Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:16 am

you know, at band camp?
Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Dcqs6LhwsoYS6EDGPhCCk

My solo Album: http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

Ad astra per alia porci - Steinbeck
(To the stars on the wings of a pig.)
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:16 am

Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Dcqs6LhwsoYS6EDGPhCCk

My solo Album: http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

Ad astra per alia porci - Steinbeck
(To the stars on the wings of a pig.)
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:05 pm

I was out of town Thursday-Sunday and am still getting caught up on stuff. I'm hoping to update the site tonight fyi. Thanks all for your patience.
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Æpplês&vØdkã
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:36 pm

Lunkhead wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:05 pm
I was out of town Thursday-Sunday and am still getting caught up on stuff. I'm hoping to update the site tonight fyi. Thanks all for your patience.
Do what you've gotta do! I'll just keep on F5'ing until I get a new album of songs with the same title. :)
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:50 pm

Songs posted!
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by furrypedro » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:13 pm

Lunkhead wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:05 pm
I was out of town Thursday-Sunday and am still getting caught up on stuff. I'm hoping to update the site tonight fyi. Thanks all for your patience.
Do not sweat that shit, big man. Your efforts are always appreciated. Thanks for the update and the update.

Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:36 pm
Do what you've gotta do! I'll just keep on F5'ing until I get a new album of songs with the same title. :)
Have you considered investing in one of these?
Image
Refresh from the comfort of your own bed.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:13 pm

23 songs, the biggest fight in nearly six years!
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by gizo » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:44 pm

Lunkhead wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:13 pm
23 songs, the biggest fight in nearly six years!
And only 47 of them are from Æpplês&vØdkã ;)
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by crumpart » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:47 am

It seems this is the week for Australians using horn sections in Song Fight! Except for you @gizo. Get on board, Jaysus.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:44 am

gizo wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:44 pm
Lunkhead wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:13 pm
23 songs, the biggest fight in nearly six years!
And only 47 of them are from Æpplês&vØdkã ;)
Hey, I only did the majority of the work on one of them! Though I suspect based on people actually posting in the discord that my reddit spam may be partially responsible.

It's a "headphones allowed" shift at work today so I've give these my first run though.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by AbCred » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:05 pm

Okay, I found others' review of my stuff the last couple times, to be very very helpful. I will try to return the favor in kind.


Absolutely Credible – I struggled for quite some time to come up with something nice to say … and failed. So, I’m just going to be completely honest with you.

This is straight-up bad music.

Unless somebody asked you “Hey, what would happen if Barenaked Ladies listened to Archers of Loaf, just once?” – then this is a complete waste of everyone’s time.

To be 100% clear – when I say “GIVE UP,” I don’t mean on life. Just music. However, if I had created this abomination, I’d be leaning toward BOTH. Oh wait, I did create it. This one’s mine. I thought it sounded familiar. Nevermind. Sorry everyone.

Moving on …


Asteroids 57801-57900
– Lightning Bolt much? I really like the dirty vibe of the instruments and production. Vox that come in around the 47-second mark seem a little too clear to fit in with the rest of the production. (Most would probably appreciate clear vox. I say bury ‘em, Albini-style, in this context.) Really dig the noisy guitar solo and breakdown, but then the segue into the Bridge/outro seems to go for a different, poppier vibe from rest of the song which doesn’t seem to fit on first listen.
Funny how we went for a similar thing on our outros: Looping the chorus vox, overlapping vocals, kind of in the round.

Balance Lost – awesome intro! This has a late 90s/early aughts indie rock vibe that I dig. The vocal delivery on the chorus sounds a wee bit “White boy rap” to my ears. Maybe just me but sounded busy and perhaps less syllables in the source material would have made the chorus hit me a little harder. Overall a great production

Berkeley Social Scene – I hear that synth arpeggiator right off the bat!!! I would mix the drumbs lower. Maybe the somewhat-sparse arrangement is just giving them a lot of space. Love that guitar/synth lick that kicks in around 2:20, I like quick hooks like that and would have liked to hear it grow into something more, post-chorus.

Cheeky Pants
– This is quick and great! This would kick a lot harder if the drumbs were in the pocket. But drumbs are hard. That’s why I program mine (cheater). ☹

The Cow Exchange – sounds a bit like Chainsmokers? Definitely very poppy. The pitch correction on the vox is rather pronounced, perhaps a stylistic choice but sounds a bit wonky to my ears. Strong chorus! Clever lyrics. The stereo panning on section around 2:15 sounds cool.

Darkanonviva – Spooky and funky!! Great combo. I like that funky organ and bass riff. The echo and overall production on the vox is throwing me off a bit. Doesn’t sound like they are part of the same song. I love the homage to John Cage’s “4’33” in the second half of the track.

Future Boy – I was lost in waves of meta before the 30-second mark. Which is a good thing! Is that some burbling synth arpeggiation in the background? Sounds real good. The production overall is very impressive. I like the lyrics overall but the couplet rhyming “today” with “yesterday” was noticeably clunky. Could’ve gone more open-throated in the vocal delivery on the bridge to hit harder. I’m picking apart little things here for some reason. This is definitely one of my favorites and very impressive.

