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 » Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:59 pm

I agree. Even if you just write "like it" or "hate it" or "ok" that would be better than nothing.

- Eric
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Postby Ross » Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:22 pm

Lord of Oats wrote:So I was a little busier than usual for this week, which still isn't that busy, but I'm really awful with time management. I'll do reviews, but only if you're going to read them.

Since I won't doing all of them, and I've had the songs for quite a while now, I should be able to give fairly detailed feedback. So, if anybody wants one, respond to this, and I'll write my thoughts here, or PM me, and I'll PM you back.
I'd appreciate a review - Thanks!
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Postby The White Hat » Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:15 pm

Ditto, please.
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Postby Lord of Oats » Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:48 pm

senza valore wrote:Lord of Oats - Better late than never.. I'd still love to hear what you think.


Lyrically, this is a little bleak for my tastes, but I'm not really picking on that, because I'm not a good poet, and I'm not qualified to judge that. That said, every time I hear your chorus, I just want to shoot myself in the face. Like I'm going to try really hard, and I'm going to die either way, so I might as well not waste my time. I guess you've written a pretty powerful piece, since it gets me a little depressed every time I hear it. I just don't know why you'd want to make music like that. I feel that once I get everything in line, I'm going to have a pretty good life, but you're ruining that for me every time I listen to this song. Yours was probably one of the reasons I didn't want to review everyone this week. Some of these songs, I just don't want to think about. But don't take that the wrong way. If you're going for a bleak, dystopian feel, with the music, you've got it. I'm thinking this would work in a Blade Runner type thing. That said, that movie was a huge downer, and while I admire it as a piece of cinema, I don't like it. It's depressing. I almost don't want to make any of the suggestions I wanted to, because I'm now seeing that the music is perfectly appropriate for the lyrics. But if I could ignore the lyrics for a minute and just think about it as a piece of music that I might make, here are some thoughts on that. Basically, it's not dynamically satisfying to me. You've got this glitchy, stuttering, syncopated feel down. I wish I knew how to work the sequencer like that. Kudos on that. Now, it drops out a couple of times. But then it just comes back. I think this works alright as a transition from the first chorus to the second verse. Then you've got a cool instrumental section, then a build in your chorus. Now, here's where you have an opportunity to make this dynamically exciting. You let the drums sit on their same little stuttery pattern, for an instrumental outro, and they drop out, and you've got a quiet ending. I think you could actually make this song a lot more interesting. My suggestion is, right after your second chorus, leave your drum pattern behind, and go for a house feel, i.e., some pounding four-on-the-floor kick drum, or maybe even blasty-ass, gutbucket rock. Rebuild your song around something. There's too much going on for the song to never quite reach the dynamic peak it wants to, and then trail off into the distance. Maybe it'd defeat the purpose of your song, but I think I'd enjoy it more. The song that comes to mind, for me, as a good example of this, is NIN's "All the Love in the World," the opening track on With Teeth. Although you don't necessarily have to repeat your hook ad nauseum like he does. But listening to almost any NIN is a good way to get a grasp of dynamics in electronic music. Another song that comes to mind is Tegan and Sara's "Are You Ten Years Ago," off of The Con, which doesn't technically build to the four-on-the-floor section, but they use it to contrast with the sort of erupting beat. In fact, it's almost the opposite. The kick is quiet there. But that shows you can use different rhythms as a device to make dynamic shifts more apparent. I don't actually know too much about mainstream electronica, so I have no idea what you were going for. I think I saw somebody complain about your vocals, so I'd like to point out that I have no qualms with that part of the song. If you'd included a louder section, as I've suggested, you might want to push it out a little, but with it as it is, the mouth-heavy vocal recording is perfectly fitting. But I just like to hear different kinds of vocal techniques used. Everybody else seems to think you're no good if you don't have a power voice. Nonsense, I say. I just realized I wrote quite a bit, and spent some time on it, so let me know if this was useful to you at all, or if you could at least understand the points I was trying to make.
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Postby Lord of Oats » Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:58 pm

jackfrost wrote:
Lord of Oats wrote:So I was a little busier than usual for this week, which still isn't that busy, but I'm really awful with time management. I'll do reviews, but only if you're going to read them.

Since I won't doing all of them, and I've had the songs for quite a while now, I should be able to give fairly detailed feedback. So, if anybody wants one, respond to this, and I'll write my thoughts here, or PM me, and I'll PM you back.

isn't it apparent that everyone wants as many reviews as possible? that's why they are submitting songs here. making people ask you for a review is just plain stupid. everyone is busy, and life only gets busier the older you get. so either write a sentence or two about each song, or don't. or only write about the ones you liked. but adding a whole other layer of PMs and "yes, i would like one" replies in this thread seems unnecessary, and more like a cry for attention.


