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Audio Refugees • View topic - The Frontliners

The Frontliners

A place where new and existing members can put links to their music without asking for specific song reviews. A musical hello.

The Frontliners

Postby Ailwyn Rees » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:55 pm

Here's our latest offering; a slight diversion into indie/ folk :)



Enjoy :bow:

Ailwyn
...and then there were none...
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Re: The Frontliners

Postby ptalbot » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:20 pm

Cool song Ailwyn, has a sort of Byrds jangle to it, so I'd say mission accomplished!
I like the drums on that one, they have a great 60s vibe to them.

A few things about the mix:
- it's got a lot of high-end (see also below) and could benefit from a gentle high shelf cut. The cymbals in particular are rather harsh sounding, a gentle cut would help them sound better.
- the lead guitar is slightly out of tune, although that might add to the swinging 60s vibe
- the acoustic guitar is quite thin during the intro, sounds like a DI, you might want to add some body to it, perhaps use a resonant HPF to cut under but boost around 200hz or so. When the rest of the band comes in, it's alright so you might want to automate that.
- there's a very annoying high pitch frequency that is ringing throughout (or mostly). I'm not sure what this is, sounds like a tambourine or one cymbal? But you might want to chase that with an EQ and cut it. My guess is that it leaves around 3khz, might be higher though... It's really hurting my ears right now (but I'm a sensitive guy ;))
- where's the bass? I though you were a bassist? But the bass is hardly heard in that mix. It's undefined (hard to say what notes you play), sounding more like a low end rumble of undefined nature. I wouldn't push it too hard because it goes well with the mix style, which is very much late 60s, but still, some definition would help. I would try to boost some highs, perhaps add some saturation.

All of that is just mix-wise, doesn't take anything from the tune which is a good one. Nice stuff! :)
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Re: The Frontliners

Postby steban » Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:30 pm

Recently I've been dipping into a number of bands of my young adult days- New Riders, Robert Hunter, John Barlow, Kinks, Moody Blues, Yes, Nicolette Larson, Valerie Carter, David Bromberg, Commander Cody, Ry Cooder, that sort of thing.

Now that is a diverse bunch, and as it sits refreshed in my consciousness it affords me the ability to draw a few comparisons, perhaps shedding some additional light on why this song has such appeal for me today.

Of all I mentioned, Yes is the most eclectic, but even they sang soulful, heartfelt, kindly melodic stuff, even if they took it in wild classical directions.

And the Moody Blues, a prog band no doubt, how I loved the Mellotron! But they sang of Tuesday Afternoons and other introspective love songs, sweetened by the wavering tape loop of strings which transformed an otherwise normal rock ensemble sound into something more moody. This is subtly occurring in your song, and its absence would have been grievous. Now you aren't going off on giant tangents in your arrangement, instead you stick with the core chord progression and melody, and in that pocket make your musical point.

Some say lyrics are secondary to the song, if not last in importance after melody, arrangement, mix and performance, but I disagree. It isn't that the lyrics have to be high poetry, but they have to have humanity, they have to tell the human story, to not oversimplify love etc, but moreover to not arrive at the wrong conclusions about things. It is one thing to satirize, quite another to call Hitler a hero. I enjoyed the lyrics here for their insightfulness.

...
Leave it all behind and I will come to you
Like a guardian angel in the night
...
Where are you now, sweet love of mine?
I hate to think of you alone
For many miles I have come this way
To find a place I can call home
...
The world I leave is a sorry place
...
The only dream I have is of you
...


It is straight up, no hint of sarcasm, but there is an admission of the hardness of the big world and the comfort to be found in one person as a truth. It is super positive, and often more complicated than that in reality, but in the end it can turn out that way. This song does not guarantee a happy ending, but it believes one is out there somewhere.

Musically, I thought the singer, not the strongest in the world, nor effected or edited to near perfection, came across as credible, likable, and sensitively masculine and sufficiently proficient. Frankly, some of my favorite all time singers, when heard in live concerts, sounded no better, and yet they still sounded fantastic. Ray Davies, Justin Hayward, the guys in New Riders, Ry Cooder, even the women, they were not studio album technical great, but they also delivered the feeling in their words.

It always astounds me how a brand new song of this level of simplicity and style can still sound original and memorable. I wouldn't rank it as the greatest composition ever, but it sits well in the grand scheme of things. No doubt the electric guitar was played with a restraint in virtuosity and effects to give it an authentic retro vibe, and it helped establish the illusion that this was a song from an earlier age. The acoustic was clean and contributed a lot to the folk tone. The bass was low in the mix, but it was, like the synth, very agreeable with the idea. The drummer, however, played with unencumbered ferocity, but somehow never stepped on the song, instead providing some well-timed emotional ups and downs.

Perhaps there is a better mix out there, I don't know, because to me, as is, this song has been given justice, and I like it.
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Re: The Frontliners

Postby Ailwyn Rees » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:16 pm

...and then there were none...
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Re: The Frontliners

Postby zxyz » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:14 pm

Good song Ailwyn! Could use a good mastering , and I agree w/ ptalbot about the lead-in guit, thin and slightly oot, but I thought very enjoyable listen! The lead singer's voice reminded me slightly of some of John Lennon's stuff. I like liked the extra long -suspenseful- pause leading the listener to wonder if the song is over or not :] Good Show!
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Re: The Frontliners

Postby ptalbot » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:21 am

Don't worry Ailwyn! It's a great song, so it's not too bad.
The only thing that you should really do is fix that annoying high pitch frequency, it really hurts!
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Re: The Frontliners

Postby zxyz » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:33 am

I listened to it again tonight at 2:30am and really enjoyed it .. :beer: (I really don't listen to many songs from here twice) .. hehe ..
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