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mdisanto
* Dog in the Sand *

USA
1140 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  00:39:49  Show Profile  Visit mdisanto's Homepage
hey jim. dont take this the wrong way at all. its meant as a compliment i promise. the bell sounds in your I Will Run After You make me think of Yoshi's Island (or maybe some other mario game) SO MUCH. and thats GREAT. it sounds just like the bells used on the snes games in the menus and some songs, its so cool though. anyway...

-miked
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miguel
- FB Fan -

USA
213 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  03:09:45  Show Profile  Visit miguel's Homepage
Is it me or is the music and instrumentaion for oddballs amazingly dead on?
When I first heard that I was like.. damn!
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big_galoof
= Cult of Ray =

USA
310 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  08:52:49  Show Profile  Visit big_galoof's Homepage
there's an extra K in the anagram "Crab Flank and the Chocktails" - now there's five minutes i'll never get back. got the tribute disc in the car changer, digging it in traffic.

TBG
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Atheist4Catholics
= Cult of Ray =

USA
925 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  09:20:57  Show Profile  Visit Atheist4Catholics's Homepage
I guess I'll go ahead a review each song specifically. I'm going to say something positive and something negative about each song. My comments will inevitably have an sonic/engineering slant as everything in my life does. Here goes:

Headache - Great no frills version. Very enthusiastic and exciting lead vocal. Nice drum programming - it feels nice and loose.

I think the background vocals could be a little tighter pitch wise, especially the oohs


Kingly Cave - Interesting concept and really the only humorous interpretation on the album. Good arrangement and playing. The background vocals are very cool - they make the song in my opinion.

The concept tends to wear thin after a while and I'd like to hear something else come in to build on it. Perhaps the impersonator needed to be more exaggerated or exaggerate in a different way near the end.


Czar - Amazing guitar sounds! This is one of the harder Frank songs to live up to vocally, but you do not dissapoint - you go for it, especially coming in to verse 2. Nice fake out OBD ending.

A little TMBG derivitive in the vocals (and I guess the accordian).


I WIll Run After You - Extremely pleasant sounding. Jim makes a good arguement for analog with this track. I feel warm and fuzzy whenever it comes on.

I think the vocals could be better (i.e. you're capable of better) and the outro seems too long. I would have built it up more slowly by bringing the drums in later and the high octave background vocal after that - something like that.


So. Bay - Excellent intro and the only song with lap steel! Cool vibrato effect on the bass. Great performances and arrangement!

I think the vocals are too loud and need to be de-essed.


Oddballs - Amazing group playing. Sounds like a cohesive band and a great band at that. Excellent vocals - one of the best on the CD.

My only complaint is the extremely horrible sibilance around 12k in the lead vocal. De-ess! De-ess!


Men in Black - What an unexpected interpretation! I really dig how you changed the phrasing, especially at the end of the chorus. I would have never thought of that. I love that pig squeal before the chorus!

I'd actually like a little more vocals. Perhaps a little change up in the sound bites over time like different panning or effects or something.


Brackish Boy - Nice intro. Good sounds and good playing. Nice addition of a bridge.

The vocals get buried quite often. Also, the solo guitar level dips when you pan it.


Doggone - One of my favorites. Very creative arrangement and excellent vocals. Great use of vocal delay.

The guitar overtakes the vocal in the last verse and buries it.


I Could Stay Here Forever - What an original interpretation. It sounds like something T-Rex might have done if he'd lived in the MIDI age. Great attitude and probably my favorite arrangement on the tribute

I'd like to hear more vocals and a little less guitar or a thinner guitar.


1826 - This is a hard one to review. Not most people's favorite FB song and a daunting one to cover. Kudos to you for taking it on. I think you've improved it with the vocal effects and changes in phrasing. Nice build up.

I hate to say this, but the performances come up a bit short on this one. This is such a minimalist song that it rides heavily on the playing. I feel like the music is riding the train and not running the train, you know what I mean? That said, I'm absolutely comparing you to The Catholics and it's absolutely not fair.


Pure Denizen - This is proof positive that great music can be made at home if your creativity supersedes your lack of facilities. Great single note guitar playing and I really like the clapping.

I feel let down a little when the chorus comes in. I think the drums needed to be louder to help propel that section.


White Noise Maker - Excellent vocals. So Frank-like I'm suspicious. Nice guitar break after the first chorus and cool ping-pong delay on the vocals.

The drum programming is a little fishy sometimes. The mix is really dark and I think it would benefit from riding the guitar levels up at the intro, interlude, outro, and a little up at the chorus. Basically, bring them up whenever there's no singing. It makes it more aggresive and powerful sounding.


Skeleton Man - The obligatory reggae version! One of my favorites though because of the nice, loose drums and clever phrasing changes in the chorus. Cool spaghetti western guitar after chorus one.

I think the vocals sound is crappy. It sounds like it was recorded with one of those plastic PC microphones. The keyboard on the left side is distracting sometimes. I'd like it better if it had more of a set part instead of sort of noodling.


Cold Heart of Stone - How cool is this cover? I doesn't change much from the original, and yet it sounds very distinctive of Peter's (Jim's) other work. The most professional of the bunch. I can't praise that over-gated electric guitar enough!

I think the piano needs thinned out. It sounds like it's in a different space from the rest of the band. Perhaps it needs a faster compression. I don't think you need to thin out the acoustic quite as much.


The Marsist - another hard one to review as I really don't care for the song. Very interesting sounds and hidden vocals. Very original ideas. I think the fucked up drum sound which is the foundation for this track is ultimately its downfall because it doesn't drive the song. Everything feels lazy. I'd like to hear more development towards the end - something different.


