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Posted 9 Feb 2018, 5:32 p.m.

Judge: The Botch

Artist: GoldReed

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Rhythm section fucking shines - drummer is tight and kills every fill, bassist is locking in so well with interesting bass lines. Guitars interplay well and cover the full harmonic range. Lead guitar could offer a little more, but still solidly no-frills played. Rhythm guitar does no wrong. Vox has a remarkable tone, lovely clean tone, slightly under supported in the higher sections. Would love to hear more variety with the piano

Professionalism - 4

Almost nailed that stab - better luck next time! I can immediately tell that you're thinking about the performance you've put together. Good job. On with no problems, especially given the number of you on stage. You could be much tighter as a unit, particularly the guitars - but wow, great potential to be really strong as a band

Songwriting - 4

1st song is a hooky little pop song - solid no nonsense structure, 2nd song really stands out with some serious potential, excellent verse, pre chorus, chorus could have a little more surrounding it. Outro is awful, drop it. 3rd song excellent, but 4th song fantastic. It's very commercial sounding.

Creativity - 4

Piano tries to elevate the band out of the garage sound, but comes off like an early bruce springsteen christmas song. I really like how you're using dynamics to bring out each transition - you're making some smart creative decisions. Genre wise it's not pushing the boundaries - but what you're doing is EXCELLENT

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 2.5

Relax a little on stage. Strong start then suddenly self aware that you're on stage and you start to retreat closer to your amps. Would like to see more engagement from lead guitar and rhythm guitar - sometimes frozen in fear.

Overall - 18.5

Wow, really impressed with your debut. Tighten up, work on a little more of the piano sections (2nd song in particular) and put on a show!

Ranking: 1st


Judge: Das Botch

Artist: Culture Blood

Musicianship / Skill - 3

Ambitious guitar attempting to hold time with several tapping riffs that really just need to be nailed. I'd add compression and some serious eq to axe out those rogue frequencies. So vox can project when introducing songs but forgets to when actually singing? Scream vox is okay, good growls but largely unsupported vocals on show. Bass is fairly standard but played well enough. Solid drums but lacked presence. Guitar really led the show.

Professionalism - 3

Loved the anger against the talkers in the audience that contrasted so heavily against the overly polite band member. Plenty of bum notes and pedal hiccups on display. Rough and ready sound performed by a rough and ready garage band. Wish I could hear more than the muddy sound on offer. When you go wall of sound - NICE!!

Songwriting - 4.5

1st song was really cool, blending porcupine tree sensibility to fairly standard post grunge heavy rock song.

2nd I AM A ROBOT. Sweet song - didn't send shivers down my spine but certainly had something to it.

3rd song really shows off some interesting ideas - vocal interplay at it's high point. 4th song sounds like goldfingers 99 red balloons.

Creativity - 4

hmm. I can tell this is a little more interesting than your typical post grunge sound. Love the addition of the tapping and the technical riffs - almost executed to perfection but hammy performance and a variety of EQ issues really hold you back.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 2.5

I was surprisingly engaged by the variety on offer from your songs that your actual stage presence was easily forgivable. Warmed to the set.

Overall - 17

Please please get tighter as a band and work on the vocals, but wow what a cool set.

Ranking: 2nd


Judge: Le Botch

Artist: Habeas Tortoise

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Vox sadly completely drowned out by the band - more breath support please. Guitar does great to keep harmonically in his own lane away for the piano to fucking shine. Vox really needed to command the band. Bass solid and locked in very well together. Drums did a solid job but lost energy near the end of the set.

Professionalism - 4

You sound fairly well rehearsed - the unison is excellent and I'm both impressed and let down how you can play so introvertedly, in unison, yet with almost no enjoyment or passion on display. On/off no problems.

Songwriting - 1.5

There was a funky man in a funky town - oh god we're here again. Disco has arrived. By the numbers 1st song, cool bridge breakdown though. Your songs all sound the same and that's a big fucking problem. Get out of the substandard choruses and write a hook!

Creativity - 1

Waiting to hear something that I haven't already heard being played out a 90's arcade machine. Sadly whilst it sounds impressive, you're not trying ot make something special - it just all comes off as a jam band, function house, love letter to wedding bands.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3

It's undeniable fun but lacking substance - really hoping for a commanding frontwoman here to rock the mic. Bassist bobbing from side to side is frustrating to watch - looks uninterested. Far more in his element when playing the bridges.

Overall - 14.5

Write some interesting songs, you have buckets of skill to work with

Ranking: 3rd


Judge: El Botch

Artist: Liam Carroll Sad Baths With A Toaster

Musicianship / Skill - 3

Reverb on the snare drum really stands out here as the defining sound of the band. Bassist is frustrating in his lack of tonal variety until some 7 minutes into the set. Notes played accurately enough, if uninteresting.

