Review Away (Ran Away Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.

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Review Away (Ran Away Reviews)

Postby Spud » Mon May 14, 2007 9:14 pm

or suggest a better thread title
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Postby MUMBLES-TheRedEyedSamurai » Mon May 14, 2007 11:11 pm

Mumbles top choice this week:

Hamnoburger- Tight and clean
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Postby j$ » Tue May 15, 2007 4:53 am

listening on pretty cheap headphones so comments on mix should probably be taken with a pinch of salt. Written as I listen. un-spell-checked and un-proof-read. If I didn't review your song, it's probably because I didn't want to listen to it.

Hamnoburger – I like that synth tone. On first listen can’t really make out much of the words apart from individual phrases here and there, but I like the soft gentle build, and the overall feel, although I am starting to get a bit restless for some change a minute in – a bit more variety in the arrangement would improve this immeasurably but as a demo, it has a nice early 80s synthy feel, so not too bad. PS the guitar solo should have come in MUCH earlier. You’re lucky I was distracted and left the song playing otherwise I would never have reached it.

Destruction Enterprise – oh dear. How dull. Paris Hilton? Ha. Ha. If you’re going to do a song about how easy a women/women are, it would at least behove you to sound like you actually know what sex is, let alone actually have had it. Good synthy-style drum programming. Don’t like the keyboard this week. Oh dear. How dull.

PYF – starts great. The ‘industrial’ percussion is a little bit, well, gay, but in a charming way. Vocal is cute too. And not 2 and a half days long, either. SELL OUTs. What you’ll do when The Residents want their sound back I don’t know, but for the time being, not unbearable, which I consider a vast step forward on previous entries.

Ghost RIDAZ – Don’t really see the point of the slowed down start, apart from to drag it out a bit longer, and that song was always really annoying – sampling ironically doesn’t make it any better. That said I do like the rhythm and the flow – voices sound good – nice variation between them. It’s just a waste of some apparent talent on what is intrinsically a weak song.

Ben Foxworthy – after last week's TMNT folly, I am really hoping for something better this week as I like your voice and the tone of your guitar a lot. But it turns out once again a bit too precious & twee for my tastes. Also your lyric is not really that clever. It’s just a list of food in French with some dubious ‘just like me’ comparisions in an attempt to suggest some more depth, but that don’t hold up to much analysis. That said I do like the song – melody, performance, etc – just not the content, which is, I hate to say it, bland.

Kerosene Martini – good bongos. Shabby and charming, and not appalling except for the oaf who keeps banging into the microphone. It happens enough to make me suspicious that this is some pastiche of backwater recordings, which would be a bad thing, unlike this this song, which isn't. Bad, I mean. Until the kitten balls. Then I vomit twee from my eyes and die.

Luke Henley – ummm, not really very interested in this. The body parts references and the structure of the riff make me think of Hole, if that is any help. Otherwise, I look down after a while, notice my player says “9.04”, I think ‘of this?’ and stop listening. Which says it all, either about the song, or about me.

Db Collective – Awesome. This is insane and as a one-off I love it. Wouldn't want to hear it every week, but is refreshing and energetic and all the things I love.

My Chemical Blumpkins – I haven’t heard enough of MCR to know if this is a good musical pastiche or not. I certainly want the annoying screamy guy to stop screaming, if that’s any indication. Tune-wise absolutely fine. Lyric-wise – not quite sure why you bothered.

Mailbox– that crash is a bit loud. The voice could get away with being turned down a little as well. Great organ/synth. A bit too jazzy for my tastes. Good song though.

Signboy – Showy guitar-ing. I like the ‘blippy’ parts especially. Do we really need the doubling right from the start? I like the higher, grottier voice much more than the deeper more spoken one. Chorus goes on a bit. Not really my bag o’tune but it’s pretty well done if you like this sort of thing. But I just don’t think you can make ‘ran away to paris’ sound emotive just repeating it over and over and over again….

Monte Carlo – Yeah, that’s fine. Not really grabbing me personally, but I can hear it's a good song.

