Early this year I somehow stumbled onto the BandCamp page of someone named Kirby Krackle. After a mild disappointment when I realized it wasn't the side project of one of the Rice Krispy mascots, I was blown away by the music I heard. I was reminded of someone who is very important to the history of this contest...Jonathan Coulton. Without JoCo...without Masters Of Song Fu...there wouldn't be a SpinTunes. So I made a mental note to myself that I needed to inquire about Kirby Krackle guest judging a round of SpinTunes. Luckily when the time came, he was happy to participate. As you're reading his reviews, please give the embedded song a listen (it's my favorite from his latest album), and afterwards maybe check out his website for more.
1. Zoe Gray “4321”: I really like this concept for a song. The “Wake Me Up When I’m Older” hook is really great going into the chorus. As a listener, I’d like to hear the chorus simplified a little bit in terms of the vocal line…that “wake me up” hook is such a good lead in that I’d like to keep being able to sing along the rest of the chorus as catchy. I enjoy the percussion leading in and would love to hear this more as an electric drums type production. Great ukulele chords all throughout, and maybe in production that can be brought down a little to make the vocal shine even more. I’d love to hear bass on this to compliment the bells and uke, too.
Fun song, Zoe! Keep up the good work. You’ve got a great concept here and I’d love to hear it (especially the killer chorus) go next level.
Governing Dynamics “The Dream Is Winding Down (Lucid)”: I like the drums here a lot; a kind of trip hoppy vibe that really blends well with that descending guitar line. Just a thought, dial down the distortion on the guitar. The chimey notes are killer, but the heavy guitar takes me out of it a little bit. The vocals trading off in the chorus are really appealing. I’d love to hear the vocals overlap the entire time in the verse, and keep the chorus as is with the trading off. That makes it special instead of the trading off the entire song. Just a thought! The melody is great, and the structure is very nice. I like the rock guitar coming in during the solo.
Great stuff, guys!
Jenny Katz - “Goodbye For Now”: Very nice guitar that I think would be even more powerful without the drums. A great voice and movement, especially in the nice bridge here. I think this song could be even more powerful stripped down to just guitar and voice. Maybe bring the electric in at the end as it is here? That’s a nice way to end it. I really like your voice, Jenny!
Bubba & The Amiable Kraken - “Countdown To Nothing”: This song has really cool chords that are appealing in the Beach Boys/ Fountains Of Wayne/ Beatles kind of way. Immediately likable right off the bat for me. The shaker lends a nice vibe, and the vocals are on point. I kept waiting for drums to kick in at some point. That would keep it evolving and engaging throughout. Killer melodies, guys!