Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:45 am

Oh, there you are. I didn't hear you come in.
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:46 am

You can listen to or download my album for free at:
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:43 pm

Thanks again for making the review thread, and linking to the lyric thread.

Songs posted!
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by mc3p0 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:42 am

Silent Advance reviews made after three consecutive listenings in this order at varying levels of sobriety:

Cody Walker Jr. - A surprising start to this fight. Sweet vocoding melts my heart. Very nostaliac. I never expect a synth piece, this one is so subdued it goes with literally any visual.

Far North Daylight - A minimal guitar track is the perfect follow-up. Great lyrics, beautiful track. The 1:35 hums gloriously. Wow, love that ending. Honestly, this is one of the best songs, it's still warm after six plays. I wish there could be three.

Jerkatorium - A higher quality recording. Golden chorus, man. Tight music. This could be on a Bobbitt documentary soundtrack. I like the syncopation, you are very rhythmic.

Lichen Throat - What an amazing voice. I like when you overdub, the ending is great. This is a lost pagan track from Somerisle.

Micah Sommersmith - You should dress like a pirate every day. Nice vibrato. This should be a mandatory cover at the live events. Peppy, peppeeee whistle fluting is appropriate with comic sans lyrics. God, I want to make a tornado and earthquake remix. "the lightest touch" then twiddling flute cracks me up.. This is so wrong to like this so much.

Paco del Stinko - Slides in like Kermit the Frog. Outside of my pants.. is a rock opera with handclaps! Another gentle ending. Well-played.

Pigfarmer Jr. - I like this sound, tight and cool drumming. Thanks for bringing attention to adult bladder control issues. A serious sound.

Tuners Union - This melody is wonderful. I like your voice, bro. A good length, the tune doesn't get boring at all. Impressive.

Vom Vorton - Tricky rhymes, very mod flavor in your sound. Nice dissonance.

Everyone has cleverness in their lyrics. Most of the music is legible songs, a few are more experimental but Tuners Union and Jerkatorium gets my vote this fight. Very close, the overall quality of the recording according to my ears does add an important component, so I had to break my heart a little and choose between favorites. Completely lovely fight.
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by codywalkerjr » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:46 am

Thank You Humbly. I Will check out all of the tracks after work today. I'm happy to be back!
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:45 am

Good fight. Unlike some of my previous reviews, these are more than a simple first impression. A bunch of these songs grew on me as I played them multiple times. I'm not sure if that says something about me or the songs.

Cody Walker Jr. - I liked hearing an electronica style song in songfight. But before this was half way through I was already wishing for something different. There was a nice change up shortly after, but I felt there was no real dynamic change or much other than the initial idea. Cool, but the potential was there to be much more interesting.

Far North Daylight - I like the use of slight dissonance. It feels like the vocal was down a hair, but I could hear the lyric all the way through so it must be mixed well, or rather, the effect is purposeful. I like the change in sound after a minute and a half and really wish the overall sound of the mix was closer to that throughout, but it works very well as a dynamic change up. I'm just left with a feeling that this song just didn't reach it's full potential even though, I definitely like the idea and enjoyed it.

Jerkatorium - I absolutely love the idea behind this song. Although it took reading the lyric to truly get it, I love this. (That third verse is killer... (laughs at own joke, but means it.) The music definitely displays that attention to detail that I cannot seem to nail even when I spend a lot of time on things. It's your strength. All that being said, it took a few listens to really get into this song. The more I listen the more I like it, though. I'm not sure if the clean mix needs something for me, or if it's just a bit too lighthearted in feel for my taste or what it is. So, in short. Excellent on so many levels (did I mention I really like the short and sweet guitar solo in the middle of the bridge and how it sets up the post bridge guitars so well?) but it feels just a bit too light for my usual taste.

Lichen Throat - I usually like your arrangement choices quite a bit. I have to say that it seems that your panning instruments seem to fight each other as much as they work together in this song. Your voice has such a unique quality to it that I'd love to hear a truly good performance and mix with it.

Micah Sommersmith - That main motif seems like it would fit perfectly in a soap commercial from the 80's. (Maybe irish spring?) The macho lyric seems undercut by the very light feel of the music. That being said, I love the tongue in cheek, typically male bravado vocal performance. I couldn't help but smile while listening to this song. Again, the more I listen the more I like it.

