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Posted 2 Feb 2018, 8:07 p.m.

Judge: Tort Law

Artist: Hortwav

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Drums: Struggling to keep up a little at higher tempos

Vox: Great ability to sing in contrast to riffs

Occasional flubs but mostly very well executed from all

Professionalism - 4

Spot on time, convincing performance.

(for additional comments please purchase the Extended Criticism Pack for just $5.99!)

Songwriting - 3.5

Well constructed, lots of variation and detail. I never feel you're repeating yourselves. It's great but not *great*.

Creativity - 3

QOTSA + Bowie???

I actually like this a lot, clearly a lot of thought has gone into the minutae. Plenty of space for new ideas though.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3.5

Works for me, engaging performance.

Bassist a little static (in contrast to the hyperactive stage right guitar!)

Overall - 18

Good as always, but I don't feel like much has changed on last year

Ranking: 1st

Judge: Corporate Law

Artist: Aaaaaaaarrya

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Really confidently executed. Navigated all the looping and percussive stuff really well. Words a little lost in the rapid delivery.

Professionalism - 4


(you scored 4; you get four letters)

Songwriting - 3

Are the lyrics to song 2 intro "Aaaaryaaa"?.

Melting pot of singer-songwriter clichés put together reasonably well. Didn't draw me in, but the last song had strong moments of interest.

Creativity - 1

Hyper uninspired.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 2.5

You look like you're concentrating really hard. Confident yet clichéd crowd interaction.

Overall - 14.5

Ed Sheeraaryan

Ranking: 14.5

Judge: Human Rights Law (Zoe's Dad's Specialty)

Artist: River Poople

Musicianship / Skill - 3

Tone is universally dreadful.

Drums: Watch the tempo in the fills. Also - crazy stamina!

Good vox.

Telecaster mostly inaudible

Professionalism - 2.5

Mix all over the place.

Genre all over the place.

Drummer's right hand all over the place.

At least you were on time.

Songwriting - 2.5

That prechorus in song #1 is definitely pinched from somewhere...

Cacophonous arrangements - too many instruments doing too much


Creativity - 2

Some totally bewildering moments - only in Bandsoc

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3

Charming and confusing in equal measure

Overall - 13

Haphazard and overdone but very very promising for a newish band!

Ranking: 3rd

Judge: Family Law

Artist: HR

Musicianship / Skill - 2.5

Pretty together as a band. Wonky when stabs are attempted.

It's really hard to judge skill in a genre that demands lack of skill.

Professionalism - 2


(Little under time)

Songwriting - 2.5

"Jazz section" is out of key: "extended tonality" -check

March-style drum beat too reminiscient of the patriarchy - 0/10

1st song is a bit dull, rest a lot better.

Nice ditty at the end.

Creativity - 1

I think punk lost both its musical and socio-political edge about 30 years ago - there's not much here.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3

Rowdy? I guess. Too polite!

Overall - 11

I don't really know how to judge this, don't listen to me. I think you need to shout louder though.

Ranking: 4th

Judge: Criminal Law (MC Tim's rapper title)

Artist: Frizz Laurent

Musicianship / Skill - 3

Drums: Tight but rigid, use your fingers not your wrists. Listen to some swing players.

Guitar: Your chordwork is tied to root movement - you have a pianist playing roots, so try some more interesting voicings and put some thought into voice leading.

Synth: This band needs a bassist far more than it needs a synth

Vox: Singing is quite flat in tone, doesn't really fit the music

Professionalism - 2.5

No complaints for what you did, but if I'd hired you out I would regret it from a musical POV.

Songwriting - 1.5

There are a lot of block voicings being thrown around which gives it an amateurish sound. Three harmony instruments is too many for the style of writing. You could massively improve this by swapping a synth for a bass and studying part-writing. More than any of that, the songs are chill but just DULL. Muzak through and through. Structure, dynamics and melody are all totally lacking.

Creativity - 1


Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 1

Chill vibez, but not engaging.

Overall - 9

If your band had a collective hair colour, it would be bland.

Ranking: 5th


1st - Shortwave

2nd - Aarya

3rd - River Purple

4th - Human Resources 

5th - Frizz Laurent

Posted 2 Feb 2018, 8:11 p.m.

