Don't Tug on Superman's Cape (A Friendly Reminder reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.

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MC Eric B
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Postby MC Eric B » Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:28 pm

Add - I like it. Vocals seem a little loud at times though. The chorus comes in well. I am not sure the distortion really goes with the lyrics/theme of the song though.

Bang Operator - I thought the intro was kind of long. The vocals seem faint at times. Not a bad effort, but it did not all really come together for me.

Big Seed DNA - Very clear crisp production. I like how the intro builds up into the next louder part. I like the part of the song best where you say "A Friendly Reminder". That part is catchy. The rest is very good too. I like how the 2nd part of the song changes things up some, keeping it interesting. Overall a very professional sounding song.

Blues Manufacturing Facility - Vocals are too faint. You talk about blues, but it sounds more like a drug induced freestyle where you are blue because you just came down from your high.

Cake for Breakfast - I like the band name. I don't like instrumentals in Songfight though.

Depski / Rise- Starts off good, but needs lyrics.

Flvxxvm Florvm - A little Adam Ant, a little punk, plus lots of other stuff thrown in to keep it interesting. Very good.
Lopez and the Destroyers - I love the music part, especially up to where you start singing. I hate the singing though. Maybe if you could mix it better that would help, like using compression so the vocals fit better with the music. My songs have this same problem usually, so it is hard for me to give advice on this.

Lord of Oats - Pleasant sounding. Nothing wrong with the song, but nothing thrilling about it. Still good though.

Melvin - Very good song.

MSP - Very pleasant sounding. I like how their is a big build up to the chorus, and then the chorus lives up to it. Really a very good song and good singing.

Muppet Qu33f - I like it.

Paco del Stinko - I like the beat,and your singing goes well with the music. A good very song.

Ross Durand - I thought this was Billy's Little Trip for a few seconds. I like it. Very different from the other songs I remember from you, yet you sounded great.

RWB - Just average. Seems a little improvised, even if it wasn't. Got boring after a while.

Senza Valore - I agree with what The White Hat said, but still a good song overall.

sonofsuperDio - Has potential, but a little boring for me.

Steve Durand - I like it a lot. Great rhyming and the banjo sets a funny tone which match your lyrics well. It is also catchy too!

veGetar Ianra Ge - Intro reminds me of Hazy Shade Of Winter by the Bangles (from the Less Than Zero Soundtrack). Everything is good with this song. Creative and catchy and well sung.

Voh - Vocals could be a little softer. The song is very good though.

Wages of Oats - I am not sure the vocals go that well with the music, but it is very good overall.

The Weakest Suit - Pleasant sounding guitar, vocals are too loud though. The backup vocals are a nice addition.

The White Hat - Very good song.
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Postby Dennis » Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:38 pm

Best Use of a Ghostie-like Background Vocal- The Weakest Suit

Song That Would Be Killer with Two Japanese Chicks Singing- Muppetqueef

Best Misogynist Captain Beefheart Tribute- Flvxxvmflorvm

Best PowerPop Guilt with Handclap Bonus- Big Seed DNA

Best Use of a Tired Chord Progression- ADD

Better Off Wthout Vocals, Thank You- Cake for Breakfast

The Yellow Post-it Note on the Fridge Kind of Reminder Award- Melvin

Best Imaginary Out-Take from Strawberries by The Damned- veGetar...

Will Get Visit From Two Trademark Attorneys- sonofsuperDio
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Postby Lord of Oats » Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:51 pm

I've thought of giving out awards like this, but not really in place of actual reviews.
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Postby MSP » Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:15 pm

Add - I like the chord changes, especially the second to the last chord of the song, pleasant surprise.

Big Seed - Good dynamics. Seems like the rhythm section could have been tighter on the chorus.

Flvxxvm - Add some high end to your drums so they cut a little more. I'd compress the vocals heavily & then back off about 6 inches from the mic to avoid the pops. Cool guitar.

Mc Eric B - Turn the vocals up. Watch your syllabal (sp?) count for making the phrasing work properly, it sounded like a few had extra's that made you rush & go off beat.

Melvin - Cool tune. I really like the verses.

MSP - Sounds like I was little lacking on the low end on this mix....which is kind of ironic since I usually have a problem with mixes being bottom heavy. I don't think my next ones will be quite this easy listening either.

