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Saturday, July 31, 2010

SpinTunes #1 Round 3 Review: Joe "Covenant" Lamb

So, here's my problem.
I thought the challenge was far too narrow.

I don't know why it changed from what it was going to be.
But, Write a song thats sad? Fine.
Write a song about a birth? Fine?
But both put togther?
And then restrict the use of the words happy and birthday?

Also, the problem is the challenge STATES "make it a real tear jerker."

Well, none of them made me come close to tears, not remotely.
(The only one that had any emotional effect on me was the transition in Offhand Band's)

So, strictly speaking, they all failed the challenge... for me.
However, I have spoken before about challenges and thier *importance*, so...

All that this led to, in my ears, was a series of mostly depressing songs - not sad.
And all about the exact same subject for the most part. Its hard to vary when the challenge is narrow.
Even so, I think this round is the weakest we've had, people I have a LOT of respect for didn't seem to bring their *A* game.

I am NOT putting my points out of ten on these.
So... in order of preference...

The Offhand Band - Will It
Great modulation in the chorus.
Well written, clever lyric, well played, well mixed.
Liked this a lot even though the vocals let it down a bit.

Ross Durand - You'll Be Gone
A solid song. A bit rough around then edges but that lends to the style.
(I'd be very interested in knowing if Ross just records in a one-er.)
It was hard to choose between this and Offhand for the top spot.

.....From here, very little divided the bulk of the pack.....

Edric Haleen - The Star
Chorussed backing was excellent. Well written.
And thats mostly the reason for this placing
What with the name and the challenge and the opening I knew what this was about in the first 30 seconds.
Not a problem though...
What 'was' a problem, and lost a lot of marks from me was...
It was WAY over-dramaticised. Let the *audience* decide if they are affected by it, dont try to force it on them.
(Its another *American-showtune-in-the-style-of-sondheim/whatsisface... But cant mark it on that.)

Sara Parsons - Had To Be You
Vocals seemed oddly muted?
Guitar pretty damn groovy.
But, It's a bit... one paced and a little monotone?
Short unaccompanied bits jarred a little.

Steve Durand - Her Mother's Eyes
Good song. Good instrumentation.
Vocals let it down, drums seemed a bit too harsh.
Brass during song unneccessary (or maybe too far forward in mix?), good brass *solo* however.

Caleb Hines - Will You Miss Me
Instrumentation excellent as always.
This one doesn't seem to suit your voice Caleb.
Overall, it's a bit draggy.

Governing Dynamics - Revolving Door
I can hear a good song in here. But it's not coming out enough.
(Over all its too long and repetative)
Strangely bad mix from GD this time, maybe trying to sound like Snow Patrol too much?
The last bridging uptempo bit was more like it! but that bit was over too soon.
(Flatline was a VERY clever idea!)

Kevin Savino-Riker - My Daughter
Kevin tries to go Trad Celtic... for the layydeeez! ;' )
Is that an attempt at a Scots/Irish accent?
Surpisingly bad mix for Kevin.
A bit too long. Lyric is... well... a bit too simplistic.

Charlie McCarron - A Song For Sam Bell
Hmmm.... This was a hard one to decide on.
On one hand the guitar playing is solid, but the song is a bit monotonous.
And I get what the idea is meant to be, but... it doesn't make much sense.
Charlie, you should let your voice out, don't swallow your vocals.


JoAnn Abbott - Lullabye
OKay, JoAnn, you have GOT to get yourself even a half decent desktop condenser mic.
($5 will get you one!)
This *sounds* like it could be a GREAT song
But the recording takes all the emotion out of it and makes me not want to listen to it again.

Emperor Gum - 1983
This started and I thought.. Wow! This is not bad.
I don't think I'll ever be entranced by the Emperor's voice, but song wise, I was liking this.
Instruments were mixed really well (Vocal too loud or compressed)
...but then, sadly, the bass comes in. and it all goes to hell.
See, I'm thinking the Emperor is having a big joke with us, cos I find it hard to believe that someone
could put the REST of this together so well and NOT know the Bass screws it up!

Brian Gray - Not Even Close
I have NO idea who Brian is.
I don't know where he came from. (Xondor?)
But Im glad he did. This didn't meet that challenge at all.
(Well.. it WAS about a birth)
But I liked this song. It ALMOST made me weep... with laughing.
Had this been in the contest, this would have won this round for me.

Dr. Lindyke - A Special Day
This was good.
A nice melancholic song.
And he got cake in there!
(But it is another *Dave Song*) ;' )


  1. I will- I PROMISE! I am looking at sound cards via Jules site and will get a mic today, ok?

  2. JO,
    Even THIS would be better than what you are using.
    I recorded my Shadowland album on something similar!
    Cheap as something very cheap and check the reviews!
    (Obv this is the cheapest *functional* mic. There are others of similar price elsewhere that are crap.)