Judge: Finn Sponge

Artist: Longwave

Musicianship / Skill - 3.5

Drums - Decent amount of power, nothing revolutionary. Some nice fills.

Bass - Good work - complements guitars without losing identity.

Vox - Feels like you're holding back a little bit in the really loud sections.

Guitar C - Mostly clear, just a few clipped notes now and then

Guitar SR - Nicely played. good solos, knows when to take a backseat.

Professionalism - 5

On and off without much issue - a bit too much faffing before the set given that you soundchecked last. 

Solid performance all around.

Songwriting - 4

Nice development of that initial riff. You keep on adding just enough to keep it interesting.

Nice use of stabs. Songs are coherent and everything moves along nicely.

Creativity - 3.5

Nice songs with a bit of personality in them. Tone is a bit more sinister than things in the same wheelhouse. Songs do follow a fairly predictable pattern though; only one or two changes that I didn't see coming.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 4

Nice to see people moving around the stage a bit. Ah, I see why the barrier was left slightly open today...

Big ending yay - first one of this year?

Overall - 20

A great start to the night. You can put some nice sounding songs together, maybe play around with a bit more unusual structures.

Ranking: 1st

Judge: Findleton Wangleberry

Artist: Human Resources

Musicianship / Skill - 3

Drums - very tight for the most part, could use a bit more power to really get more trash(?) from the cymbals

Guitar - Clear for the most part, very simple but nicely played

Bass - Follows the guitar often, but well played. Nice slides

Main Vox - Alright for the most part - proper great in shouty part of penultimate song

Professionalism - 5

Intros in a set this short are pointless but you kept them super short and moved straight into the next song so no problems there. Yay for thanking Bandsoc!

Songwriting - 3

Songs all fit well, pretty simple but that fits what yuo're going for. Nice sparing use of louder sections.

Creativity - 3.5

Risky start, a synchronised bit like that needs to be tight and punchy as hell, but it worked pretty well. Initially felt you could do with a bit more anger, but I quite dig the cheerful atmosphere, I think with a bit more noise in the background it could be a pretty interesting sound.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 4

Happy Punks :D. Not a great deal of movement, but with two of you needing mikes often it's hard to be too ambulatory. Nice and loud though.

Overall - 18.5

It's easy to do half-arsed "punk", but this certainly wasn't that. Songs were all enjoyable, with some stand out moments. I kinda wish it was a bit trashier: open those high hats and be more violet with the strings

Ranking: 2nd


Artist: Aarya Stark (Low hanging fruit there my dudes)

Musicianship / Skill - 3

Guitar - Mostly chordy sections - not much variety in strumming. Cleanly played though.

Vox - decent - "nice diction" as Adam would say. Just a bit muddled in those fast sections. Quite nice when you really let loose.

Professionalism - 5

Love that you asked the audience whether they wanted to sing. Thanks bandsoc again, everyone is lovely this week

Songwriting - 2.5

Songs are fairly conventional, but decent use of dynamics.

Guitar feels a bit like a (noun missing; presumed absent). 2nd song intro had some really interesting interplay between vocals and guitar

Creativity - 2

There's some thought put into the guitar but it often falls back on straight chords too much. Fast song is much better and...falls back into chords again - just a bit of a shame.

Decent use of loops, nothing unexpected...

Scratch that - very nice cacophony.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3

Managed to get everyone clapping fairly easily which is not an easy feat, but nothing special other than that.

Overall - 15.5

You're a decent performer, but like most soloists you're neglecting your instrument. Your second song was better in the intro, but again back into the chords. Nice that you don't have to rely on the loop pedal - you can stand your ground without it.

Ranking: 3rd

Judge: Finn Bewitched

Artist: River Purple

Musicianship / Skill - 3

Drums- Turn your snare on. Fills are pretty basic. Good if a bit dull.

Bass - Nice tone for intro, not so much for 3rd song.

Guitars - Nice solo in the first song, shred section was quite sloppy.

Keys - well played but often lost in the mix and with a sloppy solo.

Vox - Solid, nice dynamics

Professionalism - 3

Don't tune on stage before the set. You don't want your set to start off with loads of widdling. SNARES!!

