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DoD Free Month entries and voting

DoD Dwelling of Duels April Free Month

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#1 streifig

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 04:45 PM

So, 20 songs to listen to. Great month, overall quality is really high.

LISTEN TO THE SONGS
DOWNLOAD ZIP
STREAM ON YOUTUBE

Vote with the voting app. Send your votes to dodsongs@gmail.com or PM them to me.

Votes are due: April 30, 11:59 PM EST

Also, leave reviews. Artists like feedback, and you get a slight boost to your votes if you review every song.

Thanks to everybody who joined the listening party! Here's the chat log.
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marshallart.bandcamp.com
chiptune/post-rock, orange guitar, Russian-Canadian
 
soundcloud.com/lovebotsmsk
indie pop, orange guitar, Russian

#2 Monte

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 10:58 AM

Dude, great entries. I LOVE those Kong songs. MAGICAL VOICE SHOWER!! You dog you! Really good job this month you guys. I wish I could have done one!!! -_-


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#3 pingosimon

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 04:35 PM

oh my god, the Zelda track!!!  I had to listen twice!

 

And it's awesome to hear Punchout again!


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#4 Valence

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 02:49 AM

I have done some reviews. Please take whatever I say with a grain of salt as I'm still new
myself to music-ing and I have no idea what I'm talking about.
 
Baldur's Gate - Heroes and Hamsters
 
Not familiar with the source material. Starts out great, but there is a little feedback noise 
or something on the rhythm guitars (honestly hard to pinpoint) that doesn't sound too great. 
The strings are not great either, but not bad enough to really drag the mix down and it kinda 
seems random to just have them on that tiny section then ditch them, but it might have been 
weird to put them in other spots so I dunno. Playing is great and the track really has moments 
where it really picks up and starts to move. Aside from the earlier gripe, the tones are nice 
but the bass could have been brought out a tad. Really nice solo, overall a very enjoyable 
track. Well done.
 
Bastion - We Can't Go Back No More
 
Played the game, but not enough for the soundtrack to get stuck in my head. Nice vocal work by 
both of the performers, perhaps a touch too much reverb for the male part. It also seems like 
the tamborine gets off time here and there; it very much has a live feel which isn't a bad 
thing. Piano is played well but wish it was a little more prominent in the mix. Still, 
anything that could be construed as bad doesn't bring the track down too much. Good job.
 
Battletoads and Double Dragon - Crazy Toads
 
Not familiar with the source material. No need though; that intro and the rhythm hit is 
sublime. Tones sounds fantastic but at certain parts you can hear some popping here and there, 
but again, this is so metal that those don't detract from it much. Everything is mixed 
extremely well. This is HEAVY and yet none of the instruments overwhelm the others, each can 
be distinctly heard. Fantastic track. The only thing I can really gripe about is the fade out. 
Would have liked a definitive ending and at least it wasn't completely abrupt.
 
Bucky O'Hare - Bucky O'Hate
 
Not familiar with the source material. Good intro, mixed nicely. Normally don't like synth but 
it's used fine here. Tones are fantastic, very nice solo as well. Nicely done. Don't really 
know what else to say about it; very solid track.
 
Call of Duty: Ghosts - Blackwater Ops
 
Not familiar with the source material. Tones are good. Not sure the synth works as well in 
this track, but that really is subjective, so please take my distaste with a grain of salt. I 
really liked the slower part starting at around the 2 minute mark. I wish I could get an 
acoustic tone like that and here the synth is used to great effect. Nice build up afterwards, 
however the strings sound a little weak. Not sure if the sample is "cheap" per se or just 
mixed very low or a combo of both ?  Overall a very nice track. It was definitely elevated by 
that slower section and how the mood kept changing throughout.
 
Donkey Kong Country 1-3 - Kong Symphony
 
Only familiar with the first DKC soundtrack, and even then it wasn't a game I played a bunch. 
Really liking the beginning section, though when the first main section hits, it's a little 
too loud ? Too much treble ? Pitch ? Not quite sure what it is but it's a little sharp on the 
ears. Everything kinda sounds on the tinny side as well. The track is long but it really only 
feels it's length near the middlish section that seems to go on just a tad but it picks up and 
finishes rather well. Nice variation though with the guitars followed by the piano. Good track 
overall.
 