Guitar played solidly with superb control over the feedback for dramatic effect. Drums completely off the rails at risk of losing time at the 9 minutes mark - poor.

(Botch's handwriting in the word "off" is a thing of beauty)

Professionalism - 3

Pretty no nonsense start, awkward line check setting up but you're not to blame. Off no issues. Pretty loose performance and would love to see more interplay between the band.

Songwriting - 2.5

Interesting chord progression absolutely ruined by the tongue in cheek bass line that failed to evoke any sense of seriousness in the set. You deliver on the riffs and hell yes you provide some musical variety. Passages really wanted to push the envelope but I'm left wanting.

Creativity - 1

What I'd love to hear is some intelligence in your musical decisions rather than the patchwork riff after quiet section after riff. The raw intensity is lost in your performance leaving only your passages and interplay to really engage with, which you didn't deliver on, as promising as your riffs were.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3.5

Happy self aware doom metal? I'll take a pass thanks. Whilst I can tell you're having a great time on stage there was a complete dissonance in creating anything exciting.

Overall - 13

Not bad but not good, almost had me fooled with the improv.

Ranking: 4th


Judge: de Botch

Artist: Yasmina

Musicianship / Skill - 2.5

You have a wonderful tone in your voice, blending the breathy and slight huskiness is really listenable. I'd be careful out where you've singing as you're down away from the mic which isn't ideal for projection. Your strumming could be more confident and you should definitely add some dynamics in your playstyle. Finger picking is nice and varies from standard patterns. 3rd song finger picking needs work.

Professionalism - 1

Sitting down vibe & with lyrics on paper - oh dear!

So it's my understanding that you've jumped in at last minute which is wonderful. I'd tighten up on the performance and once you hone your finger picking you'll stop having to look down so much and you can project your voice more. On & off no problems.

Songwriting - 2

1st song is a cover, lovely performance but no score.

2nd original song great, nice solid structure.

3rd song - nice use of the single note pausing to add emphasis. Would be great to build this song to a natural crescendo as it feels slightly lifeless in structure.

Creativity - 2

So it's evoking a simplicity of angus & julia stone except it doesn't have enough variety to get you to that plane. Straight forward adult contemporary with a lovely voice carrying the performance.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 2

Great style on stag. Seated performance worked well but unfortunately there wasn't a hook to keep you engaged throughout.

Overall - 9.5

Keep developing the finger picking! Maybe get a band to further the song.

Ranking: 5th


Overall 

1st - GoldReed

2nd - Culture Blood

3rd - Habeas Tortoise

4th - Liam Carroll Sad Baths With A Toaster

5th - Yasmina

Posted 9 Feb 2018, 5:36 p.m.

Judge: Thompson

Artist: Culture Blood

Musicianship / Skill - 3.5

Drums: Occasionally lacking a little punch but generally there. Some time slips in tougher time signatures but occasionally excellent.

Bass/vox: Vox heavily overshadowed in the mix - singing well out of tune. Bass work solid, but not up to the guitar.

Guitar: Some notable duff notes, but high on the difficulty scale. Great screams - harsh but well supported and suitably grating.

Professionalism - 3

Bit of anger in the delivery of banter from guitarist - genre appropriate. Much happier bands from the bass though - less genre appropriate. Nice and tight, barring vocal issues, but slight lack of bat-shittery in the performance is bringing down your level of genre-appropriate professionalism.

Songwriting - 3.5

Song 1: Cool - pretty fresh, rather liked it.

Song 2: Musically really nice, lyrically really weak. I'd go for a full rewrite of the words and melody. Pity, the song underneath is rad.

Song 3: Gnarly.

Song 4: Fucking sick intro - pity you deadened the volume for a few seconds afterwards! Rad song. Nice guitarist fuck-off towards the end.

Creativity - 4

Interesting vibe you're going for - hard to follow at times, but I'm really enjoying the constant dissonance. I can hear your influences (rest in RIP Dillinger) but elements are suitably fused to form something relatively fresh. I actually fucking love this.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 2

Nowhere near enough mustard for the genre - you should be spin kicking me in the throat, not swaying around like a cruise-ship dinner band. Appreciate the music is tough but no excuses gents - Baby Godzilla (no I'm not calling them Heck) would be disappointed.

Overall - 16

Umm, can I join this band? (Me too.) Deadly serious. (Me too.) Issues exist, but that was fucking rad. Let's kill something. Call me.