Senza - Cool tune. If you get a chance to re-mix, try throwing a distortion effect on the vocals during the verses, then on the chorus keep them clean like you have them, except throw a long delay on it so it's a half or whole note delay (@ half volume) that is repeating what you are saying. That will add to the dream-like quality.

Steve Durand - Best lyrics of the bunch. I could totally hear this played at at a family "saloon". Good recording too.

Vegitarian Rage - Good rhythm pocket. Interesting backing vox.

Weakest Suit - Throw some compression on the voice & back of a bit to get rid of the bassiness. Throw a little reverb on it too. I was waiting for the tune to take me somewhere new, but it never happened.

Muppetqu33f - I'm digging the vocal effect. Is that Reason in the background? Sounded cool.

Bang Operator - Push the vocals up more. Sounds like either the bass or guitar might have been off-pitch.

Blues Manuf. - It just wasn't working for me. It had sort of a underground feel to it...Maybe poetry read over it mght have worked (?)

RWB - Nice intro. Not sure where it went after that.

VOH - Contemporary chord changes & melody. That song could probably port over to one of those pop-metal bands, maybe sped up.

Booty - The FX on the voice don't match the guitars so it's a distraction.

Lord Of Oats - Pushing the edge with a 6/8 tune! I like the song, good chords. Could have used a pre-chorus.

Ross Durand - Great guitar sounds & bass/gtr lick. The drums could have been tighter with the rhythm on the verses.

Lopez - The strong part was the chord progression at the end. Had a cool Todd Rundgren feel to it. I would like to hear it with vocals there. The intro seemed long & the voice could use some polish.

Wages Of Oats - Good hook. I like the tune.

White Hat - Guitar sounds pretty sweet. I like the harmonica & vocal inter-play. Strong, strong tune & recording.

Just one guy's opinion.
Thanks for letting me play along this week gang!

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"ummm, yeah....let's take it up an octave & leave it out"
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Postby Paco Del Stinko » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:12 am

Well, I made it to one set of reviews anyway. sniff sniff :cry:
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Postby melvin » Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:46 am

ADD: I’m becoming a real fan of yours. This is awesome. You have a knack for interesting chord progressions and a really great voice. I also like the slightly unresolved feel of the melodies in this. Guitar solo seemed a bit lost in the mix, but that’s my only complaint. Turn it up a bit next time. Great track.

Bang Operator: Wow, two great tracks in a row. I absolutely love the vibe of this. The mix is a bit wonky, but it doesn’t matter too much. The guitar noise, the soft vocals in octaves, the lyrics, and the overall loose, chilled-out rock vibe are right up my alley. This song may have some flaws in its execution, but in terms of sheer style, it’s one of my favourite SF tracks ever.

Big Seed DNA: This is somewhat the opposite of the Bang Operator track for me. Production and execution are very slick, but the song itself has a vibe that I’m just not digging, like maybe an Aerosmith soundtrack tune. Not for me, but a lot of chicks would probably dig it.

Blues Manufacturing Facility: This is pretty bad.

Cake for Breakfast: I like what you’re going for, you just need to keep practicing your instruments.

Depski: This does not qualify as a song.

Flvxxvm Florvm: Good crazy. Lead guitar sounds amazing. Actually, the organ sounds pretty awesome too. The CD-skipping part even works. Vocals, maybe not so much. Still a pretty cool crazy package.

Lopez and the Destroyers: Those must be Hammerhead drums. I should know – I used them for years. Boy, do I ever hate that sound now. But that’s not your fault. Vocals are way too loud in the mix, but the Hammerhead, the chugging guitars, the clean strumming and even the keys remind me of early Melvin, so you’re kind of freaking me out. Do I know you? Keep at it and some day you’ll be able to tell your grandkids that you once had the third-highest number of entries in an online songwriting contest.

Lord of Oats: This ain’t bad. It’s solid in every way, but nothing stands out as particularly interesting. Maybe a hooky vocal refrain starting at 2:08 would have been a cool idea.

MC Eric B: The canned music and goofy lyrical delivery mean I can’t listen to this “seriously”, but I sincerely do appreciate your earnestness.

Melvin: After last week’s entry, which I was really proud of, this one feels like a bit of a dud. But the lyrics do make me chuckle.

MSP: Wow, this is really cool. Maybe it’s just my personal songwriting tick, but I would have loved to hear the melody ascend, perhaps even into the falsetto range, during the fifth bar of the chorus. To me, those are the “soaring hooks” that work well in a song like this, and can stick in your head for, like, decades. But that’s just nit-picking an otherwise very well constructed and performed track. Sweet work.