End of Miles - Very sparse and emotive. Great reverb sound. I feel like you're siiting in a giant log cabin lit only by the fireplace; singing your heart out. Nice simple arrangement. It reminds me of some of the darker Alex Chilton recordings like "Big Black Car"

The guitar playing is a little too sloppy. It makes the arrangement unclear. The trombone is cool, but some of the notes are sour especially that one near the end.


How You Went So Far - Neil, you're a freak for putting the kick on the left and the rest of the drums on the right. Did you do that on purpose? You must be stopped! Anyhow, I love the intro and guitar interlude. Great acoustic feel on the verses. Great guitar playing. You did a good job of making it sound like a band despite playing everything yourself.

The vocals need de-essed and compressed. They get out of hand on the last chorus. The pitch could be better. Also, you need to work on your ii-V's


I'll Be Blue - should I comment on my own track? Eh, why not. I did something melodramatic and orchestrated because I figured no one else would. The drums and strings were edited together from two other songs of mine. The gong, tubular bells, and timpani are from a sound effects CD. I love the guitar solo!

I think it's too slow for this minimal of a song. I'm not really convinced by the last chorus either.


Whispering Weeds - A nice Americana remake. The lead vocals are really subtle and understated. You sound like a true artist. The organ really makes the choruses work. I also like how the song dissolves sometimes when one guitar stops playing. Of course, the outro is outstanding.

The vocal levels need evened out. They distort sometimes as well. Some of the rhythm playing is off between the two guitars, but that could be a good thing.



It's been said a million times already, but I'll say it again. Amazing job everyone! Not a bum track in the bunch. I hope my comments don't seem offensive or egotistical. They're just my opinions after all.

www.mp3.com/clootie

Edited by - Atheist4Catholics on 07/17/2003 09:31:12
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ProverbialCereal
- FB TabMaster -

USA
2945 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  09:40:09  Show Profile  Visit ProverbialCereal's Homepage
I think those were fair reviews. I'm just gonna copy and paste them and sign my name on them.

Hey zenEQ, where are all those interesting samples from? Originally when you were talking about how you were adding in lyrics to your MIB cover, I was thinking you were insane. But the way you rearranged the song, it fit well. If you would have been true to the original and added lyrics, I think you would have bombed. Hey, you should submit it to Chris Carter to be on an X-files soundtrack (maybe if they make another movie).

-Derek
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  09:44:34  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage
Whew... finally, some real reviews. I find it interesting that everyone finds our song so humourours (at least initially). Definitely we were trying to lighten the mood of it a little (and certainly the 'ok, listen baby, let's do this' is pretty funny), especially since prior to the vocals and backing vocals (thanks for the compliment on that, btw) the song was quite dark and eery. The organ, low strings, and reverbed piano gave it that feeling. And then we were talking about what the song was about and what Elvis might have thought of it, and the idea for having my uncle, who does a fairly decent job of singing like Elvis (you should hear him do Blue Suede Shoes) came up.

We mostly thought it'd be sort of cool to have Elvis sing a song that is ultimately about a visit to his home, and as we jam on FB songs quite often, we already had the concept of the 50's style backing vocals and they seemed a natural tie in.

... sort of a contrast between eery and light, or maybe the whole on mushrooms/reality sort of thing. The drugs are giving this dark interpretation of the trip to Graceland (instrumentation) while the reality is you're visiting the home of an old time, sweet hearted rock legend (vocals).

I suppose I should review all the songs at some point too, but that'll wait until we get some more reviews in. Thanks for the comments on all the tracks, Tim, though we've both discussed many of them before to some extent, it's certainly nice to get the ball rolling.
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  10:04:44  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage
... and incidentally, I was trying to explain what we were going for with the song as opposed to countering Tim's review(s) which I think are quite valid and understandable. No slight/defensiveness intended, I definitely appreciate the honesty of all of those reviews, including ours. No - especially ours.

Incidentally, we originally had backing vocals in the outro (after the last 'but still the cap they ate' but decided to take them out since we didn't want to unbalance the whole light-dark thing... and the outro backing vocals were definitely of the dark side).
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KennySue
- FB Fan -

New Zealand
24 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  10:48:11  Show Profile  Visit KennySue's Homepage
Thank you Mr Atheist for you comments. Very much appreciated.

Vocals-wise I suppose it’s a case of me personally not liking the sound of my own voice and trying to diminish it in the mix.

I agree that the sound bites could benefit from some effectiveness as well as perhaps a little less prominence. Bouncing around in the background kind of thing.

And it’s actually not a “pig squeal” before the chorus. It’s how the Alien Bounty Hunters (Men In Black) talk to each other in their own language in the movie. What movie?

Well, Mr Cereal, the “squealing”, the sizzle sound (the “Our Little Race” part) and all the sound bites – apart from those of Mr Frank Black himself – are from “The Brother From Another Planet” (1984) written and directed by John Sayles.

With the lyrical rewrite I just imagined I had gone through the experience recounted in the narrative.

I imagined each stage of the encounter from stumbling aboard the landed alien craft; to the experiments on the “special guests”; to the elimination of those guests with the assistance of government agents (“they got it in the end”); to fleeing the scene; to the waiting around for the Silencers to arrive.

Then, trying to incorporate Mr Frank Black’s words, if not his sentences, I wrote each verse.

It’s as simple as that and as complicated too.

Peace, Love and Thud.