Sheail – I hate the folk part but the arrival of the Eagles vibe with the electric guitar is an improvement. The dance section is good but a bit anonymous. You should have brought the folky singing at the start back over the dance music as an echo of what has gone before, rather than just the guitar towards the end. For me Partridge sample at the end is pointless – just undermines what has gone before.

Freddielove – nice ‘n’ trippy. Perhaps a little too soft. Could do with more of an underbelly to it. Nice guitar riff around 1.00 – though it reminds me a little of something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. My favourite part is towards the end (around 2.10ish) when it picks up the volume and drive. Overall, very pleasant listen, but a bit too chill-out for this listener.

Nocturnal Brothers – It’s amazing how you manage to sing that one note the whole way through. A little bit too louche, too laid-back, I lose interest in the story before I get to the end. Still pretty well done I guess. if you like one-note mumblin'.

Satin Tails – flesh … oozing … from … fingers …. Face …. Collapsing… the horror …. The horror …

Supraliminal – backing track could do with coming up a little volume-wise also desperately needs a chorus. Otherwise to these ears neither appalling nor brilliant.

Mike Lamb – This is OK. The chorus is a bit out-of-tune. Nice guitar, nice gentle reggae rhythm. I am not sure AT ALL about the Maginot Line reference - it’s cheesy as and not very funny. Although geographically in the ball-park! pleasant to listen to.

Wages feat. Everyone Else In the History Of The World Or Something – wandering vocal makes my eyeballs explode. The kick is a little bit off. Everything else is OK. But that vocal really is hard going to listen to. Sorry. It’s patchy – sometimes fine, sometimes appalling.

Klownhole – Great opening swell – musically it's prime Klownhole. This may or may not be a good thing. The singing is a bit wonky.

Sober Irishman – undeniably very good indeed. The only thing I can say against it is the chorus could be much stronger. Other than that, everything is absolutely in its right place. Great solo. Great mix. Nice arrangement (if a little pompous). Just wish there was even a tiny chance that I will be humming it in 30 minutes’ time.

Whew, that was a wade-through a whole bunch of not-bad, not-great songs! I would have voted for The Sober Irishman, but he's always whompin' on about how he's the King of Second Place, so I am voting for the Db Collective. And not ironically, either. go ridiculously inappropriate opera-stylings!
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Postby MC Eric B » Tue May 15, 2007 7:23 am

j$ - Does that mean you don't listen at all to some of the songs, or you listened to them but hated them and don't want to bother reviewing them?

If you did not listen to some songs at all (like my song), that does not seem fair, because first of all you are voting for someone else in this competition without ever even having listened to all the entries. My songs are very different each week, and I don't see how you could possibly be 100% certain that you would hate my song in any given week. But, even if you are sure you will hate my song because no matter what I do you feel it will suck, I would still appreciate you reviewing it so you could give me suggestions on how to improve it, or at least say what you hate about it.

j$ wrote:If I didn't review your song, it's probably because I didn't want to listen to it.
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Postby j$ » Tue May 15, 2007 7:53 am

No, in this instance it's just because I overlooked it. Sorry about that, my bad ... did I miss you last week as well? I think i have you confused with someone else.

The caveat is really there because when i used to review regularly, i found myself repeating the same thing week in, week out to certain people, and it wasn't helping them, and it wasn't helping me, and big slagging matches were taking place on the boards when there should have been reviews. So I added that in to spare those people who contribute songs but don't have a particularly high opinion of me or my reviewing skills.

If you had fallen into that catagory, no amount of begging would have got you a review ... but seeing as it's only an oversight

MC Eric B - i like your singing voice more than I like your rapping. Not saying that you're a great singer but I find it charming and warm which I don't when you're rapping, which just floats by for me. Please sing more, rap less. The backing track runs the risk of slipping into sounding like "preset on a casio", but since i like casio presets I have no problem with that. Lyrically I like the awkwardness of the delivery but it's all a bit simpering and whiny at times. "Famed architectural sites" is good in a wordy, slightly clumsy way, fer instance, but the subject matter doesn't really do the title justice, like many of the songs I heard in this fight. The song doesn't 'take me to Paris', and synth-accordians and references to the Eiffel tower are only a substitute like sweet'n'lo. Not that every song has to 'take me to paris' but it's not really doing anything else for me either .... it goes by pleasantly, a little empty perhaps, but it doesn't outstay its welcome, which is good.