Muppet Qu33f: Pfft. I like some of the sounds and tones in this, but it’s really not my thing.

Paco del Stinko: Mix observation: both you and BLT seem to be able to get a big, crunchy bass sound out in front of the mix without muddying it up. I wish I knew how to achieve that. Feel free to post your tips here. Actually, I remember reading how BLT does it, and thinking, “dang, that sounds like way too much work!” But I digress. Great tune as usual. Love the chorus. Breakdown is classic Paco, and the solo is, as always, brilliant. I love how you *almost* give me straight-up, major chord pop, but put that dark, minor twist on it. The half-time break around 2:32 is an extremely catchy touch. Great track.

Ross Durand: Wow, teach is kicking out the jams this week! Nice riffage, and the gang vocals sound good. Reminds me of Monster Magnet or something. Nice psycho factor on the lyrics. Good track.

RWB: Vocals are too sloppy, and there’s not much else to compensate here, I’m afraid.

Senza Valore: This is not usually my style, but I like this track. Atmosphere is cool, and I find the drum sounds and pads appealing. Plus, this track is really causing me to re-think my massive drug addiction.

sonofsuperDio: Interesting production, but after a while, that same dissonant chord over and over becomes extremely grating. This song definitely needs a little more thought put into it.

Steve Durand: Perfectly charming. Outstanding singing, lovely harmonies, and the banjo is just great. Lyrics are wonderful. You are without a doubt one of the most talented, inventive and amusing songwriters around here. Too bad people base their votes on three-second sound bites in this day and age.

veGetar Ianra Ge: “Showing white girls how to get down” – that’s one of the funniest lyrics ever, even though, to be honest, it feels like I’ve heard it somewhere before. This track is well done, but I’ve got a few gripes. Seems like maybe the guitar riff could be fattened up in the mix, and the extended organ solo kills the energy a bit. That may be more of a mix/arrangement issue, than anything wrong with extended organ solos per se. Well done.

Voh: The verse chord progression and lead bit sound amazing. You’re pressing some really good harmonic buttons there. I really like this track. Cool vocal delivery. And by the second chorus, I’m totally hooked by how simple and incredibly catchy it is. Even though things turn a bit questionable from 3:00 onwards, this is still one of my favourites in this fight. And to think: you did it with just voice and two acoustic guitar tracks.

Wages of Oats: Great vocal tone as always, but there seems to be a lack of confidence in your delivery during the choruses in particular. You are clearly a great singer who just needs a producer to keep your weapon aimed in the right direction. Pretty nice guitar solo. Overall songwriting is okay. Definitely one of the better Wages efforts, with able backing by Mr. Oats.

The Weakest Suit: Don't mean to quibble, but I thought you were going to abandon this website after your twelfth entry? Not that I’m complaining or anything. I really appreciated your review of my last entry, by the way. I will return the compliment by saying that you have a good ear for melody yourself, and I like the nice warm sound of this track. Having said that, I do think the song needs a second melodic theme to keep it interesting throughout.

The White Hat: That’s some very snappy finger-picking. I can’t do that stuff at all, because I have enormous hands. Like the vocals too, for the most part. This song just feels so dark and ominous, it honestly disturbs me a bit. I’d say that’s a pretty high compliment. Well done.
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Postby veGetar Ianra Ge » Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:53 pm

melvin wrote:veGetar Ianra Ge: “Showing white girls how to get down” – that’s one of the funniest lyrics ever, even though, to be honest, it feels like I’ve heard it somewhere before. This track is well done, but I’ve got a few gripes. Seems like maybe the guitar riff could be fattened up in the mix, and the extended organ solo kills the energy a bit. That may be more of a mix/arrangement issue, than anything wrong with extended organ solos per se. Well done.



Yeah thanks! The song didn't quite make the finish line so I just threw a solo down over my remaining backing track. I would have liked to make the organ part half as long and put another verse in the empty space but oh well. I'm glad you liked it (sort of?)
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Postby jeff robertson » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:06 pm

melvin wrote: Lead guitar sounds amazing. Actually, the organ sounds pretty awesome too.


Liner notes for this entry:

Guitar was downtuned to C, for a bit of Iommi like slackness. It doesn't sound that deep in the final mix because the whole mix, after mixdown, was speed up chipmunk style.