Kenny-Sue.
www.freewebs.com/kennethsusan

Be Brave - Be Free - Be Beautiful
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Zipperrock
- FB Fan -

25 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  11:55:32  Show Profile  Visit Zipperrock's Homepage
In response to A4C, not to defend my production skills, but the vocals are purposely uneven. If you listen to the original Frank steps away from the mic on one of the last choruses so the lyrics are faint in the mix. The bulk of the song was done live room so I tried doing that as well.

Anyway, enough of my complaining. Here are my reviews for the first 10 tracks. I'll let the others sink in before I comment on them as well.

1. Headache - A nice alternate to the original. Especially with the J. Mascis type vocals.

2. His Kingly Cave - If this song was meant to be sung like Elvis, I really enjoyed it. If that's the way you actually sing, I like it even more :)

3. Czar - I briefly considered putting accordian on my cover, but didn't know what everyone
would think of it. I'm glad I didn't because you would schooled me on it. I like the guitar
tone alot too.

4. I will run after you - One of my favorite Frank songs, and one of my favorite covers on this cd. I really dig the xylophone. My only complaint is no falcetto at the end. (it's my favorite part of the song).

5. So Bay - I'm not a big fan of the original, but this gives it a fresh sound and makes the song alot more interesting. Great job.

6. Oddballs - I really dig the overall production of this song, and the vocals are outstanding. You guys aren't too far from me. We should jam sometime.

7. Men in Black - I don't know what genre to put this song in, but it's cool. I like the repeating loop of Frank's "bleh" from the Slim's show :)

8. Brakish Boy - I've always heard this song in my head as a full band rock out tune. Now I don't have to listen to my mind anymore. Great drum recording by the way.

9. Dog Gone - I really like this cover overall. It's fresh, has great vocals, and that "Mr. Big - I'm the One Who want to be with you" group clap beat thing. My only negative thoughts on it is the reverb on the hi-hat. It makes it sound fake.

10. I could stay here forever - I'm a big fan of new wave, and this is a very cool cover. Is the rest of your band's stuff sound like this?

Alright, thats it for now. I'll post the next batch soon.
Great Job everyone!

http://www.zipperrock.com
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Steak n Sabre
* Dog in the Sand *

Uzbekistan
1013 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  13:14:10  Show Profile  Visit Steak n Sabre's Homepage
Thanks A4C. Doing that track was the 'ol between a rock and a hard place. I'm looking forward to hearing it all sometime this weekend.
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El Barto
= Song DB Master =

USA
4020 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  14:00:30  Show Profile  Visit El Barto's Homepage
In response to the few comments so far:

mike: thanks! I wanted some high bell-type sound in there to lighten up the end a bit and give it some "hope" or something, you know...make it a little light hearted. That was the closest sample I could come up with on my keyboard.

a4c: I hear you on the vocals...I'm constantly working on improving my singing and I can only hope it gets better over time. The recording on the album is my second version and I think the vocals came out much better than they were before. My only regret is that the falsetto was much better on the first version's ending, but I was *very* rushed to get the second version done (July 3, in a few hours). And I'm amazed in what you suggested for the ending: that's almost exactly what I was going to do. Before I started recorded, I had the idea to build up the ending more by bringing one instrument in at a time, but again, I slacked and ran out of time. Maybe for the Pixies tribute I'll give myself time! Thanks for the review.

Zipper: I'm glad you liked it, and excited that it's a favorite of yours! The falsetto is there if you listen closely...it's buried in the mix because it's not very dead-on. I originally wasn't going to do the falsetto, but I managed to pull off a half-assed take of it. I wish I were capable of having the falsetto as the lead, oh well...thanks for the kind words!

---------
FRANK BLACK SATAN WORKSHIP BLACK MASS
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  14:08:08  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage
More, more, this is all gold...
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makeyourheadgopop
- FB Fan -

18 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  14:48:58  Show Profile  Visit makeyourheadgopop's Homepage
quote:
The guitar playing is a little too sloppy. It makes the arrangement unclear. The trombone is cool, but some of the notes are sour especially that one near the end.


In my own defense: I know I'm not a great guitar player - I've only been playing a few years. I used to be a proficient trombonist, but before this recording I hadn't played in a few years. I agree with your critique, but I tried embrace the out of tune / sloppiness rather than being afraid of it. I just let loose and improvised. --- I have listened to this recording a LOT, (having struggled to get it finished), and i've come to enjoy the wandering minstrel / drunken features.

quote:
Very sparse and emotive. Great reverb sound. I feel like you're siiting in a giant log cabin lit only by the fireplace; singing your heart out. Nice simple arrangement. It reminds me of some of the darker Alex Chilton recordings like "Big Black Car"


that makes it worth participating. =) thank you. actually, the fact that frank is going to hear me play his song makes it worth it. i'm very excited about this whole project. It's starting to get silly, we're all saying it so much, but I'm really proud to be part of this.


Edited by - makeyourheadgopop on 07/17/2003 14:57:26
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mereubu
= FB QuizMistress =

USA
2677 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  15:01:38  Show Profile  Visit mereubu's Homepage
Jim, my kid actually asked, "Hey! Where's the high part?" I think she liked it otherwise, tho'. Singing along is always a sign of approval.

Dean, the only thing I can think of that would make me like His Kingly Cave even more is if you all did the chorus double-time and a la Viva Las Vegas. I can hear it so clearly.
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ProverbialCereal
- FB TabMaster -

USA
2945 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  15:20:33  Show Profile  Visit ProverbialCereal's Homepage
Isn't your kid 4 years old? She must be a genious. Already into Frank Black and criticizing music. Does she want a Pixies reunion or not?

