Time to Sing your Predictions of the Future (Sing of the Times Reviews)

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Time to Sing your Predictions of the Future (Sing of the Times Reviews)

Post by ken » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:49 pm

Write your reviews now, before they are posted!
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Re: Time to Sing your Predictions of the Future (Sing of the Times Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:37 pm

Songs posted!
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Re: Time to Sing your Predictions of the Future (Sing of the Times Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:48 pm

I haven’t listened yet, but I love the cover art!
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Re: Time to Sing your Predictions of the Future (Sing of the Times Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:56 pm

Entirely too soon, one listen (or so) reviews.

Berkeley Social Scene -I like the intro, bass heavy rocking riff. The vocal attitude is cool, but it's a bit spotty in delivery. Takes me out of the song just a hair.

Glenn Case - Kind of has a 70's prog rock feel in the vocals delivery and melody that I like. It's not so 70's that it turns me off, but just enough that I feel a bit wistful for a good dose of Yes or something. I like the guitar tone and playing on the leads. I really like the grit in the music.

James Owens - I like the intro. But I'll admit to a bit of genre bias. I don't dislike flute-folk especially, but it definitely isn't my go to genre. I do like the arrangement, how you build it up nicely. And I enjoyed the song.

lookoutJoe! - The doubled vocal reminds me of some Applehead vocals from 10 years ago (you'll not know the reference, but it's a decent one.) I like the attitude/feel of the song. You've got a way of making a pretty ordinary chord change work better than it *should.* I like the take on the title "the times we had..." but I didn't much care for the USA rhyme/line. I guess there's something refreshing about the fun/purity that I hear in your songs and this one is no exception. It just feels like a guy (or some guys) having fun making music and I cannot find fault in that.

Midnight Yacht Club - Quiet and slightly muddy mix. The take on the title works for me. I instantly think of people on FB unfriending each other over petty shit. I like the chorus melody and think it works well enough, but I'm not sure there is much to stand out. The doubled vox doesn't line up well enough... it feels intentional but doesn't quite work for me. Not a bad listen, but lots of tiny little details that could be improved to make it better.

Paco del Stinko - This song has that signature Paco feel that feels reassuring. Not your best work, but it's not bad. That busy bass just doesn't seem to fit as well as it should, but I like the energy. And I like the drums quite a bit, though.

Pigfarmer Jr - (me) Last minute rushed entry. I like the song, but the lyric needs some work. Oh, this is suppose to be about some modern pop music that I don't connect with. Probably not obvious.

shrts - Funny take on the title. Heh. You had me laughing although the vocal is over dramatic. But it's a fun listen.

Somebody Named Seth - You can never have enough D&D inspired songs, imo. Not the best execution (the guitar is too clean compared to the vocals) but I can't deny that I enjoyed listening. And I don't think you are referring to it, but I played MUD for like, years. Hero characters and all that.... man, you take me back.

Sparetooth - Suffering from pitch problems, the vocal goes from cool to jarring at various intervals. There's a little bit of a jittery start/stop feel to the song that I don't like, but honestly, there is a lot here that I liked.

Third Cat - Something about the vocal doesn't sit just right, but I think I'm being picky and tired. (It's been a long weekend with no power for two days and.. well, stuff.) Suffice it to say that I liked your song but there is something that doesn't sit just right about it that is bothering me a little.

Vom Vorton - That intro reminds me of something that I like and can't quite place. Your vocal delivery is classic Vom Vorton (which I like.) Even though your a hair pitchy on the top notes (times the first time through the first chorus) and your doubled vox track doesn't quite line up perfectly, it works very well for me. I like that pre-chorus a lot. This is a catchy song and I like it.
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Re: Time to Sing your Predictions of the Future (Sing of the Times Reviews)

Post by midnightyc » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:08 pm

Hey guys. First time reviewing. Hope I do this right!