Get on that boys, turn this 2 into a 5

Ranking: 1st


Judge: Thompson

Artist: GoldReed

Musicianship / Skill - 3.5

Drums: Fast beats in time - sweet. Drop the timing in song 2. Very good in 3 & 4.

Bass: Musically standout - very solid bass work.

Guitars: Both decent though nothing particularly standout. Backing vox a tar off, but mostly lost in the mix.

Vox: Tuning occasionally sketchy but generally decent. Diction better than most & solid mic technique - lose the stand. Keys are alright but I'm not sure they add to the performance.

Professionalism - 3

Rather freshery- a little nervous on the banter, but it was pretty tight as an all around performance and I can tell you've rehearsed. You could improve by working as hard on the parts of the performance between songs as on the songs themselves - this is where the professionalism shines through. Decent time-wise.

Songwriting - 3

Song 1: Generic but well put together. Stops are cool when pulled off, but that one was sketchy as hell.

Song 2: Generic again but some nice moments.

Song 3: Nice rim work on the kit

Song 4: As above, probably the best of the set.

Creativity - 2

Down the road indie rock with some pleasant notes. Set is suitably varied though, and the show as a whole is fairly well crafted.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 4

Spontaneous clapping - lovely. Doesn't happen often. Rocking out well as a band - it's polite but it's genre appropriate. Looks like you've brought some friends so the audience is loving it, and this is nice. (keep this lot coming!)

Overall - 15.5

Decent and I enjoyed it. Needs some special sauce to make it stand out from the crowd, but there's nice ideas in there waiting for their chance to shine.

Ranking: 2nd

Judge: Thompson

Artist: Habeas Tortoise

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Drums: Nicely in Botch's pocket. Groove aplenty, great fills

Bass: Funkarific. Fuckin' tasty

Guitar: Lovely licks, prime stops-nice.

Keys: Excellent, but you're probably bored of me saying that by this point in the competition.

Vox: A little lacking, if only because the rest of the bands are so good. Weak diction means lyrics are lost, watch your wavy mic technique.

Professionalism - 3

Super tight. In-between banter is lacking though - given the genre there should be piles of crowd interaction and it's essentially absent. Cohesion as a band was often sketchy, and the front spent far too long looking at other band members for direction. Slightly shy at 13:45.

Songwriting - 2.5

Song 1: Well put together except for the identikit lyrical content.

Song 2: Stops are so tight - very nice. More awful lyrics.

Song 3: As above - nice breakdown, though it went on a little too long.

Creativity - 1

Oh god those lyrics... It's like you opened page 3 in the "How to" guide on writing disco. About as creative as the 8th season of "That 70's Show" (3 seasons after the last fresh idea). Terrible name. Set is well put together despite my enormous issue with the content.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3

A static front is obvious in front of a rocking band, and it's a nervous performance, particularly in sections where you're not singing. Doesn't look like everyone is particularly having fun either - while bass is loving it, the rest are significantly too serious for the genre. Crowd is swaying suitably though and clearly loved it.

Overall - 13.5

Wow, I utterly hated it. You've used your considerable talent to produce something technically proficient but so indescribably dull and genre it's practically offensive. 

(i thought you liked offensive performances!)

Ranking: 3rd


Judge: Thompson

Artist: Liam Carroll Sad Baths With a Toaster

Musicianship / Skill - 3.5

Drums: A bit floppy time-wise but good level of power. Very little special beats-wise. Rubbish blast beats.

Bass: Occasional buzz on the frets, but mostly very solid.

Guitar: Nice, well played, appropriately widdly and chuggarific where required.

Professionalism - 2

Not really. Generally felt like a huge fucking joke despite the considerable skill required to carry off this sort of improv. Set considerably short on the time front. Could have been so much more!

Songwriting - 0

Loose use of the the word improv. Decent in places once it really started, though structured like a Jenny Haniver - maybe it's a funny little devil beast, but probably it's just some dead shit sewn together by a weirdo with a penchant for the macabre. Felt like you ran out of ideas several times and spent 10 minutes vamping.

Creativity - 3

Certainly out there, and improv requires a lot of skill on the creativity front to carry it off, it just left me wanting so much more in terms of ideas most of the time. Just because it's improv doesn't mean you can get away without practice.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 4

Bassist far too happy about all of this. Guitarist has a look of "What am I doing and why am I here?" about him. Drummer clearly trolling. When it kicks in for real you're going for it. Look at those locks fly! Could have interacted a little more with the crowd - not generally recommended for doom, but the level to which this was a complete joke would have warranted it.

Overall - 12.5

"You have been weighed, and you have been measured, and you have been found wanting". Could have been great. Wasn't.