I think "How You Went so Far" has a total Pixies-sounding intro by the way. I like it.

-Derek
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speedy_m
= Frankofile =

Canada
3580 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  15:23:28  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by mereubu

Jim, my kid actually asked, "Hey! Where's the high part?" I think she liked it otherwise, tho'. Singing along is always a sign of approval.

Dean, the only thing I can think of that would make me like His Kingly Cave even more is if you all did the chorus double-time and a la Viva Las Vegas. I can hear it so clearly.




Come to think of it, it would have been cool if we just launched into Viva Las Vegas at the end. Then there would have been no doubt we were trying for complete over the top hilarity. Alright, I'm sarcastic, because we weren't really going for something that was meant to be humorous. You should have heard the song before it had vocals, totally eerie and weird. But a double time chorus would have been cool, you're right. Where were you with these suggestions two months ago, hmm?
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  15:28:40  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage
Mike's sarcasm aside, I'm not sure what you mean by ala Viva Las Vegas? Vocally? An interesting point. And the double time chorus is a pretty cool idea... I blame the man on drums. :)
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speedy_m
= Frankofile =

Canada
3580 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  15:31:19  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Cult_Of_Frank

I blame the man on drums. :)



Ya, what was up with that rhythmically challenged prick? Oh well, the ladies sure do love 'im...
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  15:45:03  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage
Hey, don't pull your "I've got a lady and you don't" stuff just because you have a date tonight (and one previously this week) and I haven't had that many in my life.
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mereubu
= FB QuizMistress =

USA
2677 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  17:24:08  Show Profile  Visit mereubu's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by Cult_Of_Frank

Mike's sarcasm aside, I'm not sure what you mean by ala Viva Las Vegas? Vocally? An interesting point. And the double time chorus is a pretty cool idea... I blame the man on drums. :)


I'm trying to evoke, and you want specifics! j/k. I think I mean both vocally and in the spirit of Viva Las Vegas. I think there would also need to be a cowbell in there somewhere.

I love the track--don't y'all be gettin all that way.
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mereubu
= FB QuizMistress =

USA
2677 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  17:30:34  Show Profile  Visit mereubu's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by ProverbialCereal

Isn't your kid 4 years old? She must be a genious. Already into Frank Black and criticizing music. Does she want a Pixies reunion or not?

I think "How You Went so Far" has a total Pixies-sounding intro by the way. I like it.

-Derek


She is and she is. I'll have to ask about the reunion, though. 4 year-olds are sharp little folks and they seem to like Frank. (Ten Percenter's 4 year-old kept asking the nurses for Bartholomew while in the hospital after her tonsillectomy.) Yesterday I put YAM on the car, Headache started, and Z frowned and said, "This is a different version." Then she shrugged and started belting out backups. (I couldn't help but notice the she would really punch the "credit" every time it came along. I can only assume it's because it's a word she hears a lot in our low-budget life. :-)
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blackpurse
= Cult of Ray =

USA
299 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  18:00:06  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by mereubu
4 year-olds are sharp little folks and they seem to like Frank. (Ten Percenter's 4 year-old kept asking the nurses for Bartholomew while in the hospital after her tonsillectomy.)



I'll second that. 4 year olds are also extremely anal-retentive about the way they are used to seeing/hearing things. If there's a song they know (especially one they like) and you change one word or note or time signature, they're on it like a cheap suit. Our Stella first heard Bowie's version of Cactus, and it's one of her favorite songs. It took a looong time before she would accept the Pixies' version! And I don't know many little kids who hear Frank Black in general and don't like him (especially if their parents are fans). Frank sings so you can understand him, so they pickup on the lyrics and sing along. His melodies are catchy, and of course, kids pick up on their parents likes and dislikes (at least at this age... when they're teenagers I think they're supposed to hate our music...but I think that's a cliche.)

Anyway, I noticed something. A lot of FB fans on this forum who have kids have kids in the 4-5 year old range. What was going on with FB and the C's five years ago when we all decided to run home and have babies? (I was 8 months pregnant with Stella when we decided on our last spur-of-the-moment trip to see Frank, ended up sitting on the disgusting sticky floor at chicago's Metro theater because I couldn't bear to stand up any longer....Maybe Stella's into Frank because she heard him in utereo while mommy sat next to PA speakers...)

"Sacred cows make the best burgers!"
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cvanepps
= Cult of Ray =

USA
442 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  18:57:31  Show Profile
One good turn deserves another...

Headache (Doog) - Me likes the guitar swell at the beginning of the verses very much. There's a lot of energy here. And what's that whistle-thing during the verses? I like that as well. The vocals are a bit loosey-goosey at the end but given the energy levels, it kinda fits. B+

His Kingly Cave (Astrid) - I fucking love the arrangement! Each piece has its place and that's always good. That Elvis thing kinda turned me off a tad. Each time I listen to it, though, it grows on me. Not too much, though. Weird. I'm guessing someone in Astrid likes Dread Zeppelin. B-

Czar (Disgruntled Einstein) - Very tight-sounding throughout. It gets crunchy at just the right time, too. I enjoy the sound of the vocals as well. He's not doing that "English R" thing that Frank Black (and so many others do). Not that that's bad but it's refreshing to hear an American "R" sound from time to time. A-

