United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

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Pigfarmer Jr
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United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Tue May 29, 2018 8:44 pm

Divided we fight over who has the best reviews.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Thu May 31, 2018 9:11 pm

Songs posted.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby Jerkatorium » Thu May 31, 2018 10:13 pm

Holy goddamn it's Cow Exchange. I freakin love Cow Exchange. Cow Exchange (and Bovine Recyclery) songs have been on my playlists for the past dozen years or more.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:53 am

Eh... he's okay. Now if he was Pig Exchange, we'd be on to something.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:02 pm

add Ever look at a song and see that it's 4:51 and instantly hate that the intro of :22 was twice as long as it needed to be? Yeah, that was me. But honestly, I shouldn't prejudge, because this is actually a cool song with a lot of character. What I would make sound like crap you pull off. The high end of the melody in the verses "always" etc., don't quite hit the note, staying a bit flat. But it adds such great character that I actually think it works better that way. Okay, back to the length. I felt you could have cut the intervals between sections in half and not missed anything. And if you simply repeated the "you better run" at around 3:30 I wouldn't have missed anything. I guess I'm saying, the radio edit would have been better for the fight. But all that being said. I like this song.

Jim Tyrrell I like the arrangement, the construction of the song. It has a nice subtle build to it that works well for me. And the lyric and melody work for me very well. The laid back approach works as well. But it didn't really grab me.

Lichen Throat The vocal just doesn't quite fit in with the music. Not completely sure if it's the timing, the performance or the mix. I liked the change in the rhythm, but it did give it a slightly disjointed feel. I tend to shy from obvious spacial effects, but the depth you have on your musical mix works well here.

pigfarmer jr Too slow? I feel this may be too slow. The vocal timing miscues are annoying. Nothing original here. The message is diluted and the lyric isn't very good. But I still kind of like it a little bit. Just not something I'd be likely to share. Something I might revisit to improve, maybe.

silentwall The vocal just sounds so tentative that it doesn't quite fit in the mix. (It also might be mixed a bit too 'up'.) It's a cool little arrangement, but it suffers a little bit from being static (no real change in dynamics.) I like the idea and I think you almost got there, but didn't quite make it for me.

The Cow Exchange Such a serious delivery with such a whimsical lyric (that belies a more serious look.) I couldn't help but smile. Man, your song is LOUD (at least compared to all the others.) I really liked the repeating melody motif over top the changing chords in a place or two (the ends of the verses that really act like a pre-chorus. Tasty, that.) You've got some cool dirt (distortion) going on in the intro. You've got the best mix of the bunch.

Tim Hinkle That's a pretty serious vocal delivery you have. I like the shape of the vocal melody. It might be a bit repetitive, though. And the vocal might be mixed a bit too loudly for my taste... actually, a bit (just a touch) of spacial effect on it would be welcome, I think. I enjoyed the lead break and sound. It's a dirty little bit. Another song (like mine own) that could use some dynamic changes.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby thirdcat » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:40 pm

Not in this fight; but planning on joining the next.

I'm underlining my favorites/votes.

Pigfarmer Jr: Some pretty rockin' guitar riffs; drums aren't as convincing. Vocals could be stronger, sound a bit dry/naked in the mix.

:arrow: Jim Tyrrell: This is really nice. A spacey feeling but relatively subtle. Vocals sound good and match the music well. Just really tastefully done.

Tim Hinkie: The vocals have a nice quality to them and the guitars are alright; but the mix sounds a bit undercooked. Comes across as a demo. But this isn't recording fight right? song fight. So hm.. I kind of like the song but it doesn't really grab me. But I do think it has potential. I can imagine these vocals with a different backing and it sounding pretty good. There are some nice lyrics in there I think.

Lichen Throat: I'm not sure exactly what you're going for here; maybe a Leonard Cohen '80s style approach? The vocals don't really sound that connected to the music to me.

:arrow: add: I like this, lots of neat sounds but not too much going on where it becomes distracting. Nice mixture of guitars & synth sounds. Vocals work for the style. The song vaguely reminds me of John Vanderslice. On the negative side; it does feel a bit long to me, although I also really like the guitar leads on the long instrumental outro section.

:arrow: The Cow Exchange: I like your name. This is very modern pop compared to the rest of the tracks here. I'm not sure how much I like it really, as I avoid most modern pop stuff myself. But it makes me want to hear more from you and it's pretty well done.

Silentwell: Another one that I have to say comes across more as a rough demo for an idea than a finished song. I hope that doesn't come across as too harsh, being new here and all - don't want to get a rep as an asshole. But you know; real honest feedback is good right?
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby neutronflow » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:39 pm

Pigfarmer Jr: I'm glad I heard this one before The Cow Exchange's my first time through. "Can't believe the shit I see" has taken on different associations on subsequent listens. I love the sound of the guitars when this starts up. (And continues on, but it's quite striking right at the start. The solo is also good.) I'm reading this as a political song, at least somewhat about Trump, but the wall in the song doesn't seem to correspond in any meaningful way to the wall he's famous for talking about, so that seems like possibly a missed trick.

