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Saturday, July 17, 2010

SpinTunes #1 Round 2 Review: Sammy Kablam

EDRIC HALEEN - LOVE
Very possibly the most legitimately moving thing I've heard from Edric. Damn near started to cry around the 3 minute mark. You big bastard. This is where Edric displays that he is not a songwriter: he is an experience. And you don't want to miss it.

CALEB HINES - INSOMNIAC LULLABY
The contrast of hectic verses complaining about restlessness with the smooth, relaxing chorus is fantastic. It pretty well captures the feeling when I can't seem to shut down for the night (or the day). Thus, it is not only a good song, but also very accurate.

ROSS DURAND - WALTZ WITH THE DEVIL
As much as I'm not one for contemporary topics, one must derive inspiration from wherever one can. And, as if BP's oil mess wasn't disappointing and destructive enough, Ross has thoroughly made certain that everyone feels that much crappier about it. There's a natural sadness to his voice, and when presenting a topic like this, it comes thru in spades. Other songs had smoother time change transitions, I think, but overall, this wasn't bad. In fact, I'd say this song is pretty slick.

GOVERNING DYNAMICS - ELEYNA DREAMS
This is not a bad song. But it might be a little too slow of tempo. The beginning of the chorus also tends to feel musically "not there". That is to say, the music doesn't seem to reflect the power of your vocals in the start of the chorus. Feels like time for a powerchord or something, but nothing so impactful occurs. Mostly, though, I'd speed things up and see how it sounds, then.

KEVIN SAVINO-RIKER - HERE AT THE DOOR
This submission clearly explored the challenge the most. I have no idea what a polyrhythm is, but it certainly seems to rock. The only thing that I can see threatening your standing (with other judges) is the 4/4 outro, due to it being a third distinct time signature. However, I'd see that as nit picking -- and I don't nit pick. ;) As I see it, this is a big step up from your first round entry; keep this kind of improvement going, and you'll be a tip-top contender in no time!

GORBZILLA - THAN INFINITY
Obviously, there are more complex and involved works in this round's offerings. But none of them had me smiling as quickly or as consistently as this. This has got to be in the ranking for Happiest Song In Existence. Plus, that ending is clever as hell.

STEVE DURAND - RARA AVIS
This sounds very 60s. I hear The Doors and maybe The Cowsills. But, I hate The Doors. So, for personal reasons, and not on merit, I can't rank this any higher. But make sure you keep in mind that it's not the song's fault, it's mine. Beyond my burning hate for the 60s and 70s, I can recognize that the song does have pretty decent production value and stands out for good reason.

CHARLIE MCCARRON - SLEEP ON IT
This is a very quiet but deceptively intricate song. I had a little trouble catching all the lyrics the first time 'round, but there was no qualm in listening to it more than once to pick everything up. Good work, but I think you have better yet to come.

THE OFFHAND BAND - ANOTHER UNIVERSE
This sincerely makes me wonder what the hell excuses your first round entry. This song would never be seen in public hanging out with that song. This music is impressive as hell and the time changes are perfectly fluid. The lyrics are a little general, maybe, but they're leaps and bounds ahead of what I expected.

GODZ POODLZ - IDENTITIES ASSUMED
Eeesh. I dunno, guys. Anything with a synthetic sound gets immediate love, but this is SO hard to get into. This melody is so stop-and-go, it sounds totally awkward and forced. The chorus melody is fine, although, once again, I feel your chorus is way too short. I dunno. Definitely disappointed.

HEATHER MILLER - BULLSEYE
The chorus and the verses feel like two completely separate entities. The verse appears to just stop, allow the chorus to occur, and then the verse comes back. It doesn't have the flow of one, identifiable song. It's not unbearable, or anything, but it is reminiscent of grinding gears. The action, not the sound.

"BUCKETHAT" BOBBY - SPACE PIRATES
This is very funny. And very clever. And lyrically brilliant. And incredibly lackluster and sloppy and craptastic of production. I want to hear it again when it's produced right and not rushed for a deadline.

SARA PARSONS - A LITTLE TIME
About two thirds of the way in, I had to restart your song to see if there was a point I was missing. But it didn't help. I even played it a third consecutive time, an now, not only do I not get it, I'm annoyed that I had to listen to it thrice. I don't know what your verses are talking about, I don't know what the hell your chorus is supposed to mean, I don't know why your chorus consists of mashing your guitar strings into frustrating noise... I just don't get it. And at this point, I don't want the damn thing.

JENNY KATZ - MISS YOU
My favorite part of this is the harmonized scat bridge. The rest isn't bad, but the bridge has all the catch. And that was in a third time signature, so it might simply put you at the bottom of someone else's list. I hate that your verses have to come to a halt before the chorus, because, again, it feels like the time change jars the song into a pause. The song, overall, might be improved with more instruments, but I can't say for sure. I can say that the goofy organ, on its own, makes me want to spoon out my eyeballs just for something new. But that's just me; I'm sure the carnival's jazz band really digs it.

JOANN ABBOTT - LIFE
Here's the thing: This song comes across with the same entertainment value as Grampa telling you that one story AGAIN, and you have to sit and listen because mom says it's rude to leave. It's not even that it's a dumb story, it's just not interesting because it has no pzazz and you've heard it a thousand times before. That, and the rhythm section (sleigh bells, it sounded like) wasn't necessarily on the beat for a good portion of the song. It was easier to focus on that than the lyrics.

DENISE HUDSON - FLEX TIME
Denise. As soon as you start singing, you dismiss the tempo set up by the intro rhythm. The rhythm keeps coming and going -- what good are time signatures when the tempo itself isn't solid? I appreciate that it's not another piano bar song -- but even then, it kind of is. It's just a piano bar song on bongos, instead. Chaotic bongos. Add to the tempo flux the fact that I have absoLUTELY no idea what's going on lyrically, and you don't get a very impressed Kablam.

EMPEROR GUM - SMOULDER
Huzzah! I can hear your lyrics! However... The intro riff at the beginning doesn't do any favors in setting up the rhythm of the verses. And the segue into the chorus is rather jarring. A little bit of timing still seems to be off betwixt your various instruments and that maraca sound that seems to be the rhythm keeper of the verses doesn't seem very accurate. That said, this production is clearly an improvement over your last, so don't be discouraged. Be inspired by your own evolution.

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