I Will Run After You (Jim McLuckie) - The music sounds very authentic, like the Catholics are in my PC (eeek)! The vocals are a little shaky but again, I think solid arrangement makes up for it, especially when the backing vocals come in for support. It really should've gotten progressively louder toward the end, imo, to build energy. B-

So. Bay (Crab Flank and the Chocktails) - I hate to be a party-poop because I know many of you like this one but I really don't like the vocals here. The music is great and very cool-sounding but the vocals sound like a guy with a tank of helium. After the break, however, she sounds more like Susanna Hoffs, and that's not bad at all. And I'm a big fat sucker for a good harmony, which this one has. All told, however: C+

Oddballs (Toomey-Zembo) - I love the vocals here the best, I think. I like what he did with the phrasing. Good vibrato, good enunciation, and just a great singing voice. And what more can one say about the music...it's terrific! I'd see these guys live. A

Men In Black (zenEQ) - This one is original, I'll give it that much. Like Thomas Dolby was allowed to run rampant. However, it doesn't sound very much like Men in Black and I really enjoy that song. C

Brackish Boy (CAK) - Love it, baby, love it. The music is every bit as good as it stands on FB. I especially like the guitar soloing and the slightly modified arrangement. Tops! A

Dog Gone (Jason Phelan) - I like this one, too. The vocals are too loud but that sort of thing can be overlooked if they're good vocals, which they are. The minimalist drums are a good choice and the vocal delay is very subtle and effective. A-

I Could Stay Here Forever (Nam June Robot) - Wow! Like Roxy Music does FB (for a switch). Very fucking cool. I wish the vocals were louder but again; they're good so who cares? It really drives home at the end and I can appreciate that! A-

1826 (Parchment Farm) - I used to think they got the name for this song based on the number of notes played (kidding) and this version doesn't stray too far from the original. The changes made to the vocals are an improvement and I also enjoy the little sound FX throughout. They did all they could with this song and I think it's better than the original. B

Pure Denizen of the Citizen's Band (Michael DiSanto) - I still say this is one of the best. I really like the part where the drums stop and all the vocals fill in for the music. The clapping is great and that telephone-fidelity break is also very well done. The end had me cracking up. Comedy is good. A+

White Noise Maker (Derek Olson) - The music is really great; faithful to the original yet with enough differences to make it ultra-cool. The vocals could be stronger but the whole thing rawks hard. B

Skeleton Man (Christopher Van Epps) - I can't review myself so I'll pass.

Cold Heart of Stone (Peter Radiator) - The sound on this one is very tight. I like it a lot. It's incredibly true and energetic. The vocals are also very strong. The piano gets a bit repetitive but it still rocks. It sounds like a band you'd hear in a biker bar. Hey, the best bands I've ever heard were playing in a biker bar. A

The Marsist (The Ohms) - The Marsist is my least favorite on COR but this version is inventive. The vocals are difficult to understand but I like the stecatto bass during the verses and the minimalist arrangement. B-

End of Miles (P F Atlas) - The arrangement sans drums was a good choice. I like the subtle horns but the vocals need to be a bit clearer and stronger. B-

How You Went So Far (Neil Citter) - That beginning is terrific; it's very unexpected when things get rolling. Am I crazy but are they hitting the wrong chord at "But I don't know how..."? The music otherwise is very strong. The vocals are OK, and the energy builds up toward the end appropriately. The very end is as unexpected as the beginning. B-

I'll Be Blue (Clootie) - Really fucking solid arrangement. Those bells make me want to weep (in a good way)! The vocals are very strong, which always helps. I like the vocal delay too. The drums sound wonderful and the guitar is nice and sad. Just before the 2nd chorus, things really take off! Wow!! I think Denizen will have some company. A+

Whispering Weeds (Zipper) - This might be my least favorite FB song of all time but this version is much better. I like the key changes very much, dispite the shaky vocals, and I totally understand what you mean about stepping away from the mic (some of us out here get it, don't worry). And what can I say about the "Where Is My Mind" ending? I love it! A-

-= It's not easy to kidnap a fat man =-
http://christophervanepps.iuma.com

Edited by - cvanepps on 07/17/2003 19:04:14
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Atheist4Catholics
= Cult of Ray =

USA
925 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  20:30:41  Show Profile  Visit Atheist4Catholics's Homepage
I tried to post this earlier, but my server went down!

Zipperrock - I dig the whole stepping away from the mic thing. That's part of what I meant when I said your vocals were understated - like when you sing "I always tip my hat" - I love that part and always look forward to it! I was referring to the overall vocal level compared to the band and the distortion that ensues when the vocals clip the mix bus. I evened it out some with mastering, so no biggy.

BTW - Did anyone think I made their song worse by mastering it? This is only the second record I've mastered (except for audiobooks) so I welcome your criticisms.

www.mp3.com/clootie
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  20:33:20  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage
quote:

I'm trying to evoke, and you want specifics! j/k. I think I mean both vocally and in the spirit of Viva Las Vegas. I think there would also need to be a cowbell in there somewhere.

I love the track--don't y'all be gettin all that way.



The cowbell reference made me laugh out loud, but I'm too cool to write that 'LOL' crap. :) No, this is all cool, I like the comments and the honest discussion, which was why I was curious what you were referring to. Keep the comments/criticisms coming, this is all great. Well, Mike tends to get teary-eyed, but I like it. :)
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  20:43:02  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage
Tim, we went back and forth quite a bit with our track, but this is definitely the best version we have so far. I still thought the vocals were too loud, but after a couple listens, I realized they were prominent enough and you could still hear the instrumentation. Great work. To be fair, having heard both originals and mastered, I can't think of a single track that sounded better originally (or I would have kept it).
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  20:48:53  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by cvanepps

One good turn deserves another...