Ranking: 4th


Judge: Thompson

Artist: Yasmina

Musicianship / Skill - 2

Vox: Tone mostly nice - waily and husky in equal measure. Watch the mic technique - it's often wandering too far from your mouth so we lose your vocals, which is a real shame

Guitar: Very simple, mostly keeping time but very buzzy on the chords - watch that left hand.

Professionalism - 1

Lyrics on a sheet coupled with a nervous start - super props for last minute step in though. Comes across as under rehearsed which is to be expected given the short notice, but you need a fair bit of gig experience to bring it up to scratch. Set length a bit short too.

Songwriting - 1.5

Song 1: Cover

Song 2: A bit of effort put into the guitar, which is nice and not common in Bandsoc's singer-songwriters. Not a lot of development through the song though, which disappoints.

Song 3: Some nice sections, but fairly run of the mill. Didn't really end.

Creativity - 1.5

Lost points for a cover, but your own work is very much down a well trodden road. Some lovely elements and I think there's a lot of room for development, but needs some honing.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 1.5

Performance is very introverted and sung into your lap. Lots of apologising to the crowd too, which isn't working wonders for your stage presence. Crowd is fully involved and paying full attention though, mostly as a result of decent quality vocals.

Overall - 7.5

This screams of under-preparedness, which is to be expected. Oodles of potential though: play a stack of open mic nights and nail down your sound.

Ranking: 5th


Overall

1st - Culture Blood

2nd - GoldReed

3rd - Habeas Tortoise

4th - Liam Carroll Sad Baths With A Toaster

5th - Yasmina 


(final note from thompson "how many people just googled Jenny Haniver?")

Posted 9 Feb 2018, 5:40 p.m.

Judge: Fin

Artist: Culture Blood

Musicianship / Skill - 3

Guitar - Tapping occasionally going out of time. Riffs clearly played

Bass - Nice lines, pretty cleanly played

Drums - Good power, driving beats

Vox - Can't really hear the clean vox - better in second song - but out of tune. Screams are decent - petered out in first song

Professionalism - 4

Tapping sections in first song were very messy.

Some of the banter was a bit cringe worthy - if you want that irreverant style, maybe try eliminating the pauses and go on straight into songs.

On and off, no issue.

Songwriting - 4

Songs flow well, though some of the sections do not belong next to each other. Decent use of both clean and growly vocals. Songs work best at their heaviest. Nice effects work on the last song.

Creativity - 3

Bojack references nice.

Fairly standard heavy fare, but some attempts to do things a bit differently.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3.5

A lot of movement from guitar, but everyone else is a bit static - want more rocking out with this sort of thing but you're just standing by the microphones.

Overall - 17.5

Decently heavy fare, though the clean vocals let you down. Tighten up on the tougher sections too, at times you are quite messy.

Ranking: =1st


Judge: Fin

Artist: Liam Carroll Sad Baths With A Toaster

Musicianship / Skill - 3.5

Drums - don't hit the ride accidentally while on the toms

Bass - Nicely played - you "forged your own path through the songs" or some equally pretentious bollocks. Nice lines independent of the guitar.

Guitar - Meaty riffs, cleanly played

Professionalism - 5

Fine. Nice to see tuning during song done silently rather than out loud. I know you were changing mid song but I wouldn't put it past some people...

On and off without incident.

Songwriting - 3

Whilst I dig the intro it did possibly stretch past the point of amusing. Some elements felt a little messy, could do with a little tightening. Good progression through different sections.

Creativity - 2

A fairly disparate collection of riffs thrown together. I liked the self aware intro, even if it did drag. Not everything felt like it worked but a decent set nonetheless. Nothing really new though.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 4

Getting a laugh from two kick hits is impressive. Wall of sound once it kicks off properly. You lost the interest of whoever was shouting at their mate over the quieter section however. Decent rocking out.

Overall - 17.5

A fair amount of good stuff with the odd messy sections here and there. It was an enjoyable set but I don't think it keeps interest for long.

Ranking: =1st


Judge: Fin

Artist: Habeas Tortoise

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Drums - Nice grooves, knows when to hold back. Nice fills.

Vox - lacks power, a touch out of tune when you push it.

Guitar - Cleanly played.

Bass - Decent funky lines. Dan Carlotta wishes he was in this band.

Synth - Good solo, nice work through out

Professionalism - 5

On and off without issue. Band was tight throughout, but some slightly sloppy sections.

Songwriting - 3

A loose feel to the first song means it's not feeling that it's not developing until the outro. Well structured though.

Good use of stab sections, though these seem to resurface in all the songs in similar ways.