Paco del Stinko- I like a lot of the elements of this song. The guitars are cool. I somehow forget how well you play and how much I typically like your choices when it comes to guitars. Those drums sound cool (they sound live to me.) and the background voices are a tasty touch. I really like the the vocal on the more drawn out sections. I definitely like the song but this feels like it didn't reach it's full potential. Probably genre bias? Maybe it's that some of the other tracks I like are growing on me as I listen and this one was pretty decent right from the get go. At any rate, I like what you did here but I'm not sure where it'll end up ranking in my best songs of the fight mentally unstable list.

Pigfarmer Jr - (me) The good: I like the guitar riff and the guitars in general. The not-so-good: This song really needs an edit. Too many riff bits and that bit going into the bridge is the perfect example of a bad transition. I'm not really a fan of the lyric or the melody all that much, either, although the idea is kind of cool and it's not awful. This is probably the song in the fight that fails to reach it's potential the most.

Tuners Union - On first listen I was wondering what the hell this was. On second listen, I like the feel of this right from the start. (No idea how it can change that radically from one listen to the next.) That bass line really keeps it moving for me. The vocal and melody are growing on me. I like the arrangement, the elements in the song (from the the guitars to the e. piano to the rhythm...) and this fits together nicely.

Vom Vorton - I love those layered vocals throughout (choruses and the like) but most especially the vocals at the end of this song. It fits the lyric very well and just feels right. That reverb right from the start had me thinking this would have a slightly different feel but I like this song a lot. Another one that sounds good on repeated listens.

Favorites: Vom Vorton then Jerkatorium
Following closely: Paco, Turner's Union and Micah
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:52 am

Whoa, no BSS? No Third Cat? Crazy times. Good fight, though!

Cody Walker Jr - really like the sound here, the insistent synth bass and the vocoded vocal work really well. The filter sweeping later on is really effective, too. Just kinda feels like it needs a little more going on to really stand out - a chorus or a B-section or something.

Far North Daylight - enjoyed this one quite a bit too, strong indie-rock vibes with the vocals reminding me a bit of... Built To Spill, I think? It works as a minimal arrangement but I think some extra layers or even just some percussion would have given it a big boost. I remember really liking your previous submission, this one isn't quite on the same level for me but I do like your style.

Jerkatorium - this is the real stand-out for me, my favourite song from this fight and one of the best I've heard from you guys. The lyrics are superb (GREAT take on the title), odd rhyming pattern and all (very deliberately rhyming a word with itself in every verse is a bold choice!) and the chorus is so catchy - I played this to my girlfriend yesterday and we both had it stuck in our heads for the rest of the day.

Lichen Throat - some really good stuff here, I think this is one of your best mixes / arrangements. The instrumentation is clear and interesting and I like the introduction of the synth (or whatever it is) towards the end (that descending melody right at the end is really cool). The vocal melody is really good in places too, although it sounds like it takes you a while to get into gear - the first few lines especially are a bit loose on both time and melody. I don't like this quite as much as 'My Favorite Monster' but a lot more than 'Walk Steady'.

Micah Sommersmith - there's so much about this one that I like but just a couple of things that bug me. The lyrics are mostly brilliant (although the Hrishikesh Hirway reference maybe pushes rhyming and niche lyrical references a little too far, even for me!) and the music is fun, with the way the melody runs through the whole song reminding me a bit of early Magnetic Fields stuff. The vocal delivery feels a little too on-the-nose for me though, it feels like a full on comedy-song delivery where I feel like the wit in the lyric would be more effective if you'd sung it straight? Possibly a bit of a strange complaint but I feel like I couldn't get into the song QUITE as much as I wanted to. Really clever writing though, and I did still enjoy it!

Paco Del Stinko - this is pretty great. Musically I'd put it up almost with your best stuff, the guitar parts are great and it has an excellent energy to it. Vocally it feels like the verse melody is a bit inconsistent and indistinct, although the choruses pick up a lot.

Pigfarmer Jr - your previous "getting old: bad?" song (They Know, I think?) was really cleverly written, and possibly my favourite of your tracks to date but this one doesn't really work for me. The riffs are good, the lyrics just kinda feel like a list of stuff and there's some dissonance between the rawk and the "argh my hips don't work sonny" words that I found offputting. Still some good stuff though, I like the three line verses and the whispery chorus. But not your best work, for me.

