but Is this arty enough for Songfight?" --Spud
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:33 pm

Hey, I'm busy running songfight.org, isn't that enough? :P
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby glennny » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:53 pm

Regarding the Jerkatorium song "Three Stars" :

Jerkatorium- I , I would be King, and you, you could be queen…… I want some Fripp long notes. It’s very close to Heroes, but different enough. I love that 1979 vibe. I like the bridge. The chorus is the weakest part to me. Overall it’s pretty fun. Great ending.


I reviewed your "Three Stars" entry.

;)

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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby josh » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:41 am

Hillbilly: "The name of this song is called, I don't want the motherfuckin' chorus, whatever the arrangements are, we gonna go through, fuck all the laws!" -Dr. Dooom. Anyway, yeah, it's a great start. Reminds me of the good side of country (Townes Van, Mr. Cash, et al) but with your own unique voice/spin. A nice tight sparse arrangement. All the sounds are warm and well recorded. Your posts I generally dislike but I'd honestly like to hear some more of your music, especially fuller works.

Jerkatorium: You guys have your production technique down. This one sounds a lot like last weeks, but that's not really a bad thing. Lots of great bands have a sound and go with it. I love the guitar sounds on this. I've been building / tweaking a couple fuzz pedals lately, so the slightly loose / fat distortion especially pops out for me. The drums sound nice and punchy. How do you guys record? Maybe I've asked that before... There are two of you? P.S. I was talking to the other Mark Maker last night after band practice and you guys were his favorite last week.
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby ice weasel » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:21 am

Combined bite-size reviews from the various weasels, all mixed up:

berkeley social scene: Verse was a bit boring but love the catchy chorus. Ringo Star caterwaul sound that works in its own way. Bad singing maybe turned up a bit too much. "Actually this guy's vocals are no worse than a lot of pop bands you like." Organ yummy. Pretty dull noodly bridge. Overall great.

big crouton: Impeccably 1990zzzzz. Production A++! Sounds like Seven Mary Three. Going for that generic country emo sound that is pretty popular on the radio. Not normally my style, but the bridge carried me into it. Has a nice moody mix and decent vocals except for the chorus, which is rubbish. Nice climax.

bombernaughts: This is so different I love it. Skilled female vocalist but she's got a weirdly over-operatic vibrato that I don't care for. Chorus tension working for me. Good arrangement but the drum machine and fake casio synths don't help. Great vocals.

cazarotaro: 3/4 talking 1/8 singing. Unlistenable. Funny once but I wouldn't listen to it twice.

cookie blue: Good vocals and a nice hook. So pretty starting out. The egg was basically required. Great singing. Simplistic arrangement. Doesn't go many places, just floats downstream. The end section would have stood out if you threw in another instrument or varied things a bit.

ice weasels: (us)

inflatable vegetables: Impressive cowboy sound. Yay, the Western one! Vocals aren't doing it for me, which is too bad cuz the lyrics sound like the best so far. Cute. Rapping didn't quite work. Some of the effects like the xylophone and whistling were not mixed as well as they could be. Those "horns" are fooling no one. :)

jerkatorium: Straightforward rock, very catchy. Weak singing, great lyrics. Unlistenable. Toe tappin'. Runs a bit long.

macaque attack: Starts with really nice melodic vocals and guitars. Reminds me a bit (in a good way) of REM. Chorus is a good hook. Very moody. Needs a little more processing on the vocals. Chorus shoots and misses for me and I'm not sure why.

mark makers: Passable until the bullhorn. Are you barking? Karaoke gone horribly wrong. Seemed like it would never end. Unlistenable.

octothorpe: Recorded in a bar? A muddy mess. Sounds like it was recorded live on a Walkman. Alternating singers is a nice touch. Dumb goofy children's song style. At least it was short.

paco del stinko: Nice guitar. Sounds weirdly similar to Berkeley Social Scene. Good funky guitar. I want to hate this but it has redeeming qualities like the chorus vocals. I'm not into the vocals or the writing but it is reasonably executed. Guitar line gets a little overplayed by the end.
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby josh » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:11 am

