Demo reviews Vol. 39

Welcome once again to another addition of hell on earth…I mean “Demo reviews”. This is where I asked my readers to send in their original music so I can tell them what I think. We’re almost 40 editions deep now and it amazes me that people still want me to review their stuff. I mean, you guys no I hate almost everything right? Well, more power to you all and I praise the thick skin you have shown during the process.
If you’re curious about sending me a demo, I’m afraid now is not the time. SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED. When they re-open, I’ll announce them but, until then, don’t send me anything. I won’t even open the emails.
The review style is simple. I do a brief write up then rate the songs from 1-10 in these categories:

I can’t stress enough how pointless the number ratings are but people seem to like when you quantify art (I get that) so, here ya go!
Okay, on with this weeks batch.

Artist: Pyer
Song: Blue Spruce

This can definitely filed under “Not my wheelhouse”. That said, it’s not made poorly. It sounds like if Bobby Mcferrin was a machine. I’d probably take out the sound that sounds like bugs swarming MUCH earlier cause, even though it’s got it’s point, it’s really grating. In the end, I don’t really know where this one is going. It’s not that interesting when it’s all said and done.
Production:5 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:5.5 out of 10

Artist: The Cloudmakers
Song: Never growing up

I’m not gonna front, I was biased against this from the first blip of that dubby bass tone. Not a fan. But, I’ll be the bigger man and give it a chance beyond that.
Well…it’s not good. But it’s not that bad. The rappers are capable while being completely forgettable. The second guy actually sounds like friend to the blog Alaska. This just may be a case of this being some young guy rap I just can’t get into. But the beat doesn’t do much for me and the raps are forgettable.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:4.5 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: ESH & ARC
Song: Bonafide Napoleon

This is kinda fun. I don’t love the beat but it’s got a good energy to it. Reminds me of an old posse cut beat from the mid 2000’s. The rapper is decent. Some clever lines and some not as clever as he thinks they are lines. More than anything it’s well recorded and refined.That’s always a nice bonus.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:5 out of 10
Listenability:5.5 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: D Skape
Song: Drowny in hibachi

That hi hat…it’s really bad. Work on that. The loops is really bugged out and I thought it was out of key with itself but it works pretty well. The rapping sounds like Joaquin Phoenix in a drug haze. Put down the drugs or whatever it is you’re on guys. It doesn’t work with rapping. It’s mumble core rap and that should never become a thing. MF doom killed that style 10 years ago.
Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:2 out of 10
Listenability:3.5 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Drisa
Song: Hallay!

I’m curious if the person who made this, finished it, listened back and was like “I enjoyed that!”. There’s no way. It’s not even THAT bad so much as what’s the point of this even being a song? It’s a warbled bass tone with some hissy drums and random vocal sample chops. It doesn’t even really have a mood except it’s kinda uncomfortable to sit through. I know music is art and there are no rules but I think it’s a good idea to have a reason behind making a song. Even something as simple as “It sounds good” is a good enough reason.
Production:3 out of 10
Listenability:2 out of 10
originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Skobie Won
Song: Burn

This is a song that wants to be epic so badly but it just isn’t. It’s got the aggressiveness and the cute production tricks but it just doesn’t hit. Partially cause the beat is just not that good and it’s a bad kinda abrasive. Also because the rapper is not up for the task of making a song of this magnitude. You need insane confidence to pull that shit off that this dude sounds like he’s not ready for prime time. Voice and flow wise.

Production:4 out of 10
Vocals:3.5 out 10
Listenability:3 out of 10
originality:3.5 out of 10

Artist: B. Done
Song: Karate Kickin’ Consonants

I have a strange feeling this is gonna be one of those beats that someone in the comments is gonna be like “That beat is from _________”. If not, props. I don’t love it, but it’s weird is a cool way and doesn’t really sound like many other beats. The rapping…it’s just kinda there. Kinda like the dude above, he’s not ready for a song like this. He’s got potential but he’s too robotic at this point in his evolution. It’s soulless rapping.
Production:5 out of 10
Vocals:4 out of 10
Listenability:4.5 out of 10
originality:4.5 out of 10

Artist:About 9
Song:These four walls

This is pretty and mellow. Nothing really special about it but it’s certainly not rubbing anyone the wrong way. Sounds like folk-hop. Is that even a thing? Well, now it is! The drums are a simple yet cool break. I like the bells. The guitar riff is very Tracy Chapman but it’s fine. Not bad.
Production:5 out of 10
Listenability:5 out of 10
originality:3 out of 10

Artist: Krak
Song: Awake

I don’t really know what to do this. A simple loop some mediocre drums and a meandering guitar. I suppose I could fall asleep to this the same way listening to talk radio might put me under. I like the weird vocal sample that comes in but it feels out of place with how the rest of the song feels. Even more out of place? The rap vocal samples.
Production:4 out of 10
Listenability:4 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

Artist: Imijasis
Song: Words

This is what college sounds like. A mixture of self righteous poetry , experimentation, singer/songwriter,and too many influences. I’m not even mad at it cause this is the kinda song every artist has hidden away somewhere that, when we look back at it, we blush and want to burn it with a flame thrower. I’d venture to guess this guy could evolve into something listenable one day and will eventually look back at this song with deep shame. It might be a matter of focusing on exactly what his sound needs to be…maybe not rapping. I dunno. He’ll figure something out.
Production:3 out of 10
Vocals:3.5 out of 10
Listenability:3.5 out of 10
originality:4 out of 10

So, what do you think?