PDS: I love the intro with the slide country licks. Actually all the guitars and the solo are spot on. Nice bass line. The lyrics are alright. Vocals fit. The message didn't grab me but overall good song. Vote

VV: I like the instruments and the lyrics are solid. Drums and bass are solid. Like the doubled up vocals. Nice filled out sound. I dig the intrumental section. The synth is nice. Vote

SHRTS: I like the witty take on the typo idea. Instruments are solids. Vocals are alright. Its awfully short though.

JO: Got a soft spot for folk done well. And this is folk done well. Like that flute like instrument. Kind of reminds me Terry Ried. Probably a vote.

TC: I really dig the guitar effects and the digital drums. I like the delay effect that seems like its kinda lo-fi? Can't say I'm a fan of the vocals. Can't pinpoint it.

ST: I dig the piano. The song has a C86 pop feel. The vocals are kind of weird. They seem off key in the chorus and the other voice is off. I know its intentional but Im not sure if it works.

SNS: This is probably my favorite. The mix is solid. The lyrics are great. Good vocals. The intro is creative and well done. I like that it sounds like you're performing in a tavern. Vote

BSB: Really dig the instruments. The mix. The change ups. I can't get into the vocals. They sound off to me. Might just be me. Idk.

GC: I found this to be very pleasing sonically. The lyrics are good. Good hook. Great vocals. Has a 70's rock vibe to me. Good tone. Good solo. I dig the descending part in the chord progression. Vote

PJ: Solid. Good rock song. Dig the mix. Vote

LJ: Quirky. Like the slapback echo on the vocals. Nice synth spacey thing. Like how the chorus gets a little slower. Reminds me of a light hearted led zep. Vote

MYC: First off Im not a fan of my vocals on this. Theyre alright. Upon relistening I feel like this has a slight Tom Petty vibe. I recorded a version of this early in the week and just was not happy with it. So I redid everything. I set a personal challenge to not use computer plugins or a DAW. Recorded everything on a Tascam 8 track. Im still learning, but having fun.
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Re: Time to Sing your Predictions of the Future (Sing of the Times Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:44 pm

Apologies in advance for the negative-skewing reviews. I think a lot of the strongest entries this week are working in genres I have a bias against - there’s a lot of 70s-ish retro rock vibes which I’ve never been much into.

Berkeley Social Scene - BSS songs tend to be of a consistently high quality but have a wildly varying amount of overlap with my own personal tastes, and I'm afraid this one is that the "not much overlap" end of that scale. Despite the solid arrangement and performances, this didn't really do it for me.

Glenn Case - the layered vocals are really interesting and there's a powerful chug to those guitars. Lots going on in the arrangement, the lead guitar is sweet and the organ thickens everything up really well. So I'm nearly all praise here, but this still didn't quite click with me.

James Owens - interesting choice of style, it works well with the extended metaphor of the lyrics. The vocals sound a bit tentative though… which is possibly intentional, but I think this would benefit from a stronger delivery. The flute is really cool though and I like the rhythms, they remind me of Spaghetti Westerns.

lookoutJoe! - there's about the mix that bothers me, I think maybe the slapback delay on the vocals is a bit overwhelming maybe? There's a lot of things about this that I like though, most notably the bits where the organ and synth kick in which sound really great. Agreed with Pigfarmer that there’s a good sense of fun to it which definitely won me over.

Midnight Yacht Club - I like the chiming guitar arpeggios that run through most of the song (bit of a VU / Lou Reed vibe in places), but on the whole this didn't do it for me like your last entry did.

Paco del Stinko - LOVE the slidy country guitar work, from the intro I thought this was going to be my clear favourite this week. I don’t think the rest of the song quite lives up to that promise, the melody doesn’t quite seem to click into gear somehow, but it’s still an enjoyable listen.

Pigfarmer Jr - really like your vocals on this one. The song as a whole feels solid without really being exceptional, but definitely a strong performance.

shrts - I think this is my favourite of the shrts songs that I've heard so far, I often struggle with the extremely short length but this song does feel complete at that length, which is cool. The lyrics are fun.