Donkey Kong Country 2 - Lockjaw Stock and Barrel
 
Not familiar with the source material. Interesting, to say the least. The build up misled me 
and the song turned into something I wasn't expecting. Not really clicking with me, however 
that doesn't mean it is not well done. It's mixed very well, really digging the bass tone, and 
the artist clearly knew what they wanted to do with it and achieved it. Really has a nice 
groove too, especially at the end. Well done.  
 
Dragon's Fury - You Belong to a Dismal Skeleton
 
Not familiar with the source material. One word: Abrasive. Not really my style but everything 
is played well. Goddamnit though this shit hurts the ears. If that was the point, then 
congrats, if not well, the mix could use some work. If it wasn't so rough it would have been 
more enjoyable.
 
Gunbird 2 - Signs of Lust
 
Not familiar with the source material. This reminds me of something but I can't put my finger 
on it. Mario Kart ? Anyways, this might not be in my favorite style as well, but it is very 
pleasant and put together well. Wait, maybe this reminds me of Pilotwings 64 ? Damnit. Really 
nice guitar section and the tones sound great as well. Very nice. Slight point deduction for 
fade out though.
 
Gunple: Gunman's Proof - DemiSeed BOSS THEME!!
 
Not familiar with the source material. Don't know the clip at the beginning either. That 
guitar tone is buried. It really needs to be brought out more. The horns are really nice but 
they could be brought out some too. Don't know what type of horn in the solo but very well 
done. Track overall has a very nice feel and is well executed. Very enjoyable despite some 
minor quibbles. 
 
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - Dungeons to Explore
 
Oh my god I know this source material and OMG THIS IS GREAT !!! Guitar tones are fantastic and 
the synth is a nicely done. If I had one gripe with the mixing in general is that the drums 
feel a little hollow, maybe if they had more punch ? The kick could be more meaty. Regardless 
this track is fantastic. Love the use of sound effects. Wonderfully done.  
 
Mega Man 2 - Flash In the Pan Man
 
Good ol Mega Man 2. Intro is a little weak but at least it picks up a bit. While the track 
doesn't sound terrible, it does sound hollow and distant. The drums lack punch and could have 
been brought out more, same thing with the bass in parts. The tones themselves aren't terrible 
but they aren't great either. Also not very well mixed in general. Could have benefitted with 
another section, it's short but it makes sense with how it's titled. Just feels like an 
obligatory Flash cover, man. Meh.
 
Minecraft - Wet Hands and Dry Breath
 
Love the source material and loving this track. Like the piano pairing with the ocarina. Very 
nice playing overall. Just wish there was more of it ! Very nice job though.
 
Mitsume ga Tooru - Kiss My Third Eye
 
Not familiar with the source material. Tones sound alright; they are a bit on the abravise 
side. Another longer song, but not really a bad thing. Some parts work better than others, 
however the transitions are...odd. In that they aren't really transitions. I feel it would 
help if the transitions were smoother and flowed into each part. The sections themselves are 
done nicely and as the song goes on the tones don't bother me as much as they did at the 
start, but yeah, damn, those transitions lol. Anyway, good song overall.
 
Muramasa Demon's Blade - Four Seasons of Muramasa
 
Not familiar with the source material. Great tones, very heavy. Drums seem a bit on the tinny 
side though. Mix otherwise is very good. The guitars are fantastic. Love the nod to Chrono 
Trigger. Overall a kickass track. Awesomely done.
 
Pop'n Music 12 - Magical Voice Shower
 
Not familiar with the source material. Everything is played well but the tones don't sound 
that great. Seem a bit hollow and quiet, however it's a very minor complaint and doesn't 
detract from the goodness. Track has a nice feel. The ending was a tad abrubt though. Well 
done regardless !
 
Power Blade 2 - Underwater Mercenaries
 
Not familiar with the source material. Tones are fantastic. Loving that acoustic followed by 
that lead tone. The rhythm tone could use some work and later in the song the synth kinda gets 
lost in the mix and seems to meander a bit. Very sudden ending but still, solid track.
 
Punch-Out!! - Green Gloves of Power
 
HEAVY METAL PUNCH OUT !!! Hell yeah ! While it may have been done before, I don't care, this 
is pretty goddamned great. I want your tones ALL OFS THEMZ !!! Excellent job !!!
 
Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Earthworm Jim 2 - Chemical Tangerines
 
I think I know the sources, everything does sound familiar. Can definitely pick out the EJ2. 
Excellent playing and that guitar tone is sick. Song has great energy. Fantastic work. 
 
Wario's Woods - Stage Clear
 
Not familiar with the source material. This is pretty fantastic. I want all those tones too. 
Everything sounds phenomal. Very well mixed and played and just a damn shame it was so short. 
Very well done though pingo, awesome job !
 
Fantastic month overall ! 

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#5 nEwT

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:54 AM

dunno if I was in the right mood this month but man, all these entries were really good. ALL of them.


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Kain, only you can mention your mother's death and your new awesome MMX NES rom hack in one post... so condolences :( and high five :o


There's a big difference between a show being good and a shoe being enjoyable.


#6 munzadeth

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:20 AM

More people should do reviews!  I don't know what I'm talking about, but here are mine B) :

 

Heroes and Hamsters - really nice rhythm guitar tone and playing. Drums and bass too buried... Especially drums. I want to feel them more. Also sounds like you're using the same tone settings for leads as rhythms... I don't know if that tone works too well for me on leads. If I were you I'd try something a little less crunchy and see if you can still get it to stand well in the mix.  But then again it sounds pretty damned cool how you have it so what do I know haha. 

 

We Can’t Go Back No More – Nice melancholy vibe.  Male vocal reminds me of Queensryche I think.  It’s an interesting blend with the kinda angelic/ethereal vibe of the female vocal.  Flute sounds a tiny bit off key here and there.  Very interesting entry though!  I enjoy.

 

Crazy Toads – I LOVE that intro guitar… but somehow the mix didn’t quite hit me hard enough when the rest of the band comes in.   Maybe a more drastic EQ shift would have made it sound cooler?  But it sounded great once my ears kinda adjusted to the new sound.  But then when the lead guitar goes away the mix feels a little empty maybe.  But then the lead comes back and I am very happy again.  You shred.  Yeah… by mid song I’m fully on board and stop giving a shit about anything other than rocking the fuck out!  This fucking rips!!!  Haha.   Ok now that the song is over and I’ve had a chance to calm down, I’m still not crazy about your rhythm tone, and it does seem to be covering up the bass a bit, but I don’t care that much… it does its job just fine and the leads and the arrangement make my ears and metal instincts very happy. I’ll even forgive you for that ‘fuck it fade out’.   B)

 

Bucky O’Hate – Excellent guitar tone.  Please teach me how to sound like this.  This style sounds very familiar, I feel like I’ve heard and enjoyed you on DoDs past.  The synths are awesome.  Freaking nice guitar solo.  This could easily be my favorite of the month B)

 

Blackwater Ops - sounds really nice! All instruments sound great to me and the song has a really nice flow and emotional feel.  I don't really have any critiques... I think you did a great job and it sounds to me like you accomplished your goal on this.  If I hadddd to make one complaint it would be that I wish you had mixed in some guitar leads with more bridge pick up sound and / or vibrato. I believe Snappleman would refer to yours as a 'whiny' lead tone, but I wouldn’t.  I think it sounds fine and it seems to be the style you’re going for, it’s just not my personal favorite type of lead tone B) .

 

Kong Symphony – Man… everything sounds really nice to me.  Except drums.  They’re so thin and repetitive!  I feel this would have been sooo much better with improved drums… especially that snare.  I’d love to hear a remix of this with better drums.  Aside from that… this is a supremely cool and creative song.   I could listen to this on repeat for hours and just enter a trance and feel like I’m on a cloud in the jungle eating melon.  The song really flows well and I really dig the different sorts of vibes it explores and seamlessly transitions in and out of.  I can tell you are a talented songwriter. B)

 

Lockjaw Stock and Barrel – I like that slappy bass!  Man this is another really nice sounding track.  Oh dude, and that super tasteful and sensuous mellow lead guitar playing.  The synths sound so 80s sci-fi too!  Killer ominous vibe.  Ugh, so awesome.   The song isn’t quite melodic enough to be quite perfectly up my alley… like I keep wishing the main melody would be reprised a bit more often and made more of like a backbone to the song, but fuck it… I think you just weren’t going for that.  Whatever you were going for, I think you knocked it out of the park.