Tuners Union - your stuff is always impeccably performed and produced, and this is no exception. It just sounds lush, great instrumentation and harmonies. I've probably made this comparison every single time I've commented on one of your songs but this reminds me of The Kingsbury Manx / Open Field, and that's fiiiine by me.

Vom Vorton - this title inspired War of the Worlds-type images for me and this was the result. I intended to get something down quickly because I was post-deadline and trying to resurrect my FAWM productivity after being ill for most of February but ended up getting quite carried away with this and doing loads of vocal tracks. It's quite different from my usual stuff and I think it turned out pretty well!

Definite votes for Jerkatorium and Tuners Union, still mulling over a few of the others.
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by Chumpy » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:14 pm

Alice (Happy Triangle) and Brian join us as special guests as we review the Silent Advance fight!

Here is how you can vibe with this: Tell me about the rabbits, George: feedback@twojerksonevote.com.

Time Points:
  • 00:00:00 - Intro song
  • 00:01:06 - Beginning-of-podcast chatter
  • 00:04:56 - Cody Walker Jr.
  • 00:07:44 - Far North Daylight
  • 00:13:24 - Jerkatorium
  • 00:19:47 - Lichen Throat
  • 00:29:12 - Micah Sommersmith
  • 00:34:42 - Paco del Stinko
  • 00:39:09 - Pigfarmer Jr.
  • 00:45:14 - Tuners Union
  • 00:48:25 - Vom Vorton
Late Submissions:
  • 00:54:52 - The Printer Coffee Cups
  • 00:56:56 - Lungbutter
  • 00:58:00 - The Completely Insane Ensemble of Crayons
  • 00:59:16 - Don’t Touch My Headphones
  • 01:00:22 - PLAN G
  • 01:01:34 - Paperclip iPhone Charger
  • 01:02:20 - Play Dü
  • 01:04:05 - End-of-podcast chatter
Advance silently!
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:25 pm

That Brian has great taste in music. You should have him on more often.
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:44 pm

I was going to say the same thing about Alice. Excellent points about the bird aliens too, I hadn’t actually considered their appearance but the swooping lyric DOES imply a birdlke quality! I hadn’t considered that it might accidentally have fallen into the Gleebleverse, either... The “shape in the sky” line came to me after seeing something floating over the hills on my drive to work last week. It was almost certainly a hot air balloon but it was distant enough that I couldn’t tell for sure. Creepy.
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by owl » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:40 pm

Lichen Throat--I quite like this arrangement, there are some clear hooks and motifs playing off each other in a way that works pretty well in a busy, mathy kind of way. The vocal timing/melody could be tighter. I think as usual I would be interested to hear either an arrangement with a) live recorded instruments instead of MIDI, or b) a more "artificial" synth-driven set of tones instead of the fake guitars or kotos or whatever faux plucked strings are going on... if I've missed some songs like that that you submitted before, my apologies and feel free to point them out! Interesting lyrics, I originally had a note "I have some Thoughts about this but I'm not going to get into the politics of it if they are what I think they are about" but after listening to the puzzlement on the podcast about what the lyrics are about, and seeing that nobody else has commented on them so far, I thought I would just offer my take and see if it was actually correct. I interpreted this as a lyric pushing back against "SJWs" and political correctness and the idea of virtue; possibly pushing in the direction of the #metoo movement leading to false sexual assault accusations, too. I wrote some more notes about this, but maybe I'll wait to see if my interpretation was correct before saying any more...

Paco del Stinko--This is really fun! Reminds me a bit of Queen in the chorus, I guess because of the style of some of the vocals more than the actual song itself. Nice guitar work (love that solo!), nice vocals, the melody is maybe slightly unfocused in as far as I'm not sure I could sing back any part of this after having heard it but I solidly enjoyed it. Great energy, and it kept my attention all the way through.

Far North Daylight--Vocals are really hard to hear, I wish they were turned up... even though I could technically hear them, it kind of annoyed me the whole way through that I felt like I was constantly straining to listen for them. But I liked the song itself, the guitar sounds lovely and I like your voice. Hearing it again when listening to the podcast was interesting; it surprised me how much I liked it, listening back again in a different context. I didn't really get that darkness or tension they were talking about although I understand why they were drawing that Sonic Youth comparison as far as the chords.