The Cow Exchange: I was surprised by how entirely listenable this is (I'd read the lyrics in the forum and I couldn't help expecting a song about poop to be really shitty). The second verse seems weak in comparison to the first. The line "the drywall laid a brick" was my favorite.

silentwall: There's quite a bit of noise around the vocal, stemming I'd guess from an extremely hot vocal mic into which you quite quietly sang. Hoping not to wake the neighbors? I've been there. It probably counts as ambiance for the optional challenge, though. Your song/band name reminded me of a line from a 60s Doctor Who episode: "A silent wall. We must make mouths in it with our weapons, then it will speak more light."

Jim Tyrrell: This is very pretty. I like it a lot. The line "I knew right away I would say I could heal it" is very striking.

Lichen Throat: I just listened to "The Modern Leper" on YouTube for some context. I hadn't been familiar with Frightened Rabbit. I'll have to check them out a bit more. I'm not at all sure what kind of sound you're going for. What you achieve is unsettling but quite interesting.

add: Love the guitar pattern at the end. This is maybe a little rambling, but I think it's my favorite of the fight.
Last edited by neutronflow on Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:55 am

neutronflow wrote: I'm reading this as a political song, at least somewhat about Trump, but the wall in the song doesn't seem to correspond in any meaningful way to the wall he's famous for talking about, so that seems like possibly a missed trick.


Definitely political. Definitely saying Trump is shit. But kind of a back handed slap at Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford... etc., I didn't do a very good job with the lyric (or recording for that matter) as what you have is the first draft and I never went back to work on it. And I submitted late. The idea is that the one good thing to come from Trump is that people are now realizing that the office of the presidency isn't some sort of salvation. That giving too much power to the executive branch is a terrible idea. Or maybe, the power we give Obama to help us is now being used against us by Trump (or given to Bush then used by Obama if you're a republican.) But I'm a libertarian so essentially, "the power you give the government to help you will be used against you." I fully admit it was very poorly executed.

edit to add... didn't address the wall. The wall is the veil of secrecy in government, or the difference between the rulers and the ruled. the idea that what goes on behind close doors....
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby neutronflow » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:44 am

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:edit to add... didn't address the wall. The wall is the veil of secrecy in government, or the difference between the rulers and the ruled. the idea that what goes on behind close doors....


I kind of got that. "The curtain is ripped/he's tearing it down." I get a Wizard of Oz vibe.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby bdog5778 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:17 pm

metaluna_citw.mp3
(7.02 MiB) Downloaded 18 times

Well, I'm totally late - but I finally recorded a vocal, so...there's that. Will do reviews later; just finishing has been an exhausting process.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:06 pm

@bdog5778 - If you email it then it may be added to the front screen as a non-voting option. Depending on the time available to our wonderful fight master.

Metaluna - I like the mix a lot. The guitars are rocking and the arrangement is interesting. It's cool to have a metal inspired track that is this good. The melody might be a bit too familiar sounding, but it's good. That dirt on the bass is filthy.. I love it.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby bdog5778 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:02 am

@ Pigfarmer Jr

Definitely REALLY late now in the process, but hey, why not?

@ Lunkhead

I've submitted a song very late in the cycle. If it can be posted as a non-voting option on the front page, that would be awesome. If not, thanks anyway for hosting everything and being as accommodating as you are.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby vowlvom » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:26 am

add - I wasn't immediately taken by the vocal style early on but this really grew on me. Lots of interesting musical choices and a good lyric. It does feel like some of the musical sections are longer than they need to be, but still one of my favourites from this fight.

The Cow Exchange - uh... that is an interesting lyric. Some excellent synthwork and an anthemic chorus but I must admit, I really have a strong bias against songs that are so... scatological.

Jim Tyrrell - very soft and minimal but effectively so. I like the dreamy layers and the less-is-more bassline.

Lichen Throat - interesting and heartfelt lyric but I have to agree with the other comments that the vocal and the music don't fit together very well on this one, although it improves as the song goes on.

Pigfarmer Jr. - I really like that wide-panned crunchy guitar sound you use. This is a good song, but the timing of the vocal does throw it off a bit, especially on the "can't believe the shit I see..." line. Definitely worth revisiting this one and tidying up the vocal though I think, it's a strong song otherwise.

silentwall - the vocal sounds very uncertain, maybe there's even a bit where you forget the lyrics? This isn't an unpleasant listen but it definitely feels like an early draft.

Tim Hinkle - quite liked this one, I think the acoustic guitar could use a little softening (EQ / reverb?) but maybe that's a conscious choice so I don't want to be too judgemental. Well performed and interesting.