 

You Belong to a Dismal Skeleton – Haha. Awesome.  You really went for the jugular on this one.  Not my favorite style in the world, but I think it certainly has its place in the world.  I actually really dig some of the weird guitar effects that start happening from the middle of the song on… if those are guitar effects?  Maybe they’re synths.  Either way they’re played pretty well and they sound cool.  It has kind of a fun spooky old school death metal vibe to it.  Frankly the song is not in my top 10 for the month, but I did enjoy it B)

 

Signs of Lust – Man this one sounds freaking great.  Totally nailed that sort of 80s / tv show theme song / j-pop vibe.  Awesome guitar playing.  Haha… and the fadeout actually works perfectly here.  Whoever you are, you seem like a real pro who needs no advice from me whatsoever B)

 

DemiSeed BOSS THEME!! – Another song that I feel nails its intended purpose.  It feels intentionally lo-fi, which totally adds to its punk/ska/fuck you let’s dance vibe.  Also adding to that vibe: SINGLE NOTE GUITAR SOLO.  Hahaha.  But yea instruments are all very well played.  Those fucking horns rule!  The drum fills are straight bonkers, but they fit the vibe perfectly.  I think the song could rock quite a bit harder with higher-fi production, but it might come at the expense of some of the rawness.  I’d be interested to hear how it sounds though.

 

Dungeons to Explore – Oooh I really like the use of the 8-bit/chiptune instrument (don’t know what it’s called).  Some intonation issues on the guitar here and there.  But man, killer eerie vibe once the song gets going though.  Fucking love that gritty bass tone too.  Something about the hihat and kick drums are bit too…. thwappy?  Had to make up a word, but hopefully that makes sense.  Super enjoyable song though!

 

Flash in the Pan Man – Flash Man rocks!  I like the effort.  Drum programming could certainly use some work.  I hope this isn’t annoying, but I’d like to offer a little guitar playing tip for you… I’d suggest working on some of your fingering.  Your notes all sound right… but a pet peeve of mine is when notes don’t really flow together.  Like there’s a quick gap between the notes that makes it sound like you’re only playing with one finger or having to switch hand positions unnecessarily.  If you can work out a more efficient fingering for the notes you’re playing, I think you’ll find that the notes will start to flow together better and you’ll be able to play the notes with a bit more authority and start adding cool nuances like vibrato or different ways of using your pick to have more control over your sound.

 

Wet Hands and Dry Breath – Fucking sexy ass piano playing/sound.  The recorder too!  Very straightforward arrangement, but man you killed it.  Sounds perfect to me.  Sounds like you did an excellent job capturing the mood of the source material.

 

Kiss My Third Eye! – Pretty cool minibosses vibe you got going here, but the drums really need to humanized, or at least paid a bit more attention to I feel.  I’m guessing you ran out of time for that, but you DID do a damn 9 minute song now didn’t you?  Haha.  Overall this is pretty darn well done though and the playing is good.  There are some nice synth instruments sprinkled in at appropriate times to keep things interesting.  I’d say the transitions could use some work, but I think it’s pretty obvious you were not at all interested in transitions so…. More power to you.  Haha.  Anyway despite these issues, this does kick significant portions of ass, so good job!  Is this maybe a first draft of an EP you’re working on? I hope so B)

 

Four Seasons of Muramasa – Very rich and ballsy rhythm tone.  Sounds really nice especially for the palm muted parts, which is kinda the most important thing for metal rhythm guitar in a lot of cases I think.  The lead tone sounds nice too, but I wish you would’ve put a bit more feeling / vibrato into the playing.  Maybe that’s not what you were going for though.  I think more of a bridge pick up sound could have worked well for the lead here too, but what you did works great and I’m not complaining.  Nice song!

 

Magical Voice Shower – I dig the source material.  The lead tone sounds too midrangey, but I think it might be on the right track.  The song seems to want to have a sort of trix/t-square/j-fusion rock vibe, but I don’t know if it really accomplishes it.  The rhythm guitar chord progressions are really cool, but don’t sit that well in the mix.  Same with the slidey neck pick up rhythm parts.   Bass is too fake sounding too, but the drums sound really nice.  If this song was remixed to be more lively and punchy, this could really rock.

