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Saturday, February 7, 2015

SpinTunes #10 Round 2 Reviews: Jana Pochop

Melissa Leona - Come With Me
THIS IS FRIGHTENING.  Mission accomplished.  Really unique and interesting production that serves the song, and performed really well.  And oh my gawd, that story line.  And the sound effects!  This works as a whole freakin’ terrifying package.  Win.

Edric Haleen - Sweet Dreams
Well, this is pretty much perfectly creepy.  Great use of music and vocal tone to make this crawl under my skin.  I would not change a thing except to listen to this in the daytime only, not alone and in the dark.

Domingo - 4 Madrigals For Lilith
Something I have not said about any of the other songs: this is beautiful.  I love the premise, the creativity, the background information.  I think you’re also the only one to use a historical character as inspiration, and I love that as well.  It’s like an incantation.  Great job.

Jutze - Being Edric Haleen
This is GREAT.  I was sucked into the story immediately.  It’s clever, it’s a nightmare scenario for most, I felt like I read reading a short story.  I love the musical shift from the verse to the chorus (?) and your delivery.  Awesome all around.

Pete Murphy - Josephine
This is lovely and scary.  You sing is gorgeously.  The music fits in like a messed up carnival scene or something, I love it.  Usually I push for more exposition in a story line, but I think this works perfectly.  Sometimes the scary parts are us leaving most of the plot to the imagination, and everything else in this song allows for this.  That third verse - UGH.  Scary!

Zoe Gray - Grave
Great!  I love the production that shifts the ear easily from the verse to the chorus.  I also love the technique of starting a sentence and finishing it (“grave”) in the chorus.  Melodic, still creepy.  Nit-pick, because I really like this and it’s in the first line - try to sing “ethereal lately” so it flows better and doesn’t hitch up your next line.  It’s an important set up to the song and the phrasing catches a little bit.  Maybe try slurring syllables on “ethereal” a bit to make it bend to the beat, if that makes sense.

Atom & EV - The Demon Rig
A scary trucker song!! Yes!  This does such a good job of setting the plot and character in the timeless tradition of a scary story around a campfire.  I loved the talking blues type verse with the sung chorus.  Nit-pick - focus more on pitch and maybe a bit more of a dynamic melody line in the chorus, it’s a little monotonous.  Great twist at the end!  A little unclear - did the narrator marry the victim’s wife?  Or am I reading too much in?  Tighten that ending up a little and it’s gold.

Army Defense - Asylum Nights
This is great.  I love the line about “the real wonders of the world.”  Poignant, and still freaky. Gorgeous harmony and I loved the production as well.  A great take on a timeless “girl goes to the asylum and haunts it” story.
Nit-pick - “UH-syyy-lum” is a weird pronunciation.  “At the old asylum” or something like that would shift that emphasis to “uh-SY-lum.”

"BucketHat" Bobby - Back From Hell
GREAT.  Theatrical and scary.  I know the setting and I know the character from well placed descriptors, and I can imagine the story from there.  Well done.  Also, what’s creepier than an accordion sometimes?

Gorbzilla And The Gorbzookies - Tea Party
I love this so much.  This is like...a really honest to goodness fear.  And also kind of funny, but also terrifying.  A great and unique twist on the prompt.  I enjoy the theatrical shift in the narrators’ music as well.  Quite honestly, the metal guitars took me out of the story a bit - they’re abrasive and loud (like Sarah Palin, I get it)....but maybe toning those down a bit gets the story across to the listener better.  It’s such a good story.

Charlie McCarron - Knock At Your Door
I like this.  I have gotten after other writers about not giving any background or plot, but I think this serves the song well.  It’s almost a poem set to music.  Great musical accompaniment, too.  It’s simple, creepy, and accomplishes the goal.

Dr. Lindyke - Happy Anniversary My Darling
Man, this freaky.  I love how it slowly unfolds the story and the “punchline” is at the end.  Beautiful piano and vocals.  I would consider getting rid of the first verse.  It doesn’t do a lot artistically or story-wise, and I want to get right into the plot of the 2nd verse.  Thanks for the intro to the song, too - fact is scarier than fiction, it’s true.

Adam Sakellarides - For Sale
Adam, this made me smile.  As someone who can creep themselves out with a weird refrigerator noise, I relate.  Great tag on the chorus about the roommate who cannot be seen.  Pay attention to pitchy harmonies on the chorus, takes us out of the song.  Also the “ghost stole my hat” seems a little bit like a throwaway line...maybe replace it with something of the same mischievious order but a little less predictable. You sing well, and the song is smart and clever!