Somebody Named Seth - I'm not averse to some nerdy lyrics but this pushes a little too far for me. The fact that the chorus ends with a rhyme based around an acronym really rubs me the wrong way for some reason. Generally well executed but not for me.

Sparetooth - some really good stuff in this, I love how it sounds when the beat kicks in and the lead guitar riff is good enough to transcend the MIDI-ness of the sound. Vocal timing is generally pretty good too. It really kinda loses me in the chorus though, which feels really directionless after the strong verses.

Third Cat - quite a sparse arrangement for you, I kinda missed having some dreamy pads or something to back up the crisp guitars. The melody for the "here in the future" section is pretty catchy, but on the whole this doesn't reach the usual third cat level for me.

Vom Vorton - I think this one turned out pretty well. Definitely some bits where the vocal layering could be tighter, but I’m really happy with how this sounds.
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Re: Time to Sing your Predictions of the Future (Sing of the Times Reviews)

Post by lichenthroat » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:08 pm

Why does everyone sound like it’s 1975? I wonder if the title provided a subconscious impulse to evoke a particular style of music.

Berkeley Social Scene—The bass line is a highlight here. I’m not wild about the vocal melody in the bridge, but the guitar solo is nice. Overall, it’s a little too 70s to be a favorite for me, but it’s a well crafted, well produced song.

Glenn Case—Such a wonderfully full sound! I like your use of the organ as a relatively consistent background tone. The vocal mix is cool, too. The song is not entirely to my taste, but I can’t fault any aspect of the performance or production.

James Owens—I like this quite a bit. I do think, however, that the tone of the music would be better paired with more earnest, non-humorous lyrics. Otherwise, this is great. The music is interesting, and your voice sounds good.

lookoutJoe!—This song has an appealing sense of fun. There’s some distortion that I think is probably not intentional. I like how you’ve used so many instruments and interwoven the melody among them.

Midnight Yacht Club—Mix is a little quiet. I didn’t like this at first, but it grew on me significantly upon subsequent listens. I appreciate the subtle approach that you’ve attempted here.

Paco del Stinko—Intro sounds great. The la-la-las sound out of place, but I can’t put my finger on why. I do like your vocal tone on this one.

Pigfarmer Jr—Another strong entry. Reasonably catchy, good performances. The one line that stood out negatively was phrasing of “about” in the line that begins with “I don’t give…” but only the first time through; after that it sounds good. I think the lyrics could be a little more imaginative. Although I apparently have a lot of complaints, this is a good song and probably a vote from me.

shrts—I love how you’ve seized upon the opportunity to make fun of the title. The rest of the song is pretty good, but your cleverness is the overriding impression.

Somebody Named Seth—The first time through, I thought this was too long, but after that the length seemed appropriate. I’m also a little confused by the tone. It feels like a nostalgic pro-D&D song, but there’s an element of mocking, too. Additionally, I think the song cries out for additional internal rhymes with “riddles,” “elves,” and “goblins.” On the other hand, I have a favorable overall impression. This another probable vote despite my numerous nitpicks.

Sparetooth (me)—The mix is too loud—sorry! Sometimes I neglect to devote enough effort to making sure that the music sounds good, and unfortunately this was one of those time. The lyrical conceit was that Jim’s vocals represent Bob Dylan, while mine represent Tom Petty. However, I don’t think the song sounds good enough to motivate anyone to listen carefully enough to examine all the nuances. This was fun to make, though.

Third Cat—The electric guitar is strangely piercing in the mix—and not in a good way. I do like the playing and the songwriting, though. I don’t think the percussion sounds mesh well with the rest of the tones. The more positive-sounding section at the end, however, is genius. I wasn’t expecting that at all, and then it burst out exuberantly and ended the song on a great note.