Jerkatorium--I really enjoyed this one, beautifully constructed goofy poppy goodness, the prechorus is my favorite part--really excellent melody and lyrics. Kind of reminds me of TMBG. It started to feel slightly long to me by the end... but it's only 3 and a half minutes long so that seems perfectly respectable, I guess maybe I just didn't love the chorus enough to hear it repeated that many times, or maybe didn't love Verse 3 as much as the others. Anyway. It has gotten stuck in my head a couple of times after my initial listen, which is usually a good sign. Love the rhyme scheme. One of my favorites for the fight!

Micah Sommersmith--Love love love the lyrics (ok, except for the "purple pants" line which I didn't really get. why are they purple? is that important?) Unlike Vom, I really liked the Hrishikesh Hirway lyric, it made me laugh! I am less of a fan of the musical execution, though. (I actually kind of expected this to be a rap from reading through the braggadocious lyrics before the fight and hearing the meter in my head, so maybe I was predisposed to be disappointed by a song with actual singing; also I kind of hated the post-chorus grunt, sorry!) I found the flute sort of annoying and Renaissance Faire-esque, I think something more deadpan or straightforward would have been more enjoyable for me... the jokey lyrics are enough to make it funny without going all out. I wrote these notes before listening to the podcast and was entertained to hear that both "braggadocio" and "what's up with those weirdly specific purple pants" were mentioned there too.

Tuners Union--very interesting song, sort of bluesy and sort of reggae and sort of 70's soft rock at the same time? I love the harmonies and the production/arrangement are great, all the parts fit together really well. None of the three genres I mentioned are my favorite so it just didn't quite hit home for me as far as visceral response, but I do think it was well made. Alice's comparison on the podcast made me laugh, maybe "sea shanty" is a 4th genre to add to this pile.

Pigfarmer Jr--Great riffage! The lyrics don't fit super well thematically with the music, which doesn't normally bother me that much, but it seemed really noticeable here for whatever reason, maybe just because the word "bladder" in any given set of lyrics just kind of jumps out at you. I liked the lyrics fine and I like the music but I feel like they just don't fit together that well for me. (But it made me kind of happy to hear Brian's boundless enthusiasm for this tune on the podcast!)

Cody Walker Jr.--ooooh that synth bassline got my attention right away! I don't particularly like the heavily vocoded vocals, personally, but I guess they make sense as a stylistic choice and I like the melody. I would have liked the vocoder to just come in at certain parts, I guess. It feels a bit underdeveloped, but I liked the skeleton of the song, would be great to see a second part or some extra layers or changes coming in here.

Vom Vorton--really enjoyed the stop/start intro! That slightly creepy but very beautiful chiming guitar arpeggio in the chorus is perfection! All the guitars sound great, really. (Did you really say somewhere you think you're not a very good guitarist? because that is HORSE PUCKEY, sir.) I like those call-and-responsey outro vocals and the minimalistic breakdown/buildup solo. This is all pretty great, no complaints, and kudos for making such a catchy and interesting chorus that is only one note. My other favorite song from the fight.

Jerks I enjoyed the podcast! (Although I have to say the whole meticulous discussion of syllable counts kind of stressed me out and I don't even know why because I certainly get down to that level of lyrical scrutiny occasionally.)
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by MicahSommer » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:15 pm

owl wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:40 pm
Micah Sommersmith--Love love love the lyrics (ok, except for the "purple pants" line which I didn't really get. why are they purple? is that important?)
The significance of the purple pants is twofold:

On the one hand, they are a synecdoche for the narrator himself: conspicuous, memorable, loud. Perhaps a bit in-your-face, maybe inappropriate at a funeral, but otherwise harmless.

On the other hand, they are an actual pair of pants that I actually own.
pants.png
pants.png (101.22 KiB) Viewed 3262 times
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by lichenthroat » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:06 pm

Cody Walker Jr.—I like the beginning of this, but then it gets kind of repetitive. I think a more distinctive chorus might have been welcome. The mix is good, and I think I actually like the robo voice. This has grown on me over multiple listens.