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Postby MC Eric B » Tue May 15, 2007 7:58 am

j$ - Interesting, because I consider myself a pretty bad singer, so I try to keep the singing parts of my songs to a minimum and try to do as much rapping/hip-hop as possible so I don't sound so bad In terms of the pitch problems.
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Postby jackfrost » Tue May 15, 2007 7:59 am

over the five fights, i've been reviewing entries, i've noticed two distinct ways people, me included, review songs.

first way: to review as you hear them for the first time, sometimes not even making it to the ends of some songs, and skipping some entirely. i guess, because this is a fight, and the songs need to deliver a strong punch, this is a valid way to review. not reviewing some songs because you didn't listen to them seems...i don't know. it's valid. i've stated that i would not "waste time" on another klownhole song before. but i take that back now. i'll try give all the songs the same attention. not reviewing some songs because you don't have anything constructive to say, on the other hand, may be better than being cruel. this is one thing i have personally learned. i have also found that if i review each song as i stream them for the first time, i'm much more negative in my reviews. sometimes, it takes a listen or two to "get" what the songfighter was going for.

second way: my new way to review is to listen to the songs numerous times throughout the week, and note how my opinions change for some songs, and grow stronger for others. i feel that i can appreciate the songs on a better level, and offer better feedback after the initial taste of the song has settled.

i enjoy both types of reviews for what they are. if someone doesn't want to listen to your song, i say be glad. what's the alternative? and what good will it do you?

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Postby blumpkin » Tue May 15, 2007 9:18 am

j$ — what ever happened to constructive criticism?
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Postby j$ » Tue May 15, 2007 9:27 am

I never promised you a rose garden.

(Although in this instance I thought by saying I like the music but not the lyric i was being pretty constructive. In my opinion taking more care on the lyric and using less of the screamy voice/more of the singy voice would have made yours a better song. Not that you have to take what i say to heart, of course.)
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Postby Sober » Tue May 15, 2007 9:46 am

J$, you're always such a sweetheart to me :wink:

In case anyone is wondering, the Hammond on my track is real:



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Postby WeaselSlayer » Tue May 15, 2007 10:51 am

j$, for once we completely agree. I don't even really remember making or sending the song I did, and I'm pretty embarassed. I couldn't even listen to the whole thing.
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Postby Ben Foxworthy » Tue May 15, 2007 11:29 am

j$ wrote:your lyric is not really that clever. It’s just a list of food in French with some dubious ‘just like me’ comparisions in an attempt to suggest some more depth

Thanks for the praise on the performance. But, come on, I thought my food puns were at least a LITTLE clever! Pain = pain, the French word for bread, late = lait, French for milk. The singer is so upset that even the names of foods are depressing.

Deep, no. But that's not what I was going for - it's a silly food pun.

P.S. Here are my friend Mojo's comments on your review:

[11:02] Mojo: "Precious & twee" indeed.
[11:02] Mojo: I don't know what that means.
[11:02] Ben: I think he's british
[11:03] Mojo: Also your food analogies do not hold up to vigorous analysis.
[11:04] Mojo: That's ridiculous. Food analogies aren't supposed to be serious.
[11:04] Ben: yeah
[11:04] Ben: I don't think he really got it
[11:05] Ben: I dunno, I thought my puns were at least a LITTLE bit clever
[11:13] Ben: should I explain it? Or just leave him in his sad, humorless world?
[11:14] Mojo: I don't know, Ben. It's the Internet.
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Postby jackfrost » Tue May 15, 2007 11:44 am

thanks for the info. not ever studying french, i would have not have known this.
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Postby Sheail » Tue May 15, 2007 1:11 pm

That's a sweet organ. You should play it at songfight live.