Gizo vs the 17455 – This sounds like Silkworm to me from the start. They are one of my favorite bands and the “lazy confidence” vibe I am getting from this one reminds me of them, or maybe Pavement. I do, however, think the mix is very unbalanced. Those vox are mad “crispy” and way out in front. I love the messy lead guitar track and wish it was out in front more. Overall a definite fave this go-around.

Glenn Case – Pretty great! The hook-y rhythm guitar part stands out a lot. Everything is even and balanced. Chorus is not as memorable as some of your other tunes (I really, *really* like some of your songs) but def a solid entry.

Hot Pink Halo – I like the arrangement, the chorus-y guitar sound, and the lyrics, but rhythmically the track does not seem to coalesce, to the point it is difficult to enjoy. Phrases are not starting or landing together across different instruments. Recording to a click would probably be helpful? I’m reminded of stories when Captain Beefheart was recording “Trout Mask Replica” with mics and musicians strewn all across a rental home and none of the players could hear each other but they still got the vibe right … maybe that kinda loosey-goosey thing is what you’re going for.

James Owen – Are you channeling Leonard Cohen? Damn this is evocative and sad. This is very well-done although not a style I gravitate toward.

Jeff DeSantis – Great production and performance. It sounds like the fairly sparse arrangement is a deliberate choice here, but I would have added some pedal steel, slide guitar, something. Could use a little counterpoint to the vocal. Overall, understated yet impressive!

Lichen Throat – Vox are a little out in front for me. You can almost taste the moss in your throat! Not sure what the underlying philosophy behind this one is. I almost feel like I need more context about you as an artist before I judge this. Interesting aesthetic.

Lily + Martin –I like the production with the vocal snippets dancing around the synths. Sounds mysterious and cool. The vocal performances are uneven. The female vocal is very professional-sounding and nuanced, sounds like those pipes could make someone a decent living … while the male vocal sounds a little tossed-off and pitchy.

Magnetic Letters – Reminds me of a Paul Simon solo joint right off the bat. Which is, of course, very good. As the song progresses, some of the progressions are a little blues-y and lounge-y for me. I would recommend playing with the velocity on your MIDI solos to make them sound more humanistic. You’ve got a great voice and I dig the vocal melodies.

Miscellaneous Owl – Love the first section, strong Joni Mitchell vibes. Great vocals and lyrics. Once it “kicks in” I lose a bit of interest up until 2-minute mark / chorus, which sucked me back in. I really like your voice and you harmonize very well with yourself. I do like the progressive arrangement, interesting flow overall although a couple parts didn’t really grab me first listen. Not your usual verse/chorus/verse

Paco del Stinko – Interesting mélange of things going on here. Pretty much “alt rock” but I like the riffs, the vocals do interesting things and don’t just repeat the same melody over and over … almost reminds me of early Talking Heads with more aggressive guitars. One of my faves this week.

Phlebia – This is dark! Do you need to talk? HMU, friend. I believe this style of songwriting is best accompanied by guitars going through a MASSIVE wall of full-stack Sunn amps. Which is tough to do in the home studio.

Slither – Like that upbeat shaker! Somewhat generic chord progression and vocal melodies. Chorus is not bad but not particularly memorable. That said, this is a good production and the execution is skilled.

Soul Flow Steve – I like that noisy beat. The production is blowed-out, obviously on purpose, but I can’t understand anything you’re saying. Might want to tweak the mixing/mastering approach next time, if that’s important to you. I do hear some interruptions and insecurity in your flow occasionally, which is a big no-no in this genre.

Third Cat
– I like that “indie” sound but the mix is a little off. I thought that pad coming in around 45 seconds was going to jump out my speakers. Snare is louder than the lead vocal. Etcetera. Leaning pretty heavy on that synth arpeggio! It is more than half the song and I’m not sure where the appeal is supposed to be. Sounds like you almost had a song, but not quite, and sent it in anyway. It’s cool. I did that last week.

Toshiro – The only thing I can think about when I listen to this, is how close the chorus is to Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 pm

Okay, I listened to this on repeat for awhile today and went ahead and decided to get my reviews done cause apparently life is a race and I have to be first.

Absolutely Credible - As I’ve said before, your voice is tailor-made for pop-rock. And it’s kind of nice to hear you work a bit more in your upper register in this track. As a minor production quibble, I’d like to hear the guitar a bit higher in the mix compared to the organ in the intro. I don’t really like the chorus at all, it’s not that it’s not catchy at all (you do catchy well), but it just goes on way too long, and I’m not super huge on the panning effect. Plenty of things work in this song, but it just doesn’t really come together as a whole to me...and while there are cases in which autotune works great as an effect (see: The Cow Exchange this week…), I’m not entirely sure that I like its use at the end here.

Asteroids 57801-57900 (Liner notes) - This is me and Pete (aka furrypedro)’s second collaboration. The first one happened wayyyy back in 2007 for the “And Counting” fight when I was still in high school -- and honestly most of my absence in the interim has been due to not having a decent recording space due to dorms/apartments/whatever. As for the actual song itself, basically I sent him a couple drum tracks, he picked the one that was me trying to do a drum n’ bass type beat, he sent me the synths and vocals, and then he added the guitar parts while I hashed out a bassline to stick on top of it. All in all I think the result came out AWESOME, and I’m very pleased with it!