Organ is 100% sequenced with mouse-clicking. I didn't play a note of it.
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Postby Steve Durand » Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:42 pm

melvin wrote:
Steve Durand: Perfectly charming. Outstanding singing, lovely harmonies, and the banjo is just great. Lyrics are wonderful. You are without a doubt one of the most talented, inventive and amusing songwriters around here. Too bad people base their votes on three-second sound bites in this day and age.



Thanks melvin!

That's got to be one of the nicest reviews ever.

Especially considering it comes from the #3 most prolific songfighter (soon to be #2).


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Postby voh » Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:00 pm

melvin wrote:Voh: The verse chord progression and lead bit sound amazing. You’re pressing some really good harmonic buttons there. I really like this track. Cool vocal delivery. And by the second chorus, I’m totally hooked by how simple and incredibly catchy it is. Even though things turn a bit questionable from 3:00 onwards, this is still one of my favourites in this fight. And to think: you did it with just voice and two acoustic guitar tracks.


I'll reiterate Steve Durand's statement here, because he said it best. Wow, that's got to be the nicest review ever :)

Thanks, man! I wasn't sure about the last part either, but time ran out.

Now I'm definitely competing in the next compo. What a good review can't do to a man :D
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Postby Lord of Oats » Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:16 pm

There seemed to be a lot of TLA's this week.
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Postby voh » Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:54 pm

Glad I'm not one of them, since voh is just a shorter version of my old nickname. I've seen it spelled uppercase as if it were an abbreviation, which was weird, but I've gotten used to it ;)
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Postby blue » Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:12 pm

paco, is that the unit? most excellent tune, either way.
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Postby blue » Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:51 am

Dennis wrote:Best Use of a Ghostie-like Background Vocal- The Weakest Suit

Song That Would Be Killer with Two Japanese Chicks Singing- Muppetqueef

Best Misogynist Captain Beefheart Tribute- Flvxxvmflorvm

Best PowerPop Guilt with Handclap Bonus- Big Seed DNA

Best Use of a Tired Chord Progression- ADD

Better Off Wthout Vocals, Thank You- Cake for Breakfast

The Yellow Post-it Note on the Fridge Kind of Reminder Award- Melvin

Best Imaginary Out-Take from Strawberries by The Damned- veGetar...

Will Get Visit From Two Trademark Attorneys- sonofsuperDio


:lol: :lol:

are you in this one?
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Postby Paco Del Stinko » Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:18 am

Blue - That is most definitely the unit, I left it hanging for ya at the end. Glad you dug the tune, too!

Melvin - I've been trying to spiff up my bass sound so I appreciate the nod. I used a Sans Amp as a pre-amp into a mic'd 10" combo, but also used the direct line out (on the Sans Amp) which is just 'plain' bass tone. I didn't bounce them together, but left them each on their own, each one panned either a little left or right off of center. Dropping off the bottom EQ has punched it up the most, I think. Not hard, just need some cables.

BLT uses a POD, I believe, but I'm not sure what else he does. I like the tone of his bass, and did you ever see it? It's a flying V! I figured that would've been all show, no tone.
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Postby Dennis » Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:27 am

:lol: :lol:

are you in this one?[/quote]




Blue, congratulations on your 1500th Post :!: :!: :!: :wink:
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Postby Billy's Little Trip » Sat Sep 22, 2007 1:13 pm

Paco Del Stinko wrote:BLT uses a POD, I believe, but I'm not sure what else he does. I like the tone of his bass, and did you ever see it? It's a flying V! I figured that would've been all show, no tone.

Yep, a 1977 Ibanez flying V. I really don't know much about it, even though I've had it for about 15 years. But it has this insane looking bridge pick up that looks like something from a sci fi movie and it seems to have a lot of power and tone range.
As far as recording, I do different things all the time, so one would have to tell me which song they liked the sound in, and I could go back and see what I did. But generally 2 or 3 bass tracks low, mid and high. Then I pan the highs out and keep the lows mono and the mids mild distortion with tubes. Compress the low bass track pretty heavy, which is where the mud comes from if not compressed I feel, but let the mid and high track do the talking. I can't give exact numbers and such because I add and EQ as needed for my ears.
oh, and yes, I run through a POD XT Live.
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Postby blue » Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:44 am

Paco Del Stinko wrote:Blue - That is most definitely the unit, I left it hanging for ya at the end. Glad you dug the tune, too!


well heck, that thing sounds really great. i'm surprised you resisted the temptation to really wang it out.