Far North Daylight—This reminds me of The Mountain Goats compositionally, though not in the vocal. You’ve pulled off a mixture of mellow and tense in the same song, which is impressive. Good solid stuff.

Jerkatorium—I like this a lot. I’m not sure the background ooohs are necessary, and I think a heavier effect on the vocal might have been in order (because it fits with the song, not to conceal anything about your voice). Everything else is good. The little tonal shift during “it’s true” is great. Vote.

Lichen Throat (me)—This is a little below average by my standards, I think. The acoustic guitar playing was hard for me, and it came out a lot different than I had envisioned. I really appreciate the podcast analysis of the phrasing, which I found informative. Believe it or not, I’m usually trying to write conventional rock songs; I just don’t know how! With regard to the lyrics, this was intended to be a generalized anti-conformity song, with focus on how subcultures (of all types and ideologies) tend to pressure their members to conform to superficial standards. So Alice’s remark about feeling like she’d been abducted into a cult was near the mark. The criticism implicit in the song is not aimed at any particular group, and it was certainly not intended as an anti-#metoo statement.

Micah Sommersmith—It’s great to have you back. The vocal delivery didn’t match my expectations from reading the lyrics, but I still like it. The synthesizer/flute thing draws my attention more than it should, but everything else is strong. As always, I appreciate the wordplay. Among my favorites of the fight. Vote.

Paco del Stinko—I’m not sure I understand what you have in mind here. There’s a very high level of competence on all the performances, and the song seems carefully crafted, but it doesn’t necessarily seem all that interesting. It felt like I couldn’t get in a groove. The guitar solo rocks, though.

Pigfarmer Jr—The guitar line is really strong. I’m not as keen on the vocal melody, however. I like your lyrical idea, and the way it unfolds to the listener is well done. The mix is good.

Tuner’s Union—Impeccable production and performances. I’m not wild about the song itself, but that may be attributable to genre bias. This reminds me of later work by The Who.

Vom Vorton—All the reverb on the guitar reminds me of The Clean, which is definitely a good thing. This is not quite among my favorites of your songs, but that’s only because you have so many other great ones; it’s still very good, and it will have a permanent home in my hard drive. Vote.
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by owl » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:12 pm

MicahSommer wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:15 pm
owl wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:40 pm
Micah Sommersmith--Love love love the lyrics (ok, except for the "purple pants" line which I didn't really get. why are they purple? is that important?)
The significance of the purple pants is twofold:

On the one hand, they are a synecdoche for the narrator himself: conspicuous, memorable, loud. Perhaps a bit in-your-face, maybe inappropriate at a funeral, but otherwise harmless.

On the other hand, they are an actual pair of pants that I actually own.

pants.png

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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by Chumpy » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:57 pm

owl wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:40 pm
Jerks I enjoyed the podcast! (Although I have to say the whole meticulous discussion of syllable counts kind of stressed me out and I don't even know why because I certainly get down to that level of lyrical scrutiny occasionally.)
lichenthroat wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:06 pm
I really appreciate the podcast analysis of the phrasing, which I found informative. Believe it or not, I’m usually trying to write conventional rock songs; I just don’t know how!
I also found that conversation of syllable counts and stressed vs non-stressed syllables stressful. Brian and I often passionately argue on the opposite sides of issues, which can get a bit heated. I take Brian's point that where the stressed and unstressed syllables fall can be more important to your overall flow than the actual number of syllables, but I feel you still have to manage your per line syllable counts for practical reasons. Simply counting syllables can be a reasonably effective way to tame the flow of your lyrics, without delving into the complexities of accentual verse.

Some verse is purely syllabic, some is accentual, and some (like the Gashlycrumb Tinies) have both consistent stresses and syllable counts. There is obviously no right or wrong way to write poetry or song lyrics, but I feel it's important to have some understanding of what some of the common rules are before you decide to break them or not.
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by owl » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:44 am