Once again j$ hits the nail on the head with his forthright reviewing style. I wanted to finish with something a bit unusual rather than the standard dance fade out and that sample was all I could think of. I was hoping it would slip under the radar a bit more and not be instantly recognisable but you were on the ball there, Partridge it was.
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Postby doorite » Tue May 15, 2007 1:42 pm

im enjoying the songs this, my favorite? hmmmmm...... uhhhhh..... well, lemmie say, uhmmmmmm........ ill get back to you. :P
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Postby bz£ » Tue May 15, 2007 1:53 pm

This is why I stopped doing reviews years ago.
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Postby j$ » Wed May 16, 2007 1:15 am

Ben Foxworthy wrote:P.S. Here are my friend Mojo's comments on your review: ...
[11:13] Ben: should I explain it? Or just leave him in his sad, humorless world?
[11:14] Mojo: I don't know, Ben. It's the Internet.

ha ha ha this is great! Much funnier than your song :) i love the fact that you dragged some poor friend into 12 minutes of talking about one small part of my crappy ol' reviews. Just so you don't get the wrong idea, I speak pretty good french, so it's not that i didn't get the puns - I just didn't think they were funny, even in the look-at-my-crappy-puns way. Just my opinion, of course.
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my Ran Away To Paris reviews

Postby MC Eric B » Wed May 16, 2007 4:54 am

My Reviews:

Ben Foxworthy - I like the vocals and guitar playing. The lyrics remind me a little bit of something you made up on the spot, although they are not bad. I have never been to France so maybe I don't get the food puns. Overall I like the song and the guitar solo near the end is good too.

Db Collective - Very "Paris" sounding. I could not understand the words though, but I am not sure that really matters much. I still liked it. Very creative.

Destruction Enterprise - Lyrics seemed a little cruel. The beat was good. The song seemed like 2 high school kids trying to have some musical fun. I don't think the serious musicians on Songfight will like this.

Freddielove - The beat and harmonies are catchy. But, the vocals are so soft I have no idea what you are saying. I know you may have been trying for a haunting, atmospheric sound, but I need to at least hear some of it to draw me into the song.

Ghost RIDAZ - The rapping reminds me of Snoop Dogg a little. The music part seems kind of weak in contrast to your vocal styles. The whole song also sounds very faint. It reminds of a very amateur homemade demo that has potential, but needs a lot of work.

Hamnoburger - I like the feel of the song and the guitar solo is great. It took much too long to get to the chorus though. Overall a very good song.

Kerosene Martini - The banging into the mic is very annoying during the first parts of the song. Other than that, the song is good.

Klownhole - Sound similar in many ways to your other songs, but I liked this one a lot better for some reason. Usually I would think a 5+ minute song is too long, but this one seemed fine in terms of length.

Luke Henley - I did not hate it, but if the song was 1 minute long that probably would have been enough. Not sure why it needed to be 6+ minutes. Also, the knocking into the microphone sounds were annoying.

Mailbox - I liked this. The French language part made it more authentic.

Melvin - Good song. Catchy, although the vocals seemed off key at times, although maybe that is just the style you intended it to be for this song.

Mike Lamb - I liked it.

Monte Carlo - I liked it. The female backing vocal part was a nice touch.

My Chemical Blumpkins - Great song! Very professional sounding, like a song I would hear on the radio.

Nocturnal Brothers - Had a poetic, haunting kind of mood to it which was good. But, the song seemed to keep repeating the same music and vocal notes over and over again, which made it a lot less interesting.

Phunt Your Friends - Something unusual and creative at least. Are you banging pots with a spoon for the percussion? Reminds me more of The Wizard of Oz instead of Paris. I like this a lot.

Satin Tails - No words? How is this about running away to Paris? Did your vocalist skip out and go to France while you were recording it? The music part is good though.

Sheail - I liked the song a lot when it started but after that too much music and not enough lyrics, even though the dance music was very good.

Signboy - I liked it because it had a lot going on to keep my attention, and changed things up frequently. Plus, I could understand the vocals well. I like how the harmony on the chorus sounds.

Sober Irishman - Very good.

Supraliminal - I like the lyrics, rhymes and hardcore type delivery. But, the chorus sounds exactly the same as the verses do.

The Weakest Suit - I did not think this was that catchy the first time I heard it, even though it was a very talented effort (good singing, good guitar playing, good lyrics). But, then I listened again and it became very catchy. I think maybe if this song was done not just acoustically, it might be even better because it has a lot of potential.