Can't you make an allowance for a special circumstance? I'll go back to reviewing everyone next week. In any case, your argument is relying on assumptions. I'll start believing it's worthwhile to review everyone when I see that Bang Operator, Big Seed DNA, Blues Manufacturing Facility, Cake For Breakfast, Depski, Muppet Queef, RWB, and sonofsuperDio have started cruising the review thread. Not to mention those Central Wis Crew folks, or whatever, who polluted the Memphis fight. Why would I write reviews for a bunch of people who submit crap and can't even be bothered to register a forum account and say hi? Maybe for other readers' entertainment, but I think a lot of us only read the reviews of our own material unless the reviewer is particularly entertaining.
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Postby Ross » Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:08 pm

Question for Jack frost, just because I've been curious, and not in response to the quote above. Are you in one of the bands or are you just someone who enjoys reviewing?
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Re: reviews

Postby Lord of Oats » Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:09 pm

MC Eric B wrote:I agree. Even if you just write "like it" or "hate it" or "ok" that would be better than nothing.

- Eric


I'm not thrilled that you chose to write "I agree" as a blanket statement, covering the words of a fellow who is doing nothing but spewing vitriol at me, repeatedly, and for no good reason. But either way, I'll take this as a request for a review.

Awesome beat. No complaints there. I like the lyrics, mostly. This is kind of the opposite of what Senza Valore was going for. It was actually kind of encouraging, the times I listened to it during the week. There are a few little issues with the lyrics and the delivery, which the whole rap thing tends to cause me to focus on. I like the references to famous rock songs, but there are some flow issues during that part. It seems fairly obvious that garden and hose were pluralized so you'd have a rhyme for roses, which isn't a big deal to me, because I make really horrible poetic stretches like that all the time. By the way, drinking from a hose can be dangerous to your health, and you shouldn't encourage that kind of behavior! Those things are full of bacteria! In any case, good job with this one. I wasn't around prior to TGFM, so I haven't heard your back catalog, but I like your approach to rap better than whatever else you were trying to do. I'd say stick with this sort of stuff. Rap around here has had kind of a dry spell, recently. Keep the rains coming.
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Postby Lord of Oats » Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:51 pm

rdurand wrote:I'd appreciate a review - Thanks!


Okay, Ross. This is a really solid song, but the recording and/or performance don't quite sell it. The first thing I thought of, the first time I heard it, was Weird Al's "I'll Sue Ya," which was admittedly a style parody of Rage Against the Machine. When I listened to his song, the Rage comparison having been invoked, it just didn't measure up. I don't know what it is, but nobody can really duplicate it. I suppose, perhaps, those fellows, whether in Rage or Audioslave, are the planet's most solid hard rock power trio. They could just rock out and make instrumentals. They could just be rocking out in a factory, like in 80's metal videos, and people would have no choice but to take them seriously. Something about four Rosses rocking out in a factory isn't as compelling. For hard rock, you can't beat a live band. I think that's the problem. No component is really suffering. I'm trying to peg it down, and I can't. I can only think, "maybe it's this, maybe it's that..." Nothing is sticking out as a weak point. Some have picked on the drums, but I think you did a remarkable job with those, considering you didn't have access to any drums. They're loud enough, and they sound fairly real. You've got an edge on me, as far as drum programming. Great rhythm guitar work. Maybe more bass would have helped your mix sell your riff? I'm not sure. Based on what I just submitted for the last 55-Minute Frenzy, I'm not totally sure that I understand heaviness anymore. I think the interactions between the different instruments in a live context is incredibly important. That's all I can figure out. All that said, it's still an enjoyable listen, and doesn't want for excitement like some of your previous releases might have. I just can't get away from the "Fake Rage" vibe. In any case, you've at least got the idea of how to write a riff rock song down. I like your vocals on this one. You're certainly not Mr. de la Rocha, and you're clearly not going for that at all, with the melodic singing and everything. But everything else about this is sooooooo Rage. I don't know what to tell you. The vocals aren't that style, but they certainly fit. Maybe you should call Tom Morello. Now having burned through Chris Cornell, you might be just the front man they're looking for. I had no idea you'd have such a good rock voice. You kind of sound like Ozzy Osbourne on some of the high notes (not a compliment), in your one section with all the high notes, especially the one right before your guitar solo. But somehow, you manage to do this while sounding less annoying than Ozzy by a factor of at least one thousand (is a compliment). Your lyrics are solid and entertaining, although I'm not sure why you fixed your sister up with a guy who drinks at a skanky dive. This doesn't sound like you're serious, or if this is even based on a true story, and I hope not, but these kinds of tactics usually work on people. In my opinion, there is no motivator greater than fear. Although it might be a little over the top, and maybe even hard to take you seriously, if you were to record a hard rock song on someone's answering machine. Okay, the only major issue with this is the guitar solo. Starts out good, then what the hell happens? At least it was short. You sound like me, here. Cut it out. Get Paco or somebody to help you. I guess it's almost decent blues work, but I have trouble accepting that that sort of thing is appropriate here. The rhythm guitar is as Tom Morello as you can get without being him. Why isn't the lead guitar? You're supposed to whip out your whammy pedal and make animal noises! Don't you get this style at all?! Honestly, riff rock presents a soloing issue. No matter how hard you think it's going to rock when you wail all over your sweet riff, it's just not. The riff is basically a chord substitute. One chord. That's all you get. When you take a linear melodic approach to the solo, you need chord changes to make what you're playing sound good, unless it's really interesting of its own accord. For instance, hyperspeed shredding, or complete whackass noise. Once again, see Tom Morello.
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Postby Billy's Little Trip » Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:03 pm