Balance Lost - Okay, if this is what you were working on while I waited on you to get back to me after I sent over that bassline, then I totally understand the delay because this is my favorite song of yours that I’ve heard in the past few weeks. I love how you modulate the time signature here and there to fit the melody, and the guitar work in this is just divine. The chorus melody is great, and I’m a sucker for those slower/filtered drums -- always have been. And the stereo work on that synth arp after the second chorus sounds great too. I’m noticing a sense of alienation and dislike of the world in your lyrics lately...I can relate. Unrelated: I find it amusing how spazzy and uptempo the Asteroids track was compared to how slow our solo entries were in comparison. VOTE!

Berkeley Social Scene - The synth arp? Well executed, and creates quite a fantastic atmosphere that compliments the song really well. The melodies in the verses don’t really grab me at all, unfortunately. The bridges and chorus though? I love the chorus when the claps and that descending guitar riff comes in. I wish the riff was there for the full chorus the second time around just cause I think it works so much. I like this one a lot more than your past couple entries (but then that’s falling into the trap of judging artists based on themselves and not the context of the rest of the fight), but my perceived weakness of the verses makes this a not-quite-vote for me.

Cheeky Pants - Musically this reminds me pretty heavy of a handful of songs that were played heavily on the radio way back in the Y2K days. Something about it reminds me of “Don’t Tell Me” by Madonna in the melody, but I can’t place exactly what other songs it reminds me of. It seems a little bit undercooked, and I wish you hadn’t panned the drums so hard to whatever earbud I stuck in my left ear. I honestly don’t mind short songs for the most part, but half the words in this one’s short duration are just the title over and over...short but sweet is good, short but repetitive...meh.

The Cow Exchange - Oh my. I’ve listened to all the songs about 3 times now today (software development + new songfight = songs on repeat). And this one...the lyrics crack me up and the play on words with the line “the tools i used to know you better” is a stroke of brilliance. There’s a certain harder edge that you used throughout the track that when juxtaposed with the poppiness of everything is just great. Not sure if you’ve heard it but you ought to check out Poppy’s Choke EP if you haven’t heard it yet. I have trouble criticizing much of anything about this track with the possible exception that I think the ending is a little too abrupt. VOTE

Darkanon Viva - NORMALIZE THIS AND CUT THE SILENCE FROM THE END OF THE TRACK. Once I turn it up a bit to where I can really jam out to it? It’s catchy! I’m not really sure how big of a fan that I am of the melody in the verses, cause it’s kind of meandering and sort of goes in one ear and out the other. But that skweee-esque backing track is awesome, and the descending chromatic chorus is so catchy! I don’t like fade outs, so I wish the ending was a bit more definite...especially cause the “boww-woww-woww” synth is probably my favorite part of the song.

Future Boy - The lyrics are kind of clever at times. But the chord progression is one of the most overused chord progressions I can think of, it just makes the arrangement sound kind of safe. That said, I do like the kind of jittery beat behind it and you definitely fulfilled the optional challenge. I’m not sure if i I have genre bias against this song or what...but it just kind of drags on to me. I mean I like how it builds. I wish I had more constructive criticism.

Gizo vs. the 17,455 - Well, I kind of liked your song last week a little bit better, if only because I kind of liked the slightly more uptempo vibe to it. That being said, I’m digging how you’re putting a little bit more grit into your voice this go-round. There are a couple points where the electric guitar doesn’t quite seem to match the main chord progression you’re picking out on the acoustic. It’s not that it’s off beat, it’s just that there’s a few flats and sharps that just stick out funny. Like it’s kind of sloppy? But then again I can’t come down too hard on sloppiness, cause I definitely do it myself. The “you could not believe me” part came out pretty cool, so I can’t complain much there!

Glenn Case - I like this one a lot more than the last couple that you’ve done -- your vocal skills, sense of melody, and love of adventurous chord progressions is really working well for you. I especially like the verses. The first half of the chorus seems a little weak to me and doesn’t stick with me at all. That said, you are the reigning king of yacht rock on this website and I liked this song enough to give it a vote!

Hot Pink Halo - I’ve listened to this song a few times now and I’m trying to figure out exactly what it is that makes it not really do much for me. I think it’s that kind of samey guitar chord not really doing much while the vocal kind of stays on the same note for so much of the verses? It makes it all sound a little...samey. Then again I adored your “You’ll Know It When You See It”, and it was kind of samey so that’s not it. I like the horn in the background, that adds a neat vibe to it. Is it because it’s not as “artsy” as it usually is? I’m spending a whole lot of time trying to figure out what it is I don’t like...and I can’t put my finger on it. It’s just...samey.

James Owens - Well you’ve got quite the voice for these sorts of acoustic ballads, something that really isn’t my genre at all. Melancholy acheived well. You know, isn’t it weird whenever you go back to a town that you haven’t been to in forever and then it’s changed? I mean hell, I’ve been away from my hometown for only a little over a decade now and I swear, most of the restaurants have totally changed, they’ve redone some of the roads, built houses in what were the woods I used to wander it...I wonder what it’ll be like 30 years from now? Despite not being my style at all, I really enjoyed this. VOTE

Jeff DeSantis - Sure are a lot of really soft tracks this fight. On the surface I feel like I should dig this track more than I do, sort of like how I had a similar feeling about James Owens track. That said I guess it doesn't really evoke anything in me. It sucks to grow apart from someone. Compositionally it's a well done track and the musicianship is solid. It's objectively good (I think) but I am left cold. Also genre bias is probably a factor here.