Wages, feat. Kill Me Sarah and Signboy - The kick part of the drums seems off and out of place. Maybe that part should have just been softer. The song may have had a chorus, but it all sounded the same to me. The meandering type singing needed to build up to something big, but it never did. The keyboard part on the middle was a good change up at least, and the end seemed better because vocals had more emotional range.
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Re: my Ran Away To Paris reviews

Postby Egg » Wed May 16, 2007 5:19 am

MC Eric B wrote:
Phunt Your Friends - Are you banging pots with a spoon for the percussion?

Yes. One pot and one platter. We tried to work in a tin can drum solo, but it has become apparent that nobody likes drum solos.
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Postby j$ » Wed May 16, 2007 5:22 am

Sorry I seem to have overlooked The Weakest Suit as well. that'll teach me not to stream ....

The Weakest Suit - Well-recorded and reasonably well performed - a little wobbly vocally on occasion but not distractingly. Nice change-up at 1.00-ish and again about 2.05.- but all the changes don’t quite hide the fact that the story isn’t very interesting – well, it’s perfectly OK, not terrible, but doesn’t hold the interest enough over 3 minutes of what is essentially fine but nothing special G’n’G, and I think that the lyric needs to be especially interesting when the only other thing you on offer to the listener to is rhythm guitar ...
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Postby melvin » Wed May 16, 2007 8:01 am

Ben Foxworthy: Nice job dramatically shortening your tune this week. Amusing wordplay. Catchy, but in an overly “cute” and somewhat predictable way.

db Collective: Wow! I’m shocked. This is amazing. It’s thrilling to hear something so different on SF. Not to mention the fact that this is very well arranged and performed. Stupendous.

Destruction Enterprise: This is terrible. Glad to have you back though, Rone! But you guys STILL haven’t learned to rap to a beat, have you? Is there any hope? By the way, what happened to your west coast romance? Is this song at all inspired by that particular (mis)adventure? Please update the SF community. Feel free to start a thread about it. I want to know everything!

Freddie Love: Guitar riff is reminiscent of Depeche Mode. This is the kind of music I normally only hear while getting my hair cut. Izzy does a great job on my sumptuous locks. However, this is not my musical cup of tea.

Ghost Riddaz: Catchy backing track. Vocals are kinda “meh” to my ears. Actually, some sections are good, some are not.

Hamnoburger: Dirgy. Dull. Dragging. Drab. Definitely not as good as your last entry.

Kerosene Martini: Wow, WTF? This is awesome! How did you guys do this? I’m searching for words to explain why I find this so amazing. It’s as if you made the cure for cancer in your kitchen, then tossed it in a duffle bag and forgot about it in your garage for, like, 10 years, then went out there one day, opened the bag, and went, “Oh shit! Here’s that cure for cancer we left here, like, 10 years ago! Ah, dang. Looks like the moisture’s ruined it.” You guys are unbelievable. Pure magic.

Klownhole: Music awesome. Singer not that awesome.

Luke Henley: In the movie where I’m trying to produce your debut album for my employer (the big record label), this is the part at the end of the second act where you’ve completely lost your shit and it looks like everything’s going to hell.

Mailbox: This is a toughie. I totally don’t like the song, yet I respect the performance.

MC Eric B: There’s something oddly soothing about this, even though the backing track is so obviously and terribly canned.

Melvin: Third or fourth song with real drums, and I’m still learning how to play and record them properly.

Mike Lamb: Pretty unremarkable GnG, I’m afraid. A little extra effort to nail the harmonies would have kicked it up a notch.

Monte Carlo: Sweet! The nasty recording issues do not obscure this great tune. Love that backing female vocal. It’s awkward in a great way. Cool vocal melodies, neat chord voicings, and I really dig the solo. Best Monte Carlo track EVAH!

My Chemical Blumpkins: This has all the elements of MCR radio pop, except for the actual poppiness. The vocal melody needs to break out of its limited range if you want to raise goose bumps on my teenage arms.

Nocturnal Brothers: What tuning are you using on that bass? It sounds very exotic. But seriously, this is not entertaining.