Crap, them there's a lot of writin' words.
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Postby Ross » Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:39 pm

Lord of Oats wrote:You sound like me, here.
Ouch! Low blow, man!

Just kidding. Thanks for the review. I'm gonna stick with the "really solid song" part :-)

I may pm you a brief defense.
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Postby Lord of Oats » Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:43 pm

rdurand wrote:
Lord of Oats wrote:You sound like me, here.
Ouch! Low blow, man!

Just kidding. Thanks for the review. I'm gonna stick with the "really solid song" part :-)

I may pm you a brief defense.


Do, if you've got time. Unlike many here, I'm totally interested in any defenses of my criticisms. It's important! Stand up for your art! My point of view only matters in the context of yours. And I may be able to enjoy your music more if I understand where you're coming from.

And yeah. I'm bad at guitar. I refuse to practice, yet I insist on all my songs having instrumental sections. I just go in and yank on the strings until everyone's been offended. Your playing is earnest and technically competent, so you've got a bit of an edge there. I remember having some acclaim for your lead guitar in that huge Memphis fight, not knowing who you were, and having to go through 40 entries. I think the phrasing is just a little off, here, and it's not really that severe. But a lot of it is what I said about soloing over a riff. It sounds like it's going to be awesome. It's not. In many cases, even a big truckload of chops won't sell it.
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Postby Paco Del Stinko » Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:27 am

I'm not trying to further the Oats bashing here, but how about a few paragraph breaks in them there reviews - gettin' cross eyed!

And Ross - Isn't that a keyboard solo in there? Am I that mush-eared?
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Postby Ross » Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:44 am

Paco Del Stinko wrote:Ross - Isn't that a keyboard solo in there? Am I that mush-eared?
It probably has more to do with my fingers than your ears, but I played the solo on a guitar.
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Postby tonetripper » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:07 am

White Hat I really dug your guitar work on that tune or whomever it was. Awesome job.






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Postby Paco Del Stinko » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:00 am

Yeah Ross, after paying better attention I can hear that it's a guitar, but still has a keyboardy sound to me. Whatever you did, it might be good to use deliberately later as some sort of secret weapon or something. Good solo, regardless!
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Postby Lord of Oats » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:46 pm

The White Hat wrote:Ditto, please.


This is a good, solid entry. Nothing sticks out as bad about this, and lots of things stick out as good. The instrumentation is a little sparser than I would prefer, but that probably fits the mood of the piece well. In any case, it's amazing how well your guitar fills in all the sonic space. This sounds like it has a more rich texture than it actually does.

It sounds well-recorded and well-performed. You get a much better sound out of your guitar and your voice than I ever can. But I'm guessing that you, unlike me, happen to own a condenser mic. Also unlike me, you know how to use blues idioms to construct a successful song. You're also good at your instruments. I think you've nailed it. Songwriting, recording, and performance. That's all you need.

This wasn't my favorite song this week, but it's up there. And my most objective evaluation says this one is definitely one of the top songs. It doesn't really need anything. It sounds like it might, if only for a minute, but it really boogies. For instance, it's great how you can play such intricate guitar figures, that supply melodic support, but really drive home the rhythm as well. Everything in this is well-balanced like that.

Awesome scary blues voice. Is the guy singing the same guy in the avatar? It doesn't look like it. This sounds like an old, seasoned blues man, and you look fairly young. I like the lyrics. I hope there's someone keeping score. I hate when people sin. It pisses me off. Yeah, anyway, good job. Keep it coming.

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