Vom Vorton—I don’t like the dissonant guitar at the beginning, but everything else is great. You, by the way, are an absolute master at changing up the melody within the verse, as in “When all is done and said…” in this song. I’ve noticed this phenomenon on several of your other songs, too. This is a fine addition to your catalog, and a definite vote.
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Re: Time to Sing your Predictions of the Future (Sing of the Times Reviews)

Post by thirdcat » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:16 pm

Glenn Case - nice thick sound, very '70s. some really nice turns with the vocals. love the harmonies. "you may try to shove things out" bit is great. I like this one a lot, probably my favorite of the fight. definite vote. it seems to be exactly what it's trying to be.

Paco - lots going on as usual with a Paco song, this time around I'm finding it a bit distracting. still even when your songs don't totally work for me I'm always impressed by them because of all of the musicianship. some great rockin'.

Somebody Named Seth - guitar sounds good. vocals are clear and strong. the atmospheric crowd noises work. this is well done, but a bit of a case of not my cup of tea I think because of the lyrics and the guy & guitar thing tends to kind of bore me after a bit.

James Owens - the flute is interesting. still not sure if I like it or not, but an interesting choice. the song has a kind of Ween doing a medieval song vibe (like on uh The Mollusk I think, they have a song kind of like this.) probably not one of my favorites of yours but I still like it - and will be voting for it.

Sparetooth - Lichen Throatish ! bit tighter than your LT entries though, vocals are better on the verse than on the chorus. Overall this has some pretty cool elements in it.

Midnight Yacht Club - Cool laid back type vibe instrumentally. Velvet Underground & Brian Jonestown Massacre come to mind (although the change at around 1:45 seems like a different kind of style, pretty unexpected - not sure how effective). Vocals aren't too bad for the style but I don't think they totally work. Might be something that grows on me though. Some cool attitude there. Possible vote as it feels like a grower.

Lookout Joe! - I love the blippy bloopy sounds in the background, fun. Unexpected with the rest of it. And yeah I echo what people said about it reminding them of Led Zep. Very '70s. Overall the mix seems a bit too reverby, maybe just vocals have too much verb. I almost really like this but it doesn't quite come together for me. I think mostly because of the mixing/production more than the song/playing. Still a possible vote, pretty fun to listen to and it sounds like y'all had fun recording it.

shrts - cool performance and the lyrics are funny. not sure if it's quite cool enough to get a vote at 50 seconds, really more like 40 seconds, what's that a 10 second fade out? that's 20% of your song on that fade. still I enjoyed this and because it is so short I think I've listened to it more times than any of the others so far.

Vom Vorton - I dig the energy here. As a whole thing song has a nice combination of edge (some tasteful dissonance and distortion) and kind of lighter elements. A challenger for my favorite song of the fight. Definite vote.

Pigfarmer Jr - Pretty good guitars - nice mix of electrics and acoustics - vocals / melody put me off a bit at first but it does grow on me. I think it mostly works.

Berkeley Social Scene - That riff is kind of interesting, doesn't seem like the kind of thing I've heard in other BSS songs. The vocals seem about right for this style, but could maybe be a bit tighter. Instrumentally it's quite good. Drums sound really good. Probably a vote for this one too.

Third Cat - I pretty much agree with all of the negative points made in reviews so far (vocals are pretty bad for the most part, guitar tone is wrong / too piercing, mix is kinda sparse in a way I don't think really works), this was a frustrating song to work on and I could never quite get anything together I really liked. But still there are elements of this I do like, mostly in the ending bit. Anyway; not one of my favorites that I've done so far.


I'll listen to all of the tracks some more before deciding on my final votes but I've already decided to give Glenn Case, Vom Vorton, and James Owens votes for sure. MYC, LJ!, and BSS maybe too.
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Re: Time to Sing your Predictions of the Future (Sing of the Times Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:46 am

lichenthroat wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:08 pm
You, by the way, are an absolute master at changing up the melody within the verse, as in “When all is done and said…” in this song. I’ve noticed this phenomenon on several of your other songs, too.
Haha, cheers! I do like doing that.
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