Saturday, December 8, 2018

ST15R3 Rankings: Joe Lamb

So - I was harsh this round.

And it wasn't that easy because tribute/sound-alike/ in-the-style-of was always gonna be difficult to balance. Some of the tracks below are listed purely for the fact that the 'original' artist isn't very high on my 'likes' list. What I will say is, that for the most part after the top 4 the difference between the last batch is tiny... except for number 10.

(Sorry Dude... didn't work on any level for me.)

1. Brian Gray - Boy and His Kumquat Tree (P. GLass)
Lyric too minimalistic even for Glass - GLass collaborated with lyricists like L. Cohen and Suzanne Vega... Even "Einstein on the Beach' s 'numbers' verses increased as they went on. 
Musically, well, minimalism is minimalist, it is reminiscent of Glass, certainly - it meets the challenge. But it doesn't blossom like Glass does. 
Lyrically? Sorry, it's lazy. So, as a 'song' I have to mark this down. (I'm not gonna mark you down for ripping off the Koyaanisqatsi 'song' tune) - I guess this shows why minimalism is difficult to do properly.    
2. Zoe Gray - Old Lovers' Bridge (H. Williams) 
Quite liked the fake steel guitar. Challenge met, (but then it's C&W and would not have been too hard to accomplish. (I'm actually hearing more of a 'Ranger Den' influence on the vocals! :) ) Decent enough CW song... but (although I grew up with my Dad listening to Hanks Williams and Snow, hardcore CW isn't really my thing. 
3. Vom Vorton - Silver Streak (Fu Manchu)
This'll be a rocking wee song then. (A bit close to "The Action is On" but certainly varied enough to be a loving "Tribute to..." 
Love the mix - musically it is spot on. If you could have forced a harmonic falsetto onto this it would have opened the track out a bit. 
4. Faster Jackalope - Ghia's Got Room For Two (P. Spektor) 
VERY brave attempt. The Wall of Sound cannot be an easy thing to emulate 'at home'. Let down by vocals being a little muddy (something Spektor never really had) and also a little too long for a Specktor track (Phil RARELY made it to 3mins averaging around 2:45) - but this is pretty good. 
5. PigFarmer, Jr. - Who Are You? (V. Ice) 
Rhymes are fine. Rap is dull. Not like Ice at all. (If you had done the Under Pressure hook backwards, or upside down, it might have been clever.) Sorry... Not.
Sincerely- J. Lamb (Song Fu 5:Master... ahem... :)  )    
6. Temnere - The Grifter (Bad Religion) 
Yeah, a good rock song. TBH, Pretty average, and shorter than I would have expected... a solid middle track.
7. Good Guy Sojabe - Ahab (Moby)
Ooooo I don't really like Moby much. So listening to something that's supposed to sound like him didn't fall easy. You accomplished the sound-alike though. The song was a bit too plodding Well mixed though. 

8. Mandibles - Right Again (Abba) 
Okay, I hear where you are going ABBA-wise. (Was never going to be easy to accomplish, like the Spektor track earlier. But yes. Only thing letting down the pastiche is that 'second' female vocal in the verses was a touch too low in the mix. Could this be a lost ABBA track? Without listening to hard... almost! But if you had ended it with a typical ABBA flourish as opposed to the fade-out, it would have nudged this into a joint first for me. 
9. Third Cat - Hideaway (Yazoo) - 
Ohh is this too close to "Only You" to be a tribute.. or is it a rip-off? I verred to the first option. For a Vince/Yazzoo homage it's lacking in production. The middle eight gives an inkling of where you could have gone with this - but it's ended up a bit too one noted. It's good - but it's not 'up there'. 
10. Governing Dynamics - Leave It At That (B. Dylan) - 
Is this Dylanesque.. well... without doubt. Vocal could have had a bit more of the Dylan nasality though. And it's the lyric that let's this down as a Dylan song... this is  great Travis lyric - but not the same disjointed but flowing Dylan words. (I guess that's why some people call him a genius... personally, it can hit me or not)... But this was a good track (Moothie was perfect!) 

Sorry Shadows - it took me too long to write down what are usual more succinct reviews this time.... But- again, there are songs below which would easily have made it higher than some of the actual round entries. (TBH.. ALL of them would have!)

("Surfin the Web"/"They Know"/Eagles would have been top 3, easily (although I'm not sure who Jackelope and Matchy were supposed to be, but I could guess. :) ))

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