lichenthroat wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:06 pm
With regard to the lyrics, this was intended to be a generalized anti-conformity song, with focus on how subcultures (of all types and ideologies) tend to pressure their members to conform to superficial standards. So Alice’s remark about feeling like she’d been abducted into a cult was near the mark. The criticism implicit in the song is not aimed at any particular group, and it was certainly not intended as an anti-#metoo statement.
ok, sorry for misinterpreting in that case! to explain, I think the key line for me reading it that way was "Those letters, an eyechart you must memorize / And each demographic you must subdivide." --the whole "letters" rhetoric I tend to see elsewhere as shorthand to dismiss terms like LGBTQ+, POC, etc. with the implication that it's meaningless, random nonsense. So the mention of that here kind of framed my reading of the rest of the lyrics with that in mind, and colored the virtuous girls in white dresses from the first verse in a way that I guess you didn't mean.
Chumpy wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:57 pm
I also found that conversation of syllable counts and stressed vs non-stressed syllables stressful. Brian and I often passionately argue on the opposite sides of issues, which can get a bit heated. I take Brian's point that where the stressed and unstressed syllables fall can be more important to your overall flow than the actual number of syllables, but I feel you still have to manage your per line syllable counts for practical reasons. Simply counting syllables can be a reasonably effective way to tame the flow of your lyrics, without delving into the complexities of accentual verse.

Some verse is purely syllabic, some is accentual, and some (like the Gashlycrumb Tinies) have both consistent stresses and syllable counts. There is obviously no right or wrong way to write poetry or song lyrics, but I feel it's important to have some understanding of what some of the common rules are before you decide to break them or not.
wellllll, I agree with Brian that counting stressed syllables is way more important and not significantly harder than counting all syllables... syllabic verse is definitely a thing but it's not really native to English and isn't really noticeable to the listener so much as metrical stresses are. I mean, for example, you instantly know if a limerick works with the verse form or not, but you'd generally have to repeat a haiku back to yourself to count the syllables, or actively count in your head... it's not a natural constraint in English.

Anyway, I was trying to figure out what was getting to me about the discussion, I think it's that I also agree it's good to understand what rules you're breaking, but to me it feels almost like being in that mindset is effectively subconsciously training anyone listening to the analysis to think about writing in a mechanical way that's ultimately possibly going to be a disservice, at least in the short/medium term.

(and I say this having written a set of lyrics as a pantoum for a song w/Vom Vorton once! I love formal structure sometimes! but typically I think it makes for much more interesting lyrics if you mix things up and don't stay 100% consistent and straight with rhyme and meter and structure throughout a song.)
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by thirdcat » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:53 pm

Been busy (why I didn't get one in for this fight) so these are some quick one full listen reviews:

Micah Sommersmith - I get a bit of a Talking Heads vibe from this, the contrast of the cocky lyrics and the cheesy instrumentation is pretty fun. strong vocal performance. I liked this but it does come off as a bit of a novelty song so not sure I would listen to it more than a couple of times.

Cody Walker Jr - Reminds me of Kraftwerk and I'm a pretty big fan of Kraftwerk. Not sure there's quite enough here to really get me going though. I like it. But probably not quite enough to get a vote.

Paco Del Stinko - There's some cool stuff in this one, I listened to the jerk podcast as well as listening to all of these songs once and I agree with them about the prechorus being the highlight. That bit is quite cool. Along with the guitar soloing which is pretty sweet. VOTE.

Vom Vorton - This has a very cool mesmerizing like quality (especially in the main "we form a line" bit). The guitar arpeggios sound great. Getting a '60s psychedelic vibe which is definitely right in my wheelhouse. Maybe my favorite Vom Vorton SongFight entry I've heard so far and my favorite of the fight. VOTE.

Jerkatorium - Really nice guitar breaks. Tight production. Vocals are strong. This is good and there's a lot of little bits to listen to here. VOTE.

Pigfarmer Jr - Rockin' guitar riff. Nice stuff. Pretty cool tone too. Vocals seem a little muffled in places and a bit strident in other places. Not really loving everything about this, but the guitar riffing is cool enough that I want to give it a vote anyway. Kind of reminds me of The Who. VOTE.

Far Light Daylight - I quite liked the vibe of this one and I can imagine it possibly ending up as my favorite of the fight with multiple listens (well maybe 2nd favorite as I really dug Vom Vorton's track.) I think I'm going ot have to vote for this one too. I feel like I'm voting for too many songs, but the quality seems quite high this time around.

Tuner's Union - 2nd favorite after Vom's. So much to listen to here and I love the vocals. Killer arrangement. Some great trippy stuff going on instrumentally. Definite VOTE.

