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Old 10.26.2017, 12:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by evollove

Female singer, mostly, although I sing a verse or two. Lo-fi indie whatever.

I realize my desperation has an unpleasant odor, but I can't pretend to be cool and casual about it. I've been making music since I was 13, but due to very high standards and a very low self-esteem, I haven't released anything. Don't want to bother anyone.

But I genuinely feel I'm not wasting anyone's time. There are a few details I don't like, which were mostly out of my control, but I'm satisfied with most of it. And it's only 17.5 minutes, so I don't feel like I'm asking people to rearrange their day.

This is conceivably the only thing I'll ever release, so I'm eager to have as many people listen to it as possible.

This is a unique situation, and hand on my heart, I'll never spam again.

Hey man, you and your band-mate here have an obvious knack for making keen, immediate, punchy indie rock and you should totally feel good about that and promote the hell out of it — especially if this is the realization of a life-long dream or goal that you thought you might never meet.

First thing I noticed (and I'm hoping and actually assuming that this will be taken as a compliment) is that the girl has a vocal timber that is instantly reminiscent of Kim Deal. There's a nice breathy quality to her voice that just kind of makes the brain say, "More please." But it's not so Kim Dealy that it sounds like a ripoff or even an homage. So that's good. Also wisps of Cat Power and another female vocalist I can't quite identify.

You (you're the guy I'm assuming?) on the other hand sound as much like Nick Cave on some of these songs as she sounds like Kim Deal. So that's pretty cool, and makes for a nice combination of tones in terms of the singing.

The songs are pretty classic basement-indie — pretty standard in terms of structure — but there's an interesting hint of the angular sound of post-punk in the guitar dynamics. A little bit Slint, a little bit Sleater-Kinney... and so on.
I've been in bands and been around musicians enough to know that for some people being compared to another artist is like being pissed on, so I hope that's not your mindset because I have an analytical approach to this stuff, and I process new music from the "top down" (I note the familiar first) which makes comparison and contextualization an absolute necessity for me. That's why you'll hear me say shit like, "(X) is the (Y) of (Z)" — Kanye's the Beatles of hip-hop, or Unwound is the "alternate 1985" Nirvana, etc. It's not meant to dismiss; just to place in context.

What's really important here, I think, is that you have an approach that is interesting. I like the way the notes plop down around each other just in time. It's clean but also sounds off-the-cuff, and that's a cool balance to strike. I also like the fact that the songs are structured on minor chords and slightly atonal sounds, but are still infectious and catchy. There's obviously charisma and talent here.

I dig the first track, and i dig the last track. The last track is nicely weird, and makes me think of Xiu Xiu a bit.

Now, I do have to say that the chord progression in the chorus of "Come Clean" is just way too major-chord-punky for me. It's a little weird because the rest of what I'm hearing is decidedly more weird and structurally interesting... then this chorus comes on and it sounds so totally normal that I almost forget that I was just quietly marveling at the restrained fuzziness of the guitar few seconds prior.
It's not really a bad thing, it's just not an aural turn-on for me, personally. Three-chord stuff makes my brain turn off pretty quickly unless there's something super weird about it.

Another "note" I have is that you guys need a different name. Kelly/Matthew makes me think of "Matt and Kim," which makes me think of the most generic indie girl and guy tripe this side of whatever that godawful band Zooey Deschanel had with her boyfriend or gay best friend or whatever (She and Him? I think it was actually fucking She and Him. Ugh!), know what I'm saying?
I know you said this might be the only thing you do, but if that's the case, for Christ's sake choose a better name. Go into Bandcamp right now and rename your band the first thing that comes to mind.

Like... Uh... Basement Aches. Ok? That's the name of the EP or whatever, right? Not a tremendous band name, but it's pretty much 200 million times better than Kelly/Matthew.

I'm not trying to be a dick about that or anything. I'm trying to be helpful because you seem super into this, and I promise that even if everything else I'm saying is complete hogwash and horseshit, the band name thing is *objectively* good advice that you should absolutely take.

Honestly though, I think you should keep this up. I like what I'm hearing enough to be interested and take note and check out future releases. Keep playing together and fusing as musicians. Do weird shit. There's an undeniably deft hand at work here, and you guys clearly intuitively understand something about composition that some people (like myself) fail to grasp even after dozens of attempts.
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