Metaluna - I'm always out of my comfort zone commenting on anything metal-related but this is a strong track, really like the vocal FX and the way the distortion kicks in. Kind of an 80s pop vibe to the wordless vocal bits somehow, which is unexpected!

add and Jim Tyrrell my favourite two, sneaking in a vote for Pigfarmer Jr. as well because I think that's a really strong track with one minor flaw.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:31 am

I added the Metaluna song to the fight.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby Jefff » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:01 am

Jim Tyrell -- Cool arrangement. I agree with everyone else on how nice the space is. I guess that was the optional challenge. My favorite part is the electric piano at the end.

Lichen Throat -- Fun progressions and guitar parts. My favorite part is the abrupt switch to the chorus.

Pigfarmer Jr. -- Nice guitar tone. Pretty good riff and catchy chorus. My favorite part is the solo.

silentwall -- There are some good images in here. My favorite part is actually the white noise that accompanies the vocal. Not sure if that was a production necessity or a choice, but it serves the optional challenge.

Cow Exchange -- Nice chiptune sounds. Strong melodies and harmonies. My favorite part is that descending keyboard line in the verses.

Tim Hinkle -- I like your Magnetic Fields-esque vocal style. It fits the song. My favorite part is the low note on "slight".

Metaluna -- Strong vocals. When you go big, it really does feel big. My favorite part is the vibraslap.
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby bdog5778 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:21 am

add - Your voice really sells this. I've been watching a lot of "What Makes This Song Great" by Rick Beato on Youtube and your note choices at the end of the verse highlights something common to the great songs of our times - interesting intervals being employed to draw people in. Have to agree with some of the other reviewers here that the musical interludes tend to go on a bit longer than necessary. I think some more realistic drum samples might help with that sense of "going on too long".

The Cow Exchange - Lots of poppy (poopy?) goodness here. The scatological jokes are a bit fun, but I honestly think that this would be benefit from a lyric/subject re-write. That intro though...sick, sick, sick. Heckuva hook there. Melodies stacked upon melodies throughout and they're all catchy. Bravo. VOTE.

Jim Tyrell - Too much roll, not enough rock (for my tastes). It sounds like the lowest-volume/pitch notes that you're singing are out of tune. Could be wrong. That's the sort of thing I struggle with and have to use copious amounts of pitch-correction to solve. I like the organ sound a lot - what are you using there? I've had a tune (or two) that would benefit from that tonality. On repeat listenings, the melody has grown on me (I didn't care for that third chord at first). It really feels like a few simple drum fills would help give some of the transitions a bit more weight.

Lichen Throat - Your production skills have definitely improved; esp. re: your vocals. Very nice tonality. The MIDI guitars need some reverb to match the reverb on the drums. Plenty of freeware VSTs out there (epicVerb, Glaceverb, Kjaerhus Audio Reverb) that would do the trick. The vocals sound GREAT - they're just off-key and out-of-time in quite a few locations. If I may be so bold, I totally recommend Melodyne editor (which does cost money). I've taken to just singing a scratch take, hard-correcting timing and pitch, and then re-doing everything using the scratch take as a guide. Works brilliantly. The song itself doesn't overly move me but I DO dig that chorus breakdown. Lots of note-y goodness.

Pigfarmer, Jr. - Sabbath-esque fuzziness! Glorious. I'd really like to hear some harmonies on that chorus and double-tracked vocals during the verses - if yer gonna go Ozzy, go full Ozzy. Cool solo. Love the slight variations of the hard-panned guitars. The only thing it's missing is a big breakdown riff. Even so, VOTE.

silentwall feat. rec - With the vocal up this high in the mix against the piano, the performance needs to be tighter. Alas, this has not happened. I can hear the mouse clicking in the background, opening up the noise gate. Forgotten lyrics at 1:24, LULZ. Maybe put a bit more 'verb on the vocal, too, to help it blend a little better. There's a lot of potential but it's not fully realized here.

Tim Hinkle - Nice baritone. I'm pretty sure I could listen to your voice all day long despite the fact that I'm not much of a country or folk kind of guy (obviously). Somebody else said it, so I'll just re-affirm: a slight slap-back delay or reverb on the voice would be an awesome touch. The synth-y sounding solo is a bit of a distraction for me - seems out of character. I'd love to hear a chorused Strat or Tele clean tone doing the solo and some fills during the verses. Perhaps with a slide. Maybe just because some of this reminds me of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"? Don't know. What I do know is that this thing is stronger on repeat listens. VOTE.

Metaluna - Had a lot of fun putting this together. Finally found a microphone that works with my mediocre voice (Shure SM7B). Since that wound up working better than expected, I tried some nifty panning tricks (verse: 1L/C/1R, chorus 100L/C/100R). Automated a bunch of reverbs and delays to the point that my beefcake computer was crying "uncle". While I DO love this track best, I'd feel awkward voting for it since I submitted late.

Cheers, everyone!
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Re: United We Stand (Crack in the Wall Reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:23 pm

It's a tie. Congrats to add and The Cow Exchange!

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