 

Underwater Mercenaries – Super nice sounding acoustic intro!  I don’t really like the snare when it comes in though and the drum programming feels a little too fake.  The synths are soooo quiet too.  They sound cool, why are they so quiet?  The playing and the arrangement are really good though.  This is another one that could do really well with a remix.  Oh and that ending is pretty abrupt.  Run out of time on this one? Haha. B)

 

Green Gloves of Power – Killer guitar tones!  Lead especially.  Nice vibrato too.  Who cares if this song has been covered a lot already!  You did a good job with it.  Drums could sound a littttle less fake with some humanizing / better software, but whatevs.  Nicely done.

 

Chemical Tangerines – This is a very interesting one.  Interestingly arranged.  Very nice lead guitar tone, although I think the accompaniment guitar harmonies interfere with it a little…  maybe try less gain on those or different EQ?  Also at first I had negative points for you for some of those missing instruments/melodies of Chemical Plant Zone, but upon 2nd and 3rd listens, I’ve decided that you seem to have done it for stylistic reasons, and I can get behind that.  I think it sounds cool, and I REALLY like that transition into the Earthworm Jim song.  Another abrupt ending though… ran out of time? B)

 

ALT – Wario’s Woods – Stage Clear (Instrumental) – Andre you sonnnnnnnnnn of a bitch.  This is fucking awesome.  I wish I was your girlfriend.  That is all.


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#7 streifig

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 09:46 AM

Nice reviews, munzabro! Btw, anyone check out killer reviews by Snappleman on the DoD forum!
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marshallart.bandcamp.com
chiptune/post-rock, orange guitar, Russian-Canadian
 
soundcloud.com/lovebotsmsk
indie pop, orange guitar, Russian

#8 ErichWK

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:40 PM

Baldur's Gate: Good tones! I like some of the lingering tones from the guitars after the palm muting. Wish the snare was louder. Good ass crunch on that distortion.

 

Bastion: I am PRETTY SURE I KNOW WHO THIS IS. Either way, it's still pretty well done. I did find myself getting a little bored near the end...But that might be personal taste over arrangement itself. 

 

Battletoads & DoubleDragon: Great production and great tones. As a drummer though.. I wish that hi-hat was double time during the faster punk drumming. :|  I REALLY like the bass tone. Super muddy and heavy in a good way. Just pure doom-y sludge with enough hi tones to hear it coming through. Everyone who hates fade-outs can lick my butt. The cheesier the better.

 

Bucky O'Hare: God this is so good. As soon as the song starts I think of Motorhead style rock n Roll. Just motorcycle riding leather jacket wearing handle bar mustache having rock and roll. Also the perfect length. Never gets dull and keeps up the energy.

 

Call of Duty: Good tones, good mix. I feel the source material is pretty boring which can hold back this song over all. But as soon as I was bored and over the song, the slower part kicks in...and my interests are piqued way more. I dig the subtle synths in the background and am impressed with the quality of the acoustic guitar's sound. 

 

DK1-3: There are a lot of things about this I like. I like the song choices, I like the variety, I really like how this sounds like it could be from an Official Donkey Kong Country game. It really sounds like it is taking me through a Journey into some monkey jungle. The music sounds misty and thick like a jungle would feel. your tones on your synths are chilling and your guitars are cutting. This is great. One of my favorites of the month.  And it's songs like this that will prevent me from ever winning a DoD. :P

 

Donkey Kong 2: As someone so fucking obsessed with John Carpenter and 80s and synths and pink and electricity and dancing and fuck me, electric pianos. This song had me sit up and take notice. I love this song so much and it's songs like this that makes DoD special. You managed to take the tone of the original song, and yet still manage to make it your own, which I feel is very tough to do. A lot of people metal up their DoDs, and though..they sound great..don't retain the original feel or tone of the source. But this, even though it's essentially Neon Incarnate, it feels like it belongs in the game, hell..maybe even more than the original. Awesome. 10/10. would bang again.

 

Dragon;'s Fury: I like Death and Black Metal. So I can appreciate this..but I guess i wasn't really in the mood to listen to it. Good sound though. I don't mind it.