Creativity - 2

Lyrics in the first song got old pretty early on. Fairly well worn ground, nothing unique really added here. Songs sounded quite similar - same sort of phrasing and rhythms carry between them.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3

Quite static on stage - bit of movement from the guitars, but not enough dancing for this kind of music. Got people in the crowd boogying though.

Overall - 17

Certainly nothing to go to war over. Fairly inoffensive music. Kept the audience dancing. However there wasn't a lot of development through the songs. New sections came but there wasn't much build to them.

Ranking: =3rd


Judge: Fin

Artist: GoldReed

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Bass - Good work - nice to see the bass leading during the first song.

Drums - Fairly basic stuff but played well - decent work on the snare.

Guitars - from what I could make out of the solo - pretty nice stuff

Vox - Feels a little forced at the high end

Keys - Pretty by the numbers, but played well

All a little rough around the edges

Professionalism - 4

Guitar solo lost under fairly dull keys piece...this is probably partially the fault of the mix, but try not to cover the sound of the more important part of a section. At times it feels a bit messy - one song ended on a lingering note. On and off cleanly.

Songwriting - 3

Nice to see the bass being allowed to lead in certain sections. Structure fairly standard, but well executed. Double time section was a little odd. Attempts to mix things up with some dynamic shifts worked well.

Creativity - 3

Had a fairly pop-rock feel to it. Some hints at a darker tone in places, but nothing revolutionary. Some interesting vocal effects in the last song.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3

Don't stand at the keys blocking the guitarist during their solo. Could use some more movement from you all. Decent soundscapes in the louder bits.

Overall - 17

A nice set, songs were well constructed if a little basic. You need a bit more work to pull all the slightly messy sections together. Some of the keys sections felt slightly superfluous and even completely covered the the guitar solo at one point. They're going to occupy similar frequency ranges so think about what you play and where.

Ranking: =3rd


Judge: Fin

Artist: Yasmina

Musicianship / Skill - 2.5

Guitar - Cleanly played, but the occasional clipped note and a bit of fret buzz. Scraping on last song was pretty bad - you couldn't confidently play part of your own song.

Vox - Nicely haunting vocals, good dynamic range.

Professionalism - 2

Mistake in first song.

Good on you for playing with one day notice. Point the mic at your mouth, not your eyes! Dynamic mics have a narrow range for picking up sound, if you sing off centre it's hard to get enough volume - your quieter bits got lost under the guitar.

Songwriting - 2

Song 1: Cover

Song 2: Good interplay between vox and guitar, decent flow between sections, but doesn't really develop.

Song 3: Sounds like you can't quite play one of the sections in this, but you didn't have time to prepare so... Try not to have sections you can't reliably play.

Creativity - 1

Song 1: cover

Song 2: Nothing particularly new - song seemed to stay fairly static.

Song 3: Same as above - fairly standard singer songwriter stuff.

Three songs in three languages is pretty swish.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 1

Very quiet, mostly looking down at your lyrics. A bit nervous.

Overall - 8.5

Very good of you for stepping in like this. Make sure the microphone is pointed at your mouth.

Ranking: 5th


Overall 

=1st - Culture Blood

=1st - Liam Carroll Sad Baths With A Toaster

=3rd - GoldReed

=3rd - Habeas Tortoise

5th - Yasmina


Posted 9 Feb 2018, 5:43 p.m.

Final Scores

1st - Culture Blood (2 + 1 + 1.5 = 4.5)

2nd - GoldReed (1 + 2 + 3.5 = 6.5)

=3rd - Liam Carroll Sad Baths With A Toaster (4 + 4 + 1.5 = ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°))

=3rd - Habeas Tortoise - (3 + 3 + 3.5 = 9.5)

5th - Yasmina (5 + 5 + 5 = 15) 



TELL ME IF I'VE DONE GOOFED

Posted 9 Feb 2018, 5:47 p.m.

17, 17.5, 16 for the winner.

You guys are judging haaaaaaarsh.

Posted 9 Feb 2018, 6:47 p.m.

Since editor Joe appears to have omitted it, I also wrote "P.S. Who just Google'd Jenny Haniver?" Well here you go:

Posted 9 Feb 2018, 6:49 p.m.

I didn't leave it out entirely, I put it at the end of your judging section

Posted 9 Feb 2018, 6:50 p.m.

oh fairs, forgiven

Posted 9 Feb 2018, 7:39 p.m.

Not even harsh, we're just that bad

Posted 10 Feb 2018, 11:19 a.m.

Asking for some of the old timers who have a good memory, and can save me from hunting through the past judges comments.

How many bands have received a 25 for a set at BOTB (final or heat)? I know Eighth Day Descent did, but any others?