Lichen Throat - Had a hard time getting into this one, stiff and awkward rhythmically.
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by mc3p0 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:50 pm

The 2 Jerks Plus podcast is inspiring. Their dissection of language is great, but I will probably instead process that knowledge as overly Rococo bird aliens slathered in sour butter notes. But seriously, it's good to know how people listen, particularly when they don't like it's genre.

OMG THE LUNG BUTTER TRACK IS AWESOME!! I spit long island on the keyboard. That was wholly unexpected.
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:55 pm

Jerkatorium wins!
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:43 pm

Congrats Jerkies!
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by MicahSommer » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:24 pm

Here are my "Silent Advance" reviews - better late than never, I hope!

Cody Walker Jr. - It’s light and slight and fun. On their own, I don’t mind a repetitive melody, or repetitive lyrics, or a repetitive beat, but add them all up and I’m left needing something more.

Far North Daylight - Some very nice guitar playing, and nice interplay between the two guitars later in the song. Your voice is pleasant, confident, and on-key - it’s a very solid vocal performance. The lyrics are vague enough that the song doesn’t seem to be about anything concrete, which in this case would have been nice, since the guitar accompaniment, well-done as it is, doesn’t create an atmosphere that can carry the song on its own.

Jerkatorium - You guys know your way around a hook, and “why why haven’t you heard?” is the best among several good ones in this song. Congratulations on finding a take on the title that could have conceivably been thought of first and given the title later (something that my song, I think, fails at).

I don’t mind rhyming words with themselves in the verses, in fact I think you’ve done it pretty cleverly. It does bother me that the second line of the verse (dad / ass / queen) is left hanging with no rhyme.

The bridge is distressingly similar to that of your SpinTunes shadow “Everything Everything Everything,” and in general the overall feeling I get from listening to this is that it’s another competent, clever Jerkatorium song, but it doesn’t offer anything I haven’t heard from you guys before. Like, if you fed every Jerkatorium song to a machine learning AI and asked it to write its own, it would probably sound a lot like this one.

Lichen Throat - Intriguingly, I believe this is the only entry that took the title “Silent Advance” as noun + verb rather than adjective + noun. “The Silent Advance” would be a more natural title for this particular song, but that’s neither here nor there. I read the lyrics as depictions (and presumably criticisms) of enforced purity culture both on the right (sexual purity, in the first verse) and the left (ideological purity and “cancel culture” in the second). One can argue if this is a fair comparison to make, but it does make for a neatly symmetrical and formally sound composition.

Musically, what I find most compelling about your work in general is that, since each instrumental part is conceived of horizontally - i.e. melodically - your songs are inherently contrapuntal/polyphonic. Rather than featuring a single melody over supporting chordal accompaniment, you have a whole bunch of melodies snaking around each other. It’s cool stuff, and this song is no exception.

Now onto the question of syllable count and stressed syllables… I think that Chumpy and Brian both end up missing the point a bit in the podcast when it comes to this song. For the most part, your lines are quite regular, always (excepting the refrain “Yield not one inch…” and the coda “Be not conformed…”) with four stressed syllables per line and usually with two unstressed syllables between them.

Sometimes starting with the stress:
HEARing that THEY’RE not the FORtunate ONES

And sometimes starting with one unstressed upbeat:
irREGulars WEARing the SAME uniFORM

And sometimes leaving out an unstressed syllable in the middle:
GIRLS in white DRESSes … MARCH in a LINE

I think all this minor variation is totally fine - it doesn’t destroy the integrity of each line. Instead, the issue arises when you violate the natural stress of the lyrics to fit into your established pattern:
your SLIGHTest misSTATEment beCOMES a bombSHELL

The word “bombshell” can be delivered with equal stress on the two syllables, or with primary stress on the first. Putting the stress on the second syllable sounds very weird and wrong.

Elsewhere, the stress pattern forces you to emphasize a word that doesn’t really merit emphasis:
KEEP their hands OFF or you’ll BE damaged GOODS

Here, the stress pattern emphasizes the nothing-word “be” - whose function is basically entirely grammatical - instead of the important word “damaged” - which actually carries meaning.