Jailhouse Payback - The Doomed Guitar
I really really like the premise of this song.  It works as a country song.  Perhaps a little less jaunty/happy melody and production? A minor turn or a more droning melody maybe, just to remind people this is a song about fear. Also check your rhyme scheme - I love fudging slant rhymes, but your choice of a fairly traditional style and genre make “lawn” and “door”...an iffy rhyme. Tighten that up and it’s a great song.

Kolton Holbrook - Insanity’s Requiem
Great beat - it is almost a hook unto itself.  I loved the doctor’s voice coming into the mix as well - it was in character enough that I wanted a little more emotion from the storyteller.  Maybe a more dynamic melody line would add to the fear factor of the narrator?  The music is so dynamic, as is the production, that I want more from the lead vocals.  Great job.

Ben and the Angel Fish - Slaughterhouse of Misery
Well, the title certainly describes the song!  I enjoyed the back and forth of the victimizer/victim here.  It tells a story very well.  Nit-pick - maybe take the victim vocals and add some reverb to them as well - they’re super dry compared to the murderer, and the contrast is a bit too stark.  This is a bit of a theater piece, so I’d like a little more horror in the victim’s presentation.

David J - Sleep Child Sleep
Another great childhood nightmare scenario we can all relate to.  I enjoyed the spoken word approach...a bedtime story with a chorus.  Music boxes are creepy.  One thought I had - would be to put the girl’s vocals in first person?  She’s the one experiencing this, correct?  It might put the listener more “in it.”

The Boffo Yux Dudes - Uninvited Guests
Great intro!  Sets the mood.  Definitely a horrifying plot, although I am left wondering if we could get a LITTLE bit more story here.  So Satan (or something) is coming in...what did the narrator do?  He’s coming...why?  One line explaining why would tighten this up.

Megalodon - Daddy Daughter Day
I loved the characters in this song...it definitely takes the listener by surprise and turns scary REALLY fast. Great melody line and a little challenging to nail - check your pitch on the “happy” verses.  I guess...I want a little more story behind the creature?  Does he just pop up?  How is this happening?  I know that’s hard to set up in a short song, but maybe one well-placed line would allow me to understand a time and a place and a why.

Dreiviertel Drei - Schnipp Schnapp
This reminds me of an ancient fairy tale teaching children not to do something by using horror as a tactic - I enjoy that.  Definitely accomplishes the creep factor, and the music plays along nicely.  The German was cool, though if I were just listening and not reading the lyrics, I would be very confused and lose half the awesomeness of the song plot.  Perhaps reassess the German, as cool as it sounds.

Ross Durand - Lullaby?
Awesome intro/chorus - made me laugh with the “if you can.”  Another take on the “nightmare vs. reality” theme.  All of this works stylistically, and I feel at a loss to critique anything with the metal verses because it’s not my cup of tea but it really does set a creepy tone.  I guess I want a little more “why is this scary?” aside from...the nightmare is you.  That’s vague enough to work, but I’m left wanting more to be scared about.

Emperor Gum - Express
I love how this story is told from the thoughts of the narrator.  I think it hints at enough to let us know what is going on.  I think it’s kind of long - this could be really effective as a scary story about a ghost train with a little editing - get to the point...we’re on a ghost train!  Trains move fast.  Maybe work on a little more melodic line for the verses - it gets a bit monotnous but it’s quite a speaking type of verse.  Great ending.

James Young - She’s A Monster
I found the exposition a little clunky.  Any time a story teller says, “I’m going to tell you a story”...I just want the story to START.  Show, don’t tell.  The end of the chorus confused me a little...we talk about “her” and the 3rd person monster, and then the last line of the chorus is “the monster in me,” which...then I wonder if this is a psychological thing or a real monster?  Sometimes it’s good to wonder, but this confused me.  Blood on your hands...for real?  Or is that a metaphor?  Again, tightening up the story line here would make this truly creepy.  The potential is great.

Jurek Mika - Scream Funk
This is definitely creepy.  A+ on fear factor.  As I stepped back and looked at the song, I wanted a couple of things changed to boost it a level.  1. Who is “you”?  There are obviously 2 characters in the song.  I could see this being a rather plotless song if it were all in 1st person, but there’s 2 people and I wonder what that story is. 2.  It gets pretty monotonous for a 5 minute long track.  Break it up with something melodical or edit like crazy to make people feel like they are watching a movie and want MORE, not less.

Governing Dynamics - To The Honorable Charles W. Yancy, From Your Admirers
This was confusing...I never really grasped the plot.  Who is Charles?  Who is “we?”  What did he do to you?  There’s a lot of poetic language here but I don’t think it serves to tell the story or make the song particularly about fear.  Great vocals.

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