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Saturday, July 17, 2010

SpinTunes #1 Round 2 Review: Joe "Covenant" Lamb

If I have an overall thought about this round, its much the same as last round. Most of these have simply BRILLIANT musicianship on them. But why are the vocals being overlooked? I have tried very hard not to focus on production too much, but, to me, its *all* involved. Music, Vocals, Lyric, Melody, Listen-Again-quality, Mix. After all... If this were just a songWRITING contest why bother recording them? ;' )

However...this was a MUCH better overall experience than last time. Nothing stood out as awful in this round. So, in my order of preference.

Ross Durand - Waltz With The Devil
A man singing a song with his guitar.
Clever lyric, good tune, well played, and a good mix.
AND its anti The Man!!!
This is my winner for this round.

Edric Haleen - Love
Mike Lombardo is a pretty good pianist.
But his vocal styling on this one is TOTALLY different to anything I've ever heard him do before.
It seemed EXACTLY like a standard Edric Haleen song to me.
And if this was one of the things I judged songs on.... I'd be telling Edric... MIX IT UP A BIT!
Cos it really *is* a typical Edric song. I knew where this was going before it did.
Even though the 'music' was quite unlike anything I've heard him do before, the melody and structure was almost 'cut and paste Edric'.
Here's the thing.
Edric is a brilliant song writer, a damn decent lyricist, an excellent musician and almost as good a singer as... other people. ;' )
So, for an Edric song.. its pretty standard.
But when excellence is your standard, this is what you get.
Great song Mike! Keep it up!
(Psssttt, Edric.. seriously.. write a different song!)
(And I couldn't hear the time signature changes cos I wasn't listening for them cos the song was really good)

"Buckethat" Bobby - Space Pirates
Bobby is a better singer than this...
The overall feeling is, it sounds like its been rushed together.
A man and his accordian... What's not to love?
A fun song, that could be listened to again...
...but needs re-recorded. (Love the coughing all the way through it!)
We are *all* the Space Pirates.

Sara Parsons - A Little Time
Last time I said Sara's voice sounded like butter.
This one was like honeyed butter... with added butter.
Some very nice guitar work, She gets better and better.
This song is really nice. It's not Sara's best, but its still better than a TON of stuff doing the rounds.
The 'chorus' was very interesting, quite unlike any of the other transitions in this round.
A brave song.
(((The Next Three I Had a REALLY Hard Time Seperating. Finally It Came Down To Instinct. Oddly, They Had The Same 'Flaws' For Me.)))

Denise Hudson - Flex Time
This is filthy!!!
(See what happens when we hear your lyrics!) ;' )
How many signature changes are IN this???
Great Melody (s!)
Perverse Lyric. (NOT a problem!)
Drums... not sure.
I think it needs to lose the egg.

Governing Dynamics - Eleyna Dreams
This started brilliantly....
...and kept going.
For me, a bit too bassy in places and the vocals were a bit too submerged.
Only real critiscism was it seemed a little out of the vocal range and almost like he got fed up singing by the end of the song.
(And every "When" had a really weird mic sound during it.)
But it has a guitar solo I could play! ;' )
(Only bit I wasn't really sure about was the "Just over the horizon... go to sleep again" - section.)
I really liked this, even though, personally I think a re mix would really make it soar.

Kevin Savino-Riker - Here At The Door
Kudos to Kev here for being able to sing to the constantly shifting rythmn.
(Unless he sung and then dropped the beats ONTO the vocal! ;' ) )
But it did make for difficult listening.
(And I have NO idea what its about! But that doesn't matter!)
And Kev.. lift those vocals a bit! They're GOOD on this one ! ;' )
Let down a little by the last 30 seconds or so

Jenny Katz - Miss You
This dropped right out of the 60s.
If I had done a shadow I probably would have used the same idea for the transitions.
Vocals sometimes a bit too harsh in the mix though.
(Waiting for Den Hudson to kill me for saying that!) ;' )

Caleb Hines - Insomniac Lullaby
The chorus was the best part of this.
Caleb doing what Caleb does best (and what only he can do) recorder choruses, excellent harmonies.
Great instrumentation. Lyrically a little obvious.
The verses... Now ... I think it was probably the intent to put out the feeling of insomnia through the choices made.
But again, for me this would cut down on the re-listen value. I don't want to listen to a song that makes me feel... twitchy.
Love the chorus. Great Ending! ;' )

Steve Durand - Rara Avis
Steve... I mean this in a nice way.
Get someone to sing your songs.
Its a really good song, but the vocals jar against the BRILLIANT music!
(You know what - bugger it - I'm open to laying some vox down for this if you dont think me too much of a cheeky fecker!)
Great Song. (Mid eight is excellent!)

Gödz Pöödlz - Identities Assumed
This is totally unlike anything else in this round.
I listened to this more than the rest but only because I couldn't make my mind up.
But then I decided if I couldn't make my mind up then my mind was made up.
It was a good, average song. Probably listen again.
Mid 80's Visage/U-vox/M/Howard Jones-ish.

The Offhand Band - Another Universe.
This song infuriated me. Cos it reminded me of somethng I really like but I cant think what.
Great idea, lyric the right side of humour for some of the more obvious rhymes.
I understand the verse being the way it is to counteract the *fun* of the chorus, but they drag just a *little* too much to merit many repeat plays.

JoAnn Abbot - Life
Again, such a shame about the recording quality.
I have no doubt if Jo could have multi/overdubbed or had access to good equipment this it would be amazing.
The retro feel actually would help had it started lo-fi and get better.
A good song, just a little long.
Baby appearance was great.

Gorbzilla (featuring the Godzookies) - Than Infinity
This was almost the reverse of another song in ths round, but with almost the same problems.
A sweet short song but was just a list of things that one loves one more than.
A workhorse melody. Decent Music.
Signature change.. It passes, but is a *bit* of a cop-out.
It was fun... but wouldn't chose to listen to it for pleasure.

Emperor Gum - Smoulder (Yaoya Oshichi)
I could hear what this *wanted* to do.
But it didn't quite make it.
The mix was really bad and too busy and made this hard to listen to.
Which is a shame cos again, I think there's something good in here.
Its just hard to hear it and around 2:30 I really wanted to turn this off.
6/10 (for the actual song)

Charlie McCarron - Sleep On It
This reminded me of early Pink Floyd.
This could have been played by Bram (!)
I liked the idea, but it was a little draggy...
(Was it meant to be Irony?)
Another song I hear potential in.

Heather Miller - Bullseye
An odd one this.
The instruments sounded very strange.
The transitions FROM verse to chorus were okay.
But back again were just. STOP! .. START!
Is the bandcamp upload messed up at 2:20?
Or is that deliberate?
Going with the *Would I listen to this again?" for my final mark.

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