Ice Weasels: I like the chord progressions and vocal melodies. Vocals aren't bad, a little strained sounding, but not unpleasant. Good guitar sounds (I especially like the Velvet Underground tone that sneaks in here and there). Whatever the reeded instrument is (melodica? harmonica?)... nice touch. I kinda always go for that. The drums aren't particularly tight and the song ends a bit too soon/abruptly, but good feel overall, it's a pleasant pop-y listen.
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:07 pm

hillbilly wrote:Dear Mr. Roktot--Thank you for the kind words, But that 5 string bass was not included on that little, sample. That was just selective picking on my old Strat thru my new Ampeg BA112 Bass Amp, thru a mike pointed at the speaker. I had many more crude verses but could never find the chorus, I needed. Drank too much and just gave up. Shit happens. I lose intrest in things very quickly. Toby hit me up at james_suttlemyre@yahoo.com we will do one together.
Toby here's your new bass.
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby iVeg » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:17 pm

BSS - Like the weary edge to the vocals. It fits the song well. Chorus is simple, easy to sing. Change for guitar solo caught me a bit off guard.
Big Crouton - very 1990 Seattle feeling, done very well. You always have very good production.
Bombernaughts - Like the light floating vocals over that bass part.
Cazarotaro - Heavy loops started great, but then it sounded all the same.
Cookie Blue - I really like the harmonies. Light acoustic, easy to hear and understand lyrics. Liked the "Memory eraser" part - how you added just a bit more edge to your voice.
Ice Weasels - Very noisy instruments, but I could hear vocals fine. Is everything panned to the center?
iveg - [me] Trying to fit too many words in too small a space. Vox mixed a bit low. And those "horns" :(
Jerkatorium - There's a reason you guys have won so many songs lately. Good instruments, good vox and bgvs, mixed well, funny lyrics, good production.
Macaque Attack - I've been impressed with the stuff you've done.
Mark Makers - Like some of your instruments sounds but the vocals didn't work for me.
Octothorpe - I wish this was recorded clearer, because it sounded like you were having a lot of fun!
Paco - you have such great guitar parts. Sounds very swampy this week. I esp like the "We're all doing fine" part
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby MicahSommer » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:18 pm

No entry from me this time around, but I enjoy hearing what everyone else has to offer, so here are my reviews:

Berkeley Social Scene - The chorus is definitely catchy, and the overall groove is nice. I’d like to hear more punch from the drums, and some of the lyrics need a rewrite (“this scotch goes so easily down”) or finessing to fit the rhythm better (“ensconced in a dream world”). I liked the tempo change for the guitar solo - a nice change of pace.

Big Crouton - Very well-produced and performed. I like the spacey guitar intro and outro and the contrast with the big choruses. This would have fit right in on alt-rock radio in the 90s. (That’s a compliment!)

Bombernaughts - Very European feel (that’s also a compliment). I like the interplay between the multiple vocal parts (different singers?) - the stiff, almost robotic vocal delivery might be a turn-off for some, but I am a fan. I was disappointed when it ended!

CazaroTaro - I like the lyrics but not the vocals. And the 80s backing track is pretty fun.

Cookie Blue - Nice harmony and the breezy delivery which makes for an interesting contrast with the dark lyrics. Things intensify at the end. I like it.

Hillbilly - Great guitar riff. I also like the double-tracked vocals.

Ice Weasels - I like (what I think was) the melodica. Otherwise the instrumental didn’t offer much to hold my interest. Nice reverby vocals.

Inflatable Vegetables - Props on nailing the spaghetti western sound, though the fake trumpet was a little much. The verses had a few too many words crammed in, but the chorus is great, and the story is entertaining!

Jerkatorium - Seriously, whoever writes the lyrics for Jerkatorium should be working on Broadway musicals. Excellent rhyme schemes maintained throughout the entire song (“Single malt’s our new default”; “Yesterday drank Chardonnay” - brilliant!). The music definitely has some high points but doesn’t quite live up to the lyrics. I do love the fast-strummin’ guitar chords in the chorus.