 

Gunbird 2: not too familiar with the source so I looked for the original. The cover reminds me of something from Cotton. But I really liked the songs I could find (couldn't find too many). I think your cover really hits the tones perfectly. That 80s powerpoppy rocking sound. Good production. Great solo. I want to hear more of this OST. Upload it! Fade Outs? Fuck Yes

 

Gunple: I personally love lo-fi tones. Maybe not the best mixing and a tad bit quiet but I think that shitty sounding songs could have a place with songs with higher productions! As long as the souls and passions are there and you can feel the energy, songs like this have a spot.

 

Zelda: this is really cool. I like the more muddy sound of the over all mix. Gives it a more natural honest tone..kind of like all the hard core punk bands I used to listen to and go see their shows around 2005. It's dangerous to go with songs that have been covered to death, but this is really really well done and refreshing. 

 

Mega Man 2: Some of the rhythms felt weird to me and I feel the drums slowed down the song a lot. I've always been more in favor of the galloping hi hat of the source, and the straight hi hat beat kind makes this drag. The playing from the guitars are good, and the distortion is well done, but i just couldn't get into this as much as I would have liked.

 

Minecraft. Very pretty song. I felt the ocarina was a liiiiittle grating in my headphones. That might have been me, though. But the execution was really well done and the feel and tone of the song were all there.

 

Mitsumi ga Tooru: I REALLY LIKED THIS SONG. This is also one of the very rare occasions where double kick isn't a detriment to the overall song. I love how you kept blue balling us with the ending of the song, and as soon as you thought it was over, that ridiculous jingle came in and the next song came through. I dug the bass tone, it was sludge as fuck and the lo-fi nature made this feel real. This was rad. I am not familiar with the source but now I have to check it out. 

 

Muramasa: Man. What a Stemagey guitar tone!! Great playing, great tones. Drums left a bit to be desired and sounded a little too programmed in but I don't think it detracted too much from the really well played guitar. Arrangement got a little dull for me after a bit but I still respect this song a lot. Good job. I wish I could blast that clean. :(

 

PopnMusic: Okay. I feel some people in the chat weren't into this song as much as I was. But I LOVE the source song. A lot. It's a fucking work of out. Here let me link you doofuses. 

 

I think you did a really good job recognizing the different voices. I wouldn't have been able to do that. Also your guitar slide harmonies for the B section are SO good!! I probably listened to this cover more than the other ones. I knew who did this the second I heard it. I admit the tones and mixing wasn't great..and I feel if the production was higher than everyone would have creamed their shit over it. I still find this cover most honorable and am stoked you did this. Great job figuring this song out and arranging it. One of my favorites. Also god damn those chimes rule. I really hope KDB gets to cover this one day

 

Power Blade 2: Power Blade rules! This cover has some good tones out of the guitars, i do think a little better mixing would make people draw more to this then they did in the chat. I wish the keyboards was more upfront, though and the bass was a little less hollow and had more power to it. the harmonizing near the end ruled.

 

Punch Out: Man!! Punch out! This was a surprise to hear. This song has essentially become a VGM standard in our scene so it's always dangerous to do something like this. But this really ruled. Good bass tones, good guitar tones. I think it would be a little more driving if the drums' hi hats were double time.. I would do that if I were drumming.. but then that might take away from the butt-rock nature of this song. I do feel like lifting weights right now..fuck maybe I should also that squeel at 1:38. YES! PUNCH OUT RULES.

 

Sonic 2: I dunno if I was really into this song. Something felt kind of off while I was listening. The guitar tones were pretty good..the bass I felt could have used a tiny bit more low end. I think it might have been the keyboards that weren't doing it for me. It might be that I heard a dozen covers of this, or it might be that I've had to drum to this song 100 times and it's driven me past a point of enjoying it. Who knows. As soon as the 2nd song kicks in I did enjoy it a lot more. I dunno, the more I listen to it the more it's growing on me....

 

Wario's Woods: God dammit. Why isn't this a main. This is probably my favorite song on the entire group. Everything about this rules so fucking hard. And knowing you played every instrument makes me love this even more. This makes my bub bubs bounce super fucking hard. Also all the instruments sound SO GOOD tonally. Great mix, great execution. Most honorable.


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