His Kingly Cave (Astrid) - I fucking love the arrangement! Each piece has its place and that's always good. That Elvis thing kinda turned me off a tad. Each time I listen to it, though, it grows on me. Not too much, though. Weird. I'm guessing someone in Astrid likes Dread Zeppelin. B-



Hey, thanks a lot on the arrangement compliments. As for the vocals, we were worried about being too overboard with it, and maybe we did, but I found that I really just hear it as vocals now instead of someone trying to sound like Elvis (though we were going for Elvis, no doubts), so maybe that's why it slowly grows? I'm curious about the Led Zepplin comment, though, as I do like them quite a bit (Mike does not), but I can't pick up where their influence might be showing. Anyway, awesome reviews, I like the grading system, even if I don't necessarily agree with some of the grades.

Who's next?
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Atheist4Catholics
= Cult of Ray =

USA
925 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  20:58:42  Show Profile  Visit Atheist4Catholics's Homepage
Dean - Dread Zeppelin is a novelty band from a while back that did reggae covers of Led Zeppelin songs with an Elvis impersonator singing.

www.mp3.com/clootie
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  21:06:44  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage
Ah... so now I look like quite the fool. And here I thought that was a clever play on words. The Chris-Creativity-Counter is quickly winding back down... quick, say something clever.
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cvanepps
= Cult of Ray =

USA
442 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  21:15:34  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Atheist4Catholics
BTW - Did anyone think I made their song worse by mastering it?

Heck no! I truly appreciated the phase thing you caught on Skeleton Man as well as the limiting. I think you did great, in fact I may have some work for you next year if you're interested.

Also, to everyone: my reviews are obviously my own opinions. Feel free to tell me I'm full of shit if you disagree. I'm very proud to be a part of a CD that kicks some serious ass and takes all names. We rock!

-= It's not easy to kidnap a fat man =-
http://christophervanepps.iuma.com
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El Barto
= Song DB Master =

USA
4020 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  21:53:10  Show Profile  Visit El Barto's Homepage
I should have my review up tommorow. I'm 80% done reviewing.

---------
FRANK BLACK SATAN WORKSHIP BLACK MASS
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AdamWest
- FB Fan -

20 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2003 :  22:30:38  Show Profile  Visit AdamWest's Homepage
I want to start by saying that the overall compilation was much better than expected and good choices were made in the tracks picked. All you guys put some real effort into these and I don't feel cheated by any half-ass tracks. They're a solid bunch.

That being said, I'm gonna try and give a straight review...Siskel and Ebert style. I'll try to tell it like it is without sugar-coating it. We're all friends here...if something said rubs you the wrong way, it's not my intentions. So take it or leave it. I'm just a guy like you that knows how helpful it is hearing everyone's different opinions. Nuthin' personal :)

Headache: The production value on this one is really good. The mix sounds good and balanced well. I thought the theremin-ish sound was a little too random and crazy which made it a little distracting from the song. The vocal performance was okay until it changed keys at the end which seemed to be a little out of your range. You had a lot of good energy, but you still weren't quite able to hit those notes. Perhaps if you had dropped the entire thing down a step it would've been a little easier to pull off those last few verses.

His Kingly Cave: The music sounded good. I think you might've gotten the vocals to sound a little better in the mix if you lowered them in volume but brightened up the tone. As far as the Elvis performance...I'm sure this guy does a mean Elvis-Karaoke performance...I bet he brings the house down, but recorded...it's hard to take seriously. It sounds more like someone making fun of Elvis instead of paying tribute to him (which seemed to be your intentions in an earlier posting.) If it really were a joke, I think it would've needed to be exaggerated more to be effective. So what results is a performance that sits on the fence between a joke and being taken seriously. At first I did take it as a joke and was a little bummed to hear a "joke song" as the 2nd track on the album. As is it seems better as a good closing track because it's so unique.

Czar: Arghh...someone should tell this mofo he can't sing. Who's he trying to kid? Could he be any lamer?? :) I noticed some of you commented on the guitar sound. A little trick you can try next time you record a rhythm guitar track: Record one really solid rhythm track and pan it slightly to one side. Then get a different guitar (if you don't have another one, mess with your pickups and tone to get a slightly different sound.) then record a second rhythm track. Allow yourself to get a little sloppier and less tight than the first track. Now pan this track to the opposite side of your 1st Rhythm track. The result should be a fuller, stronger sound because your ears will pick up the slight differences of each track but your brain will hear it as one guitar track in the mix. You can hear an example of this at the end where I did the Black Dawning riff. The first guitar is panned right, then when the second one comes in it's on the left. This is how I did the guitars for the whole song. Oh yeah and like the vocals...the guitars suck in this track!!!

I Will Run After You: I liked this song a lot. It was well recorded and I like the vocal performance. It sounded very natural, not forced and it works. I think this is a strong track and can't think of anyway to improve it. It turned out great!

So. Bay: I love the interpretation they did with this song. It starts out very cool and I dig hearin the chick vocals her performance is very good. It's a shame that for the first half of the song it's ruined by a poor recording. Either the levels were off or she was standing too close to the mike. Regardless, they end up sounding too loud and distorted. A possible quick fix could be just pushing them down in the mix. At the end of the song it gets a little cleaner and sounds really good..it rocks. She sounds like the girl who sings the Sealab theme song. Maybe it was recorded with a different microphone on a different day or something? If those first vocals were fixed up I think it'd be perfect. Oh and the slide guitar sounds great as do the drums.