Lichen Throat - I like this a lot better than your long story short entry already, and I think it's because of the much improved melody line. The guitar gets offbeat quite a bit, but you already said on the board you're much of a guitarist so that's pretty good. Lyrically? This is solid, paints a wonderful nostalgic background. It's funny, my stepfather was born in New Mexico and at age 18 immediately moved to Indiana and hated it there. Too many trees, not enough sky, he said.

Lily Plus Martin - I looove that subtle phasing on the vocals and how simplistic the accompaniment is, starting with a prominent vocal, and then violins slowly fade in...wait I did that in my Phlebia entry as well! Only the rest of the song wasn't at all similar. Synth arp is used well to provide a great accompaniment. I'm a sucker for this type of song, even though it inherently reminds me of Radiohead-esque type stuff. Which is fine they were my fave back in the day. I dig this sparse arrangement a lot. Lyrics kind of went in one ear and out the other cause I dug the vibe so much. VOTE

The Magnetic Letters - Oh yes, I have to vote for this, if only because something about it’s extreme genre commitment, perpetual falsetto, and occasionally ridiculous lyrics makes it one of the best thing ever. I have a habit of relating songs to other artists, and this one reminds me of Ween pretty heavily. Without the druggie weirdness. Every single line in this song got a silly grin plastered on my face. Also...the super dinky general MIDI sounding horn fits it perfectly. This may not be my favorite of the fight but I love it. VOTE

Miscellaneous owl - You’re one of my favorite vocalists here and I’m always happy to hear your tracks (y’all’s? Are there other owls?) You were right when you said that your lyrics were maybe just a tough over the top, the venom in these is...intense! But protest songs are a great instution, and, well, it’s hard for me (personally) to complain much about these lyrics cause I’m a total doomer. As for my actual critiques of the song itself? I love the first part, your melody and harmony is on point there. The more uptempo part after it picks up could use some work production-wise. The synths and guitar get really muddy in that part and the vocal gets sort of sucked into it. Nothing some clever EQing couldn’t fix though. Kind of wish the arpeggiator was about an octave higher, that might help? Actually I think that’s probably true throughout the whole song. I love your higher register and want to hear it more. VOTE

Paco Del Stinko - Classic key changes and change-ups from you! Noticeably heavier than the previous entry for sure, and really from a compositional standpoint It’s pretty well done. I love the “ooh, aah”s in the background after you drop the key 4 semitones at one point. Wish the guitar solo was a bit more trebly, the tone sinks into the mix a bit at first. Wait, then it pops out once the other elements drop away a bit. There’s something about it that doesn’t QUITE grab me the way I expect it to. I mean it’s melodic, just none of the melodies really stick out to me. Probably a matter of taste though. Another of those songs where I can’t critique much but it just doesn’t do it for me.

Phlebia (liner notes) - So I guess I’m on a “slower” trend lately, having more or less dropped the energy level for 3 consecutive fights now. I’m not sure I can drop it much slower than this cause it’s crawling along at 65 bpm, mostly on a 5 string bass in drop Ab, and...well, by far the dirgiest thing I’ve ever made. I’ve also never played violin on a track before, so multitracking the “sad violins” was a super fun project that took a zillion takes. Lyrically it’s more or less inspired by watching my step-grandmother gradually lose touch with everything around her as dementia set in hard, only I gender-swapped it to tell it from the perspective of an older male sufferer. I’m not sure exactly what genre it is. Slowcore? Doom? Post rock? I’m pleased with it, though I honestly prefer listening to my collaborations this week cause they’re less depressing.

Slither - Mmm, some solid alt-rock. The production on this is really solid, and the harmonies in the whoas sound great. That little keyboard riff going on in the background is well done, and geez, who taught you how to mix cause this is one of the best produced tracks of the fight. So clean! Everything has its own space carved out for it in the stereo space. Like the drums on this are so cleanly recorded that I have trouble telling whether or not you actually recorded someone who’s just really in the pocket on a set of v-drums or just have a really well mic’d drumkit. Regardless, I’ve listened to this song several times and can’t find anything to critique. It doesn’t do it for me though, but dang it sounds good.

Souflowsteve (liner notes) - Did I overcommit this round? Maybe. But I’m actually happy with how everything turned out in all three of these so I guess not. So this one was the universe just working its mysterious magic. Soulflowsteve and I hung out a TON like late 90s/early 00s, but had sort of faded out of contact years ago (saved for him pleasantly surprising me by showing up at my wife’s baby shower, thanks man!) Well imagine my surprise when he sends me a link to his soundcloud out of the blue and in the interim he’d become a great MC. Uh, dude we have to collaborate! So we did, and we’re gonna try to keep it going. I got to experiment with some hip-hop inspired production ideas I’ve wanted an excuse to work on for awhile, and he filled up about 3 pages worth of rhymes and just killed it on the mic. There are a few places in the track that could probably use a touch up or two. But whatever, it went great!