Levels are fucked - I can't make anything out.

Songwriting - 3

Songs hold together well for the most part.

Second song started to drag in chilled section, and the keys solo was v. messy.

There are some bits where there's too much going on and some bits where there is just too little.

Creativity - 3

3rd (?) song is super eclectic. Intro started with some nice dark vibes, smash cut to "shredding" thnen vocals pop in with upbeat feel. It's just a bit much.

It might just be the levels but it sounded like a mess.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 2

You all look quite bored, everyone watching their feet even though it's not complicated enough to have to shoegaze. Your songs have a poppy feel, but you don't look the part.

Overall - 15

Ranking: 4th

Judge: Finklesaurus Rex (You really need to fire your punsmith)

Artist: Frizz Laurent

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Drums - decent thwack, getting a good sound from the snare. Beats are...pedestrian.

Synth - is this blade runner? Nice interplay with the keys.

Keys - Well played and it's nice to be able to hear keys cleanly for once

Guitar - Cleanly played

Vox - Mostly excellent, occasionally thin

Professionalism - 4

Crowd interaction was lacklustre, but other than that bang on time with no issues.

Songwriting - 2

Some transitions were off-putting, but on the whole the structure was nice. Some of hte more ponderous bits really started to drag though. Final song breakdwon changed the song and re-engaged me, but then you slipped back into what you were doing before.

Creativity - 2

OK I'm getting a kind of elevator/home instance of a JRPG vibe from this second song.(anime was a mistake) You pick one setting for a song and it doesn't really develop from there. No dynamic shifts, build, fade, tension etc. and the songs suffer from it.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 1

Banter felt shy and reserved

Very little movement on stage

Overall - 13

You're all clearly super talented but the songs are just dull. The sections mostly work well together but they don't go anywhere. There's no development, no ebb and flow, just a straight line from start to finish.

Ranking 5th


1st - Shortwave

2nd - Human Resources

3rd - Aarya

4th - River Purple

5th - Frizz Laurent

Posted 2 Feb 2018, 8:15 p.m.

Judge: Uninspired Gunman Pun

Artist: Sansa

Musicianship / Skill - 4.5

Guitar: Not an afterthought - can't tell you how happy that makes me. Solid command of the loop pedal. Tiny criticism - occasionally hitting guitar too hard, clipping in the mix.

Vox: OH MY GOD I CAN ACTUALLY HEAR YOUR WORDS. Fucking excellent - extremely impressed. Tone lovely, in tune, great rap work.

Professionalism - 5

That is how to start a solo set. Excellent opener. Stinks of a thousand open mic nights, some real experience here. Absolutely on point throughout the set, utterly fantastic.

Songwriting - 4.5

Song 1: Fantastic - professional level

Song 2: Your story pulls through beautifully - honestly touching

Song 3: More excellent. Ever so slight vocal issues in the low bits, but the loop is incredible.

Creativity - 3.5

It's still "one dude with a guitar and a loop pedal" but you've really brought something different, which is very refreshing. It isn't just an Ed Sheeran rip either. Properly raw.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 5

Great crowd interaction and audience is captivated. When you go quiet you can cut the tension with a knife, and there's uproar when you end your songs.

Overall - 22.5

Best. Fucking. Soloist. For. Years. To those on RAW last week - soloists do badly in BOTB because they pay no attention to their guitars. Aarya is not that. (Didn't think I was listening in did you gang? [emoji expunged])

Ranking: 1st

Following this performance the Zephyr Lounge staff promptly mopped up the wet patch on and around Adam's chair.

Judge: Gunman of the Ad-pocalypse

Artist: Shortwave

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Drums: Occasional sloppy fills, but mostly extremely solid

Bass: Highly competent, but nothing outstanding

Guitar: Lovely lead work- commanding without overpowering. Filling predecessors shoes well. -is that an insult?

Guitar/Vox: Some sloppery in solos, but otherwise very nice. Vox very occasionally overpowered, but generally silky smooth.

Professionalism - 4

Could have set up before you were actually starting... Drums are still there. You've lost the level of crazy - tight you were at last years, but still a cut above most. Bang on at 15:15 - I can tell you're in your 4th year, you've come a long way.