Oddballs: The guitars sound good on this song and true to the original. Overall this dude has a decent voice. I liked his energy behind the vocals but it feels a little forced, like he's trying a little too hard. It may just be the take that was chosen. I bet if he had eased back a bit it would sound a little more natural but still keep his personality.

Men in Black: I appreciate the fact that this went in such an original direction. The recording quality is very good but the vocals are so low in the mix. It's very disappointing! Because of this there ends up being no movement in the song at all. It almost sounds like 15 seconds of a recording of 5 TV channels all playing different things at the same time looped endlessly. I feel like I'm just listening to the same thing over and over again...like it's a backing track for something. I would definitely put the vocals louder in the mix so they can be somewhat distinguished. And I would do a little more dropping out of certain sounds and bringing in others. Play with the levels and pans...it just needs some movement so it's not so boring. I feel like it's there...you just gotta bring it out.

Brackish Boy: This came out great. I love everything about it. The pixies-ish guitars rock...the drums rule. The bored, geek-rocker vocals are great too. This is a goofy little song and you kept that quality. Yeah man...good job!

Dog Gone: Great job on this track. Really cool, unique vocals. I think this is a good example of strong vocals that don't try too hard...they just are. The drum sound probably the only thing I could comment on. It sounds doubled up or like there's a delay on it..a little weird.

I Could Stay Here Forever: The music in this track is great. It's got this whole 80's thing going on. The only bummer is that the vocals are so damn low! Turn em up man!... they're way too low. I think if you did that this would be an A+ track.

1826: The first thing I gotta say is "Holy 7 minutes Batman..." Is the original this long? I must have a short attention span because after something hits the 4 minute mark I'm ready to skip to the next track. I'm just not into marathon jams at the end of songs... Moving on...the vocals are cool. This guy sounds like the lead singer from Blur a little bit. The recording sounds pretty good although slightly muddy.

Pure Denizen of the CB: A nice little track. It's cool...simple and sweet. You sound a little timid on the guitar. I think you could let loose a little bit and that'd be okay. Sounds good though. Good job.

White Noise Maker: I thought this was an awesome cover. I think I am biased towards FB songs that I already like over others. I've always loved this song and I think this track does it justice. A few comments... The overall music mix sounds muddy but the vocals sound a little clearer. It almost sounds like the music was recorded on a 4 track, fed into a computer and the vocals done over the top of it. They don't really gel. If you could mess with the eq and tone of the mix I think it'd be much stronger and bring the volume of the vocals down in the mix. Get them to sit a little better in the music and you've got a winner. The vocal performance was great by the way. This is a weird song with weird notes and you hit them. Kudos...

Skeleton Man: This reminds me of that Men at Work song..."I come from a land down under..." I don't know why. I think this was recorded and performed well. I'm not crazy about the original song so my biases are bleeding in and it's hard for me to get excited about this song. I think it's a good job on the cover and a unique spin on it.

Cold Heart of Stone: Sorry if I'm sounding like a broken record. The music sounds good. The guy can sing but as mentioned in others..it sounds a kinda forced. Especially when his voice gets a little gravely or "rough". During the easy-going parts of the song it sounds fine though. I'm not crazy of the particular sound of the guitar...not the playing ...just the sound. I'm not sure what pedal or amp it's through but it sounds a little flat. Was it plugged directly into your mixer? Seems like it's missing that "air" that's picked up when an amp is mic'd.

The Marsist: I really feel like this song is overly effects-laden. For me it's almost unlistenable. The vocals have so many FX and are so low in the mix (of repetative grind) that it all gets lost. To me it has similar issues as Men In Black. I'm all for experimental music and crazy weird crap...but something has to happen SOMEtimes during the track... or it becomes boring and annoying.

End of Miles: Nice simple, sparse track. The tonal quality to the vocals is nice but it seems to often go out of tune. Notes tend to be sharp or flat which is even more noticable in this type of accoustic setting. The way it's performed is as if to say "Hey I can really sing...listen to me." But I think to live up to that statement you gotta work on really hitting those notes.

How You Went So Far: There's a lot of life to this track. Was it recorded live? If so you had it mic'd pretty well. I like the vocals. They're a little off but they fit the style. Cool.

I'll Be Blue: Recorded well and tight. Good vocals as well. Once it all kicks in it's got somewhat of a Pink Floyd feel to it. Good track.

Whispering Weeds: The rhythm guitar, bass, and drums all seem slightly (very slighty) out of sync. Especially noticable during the "Where Is My Mind" part at the end. Did you record on a 4 track? I know that tape speed can vary sometimes and create this effect..it may not be your playing. But all in all, it gives it a good off-center feel. And it's nice to hear some dry vocals without all the reverb for a change. Nice.

Well that's it for now. Time to go to bed.

-Ryan
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Little Black Francis
> Teenager of the Year <

3648 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  01:29:49  Show Profile
Hey.

I am so happy about this whole project. The CD. The site.


I was so cool to hear Derek do White Noise Maker and to hear the high quality of everyone's tracks.

And Dean is the straight op Shizzit for making this happen.

I really am amazed

from what I have heard so far...

so many levels of irony... and satire.

Anyhoo...

I have mentioned how wonderful I think this entire project is, somone please hear my track and tell me what you think. I recorded it on 4 track cassette solo live no edit and digital-ized it at my buddy's house. I could have made it crystal clear, but life throws bullshit at you quick-like so you have to think fast.