for those reading along at home, paco's usin' the home-made (by me) germanium fuzz he won in gearfight vii. 8)

Image
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Postby Billy's Little Trip » Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:35 am

blue wrote:
Paco Del Stinko wrote:Blue - That is most definitely the unit, I left it hanging for ya at the end. Glad you dug the tune, too!


well heck, that thing sounds really great. i'm surprised you resisted the temptation to really wang it out.

for those reading along at home, paco's usin' the home-made (by me) germanium fuzz he won in gearfight vii. 8)

Image

It sounds pretty good. But unlike Charlie, if I was using it in one of my songs, I would in fact be "wanging"it out. :lol:
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Postby Paco Del Stinko » Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:54 am

Oh, there'll be plenty of wanging coming everyone's way!
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Postby Ross » Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:42 pm

Jsut writing to apologize that I have not written reviews yet - busy week and what little time I've had for musical pursuits I have spent trying to summon up a song to e-mail in by 10 am tomorrow.
"I don't like this song, but at least it's good." - veGetar Ianra Ge
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Postby jackfrost » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:24 am

This is a overall a horrible fight with a couple of great songfighters in the mix that make it worth reviewing.

Add – another great song to start a fight with. This is a nice bouncy number. I like your voice and find that I’m starting to look forward to hearing your songs each fight. Nice harmonies and solo work.

Bang Operator – I am already annoyed that I have to turn up the volume too much to even hear this one. I like the double vocals and the way they go together. This is just recorded so poorly, that I can’t really get into it.

Big Seed DNA – Very good vocals on this one. Otherwise, it’s very soft rock station sounding. The version I downloaded is only 1:17 and it cuts off, so…

Blues Manufacturing Facility – how is talking about blues, but not playing blues so interesting to you that you keep submitting this garbage to songfight? After suffering through 3 of these, don’t expect me to waste anymore time listening to or reviewing anything from you.

Cake for Breakfast – this is the musical equivalent of a headache. Once I confirmed that there are no vocals, this one was skipped until I could delete it.

Depski – the title of the mp3 is “rise”. I challenge you to prove that you actually wrote this instrumental for the songfight title of the week. I think you just submitted a song you had recorded previously. As an instrumental, this is boring as hell. It’s too annoying to be atmospheric, and too repetitive to be interesting.

Flvxxm Florvm – the music is cool on this one. Very cool. But I can’t get into the lyrical delivery. It sounds like a clown singing. I know your intent was probably to sing this song in a goofy way to go with the lyrics, but I could not make that leap with you. Was it supposed to cut out like that?

Lopez and the Destroyers – I like the off key singing here. It reminds me of friends I had when I started college who would make music of this quality in their dorm rooms. I also like the song (especially after the last 4). Again, is your song supposed to cut out like that?

Lord of Oats – the guitar strumming and the “drumming” are out of sync and annoying, especially at the beginning where I am tempted to skip to the next song. You had the same problem with two guitars on a previous song. Either learn how to stay on the beat, or become more innovative and not have to strum the guitar and hit a “drum” on every quarter and/or eighth note. Your voice is less out of tune than last fight. Since you are continuously responding to every post anyone makes (including your own sometimes), I'm curious to see how many seconds there are going to be between when this review is posted and when you quote it and start to justify the instrumentation with some long rambling paragraph.

MC Eric B – this is a very by-the-book MC Eric B number, which is a breath of fresh air in this fight. You haven’t rapped since you’ve been back. It’s nice to hear it again.

Melvin – another welcome, familiar voice. Every time I have heard this one, my mind thinks the lyrics start like this: “It’s not you, it’s me. I always forget the quone…” Quone being from the Seinfeld episode where Kramer is attempting to play Scrabble. Actually, I still can’t make out the lyric, but it doesn’t matter. This is a very strong song. I like the building “year of your life” part especially. The drums are rocking in this one. All right. You got it. Great job.

MSP – this sounds like a song played at a skating rink in 1983, or in a 1980’s commercial for that Nestle’s white chocolate candy bar. This is very crafted and by the book. I hear no risk-taking at all in the songwriting or production, though. The file being 96K doesn’t help a damn thing either.

Muppet – if I cared, I’d suggest that you find a better way to record your voice, and write less trite rhymes.

That’s it. I can’t listen to any more garbage right now. Add, Melvin, and MC Eric B are the songs I would ever listen to again.

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