Third Cat - I looove how this spaces out around the 55 second mark and moves into the synth arps and that steady 4/4 housey beat. I think I’ve mentioned I like spacey. I think I may have mentioned my love of underground club music. This remends me a lot of stuff like Daniel Avery and Kelly Lee Owens (who you really ought to check out if you haven’t). The transition between that folksy rock at the beginning of the track with the double tracked vocals and the spaced out section is just transcedent. This is kind of a slow grower too, like the first couple listens through it didn’t stick with me much. But then I listened again. And again. And all of a sudden it may be one of my favorites of the fight. It evolves so well. What exactly is that sound you’re putting that ping-pong delay on? It sounds dope. VOTE

TOSHIRO - Okay, last one of the bunch, but certainly not last. Your production has gotten better since last week for sure, now pretty much the whole song sounds pretty fresh! I’m surprised to not see you and Hot Pink Halo collaborate, given that you’re both obviously really creative and talented. But then again I imagine you have ideas bouncing off of each other all the time -- I’m trying to get my wife to play me some trumpet licks but so far it hasn’t happened. And sometimes she proposes me lyric ideas and I don’t take them. Your chorus is great and memorable, and the horns were well executed. There’s one 80s song that the “would you spent it with me” riff reminds me of heavily but I can’t place it. Perhaps it’s style bias, cause this is another I recognize as being good that just doesn’t stick with me though. Oh, tastes can be so fickle.


Personal favorite of the fight? Probably a toss-up between Balance Lost and Third Cat.

Great jeooeoeeeoeorbbbbbbb!!!
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Future Boy » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:32 pm

Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 pm
Future Boy - The lyrics are kind of clever at times. But the chord progression is one of the most overused chord progressions I can think of, it just makes the arrangement sound kind of safe.
Yeah I felt exactly the same way while I was writing it and even tried going in a different direction. But the new direction felt like it was forcing the lyrics into a cadence that didn't match, so I went back to what came out first so I could actually finish a song. :)
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Toshiro » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:19 pm

Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 pm
There’s one 80s song that the “would you spent it with me” riff reminds me of heavily but I can’t place it.
Is it Jessie’s Girl? That was the vibe I was going for.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by crumpart » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:56 am

Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 pm
TOSHIRO - Okay, last one of the bunch, but certainly not last. Your production has gotten better since last week for sure, now pretty much the whole song sounds pretty fresh! I’m surprised to not see you and Hot Pink Halo collaborate, given that you’re both obviously really creative and talented. But then again I imagine you have ideas bouncing off of each other all the time -- I’m trying to get my wife to play me some trumpet licks but so far it hasn’t happened. And sometimes she proposes me lyric ideas and I don’t take them.
We will collaborate at some point (we're planning to do that thing to write an album in February, which will be cut even shorter for us as we'll be getting on a plane to Australia a week before February finishes). There are a few reasons that we haven’t yet, the prime one being that we have VERY DIFFERENT methods of working. I have a small notebook dedicated to every song. I start with a core thematic idea, choose a key, plan out a structure, write down chords and brainstorm what kind of feel I’m going for. Toshiro does not write anything down and cares less about lyrics than anyone I’ve ever met; he’s far more interested in making cool sounds. He only writes them because he has to, and because he enjoys having words to sing. I’m trying to learn how to incorporate some of that spontaneity and he’s recently discovered Logic has a “notes” section, so hopefully we’re taking the best bits from each other’s approaches on board.

Also, Toshiro is much better at music than me because he’s been doing it longer; I want to do a bunch of my own things, because I want to learn how to do it. My tracks would be much better produced if I just handed them over to him, because he’s an audio wizard, but I’d rather muddle through stuff, make mistakes and figure things out because everything feeds everything else, and I think it will make me better at understanding how to make a song work on the whole.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:16 am

Toshiro wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:19 pm
Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 pm
There’s one 80s song that the “would you spent it with me” riff reminds me of heavily but I can’t place it.
Is it Jessie’s Girl? That was the vibe I was going for.
Yes! It is indeed Jessie's girl!
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:13 am

crumpart wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:56 am
Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 pm
TOSHIRO - Okay, last one of the bunch, but certainly not last. Your production has gotten better since last week for sure, now pretty much the whole song sounds pretty fresh! I’m surprised to not see you and Hot Pink Halo collaborate, given that you’re both obviously really creative and talented. But then again I imagine you have ideas bouncing off of each other all the time -- I’m trying to get my wife to play me some trumpet licks but so far it hasn’t happened. And sometimes she proposes me lyric ideas and I don’t take them.
We will collaborate at some point (we're planning to do that thing to write an album in February, which will be cut even shorter for us as we'll be getting on a plane to Australia a week before February finishes). There are a few reasons that we haven’t yet, the prime one being that we have VERY DIFFERENT methods of working. I have a small notebook dedicated to every song. I start with a core thematic idea, choose a key, plan out a structure, write down chords and brainstorm what kind of feel I’m going for. Toshiro does not write anything down and cares less about lyrics than anyone I’ve ever met; he’s far more interested in making cool sounds. He only writes them because he has to, and because he enjoys having words to sing. I’m trying to learn how to incorporate some of that spontaneity and he’s recently discovered Logic has a “notes” section, so hopefully we’re taking the best bits from each other’s approaches on board.

