I'm still trying to figure out the second track (the first song). I have a feeling that when I do, I'll be really moved. I'm on the verge now.
I think I've got that riff figured out. But there's one thing that's stopping me. It's the mixing. I can't make out what the guitars are doing individually. There's too much gain, or fuzz, or something, possibly on one of the guitars, or the bass.
Track 3 is awesome. The bass is definitely clean here, and played well.
Just listened to most of the album without realizing it. Good stuff.
I may be a metalhead, but --
I love The Beatles, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Journey, Neil Young, The Flaming Lips, Beck, Pink Floyd, Simon and Garfunkle, Yes, etc.
You know, all that stuff hippies like. Except The Grateful Dead, Phish, and The String Cheese Incident annoy the piss out of me. And low-rent blues music is like razors in my ears.
I love my vinyl, too.
I'm listening to Let It Be, all the way through, for the first time. It's kinda douchey, but it's also mostly awesome. I can get down with some of this blues stuff.
Some Indie/emo stuff also hits me the right way: Low, Shellac, A Perfect Circle, The Mars Volta, The Stone Roses, Trans Am, Slint, Shipping News, June of 44, Sonic Youth, Blonde Redhead, Sunny Day Real Estate, Radiohead, Norman Schwarzkopf.
Well, hell, glam rock and industrial pretty much rules, too: Skinny Puppy, Foetus, Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, Marilyn Manson, Adam and the Ants, Brian Eno, Slade.
There are way too many metal bands out there who mix the vocals way above the rest of the instruments, which is a travesty. When are metal producers going to learn that mixing metal the same way as pop music does not work for the genre? People who listen to metal love to get pissed, but it's like whoever mixes the music thinks the listeners don't care about guitars as much as drums and vocals. Pop music rides on the vocals--the instrumentation is not meant to be noticed, cause some guy was brought in and paid to put music, which is secondary, underneath the vocals, which showcase the talented performer. That's fine. But with metal, you can't even understand what the motherfuckers are saying half the time. Metal guitars are also hella distorted, and the pitches can't be made out if other instruments, like vocals or drums, are drowning them out. The obvious solution is to mix the vocals WITH the music, not ABOVE the music. There's not enough emphasis on guitars and bass in modern metal. Fuck vocalists if they think they're more important than the rest of the band. Without instrumentalists, vocalists who can't play any instruments would be nothing. And you know that the vast majority of people out there who think they're vocalists don't play any instruments. And don't tell me that vocals are as demanding of an instrument to play as something that doesn't come naturally out of your body. It just doesn't happen that way. Guitars and drums take real talent. Anybody can sing. And even if you can't there's autotune! Just ask every modern pop singer.
Here's a metal song that mixes the vocals with the music. The song isn't spectacular, but you can hear the pitch of the guitars and bass along with the vocals and drums.
Another thing. When are metal vocalists going to learn to not do the same type of screaming and growling as every other metal band out there? Screaming is great for expressing a lot of anger, but if you do nothing but scream through every song, it gets old really quick. Yet, it's what most metal vocalists rely on. Max Cavalera did it well; hardly anyone else does. Phil Anselmo was a great vocalist in his time because he could scream, sing, and go many places in between, and through it all, his unique voice shined through. No one else sounds quite like he used to. Yeah, I get it, you're pissed, modern metal vocalist. Now take me somewhere else. What you're doing has been beaten to death.
And oh my god, metal lyricists, get educated. For serious. You get off on nothing but complaining about how sad you are. Get murderous. Your lyrics are stupid; easily seen through; corny, and relying on XXX. Metal is not emo, nor should the two genres come close to mixing. I would say that emo metal is good for teenagers, but that's bullshit. When I was a teenager, and even younger, Megadeth and Metallica were the best for me. It's still that way. Any vocal style Robert Smith ever did should stay the hell out of metal. However, metal should definitely require singing. I'd love to hear Chris Cornell vocals along with some really metal shit. Or a voice with the quality of Maynard James Keenan's, right on top of some crusty, angry metal. Chino Moreno should be held as the gold standard for pop/metal vocals. He can add RSmith-style vocals to his band's hip hop-influenced metal and it sounds awesome; however, Deftones aren't metal. We need to address the stylings of more underground metal acts and bring some talent up from the bottom of the pool.
Let me also say that it takes one to know one. It's easy to judge a book by its cover. What seems emo and crappy isn't always such. Take that band whose video I posted above--Truth Corroded. Sounds like a corny name, right? But how many times in your life, be it from personal experience, or watching political events unfold on the news, have you seen the truth corroded? It's not such an alien concept. That's why I think Truth Corroded is a 70% good band name. To me, it's a better song title. A band name should sum up what you want to do about truth corrosion, not to focus on only that. That's a dead end street. There's nowhere to go from there. The album title is fucking terrible, though.
The band name Tool is sort of perfect. To me. They named themselves that because they want to be a tool for better understanding on the part of the listener, and possibly, the whole world. Ambitious. Easy to make fun of. Tool is good at making themselves vulnerable, easy to make fun of, but when you put aside your prejudices, their prog will take you to new heights. But Tool is not metal; they're prog with a 30% dollop of metal on top. Soundgarden and Deftones, as band names,are along the same lines as Tool. At least they're not totally corny like TRUTH CORRODED.
I'm gonna name my band Calculator. It'll be mathy, a bit robotic, calculated, tight, and offer solutions that are free of prejudice and the general malaise of the uneducated and uninspired. My band will span many genres. I will span black metal, thrash metal, heavy rock, and pop rock. But basically it's gonna rock.
Another project of mine is Ravenna Tremors. I've got one song written for the project. It's a punk band. Ravenna is a district here in Seattle. There's a punk scene here that not many people know about. Check the bar Gallway Arms on any show night to see what I mean. I personally love the name I picked.
Metal is all about strength and self empowerment. It's hard not to overdo it. Choice of words is very important. A delicate balance must be struck--anger, vengeance, and evil, mixed with a solution to the problem, humanness, and a dedication to love.