I think the only reason I am on B-side is 'cause I have a shitty recording and no band. I am a solo artist, I write my own songs, Frank is an inspiration, however, I do not mimic him.

I am so impressed by this project, this site, these fans, that it almost compares to my overall appreciation of this land.


White Noise Maker

ain't it
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Doog
* Dog in the Sand *

United Kingdom
1220 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  03:07:58  Show Profile  Visit Doog's Homepage  Click to see Doog's MSN Messenger address
I don't see what makes any of us qualified to judges others work, but it seems to be all the rage..


Headache: My song. Eh. There's stuff I would change, for sure. Kinda pedestrian, as a cover.

His Kingly Cave: Reminds me of that Richard Cheese dude who does covers of rock songs in a polyester lounge style. Rockin'. I woulda brought the vocals down though.

Czar: Lo-fi greatness, I liked the dude's voice, distinctive. And obviously the accordian rules. Pavement meets the Pixies? Something like that.

I Will Run After You: Everything apart from the drum tracks sounds great. The musicbox/vibraphone towards the end reminded me a lot of Grandaddy, who I love.

So. Bay: Music is great, I love the slide work. Not sure on the vocals, is that a girl and a guy singing? It kinda sounds like someone pitchshifted their vocals up an octave... I woulda brought them down in the mix..

Oddballs: Don't know the original, but i'm still very impressed. Again, kickASS slide work, spesh in the intro. Love the dude's voice, the "oddddddddbaaaaalllls" line in the chorus could be Black himself. *sign of the devil* \m/

Men in Black: This actually made me feel kinda travel sick.. lots of panning and intense delayed sampling.. I kinda think it would benifited from less FX on the main vocal, and possibly knocking a bit of the length of the song.

Brackish Boy: I've only heard a 10 second sample of the original Pixies version that got left off Trompe Le Monde, but i still love this version. So understated, great charactistic double tracked vocals. Minimal and very effective.

Dog Gone: Hmm... I woulda left the drums out or made a more "beefy" recording of them. Cool nonetheless.

I Could Stay Here Forever: Yes! Rockin'. Total new wave finery, I can just seem some floppy haired fella with a Jazzmaster slung round his neck cranking this one out. Love the phasing synth sounds, and the theremin-stylee noises.

1826: Very very Blur. But I like Blur. Kinda long. Liked the space invaders sounds, and the guitar freakout towards the end..

Pure Denizen of the CB: Like the other guys, I was really hoping for a loud chorus after the lofi tinny guitar breakdown, but its still great. Made me wanna learn the original on guitar.
"One thing I CAN-NOT stand....and that is this song.....just kiddin".. heehee that made me giggle.

White Noise Maker: I'm 90% sure the drums on this one were played on a little Casion/Yamaha keyboard by hitting the keys.. cause I have a keyboard that sounds just like it! No sure on the tremelo guitar sound, and the vocals are kinda loud. Nice work with the Queen esque guitar harmonizing around 1:30. Liked the "I hear a lot of talk-talk-talk-talk" pingpong delay parts. Cool vocal.

Skeleton Man: Devo Plays Reggae Party Volume 2 FEAT: UB40! Very interesting,dont know the original again...sorry.. The drumbeat kicks ass, as does the surfy guitar interlude..hell, all the music is great. I'd personally make the syncopated guitar a little less honky, and maybe not all the way through the song. But thats just personal taste.

Cold Heart of Stone: Ahhhoowww, so good. Only know the Conan O'Brian version, so this took my breath away. Very much enjoyed this, the guys got a superb voice, very Black in places, but has his own "thang". The guitar solo is a little suspect to me, is this in the original? I dunno...sorry... I promise to buy all the FB albums asap...

The Marsist: That bass slap at the beginning instantly made me think of the Dead Kennedys, can't remember which song..just the tone and such, so I was expecting a fast punkrock version. I like discord as much as the next dude, but please buy a tuner! Doesn't really go anywhere, buy has a nice creepy vibe.

End of Miles: Very nice, especially like cello(?) sounds. Minimal and effective. Vocals probly could have benifited from less reverb, and the electric guitar a good tune/less bending on those strings..

How You Went So Far: Please buy a tuner! It spoils the song, which is otherwise very cool. A few bum notes in the vocal, but they just about slip through, as "jazz".

I'll Be Blue: The bells reminded me of "Tonight Tonight" by the Pumpkins.. very epic sounding song, especially with the timpani-esque tom work.. Well recorded, good dynamics, the octaved vocals mix real well, smooth.


Whispering Weeds: Wish the drums would play another beat, and the lead guitar panned hard left would just STOP for a minute! Like the WIMM outro, nice touch, works real well. Vocals coulda been a bit lower in the mix, and maybe compressed to file off those loud edges.

Hope I didn't peeve anyone off!

edit: Just to reinstate the fact- Clootie's "Big Red" is wicked! I love those Brian Wilson harmonies at the intro, and the big deep vocal overdubs. This should been on the cd!

http://www.nimrods-son.co.uk

Edited by - Doog on 07/18/2003 03:14:37
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blackpurse
= Cult of Ray =

USA
299 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2003 :  04:58:46  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by AdamWest

1826: <snip> This guy (emphasis blackpurse) sounds like the lead singer from Blur a little bit. <snip> ..

[


Guy?!?! OK, so I'm an alto. But I'm a girl!

Me and 'sabre will have our reviews up as soon as we get a hold of our friend with broadband so's we can download this, BTW.

"Sacred cows make the best burgers!"
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