Macaque Attack - More 90s alt-rock, with some interesting electro-something during the choruses to shake things up. I can’t decide if the high synth noodling during the verses adds or detracts. Solid lyrics, though I’m curious as to what exactly these horrors are that our narrator carries with him...

The Mark Makers - I had to work harder than I wanted to understand the lead vocals, so I stopped trying pretty quickly. I also think the instruments could have been louder. Otherwise it was ok.

Octothorpe - Fun but sloppy. Vocal phrasing is often awkward. I like the echo at the end of each verse.

Paco del Stinko - Love the Southern rock feel, especially that slide guitar riff and guitar solo.
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby Chumpy » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:47 pm

josh wrote:Jerkatorium: You guys have your production technique down. I love the guitar sounds on this. I've been building / tweaking a couple fuzz pedals lately, so the slightly loose / fat distortion especially pops out for me. The drums sound nice and punchy. How do you guys record? Maybe I've asked that before... There are two of you? P.S. I was talking to the other Mark Maker last night after band practice and you guys were his favorite last week.
Thanks for the encouraging words! Yup, there are just two of us, me and Mr. Jerkatorium himself. Guitars are recorded line-in, run through the emulated 60s fuzz face and Marshall stack. Mr. Jerkatorium's bass amp was mic'd and recorded. Drums are totally canned using Logic's 'Portland' kit, the pattern was picked automatically based on arrangement markers. Mr. Jerkatorium likes to manually tweak all the drum patterns and strategically place all the fills, but this time we kept the drums dead simple. In terms of production, most of the magic comes from Logic's multi-band compressor on the master track which on the 'top 40' preset really brightens the shit out of our mixes.
"Nice and quirky. Like the lyrics, but Is this arty enough for Songfight?" --Spud
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby glennny » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:11 pm

@ Chumpy

Martyr wrote regarding 3 stars:
Jerkatorium Low volume mix. Pretty but smart 1/3. So many tracks this week are following a similar interpretation, as expected. Lyrics driven track. The repetitive nature of this composition starts to grow on you. Bridge has a decent twist -- like the idea of the bang bang part. More refinement and better production would help with this concept.


you said:
... I am however holding the review hostage until someone, anyone, in BSS writes their first review of a Jerkatorium song. ;)


So there you have 2 reviews from 2 different members of BSS

You may want to revise your demands, or release the hostage. :D
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby josh » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:12 pm

@chumpy: Huh, how about that. The fuzz sounds pretty convincing. I actually was thinking it *was* a Fuzz through a Marshall Amp. And the drums sounded pretty lively to me. It's kinda funny that I thought Ken was a software drummer and that your software drums were a real drummer. Just goes to show I donno shit!
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby Chumpy » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:18 pm

glennny wrote:You may want to revise your demands, or release the hostage. :D

The first thing I'm going to do is fire my fact checker. Maybe on my 30th BSS review I'll revise my demands, but you guys get a pass for now.

BSS: The fuzz guitar, the dirty rhodes, and Martyr's growly cooler-than-you'll-ever-be vocals blast through the haze of cigarette smoke, and then I see her. I dig the way 'serotonin' is sung, but 'presence' seems cold and clinical, 'body' might have been better. Speaking of 'serotonin', that little drum roll that Ken does right after that word is nice. All sorts of subtle shit you miss out on with canned drums. The chorus feels melancholy, but I like it, and I think the reason it works is the verses are strong enough to provide the necessary lift coming out of the chorus. The third verse repeats the first, but unlike last time there is no swagger, and Martyr sounds like he's had one too many. It's a great idea, but 02:21, ouch?
Last edited by Chumpy on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Expect it to be coherent and concise (Whiskey Drinker reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:33 pm

InFlatable---- The western thing was cool, thought you were going all bad azz, then you ordered a coke. good job. vote for the effort.
i like the sound of wood.

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