Songwriting - 3.5

Song 1: Slow start (not a bad thing). Felt a bit thin at times, and I felt it went on a bit, but sections were nice on their own. Iffy end.

Song 2: Great intro LAY LOW (...) - I'm banging my head into the verse. Cool, better than song 1. Great solo work.

Song 3: Very sketchy intro. Decent after this. Breakdown welcome, if a little clunky.

Creativity - 3.5

I sense you've made efforts to inject some fresh ideas in this category since previous years, while remaining in the same style. Works very well in places, while getting a little unstuck in others. Props for pulling out a whole new set since last year, but the crowd missed Juliet (and so did I!).

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3.5

Guitar singing along w/ main vox for fun - nice - great chops from you in general. Front giving a solid performance, bass a tad more restrained. Drums hidden away at the back. Difference in presence between guitars & bass if actually very start at times. Lost opportunity to call a pit in song 3 (wrong Ian) - Lost in the crowd though [emoji expunged]

Overall - 18.5

My comments may have sounded harsh considering, but the criticism comes from my knowledge of your considerable BOTB experience. Newer ideas have made it fresh, but it's not you the best I've seen you as a performance.

Ranking: 2nd

Judge: Adam "Not qualified to judge" Thompson

Artist: River Purple

Musicianship / Skill - 2.5

Drums: Snares off - oops. Timing fine, bit spft. Better later in set.

Keys/Vox: Very standard keys, vox okay, mostly appropriate back work.

Bass: Fuzzy, but feedbacky. Playing fine, way too loud.

Guitars: Both totally lost in the mix! Were you even plugged in?

Vox: Standout. Nice tone, great control of dynamics and pitch.

Professionalism - 2

Very long setup - tune in advance, set up, get off. Tuning out loud is a travesty. Bass and keys too loud in the mix and guitars are lost - I smell a dodgy soundcheck. Feels like a young band, but loads of potential for future years. Nailed the time at 15:05.

Songwriting - 2

Song 1: Bass intro is bold! Song is very ordinary but with decent hook.

Song 2: ...same actually. Inoffensive. Bit of an "out there" middle 8 - unusual choice.

Song 3: Whaaaaaaat? Such a change of pace! Heavy! Odd move.

Song 4: Another genre switch! Woo woo it's the 80's!. Good hook - it's buried but the talent is there.

Creativity - 1

Riff work is incredibly dull, general rock musick vibez. Move into song 3 took us totally by surprise - I like the idea to vary your songs, but a complete genre switch was a very interesting decision in set crafting, and not a particularly good one.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 4

Tim says it's like school of rock. It's not unlike school of rock.

Nice props though - you're all involved and the crowd is endeared. Wacky set and lots of props from the front, very enjoyable if a bit weird. Crowd singing afterwards, which is really good!

Overall - 11.5

This is a proto-band. Shed loads of potential, but in serious need of honing - I actually really enjoyed it, despite my criticism. Nail down an actaully sound, ditch the genre flopping, get some more gig experience and knock us over next year.

P.S. Change the name, it's rubbish!

Ranking: 3rd

Judge: Gundam of the Mechpocalypse

Artist: HR

Musicianship / Skill - 2.5

"I can't sing and I can't play" - fairly tight despite this. Judging as a whole band instead of individuals because you're all equally pants - exactly as you should be as punks. Jokes aside - playing actually fairly decent in genre. Message is often lost in weak diction.

Professionalism - 2

Professional? No. Should it be? No! I'd have scored you higher if you were a bit less polite though, and the song content really isn't in line with what I'd think of as punk - that's besides the point though isn't it? It's punk so my opinion is irrelevant.

Songwriting - 1.5

Song 1: Musically ultra dull. Maybe it's meant to be - a bit happy in tone considering the content

Song 2: Amusing in parts - pity I can't understand your lyrics - work on that diction!

Song 3: Toast for breakfast, very nice.

Song 4: As previous.