Also, Toshiro is much better at music than me because he’s been doing it longer; I want to do a bunch of my own things, because I want to learn how to do it. My tracks would be much better produced if I just handed them over to him, because he’s an audio wizard, but I’d rather muddle through stuff, make mistakes and figure things out because everything feeds everything else, and I think it will make me better at understanding how to make a song work on the whole.
Yeah, I definitely get it on the "dramatically different workflow" type thing! My wife thinks that my general strategy of coming up with the musical backing track well before I write lyrics doesn't make any sense. "Why don't you write the lyrics first, then come up with a backing track to fit the lyrics?" And of course, the answer is that music comes way more naturally to me than lyric-writing does, so if I already have a song structure planned out and half-recorded, I know exactly what cadence and melody to put my lyrics to. Then again, she doesn't have as much of a musical background, though she was a trumpeter in marching band back in the day. Her main creative outlet is writing -- screenwriting contests, poetry when inspired, and right now she's working on a children's book series about mental health. So of course she thinks it's weird not to come up with the words first, cause that's the main mentality in which HER creative mind operates! Mostly I bounce lyric ideas off of her: the dementia angle I took this week was totally her idea. She has written me lyrics before. Rossby Wave's entry in "The Red Thief" was written by her. Wish I'd sung it better. Oh well.

Oh, the advantages/disadvantages of when two creative types marry.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by crumpart » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:26 am

Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:13 am
crumpart wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:56 am
Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 pm
TOSHIRO - Okay, last one of the bunch, but certainly not last. Your production has gotten better since last week for sure, now pretty much the whole song sounds pretty fresh! I’m surprised to not see you and Hot Pink Halo collaborate, given that you’re both obviously really creative and talented. But then again I imagine you have ideas bouncing off of each other all the time -- I’m trying to get my wife to play me some trumpet licks but so far it hasn’t happened. And sometimes she proposes me lyric ideas and I don’t take them.
We will collaborate at some point (we're planning to do that thing to write an album in February, which will be cut even shorter for us as we'll be getting on a plane to Australia a week before February finishes). There are a few reasons that we haven’t yet, the prime one being that we have VERY DIFFERENT methods of working. I have a small notebook dedicated to every song. I start with a core thematic idea, choose a key, plan out a structure, write down chords and brainstorm what kind of feel I’m going for. Toshiro does not write anything down and cares less about lyrics than anyone I’ve ever met; he’s far more interested in making cool sounds. He only writes them because he has to, and because he enjoys having words to sing. I’m trying to learn how to incorporate some of that spontaneity and he’s recently discovered Logic has a “notes” section, so hopefully we’re taking the best bits from each other’s approaches on board.

Also, Toshiro is much better at music than me because he’s been doing it longer; I want to do a bunch of my own things, because I want to learn how to do it. My tracks would be much better produced if I just handed them over to him, because he’s an audio wizard, but I’d rather muddle through stuff, make mistakes and figure things out because everything feeds everything else, and I think it will make me better at understanding how to make a song work on the whole.
Yeah, I definitely get it on the "dramatically different workflow" type thing! My wife thinks that my general strategy of coming up with the musical backing track well before I write lyrics doesn't make any sense. "Why don't you write the lyrics first, then come up with a backing track to fit the lyrics?" And of course, the answer is that music comes way more naturally to me than lyric-writing does, so if I already have a song structure planned out and half-recorded, I know exactly what cadence and melody to put my lyrics to. Then again, she doesn't have as much of a musical background, though she was a trumpeter in marching band back in the day. Her main creative outlet is writing -- screenwriting contests, poetry when inspired, and right now she's working on a children's book series about mental health. So of course she thinks it's weird not to come up with the words first, cause that's the main mentality in which HER creative mind operates! Mostly I bounce lyric ideas off of her: the dementia angle I took this week was totally her idea. She has written me lyrics before. Rossby Wave's entry in "The Red Thief" was written by her. Wish I'd sung it better. Oh well.

Oh, the advantages/disadvantages of when two creative types marry.
I’m well on board with getting the basic music track down first. The thought of writing lyrics before music is terrifying, and I’m saying that as someone with training and professional work experience as a writer. I’ve also started doing some short story writing competitions this year for the first time, and even there I find it very beneficial to draw up a basic structure that I essentially fill in with words. Free flow writing is not my jam; I need my constraints.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Smalltown Mike » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:53 am

Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 pm
geez, who taught you how to mix?
Thanks — it was Song Fight. Song Fight taught me how to mix.
Punk rock is for children. Grab a six-pack at Half-a-Dozen Records.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Merle Fyshwick » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:38 pm

Absolutely Credible - Sounds epic. Excellent emo (that's what I'm calling it) vocals. Crunchy guitars. Distinctive organ riff - I like. That falsetto/acoustic breakdown is sweet. I guess it's a bit of a mini opera. My only criticism is that maybe the chorus at the end might be a bit too long, but great song.

Asteroids - Mad drums! I think it's growing on me. The 'couldn't read the letters' line and the idea of emotional or technological 'literacy' is good. Vocoded - cool.

Balance Lost - I like that combo of low-res drums and crisp 'everything else'. I also like the bass following the vocal. It's a meandering tune, reminds me a bit of my friend Louis, whose music I really like. Nice little arp breakdown.

