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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spintunes #6 Round 2 Review: Travis Norris

A note about reviews this round:

I was going to keep the same criteria and review format that I did last round, but it didn't really fit very well with the this challenge.  The question of "Did it meet the challenge?" (in the sense of being a "fight song") is much, much more important to my rankings than it usually would be this this time around.  I find it hard to offer much criticism or praise one way or the other for lyrics this round given the challenge.  Aside from the fact that most of us aren't packing a full band, I found most arrangment and lyrics on fairly equal footing this round.   As with last round, if you'd like clarification or more discussion on any particular point find me on Twitter or in the comments.

1. Steve Durand - Put Your Mettle To The Pedals
Well done, Steve.  Well freaking done.  Having real instruments helps a lot, but aside from that these are easily the best lyrics of the round.  And topical!

2. Josh Holober-Ward - Let's Go Ravens!
I was expecting a lot more of this type of song this round, the fact that there weren't really any other openly satirical songs really worked to your benefit.  I happen to live in Kansas City which experiences a phenomenon opposite of what you get in Baltimore, which is that all the fans are clinically depressed all the time and you aren't sure why.  My song would have been "Hey Chiefs (Why Does Everyone Hate You [Aside From Your Racially Insensitive Name])"

The recording could be a little better -- in the first bit especially it's tough to really identify a melody.  But this is well within tolerance as a "fight song" and some of the only lyrics this round I'd really call clever/funny brings it to the #2 spot.

3. Glen Raphael - Gunn High Chess Team
I like the idea that it's acapella because the chess team couldn't bring a band with them.  I also like that this is about a chess team.  More my speed than football.  Overall, this has good lyrics and arrangment.

4. Jenny Katz - Load the Cannon, Light The Fuse
Love the reverb!  I am a reverb person.  Arsenal has maybe the most interesting origin and history for a sports team I'm aware of, the lyrics make good use of that (also slip in some stealthy social commentary, nice).  This also meets the fight song challenge squarely, even if the average drunken fan probably can't manage the melody.

5. The Middle Relievers - Here's To Joe's
Not sure about the melody in the second half of the fourth stanza.  Appropriately, in terms of production this kind of sounds like it was recorded in a bar.  Meets the challenge well.

6. RC - We Will Bury You
Nice job making a rock arrangement of a fight song.  Something I wanted to do in college, but people were all "blah blah traditional blah" so no.  Maybe my favorite of the fictional teams as well.
The third Stanza had my favorite lyrics.  I could, for a moment, see apparent zombies playing... let's say football.  Well done.

7. Kevin Savino-Riker - The 12th Man
There's a lot of acapella + percussion this round, but everyone is pulling it off.  This meets the challenge well. The recording could use perhaps a bit more energy but it's easy to imagine this melody being supported by brass and woodwinds.  The stanza with the chant over the melody is my favorite part.

8. Ross Durand - Bigger In Texas
Like RC this is a good translation of a "fight song" into a different genre.  Hearing a whole stadium of guys that have been drinking for a few hours trying to reach the notes in the last bit would be pretty entertaining.  I'm not gonna lie, this one probably got a few points for taking a dig at the team as well.

9. Brian Gray - Fei Gong
Funny!  This might be trying my suspension of disbelief a little too much, but takes good advantage of the fictional option for this challenge.  Normally I'd complain about MIDI, but we pretty much set ourselves up for that.  For any of that this definitely sounds and feels like a fight song which helps keep it high in the rankings.

10. MC Ohm-I - Let's Go Mets
This is an irony-free (except maybe that line about working "harder than you"), enthusiastic, well performed song.  Parts of it are more "fight song" like than others which is why it's a little bit lower in the rankings, but for a team I don't care about in a sport I don't follow, I'm enjoying it quite a bit anyway.

11. Jerry Skids - Psyche 'Em Out! (The Beers Fight Song)
It's been some time since I've seen BASEketball but this did make me remember several funny things from that movie, so that's good.  Meets the challenge squarely and makes good use of fictional option to squeeze out some slightly more interesting lyrics than you'd usually see in a fight song.

12. Edric Haleen - A Father's Fight Song
It's an interesting idea to put a parents' internal monologue into a fight song, but this was a rare case where I thought attacking the challenge straight ahead might have been better. 
It's hard to offer much praise or criticism of lyrics in this challenge one way or the other but there was nothing about either the fight song proper or the descant that caught my ear.

13. Dr. Lindyke - Cock Fight
Good approach to challenge. I was laughing for most of this.  Why'd you have to put that "they said no but they meant yes!" line in there?  Am I gonna have to go call "pedantic Orion Sound review" on you?

14. TurboShandy - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch FC
Kind of a folk fight song.  Cool, although maybe not the best approach to the challenge in terms of meeting it squarely.  This sounds like a song for the soundtrack of a movie about.. whatever this team is.  Well played and produced, though.

15. Blimp Exhaust - Checkmate!
This is more like a theme song than a fight song (if that makes any sense) but I am glad somebody wrote a rock song this round.  And about chess!  This lost a few positions in the rankings because I have to admit other songs met the challenge better but in terms of my own personal enjoyment it's near the top.

16. The Chocolate Chips - Indian Cricket
Lyrically this is pretty thin even for a fight song, musically I like the idea (wooo sitar!) but I think the fans might have some trouble with those rhythms....

17. "Buckethat" Bobby - YTCQGWCT
This is a nice (and instantly identifiable as BHB) folk song but it's almost more of a story song than a fight song. 

(DQ). Steven Wesley Guiles - Minecraft Fight
Awww, man.  I really like this.  I (and the other judges) just couldn't figure out a way to justify Minecraft as a "team sport".  Team activity? Certainly can be.  Sport? No.  The chiptunes vibe is enjoyable and of course appropirate to the topic.  I voted for a DQ, but I might listen to this while I look for diamond later this week.

(DQ). Army Defense - 72Dolphins
This is an interesting song, but not a fight song and only appropriate to one particular year in the team's history.  I hope you guys will shadow the rest of the competition.

Edric Haleen - ICA School Song
Nice to hear one from the archives.  Much better than I ever managed with Finale (and that was like 8 years later...)

Boffo Yux Dudes - Go, Trenton Wolverines!
Too bad this wasn't an official entry.  Obviously I like the songs that rip on the teams.  This might have been top five!

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