Creativity - 1.5

Creative? It isn't. Run of the mill, down the middle of the road punk. Should it be creative? No! Not at all. Keep doing exactly this and never change. This isn't about BOTB, me, the other judges or the crowd. Fuck creativity.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 3.5

Far too polite. Holding the crowd, but it's not enough for me - punk is about rage, and whilte I feel your anger sometimes, you're too bloody happy about the whole affair.

Overall - 11

The irony is not lost on me - 3 white men judging. Solidarity comrades - my score is irrelevant. I don't expect you're going through but I loved it. Enjoyed comments about us loving jazz - I hate jazz, but I love punk. Thompson shirking his brass roots?

Ranking: 4th

Judge: Zoe's Dad (Phil) ((Adam)) (((Please stop)))

Artist: Frizz Laurent

Musicianship / Skill - 4

Drums: Fine, if dull

Keys: Fairly bog standard, but no gripes.

Synth: Tasty. Bit low in the mix so I lost you at times.

Guitar/Vox: Lovely gee-tar. Vox a little off at times, but mostly smooth.

Professionalism - 3.5

Farting about a bit beforehand. Performance is at a high level, and the level of professionalism is higher than most. That said, there's nowt special in the performance and it doesn't scream stadium filling. Bang on with the timing though.

Songwriting - 2

Intro: inoffensive.

Drip drip: shit lyrics, but better than the basically-no-lyrics of a lot of bands. Nice but doesn't go anywhere.

Song 2: As drip drip really. Got a bit grungy in the vocal drawl.

Getting on: A it more up-beat, less likely to send me to sleep. Ooo- rap! First time my ears have perked up all set, pity you buffed the last line and then it disappeared again.

Creativity - 1

Mmm. Muzak. I'm not inspired, but it's not bad. It's just really very dull. It was nice enough but just screams elevator music to me. It's decent on paper in a technical sense, but I can't deny my boredom.

Stage Presence / Entertainment Value - 0

Crowd aren't held - the music is inoffensive and so is the performance, so the interest of the room drops off very quickly. Banter is deeply, deeply inoffensive, bordering on monotone.

Overall - 10.5

Sorry pals - if I wasn't judging I'd have stepped outside for some stimulation conversation about the more interesting bands. It was sound but I just didn't like it. Sorry.

Ranking: 5th

(if you're bored of inoffensive bands then I'll happily tell next week's bands to shout *fuck you* before they start!)


1st - Aarya

2nd - Shortwave

3rd - River Purple 

4th - Human Resources

5th - Frizz Laurent

Posted 2 Feb 2018, 8:18 p.m.

Final Scores

1st - Shortwave (1+1+2 = 4)

2nd - Aarya (2+3+1 = 6)

= 3rd - River Purple (3+4+3 = 10)

= 3rd - Human Resources (4+2+4 = 10)

5th - Frizz Laurent (5+5+5 = 15)

As usual if you see any heinous mistakes, please mention them. If you have any other criticism of my posts please keep it to yourself.

Posted 2 Feb 2018, 8:56 p.m.

Judge Comment Uploader Judge:

Timeliness: 5 

Very swiftly uploaded - less than 24 hours has to be some sort of bandsoc record. 

Trollyness: 2

Some subtle trolls but nothing that wowed me

Forum Efficiency: 0

Using two posts for one set of comments is completely unnecessary and further illustrates your dictatorial nature as bandsoc webmaster  

Posted 2 Feb 2018, 9:05 p.m.

Human Resources robbed by judges' decision!

Posted 2 Feb 2018, 9:05 p.m.

Quite gutted Human Resources haven't got further, really enjoyed their set and Toast for Breakfast is my favourite song so far this year - out of interest how did the judges pick between 3rd place tie? The band with the majority higher ranking?

Aarya was awesome, I even clapped along and I dislike the whole clapping gimmick.

Posted 2 Feb 2018, 9:12 p.m.

"...dislike the whole clapping gimmick"

Old woman yells at crowd

Posted 2 Feb 2018, 9:21 p.m.

It's just so awkward - everyone's usually out of time and no one knows when to stop so one person is left clapping on their own!

I did clap for Sabbath though cos Sabbath.

Posted 2 Feb 2018, 9:24 p.m.

Honestly I'm surprised at how nice the comments are about Human Resources. Was expecting a worse reaction from the judges :P