Phunt Your Friends: Where other “experimental” artists on SF usually manage only to irritate, Phunt has once again managed to give me the total creeps. Good job, boys.

Satin Tails: This is torture. Like, it makes me want to torture whoever’s responsible for it.

Sheail: Geez, that’s quite a genre switcheroo. Hmm. Well, I really like that super-sustained guitar sound. Other than that, I really don’t like this track at all.

Signboy: Overloaded DI guitars amuse me. However, the song doesn’t really go anywhere. The guitar wanking seems to lack direction, and the vocal parts seem to really fall off the beat, especially in the second chorus.

Sober: Impressive guitar chops. Really cool vocal performance, too. I think the writing, playing and production of this track are all top-drawer, yet I can’t escape the feeling that I’m watching a live musical performance in the French-themed section of an American amusement park. Like, there could be shows at noon, 2pm and 4pm daily, and there’s a mime with an accordion on stage with the band. You know?

Surpaliminal: I find myself saying this just about every week: good beats and good lyrics amount to squat if you don’t make the effort to keep your flow tighter than a clenched fist. Phrasing is to rap what… um… paint is to painting.

Wages etc: I like the reverb on the vocal. Actually, this whole recording sounds pretty great, aside from some gnarly timing glitches in the playing. Unfortunately, shoddy songwriting is what really kills the track. Where’s the melody? Throw me a hook here!

The Weakest Suit: This is pretty cool. It certainly has more passion and melodic interest than most of the GnG around these parts. I like the tone of your voice. The “...only with a Frenchman” line makes me laugh.

Overall, not the greatest batch of songs this week, but a few real standouts from db Collective, Monte Carlo, and my new heroes, Kerosene Martini.
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Postby irvingirving » Wed May 16, 2007 9:52 am

Ben Foxworthy - love the melody and backing vocal arrangement. Lyrics are a little too cutesy but kind of fit the mood. Nice guitar solo but could it have been done on a different instrument (electric guitar? piano?) to broaden the sound palette?

dB Collective - novel approach. Classical strings and winds and French accordian - brilliant!

Destructive Enterprise - I liked the talking part but the rapping is just ... no.

Freddie Love - Vocals need to be louder. Nice harmonies. I like the synth work/layers.

Ghost Ridaz - Rapping was actually kind of decent. Compressing the lead voice would've added some nice style.

Hamnoburger - Vocals don't sit with the rest of music. Each good on its own but there's something I can't put a finger on that prevents the tune from gelling.

Kerosene Martini - The mic/electric pops and the too-loose performances take away from an otherwise fun and spirited song and atmosphere.

Klownhole - I like the vocals. It's metal but not in a tired cliched way. The lyric meter is awkward - something that could be finessed if you had more time.

Luke Henley - I think you accomplished what you set out to do.

Mailbox - this is me. I've been listening to a lot of Steely Dan lately it would seem. I'm so square, I know.

MC Eric B - Great arrangement. Ahhh. The rapping kills the chill, though. The rapping seems ... cheap.

Melvin - Rockin'. Just a solid good song. Thumbs up.

Mike Lamb - I like the song. Vocals sound pained.

Monte Carlo - Fun. Good vibe.

My Chemical Blumpkins - Tight band. The song doesn't have anything new to say but it clearly rocks. Do the pogo!

Nocturnal Brothers - The guitar playing is impressive. The bass is way off and out of tune. Vocals are painful. I do like the lyrics though.

Phunt Your Friends - Residents much?

Satin Tails - good soloing. Drum beat doesn't flow - sounds choppy.

Sheail - great playing and synth sound choices. You strayed a bit too far from the song title to get my vote.

Signboy - Quality butt kicking. Vocals a little weak in the loud parts -- sounds held back when you should've been belting.

Sober Irishman - Love the song. Minor key drama! Props on the drum programming. Could've used some reverb on vocals so they're not so dry and up front.

Supraliminal - painful. Rapping is just not convincing.

Wages - Playing is out of time which really kills the listenability. Good enough song/melody though.

Weakest Suit - I like the changes. It'd be nice to hear with a full band and proper background singer.

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