Berkeley Social Scene - Nice arp intro, and chime-y guitars. I really like that riff leading up to the Cars-ish chorus.

Cheeky Pants - Nice harmonies, and 'indie' vocals. Could be the hidden song on the end of a late-90s CD.

Cow Exchange - Pretty tight. What's that about scooping out eyeballs? Catchy chorus. It sounds distorted with headphones, that might be intentional though. I think this is one of my favourites, but not totally sure about the level of distortion. Vote.

Dark Anon Viva - Cool - Hammond and didge. Ha, I love the vocals; made me smile. A funky tune, I was waiting for the late 90s-style hidden song after the silence;) Vote.

Future Boy - Nah writing about writing is cool, I do it all the time, must be cool. Nice arp. A bit like Hot Chip. Yeah, my old self tried way harder, I can empathise. Cool song.

Gizo Vs the 17455 Low fi, I guess that's what the song is about, so it fits. Twanging guitar. Tortured-sounding vox. I like that major change - 'bad things that you bought'. I miss having that urge to form a band with my friends; now it just seems like hard work.

Glenn Case - Quite a complex progression, with a rhythm that's cheesy, but I like it. Steely Dan meets Fountains of Wayne? Excellent chugging acoustics. I like the way it slips back into the instrumental bit so smoothly (1:54). Cool complete tune. Vote.

Hot Pink Halo - Those little whispered bits - is that what the kids call ASMR? Harmonies are good. It gets a bit out of sync, but that could be intentional. A bit like Hole with horns!

James Owens - Nice folk production, good picking. Solemn. The 'landmarks underground' line is dark but good!

Jeff De Santis - I like this one, I think. It's mixed low, and under-stated in delivery but seems genuine. I like the little quick changes.

Lichen Throat - Clear vox. Nice evocative lyrics. Abrupt end, that's cool. Super 'present' vocals, tread a line between familiar and creepy. The guitar notes slipping out of sync is a mental workout, which fits with the slightly discomforting feeling.

Lily + Martin - An atmospheric build. Really good voice. That instrument sounds like 'thongophone' (thongs/flip flops/jandals on pvc pipe). . Man-vox are well-recorded, with nice reverb. I kind of drifted off, in a good way. I like the duet format, you pulled it off really well.

Magnetic Letters (Me) - I agonised over this one, the Curtis Mayfield/PC terminology concept. But I justify it by the notion that you're never too old to learn, which I think Curtis would have been okay with. The 'Chinese burn' line made me laugh out loud when I was writing, so I kept it. I would've liked to make the drums more...realistic, but I ran out of mental energy. The falsetto vocals are obviously pitch-corrected. Overall, I think it's okay.

Miscellaneous Owl - Nice voice, and good harms. The arpeggiator is well integrated. Really catchy, and well produced. The lyrics are really interesting, but are a bit hard to make out once it gets going.

Paco del Stinko - Rad! Tight instruments. Wikid guitar. Really theatrical performance.

Phlebia - Wow really slow build, compared to everything else. Really spacious with that delay/reverb. Assuming it's about dementia, I wonder how many songs have been written about that? This one definitely evokes some chaotic and morbid feelings. Good job.

Slither - Nice progression in the first bit of the chorus. I wanna hear more of it. Reminds me of my 'brother' Klifford J Fyshwick. I think this one gets better as it goes along, especially the bit leading up to three minutes. Plus I like the harmonies in the chorus.

Soul Flow Steve - not like anything else! I was in the kitchen and thought the guys over the road had started up their brick saw again - industrial as! Soulflow Steve has a good hip hop voice.

Third Cat - Grungy, a bit lo-fi. Nice harmonies. I like the way it transitions. The arp is rad, reminds me of a game...the name of which escapes me. Ahh - got it - Alex Kidd in Shinobi World!

Toshiro - Cool brass, the 'baritone sax' chugging in my left ear. I like your voice, and the vocal harmonies are great. This one has a lot going on, I like that. That hand clappy bit post-chorus is great. A really solid song. Vote.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by thirdcatmusic » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:03 pm

Absolutely Credible - Lots of energy here, pretty strong vocals overall although I think I like the verses quite a bit more than the chorus. I think that's my overall take on this one; very strong verse, but the repetitive chorus with the kind of strange vocal style lets it down a bit. Good mix/production. It could do with a bit of editing, runs a bit long imo. The autotune backing vocals sound a bit odd on the outro. Odd can be good - I tend to like odd - but it doesn't really fit this style to my ears. An almost vote on this one.

Asteroids - There are some charming parts of this song; I particularly like the sound you got on the vocoder vocals but the overall effect is a bit too haphazard/lo-fi for my taste. That said; it is a bit of a grower and I've enjoyed it more with each time through so far. It does feel a bit long to me.

Balance Lost - This one reminds me of Modest Mouse (circa 2000 which is their stuff I've listened to the most.) Sweet guitar parts. Very pretty synth arp, tasty the way that bit comes in, mixes well with the guitars. Among my favorites of the fight. Vote.

BSS - This one has a lot of really nice moments but also some bits I don't love (I'm not crazy about the chorus) but overall the things I like (for example the pre-chorus instrumental break with that groovy riff first heard around 47 seconds) outweigh the bits I don't. Vote.

