Demo Reviews Vol. 16

I swear, I wasn’t in a bad mood when I sat down to write this. But this weeks crop? Holy shit. Bummer Central.
In case you don’t know what this is, this is where I have readers send me their demos and I give them honest feedback on what I think about them. I pull no punches and rarely like anything more than “it’s not bad” but you budding musicians seem to like the real talk so I keep doing it.
To all the people reading this thinking “Where can I send you a demo!?!”, not quite yet. I’m not accepting new submissions at the moment. However, I will be very soon. Keep a close eye on my social networks (twitter, facebook and this very blog) as I will be asking for more demos sometime early next week. until then, hold your horses.
Anyway, I review these all the same way. A brief write up where I tell you what I think then a rating of 1-10 in these categories:

That’s about it. Now, put on your helmet cause this weeks batch is war.

Artist:Casey Okane
Song:Get Lifted

This is a very typical demo for me to receive. It’s an adequate white rapper spilling his guts over a somewhat chaotic yet melodic track. It’s not bad. It’s also not good. It just kinda is. I don’t knock this dudes hustle though cause he can rap well enough. The problem is there are literally thousands of rappers just like this.
Production wise, it’s almost dope and the producer does change shit up a decent amount which I appreciate. It’s just kinda sloppy sounding at times but I would say that’s more due to the mix and the main sample having somewhat busy percussion in it.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Song: Black Hearted Drums

Yeah…So this is just some drums and one sample. That’s not a song. Not even close. That would mean, this is just a beat some dude made which means, in my eyes , it doesn’t qualify as a “demo”. For all people who plan on sending me songs in the future: Don’t send me shit like this. I want to hear songs. Not the track you made last night while blunted out of your mind.
Production:3 out of 10
Listenability:3.5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist:North Eastern Ice Pirates
Song: One Eyed Willy

This has a nice slow build to it but it doesn’t ever seem to really go anywhere. That said, it’s a pretty dope track that would be doper with an MC on it but it works out well enough as an instrumental track. Good drums, well mixed with a palpable vibe to it. I’m not mad.
Production:5 out of 10
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Beat Puncher Prime
Song: No Jumper cables Vs.They can’t Come

Oh, so you did a mash up of an Aesop and a P.O.S song? KEWL.
On what planet does this qualify as a “demo”. There is not a single thing the producer did except line up vocals with a beat. Come on, man. Why one earth would anyone send this shit to me? I would assume it didn’t need to be said but NO MASH UPS.
Originality:-100000000 out of 10

Artist: Gabriel Vasichek
Song: Occupower

I’m not gonna lie…The picture accompanying this song isn’t helping things.
I don’t often get songs with singers and bands. Probably cause I’m the last person anyone would ever want to review that kinda shit. This is..umm…I have no idea. It’s an occupy wall street kinda jam band meets the Crash test dummies

I’m not a politically charged man so this isn’t really speaking to me. I appreciate the idea but , yeah, not for me.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4 out of 10
Listenability:2 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10


When this started out I thought it was a remix of that paul McCartney Christmas song

But I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the producers intention.
This feels like some drug music. A drug I don’t do but a drug nonetheless. I don’t doubt there is an audience for this kinda instrumental track. It’s very mellow and sorta grinds it’s way through. All I’m imagining is the “chill room” at some rave in eastern europe.
Production:4 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Artist:Bullet-Tooth Tony
Song: Finance 101

Is this guy rapping or reading me a lullaby? I like some mellow rapping styles (See Open Mike eagle) but this is a bit tiring. I wouldn’t say he’s bad at rapping but there’s just nothing compelling me to want to hear more. That said, because it’s an unusual style this could appeal to some folks out there.
On the bright side, I like the production. It’s very simple but the changes are both in good taste and subtle.
Production:6 out of 10
Vocals:4 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
Originality:5 out of 10

Artist: Chris Mackey
Song: Stick it in

I have a sneaking suspicion that this isn’t an original beat. Either I’ve heard it before or that loops been used before. So, off the bat, do better.
And the rapping…well…listen. I used to freestyle all the time with my friends and be silly. We recorded it and would play them over and over again. What we wouldn’t do would be send those freestyles as a demo. Little know fact: 99% of the people out there don’t wanna hear you and you boys freestyling. It’s only interesting to you and your boys. I promise that.
Vocals:2 out of 10
Listenability:2 out of 10
Originality:2 out of 10

Artist: Elepheel
Song: Blossoms

This is kinda cool. It’s nothing too crazy but it sets a mood. It seems a little amateur (the drums could or could not be sounding like that on purpose, I’m not sure) and it’s limited in where it goes but it’s a decent start. As always, a rapper would have greatly improved it.
Production:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
Originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Ribbon Mouth Rabbit
Song: The Prideaux Manifesto

I gotta say, after sitting through a week of mostly terrible demo’s, this one feels like a breath of fresh air. It’s not blowing my wig back but the mere fact it’s well put together, has a structure, has dope drums and it mixed tightly makes it sound like the work of an expert when compared to the majority of this weeks submissions.
Good job.
Production:6 out of 10
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
Originality:4 out of 10

Which one did you like the best?

18 thoughts on “Demo Reviews Vol. 16

  1. that ‘best’ one leans pretty heavily on one of the joints from gonzales’ ‘solo piano’, a well known contemporary classical staple. a perfect album, corny as hell to jack. think xv looped something off it a few years back for a mixtape joint, but nobody cares about xv.

    i gotta stop reading these demo shits. always ready to dead myself after.

  2. Hey, I check your twitter a lot, yet some how I miss every damn submission session, I know you just did one but where can I check to see your next one, so I may submit something, thanks!

  3. Thanks for the feedback Blockhead! The first set of drums are indeed intentionally “sparse”, but the ones that build up later are the real deal. Your honesty is always appreciated.

  4. Ayo block i want to send you a demo, so I can blow your wig ( no homo I read it somewhere I forget) but yeah can the beat it was rapped on be zavalas or would you prefer I redid it to a self made product mang?

  5. yo. i know this is a wild corny request but i work long hours and i can’t do personal shit at the office (firewalls for days). is there any chance i can send you a demo tonight and whenever you get a chance to get to it is when you get to it? i would appreciate it. thanks.

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