28 thoughts on “Demo reviews Vol. 39

      • Maybe they just really want a co-sign from you! “Established” might have been too kind, but I actually heard of some of these, whether from seeing them opening for somebody big, or seeing videos, albums etc. Making some sort of moves with their shit. Whereas it usually seems to me you just get people who just started making music, actual demos not something that’s already ‘out there’, with somebody listening to it. What do I know though!

  1. hm block. you have to show a little respect to actual musicians. krak-all those ships, dude playing the guitar is so much more talented than any hip hop producer. this is coming from a hip hop producer.

    • and i am in no way connected to the people who made that song. its just like, shit is more than a hip hop loop. dude is playing the guitar very damn well. sure its a little boring but cmon.

      • hip hoppers need to get their heads out of their asses and realize that producers are pretty much the lowest link on the musician totem pole.

    • Eh…sounded like boring ass noodling to me. I don’t disagree that people who can play instruments are generally more talented but, just cause you can play a guitar doesn’t mean you’re gonna make good music. If you got a bad ear and shitty taste, all the skill in the world can’t help you. You seem to have a clear bias against hip hop producers (I’d be curious to hear your shit with the opinions you have against you’re own ilk). Not everyone makes music the same way. Some dude might we turning nobs and hitting pads but , if the outcome of his work is beautiful music, that’s exactly what it is. Some dickhead who knows how to play a few chords (Not referring to KRak, just in general) doesn’t mean anything if the outcome of their work is some middle of the road bullshit.
      Also, I don’t HAVE to do anything with these reviews. People know the deal when they send me shit. I’m nothing if not honest. It’s simply one man’s opinion. I’m not the judge and jury of any of these peoples musical lives.

      • Lowest on the totem pole is a bit harsh. Haha. But still talent is talent. Good producers are a one man band man. Whole albums from just one or two people is impressive. If it’s good.

        But I work in the music biz. There’s a million amazing guitar players that don’t know shit about recording or makin music or writing songs. It’s just one talent.

      • There are some really untalented producers in the world, and there are just as many untalented people that play instruments. More importantly, people always want to compare them two as if they are they same thing, but they’re not the created the same. Different processes, different styles. Apples to oranges.

        I don’t blame people for comparing them to each other. They simply hear it as music and immediately begin judging it based on what they know. That’s what people do.

    • “dude playing the guitar is so much more talented than any hip hop producer.” I hope to god you are here trolling and when you actually wrote that ill-advised and shockingly ignorant statement about some rudimentary scale guitar playing you were bursting with laughter. I hope.

  2. sadly i always miss the chance to send a demo, how does this autarkic system work? I would very much like to have the opportunity of a submission entry for the next vol. but its always a fail for me! the reviewing system is great and always fun to read, they may seem destructive but it will always be a very productive step to the author of the demo. thanks!

    • The system is that I ask for demos and keep submissions open for a week. I announce it via this blog, twitter and facebook. Once I get all the demos, the doors are shut and review what I’ve been given. The enxt time I ask will be in a month or two, I’d guess. Just pay attention whenever you see me post about demo reviews.

  3. Haha. Thanks for the feedback, dude. It’s nice to get a fresh perspective, since sharing with people I know usually just results in a lot of awkward insincerity like “ohhhhh. That’s niiiiiice.”

    You do a generous thing by speaking your mind to all us bedroom-studio types.

  4. Hai Im DSkape..Thanx for reviewing! It’s unfortunate that you mentioned your co-sign is about as valuable as a co-sign from my mom cuz that’s actually whats it’s worth.. Hers might be a bit more.

    I have no establishment other then my couple friends, couple cats in Cali, Oklahoma & some dude currently in New York

    We were vaporizing buds so cotton mouth was a problem and my friend in the beginning mumbles in everyday talk anyways..

    This is all not to say that I’m quitting music because your words busted my balls.. I love even getting the chance for such a person to even try to listen to a full track I put out…

    I too agree playing guitar is harder then producing as I play it myself..but things like Rockband make everyone think their a musician..
    Producing still does build from scratch.. Cept the fools who use a sample that comes with drums.. Thats the easy shit..

    Will get you all over crying about anyone making music cuz you can still pluck a string and be masterful in the proggy

    Also dunno how the fuck ya’ll consider this the worst batch when he had that hawaiian dude rapping on the beach while circling that moose like..5 reviews ago..that batch had atleast 4+ bad tracks..haha

    Goodbye fooolllzzz

    • Grammar…anyway, I’m in no way trying to turn this into a youtube type trash talk session..but dude…your song needs a lot of work and if you can’t handle someone giving THEIR subjective opinion THEN don’t send in your demo tape asking for it because THEY’RE liable to give it to.

  5. I know this horse might be mush by now, but has anyone heard The Black knights album “Medieval Chamber” produced by former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante? I find that album to be pertinent to this discussion. Say what you want about red hot as a band( I personally dig the old shit) but Frusciante is a very talented guitarist. Anyway, he has moved away from strictly playing guitar and more toward electronic music and now producing hip hop. I think his progression is the antithesis of what someone would expect from a “talented and accomplished guitar player.” To me, it exposes the intricacies of producing hip hop.

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