Cheeky Pants - As a short demo it's pretty cool, I like the sound and there's definitely potential here for this style. But it gets repetitive even in just 45 seconds.

The Cow Exchange - Strong song. Catchy. Sounds very fully realized. The production/mix is maybe a bit too uh... fizzy? That's a very technical term. My overall impression is impressed. This is very good even if not entirely my thing and maybe a bit too in your face production wise. Vote.

Darkanon Viva - Comes across as kind of a joke song but has some pretty cool grooves in here too. Mix seems wrong, like the keys are very loud in relation to the rest of it. At its very best it reminds me vaguely of Prince. At the very worst there's like 2 minutes of silence at the end.

Future Boy - I like the electro-pop style and the production is pretty good. Vocals are OK. I identify with the lyrics. I'm rarely emotionally moved by songfight songs but this one made me a bit sad, yeah I'll blame you. So I think I have to give you a vote for actually making me feel something. Vote.

Gizo - This one doesn't quite come together for me although I can hear some real emotion/heart in there so I want to give some credit for that. Reminds me a little of The Pixies.

Glenn Case - Not among my favorites that I've heard from Glenn Case but still objectively good enough to get a vote. Getting Steely Dan vibes?

Hot Pink Halo - I like your style but the execution could be better. A little too sloppy performance wise for me.

James Owens - Lovely song. Vocals fit the style well. Tasteful arrangement. Pretty guitars. Vote.

Jeff DeSantis - Really clean mix/production. I can't really think of a negative thing to say about this, it seems very well done for the style. Not entirely my thing as it's a bit straight ahead but still too well done to not get a vote. Really pretty. Has a professional vibe to it. Vote.

Lichen Throat - Rhythmically haphazard but not as haphazard as your stuff used to be and the overall style is quite interesting. I like when you include some real guitar in your (otherwise) midi productions.

Lily + Martin - A contender for my favorite song of the fight. Really cool arrangement/mix/production and excellent vocals. Vote.

The Magic Letters - Interesting vocal style, very expressive. Interesting instrumental style too, although I'm not sure it's working for me. This is one I might appreciate more objectively than I like personally. I am finding it a bit meandering. Could be a grower for me. A maybe vote.

Misc Owl - Great vocals as always. Cool/surprising change-up in style from the first section (mostly gal & guitar) to the second section with the synth. This one is a maybe vote for me as it's not totally connecting with me on the first couple of listens but there are parts of it I really like.

Paco Del Stinko - Great riffs. Drums sound pretty great too. This is a good one. Vote.

Phlebia - Wow. Intense. Great restraint on keeping it so minimalist early which gives the explosion that much more effect when it comes in. Great mix/production. I think you accomplished what you are going for on this one. Among my favorites of the fight. Vote.

Slither - This is good, well mixed, well produced, well performed. I like the harmony backing vocals on the chorus. Doesn't grab me by the throat like my favorites of this fight but I do like it. Runs a bit long. Maybe vote.

Souflowsteve - The production reminds me of Atari Teenage Riot type stuff. Punk techno vibes. The MC is pretty good too. Lots of digital glitches which I'm assuming are on purpose and a part of the style but not sure if I'm digging them. This has some cool moments but probably not a vote this time around.

Third Cat - :!: :?: :idea:

Toshiro - Love the backing harmony vocals. Cool horns. I'm not as big on the verses - but the pre-chorus and chorus are quite good. Good mix/production. Great song length! (2:24 exactly the same as mine the song before.) This one is a maybe vote as I do really like most of the song.
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Re: Remember that one time? (I Used To Know You Better Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:33 pm

thirdcatmusic wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:03 pm

Phlebia - Wow. Intense. Great restraint on keeping it so minimalist early which gives the explosion that much more effect when it comes in. Great mix/production. I think you accomplished what you are going for on this one. Among my favorites of the fight. Vote.

Souflowsteve - The production reminds me of Atari Teenage Riot type stuff. Punk techno vibes. The MC is pretty good too. Lots of digital glitches which I'm assuming are on purpose and a part of the style but not sure if I'm digging them. This has some cool moments but probably not a vote this time around.
Thanks for the love on that Phlebia track -- I had been wanting to do something sort of like a cross between Codeine and Thou stylistically, and I'm extremely happy with how that effort panned out. Not sure I can emotionally push things that far on a regular basis but shew it was cathartic to make.

As for Soulflowsteve? Well, I'm not going to lie, while I didn't have Atari Teenage Riot in mind at all for the beat, they used to be one of my favorite bands back in the day...to the point where a couple of my early SongFight entries back in 06/07 were direct style parodies (see "The Kraziez" in "Anomaly" and "?" in "Terror In Tiny Town"). I was going more for a Danny Brown "Die Like A Rockstar" or Future "I Serve The Base" type aggro beat, but I guess influences shine through regardless. And yes, Steven kicks ass as an MC imo and I'm happy to work with him. :)

To be honest: the drumming style I utilized in the Asteroids entry was VERY ATR influenced. I used to practice my drums along with Alec Empire's album "The Destroyer" as a stamina exercise. I also released a breakcore album on bandcamp earlier this year (check my signature) that's probably closer in spirit to Live At Brixton Academy than a good chunk of their earlier material. We can't outrun our roots, can we?
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