So in short, your instincts here for creating lines with regular stress patterns are pretty good. The issue is when the pattern clashes with the natural stress of the words you’ve picked. In cases like these, you can violate the natural stress (sounds unnatural and forced), adjust the stress pattern (destroys the satisfying formal coherence of the line), or choose different words that fit (a pain in the ass, but ultimately worth it).

Micah Sommersmith - I’m intrigued by how many people the word “braggadocio” (or similar words) when describing my lyrics, because that’s not really what I was going for at all. I suppose a few lines fit, but what I was more going for was basically what Brian and Alice articulated on the podcast - this guy is loud, unsubtle, and, to quote Brian, “he’s just gonna be in your life now, because you happen to be in the same area, whether you like it or not.” And he knows it, with lines like:
I don’t have much to say but I’ll say it loud…
Yes it’s fair to say that I don’t have the lightest touch…

And I don’t think it can ever be considered braggadocio to compare yourself to Comic Sans…

In any case, my intention was to deliver a goofy, ridiculous song about a goofy, ridiculous guy. I often feel that my vocal delivery is pretty dry and uninteresting, so I tried to go in the opposite direction, and apparently went too far, judging by many of the responses here. But heck, I had fun. I was originally trying for more of a straightforward synthpop sound, but I landed on the flute sound and time was running out, so here we are.

Paco Del Stinko - Another crazy Paco jam, at times veering into similar lyrical territory as Jerkatorium’s (“put your hand on my leg,” etc) but overall looser and loopier. Also like Jerkarorium’s, it feels a bit like Paco-by-the-numbers. I enjoyed it while listening, and a few moments stick out, but overall it doesn’t leave a huge impression.

Pigfarmer Jr - Great take on the title - another one that feels like an idea you could have come up with on your own and given this title, independent of the assignment. Much has been said of Lichen Throat’s syllable counts/stress patterns, but I feel like your song could also use some tightening up. Your third verse is perfectly metrically regular (iambic tetrameter, to be technical - eight syllables [or four feet] per line with an unstressed-stressed pattern):

My ears won't work right anymore
Loud music makes my ears feel sore
It's hard to hear most any sound


I would find a way to avoid using the word “ears” twice, but otherwise it’s great: The regular meter lends some gravitas to some otherwise very conversational lyrics. Compare your first verse:

My eyes are determined to fail me
I wish that I was able to see
Guess I need some glasses to get around


Each line has a different, irregular stress pattern. In plenty of cases, this wouldn’t bother me. But I think a tight, regular meter would give the lyrics more weight and purpose, and help convey what you’re trying to get across, and what Brian discussed in the podcast - each individual setback is minor, but they add up to the great indignity of aging.

The instrumental and vocal sounds are great, well performed and recorded. The “melody follows the chord progression” issue that Ryan is so fond of complaining about doesn’t bother me in this case - it’s a catchy, memorable melody. Oh, and the guitar riffs between verses are fun too.

Tuners Union - I envy anyone who can pull off the “sing the title four times and there’s your chorus” trick - I don’t trust my melodic sensibilities enough to try it, instead preferring to stuff in more, more, more lyrics. You do it great here though. I have a hard time following the narrative thread in the lyrics, but then that chorus comes in with “It’s a… siiiiii-ILENT advance!” and I’m hooked. As usual, you pull together some wildly disparate musical influences to create that delicious Tuners Union sound. I’m all in.

Vom Vorton - Is it just me, or has VV been on a bit of an apocalyptic kick recently? I love the menacing uncertainty and dread that pervades this song, rather than outright chaos and terror. You reinforce the feeling of dread in a number of ways: the opening drums seem chaotic and unfocused and the actual beat is not resolved until the other instruments come in; the middle instrumental section goes on and on and on; and in general the song has a feeling of being about to explode into a higher gear but it never does. In another context I might find that as a fault, but here it fits perfectly. One suggestion I’d make is to repeat the last chorus as a fadeout, so that in effect, the song never ends: this is the new (and terrifying) status quo.
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Re: Make Some Noise With Your (Silent Advance Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:44 pm

Excellent reviews, Micah! Always enjoy your analysis (another guest spot on the podcast soon please?)

I've been writing apocalyptic songs almost as long as I've been writing songs, possibly starting with this one, which I think I wrote in 2003: https://lardpony.bandcamp.com/track/pos ... -love-song - but it does seem to have been on my mind a lot recently, I wonder why that could possibly be?
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