People Named Michael pt. 2

By: Derek Spencer

Michael Holloway

I recognize that you asked for a review nearly one year ago upon release of your band’s ep Pine EP. Understandably, press on your album would have been much appreciated last year! Hopefully we can get you that press bump you deserve though, eh?

The band is Hodari, everyone. While the band has 5 members, it looks like our friend Michael (or “Mike” as he goes by in the scene) is the guitar player! As such, I think it’s only appropriate that we talk exclusively about the guitars on this 3-song collection.

Let’s start with tone. You’re rocking this throwback post-hardcore sound—scooped out distortion, doubled tracks, slight feedback, chunky leads, and abrasively clean chordal interludes. This is a tone I can get behind, but it can be limiting. Mike, I’m sure Hodari isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel on Pine, but let’s try to be a little forward thinking, eh? Why would I listen to your 2007 guitar tone when I could just listen to some good old 2007 bands? How are you translating this sound for today’s audience? How do you expect people to hear your ideas when they can’t get past your form? These are the critical questions you need to be asking yourself when pouring over your pedalboard.

Just for fun, I’m going to take an oddly specific guess at your guitar rig: Ibanez RGA—>PedalTrain mini pedal board with the following chain: TC Tuner, Boss Distortion, Big Muff fuzz, MXR Dynamic Compression—->Orange Crush 2×12 Guitar combo. If I got *any* of these right, please let me know. I’m worried I might be overestimating your budget.

Anyways, let’s move on to your parts. Good job writing them! There are a lot of octave leads… maybe you could try mixing it up a bit? I’m pictures bossa nova-esque clean, chromatic, staccato solos—does that resonate with you at all? Well, you didn’t fuck up, that’s for sure! All the guitar parts make me say “This sounds like the guitar part of a post-hardcore song” so nice.

Okay, but the mix is where it turns south man… Let me ask you, Mike: are you a timid guy? Because I’m going to be honest, you’re getting stepped on. You think fans are coming out too see some guy in skinny jeans scream over a 4/4 rock beats? Heeeeell no. You think fans are going to buy your CD or tape or whatever if they can’t hear you wailing away on your octive leads? You gotta crank that Orange combo of yours! Rock music is about guitar. If I don’t hear guitar above EVERYTHING ELSE, well, I’d barely call that music.

If you ask me, your vocalist has an ego problem. Between you and me, screamed vocals are there for texture; they’re supplemental at best. You should be front and center, Mike. I think your vocalist needs to get checked out. And I don’t mean like for his health and I don’t mean like someone needs to look him up and down sexy-like. I mean he needs a psych eval stat because he’s suffering from a case of type II narcissism, my friend.

Nice guitars! Thanks for submitting, Mike!

Maus

Okay, so you aren’t technically a Michael. But your band showed up in my filtered search for Michael’s because you gave an extensive list of influences that included Michael Jackson so you’re gettin’ god damn reviewed. Your band is called Amanda Named Sound and considering your name is neither “Amanda” nor “Sound” but in fact “Maus”, that makes me feel not great right off the bat.

Your first song is called “Droid Dance” or something and shit does it sound nothing like Michael Jackson. I mean other than the fact that there is a vocalist singing in key. And I guess there’s like a synth somewhere deep in the mix that sounds vaguely 80’s.

Let’s take a step back. In the first sentence of your email, you clarify that “in fact I am an actual musician”. Spoken like a true Michael! To this, I say thanks for the heads up! We will take that into consideration!

The last sentence of your email reads “Their masterplan is to engage the world in an audiovisual conversation and take over the galaxy.” (bold theirs, not mine). This is a leap! In fact, I am worried! This isn’t the pseudo-fascist language of neofolk (“facism is bad, but it’s really really interesting”) nor is your band weird enough for this to be a joke in the spirit of Gwar.

Fuck sorry I don’t want to do this. I was going to riff on your email for a bit and then tell you a few nice things about your music cause your music is kinda nice. But I’m tired and doing that will require me to actually read and edit what I’ve written so far and I don’t want to do that and also you aren’t even a Michael so I’m not sure you really deserve a full review so instead I’m just going to copy and past your email here and also a bunch of your social media posts since you linked me to like 7 different social media platform. Sorry.

Hello, this is Maus, producer for Armada Named Sound (in fact I am an actual musician). 

I am sending you our electronic music ep called : ”Starchildren”. We hope that you enjoy this, and please let us know if 

a review is going to be online. This is the press release, including all the info you might need, the streaming link and our official videoclip.

Cheers!!!

ARMADA NAMED SOUND 

proudly presents:

Debut EP “Starchildren”

Online streaming link:  https://soundcloud.com/armadanamedsound/sets/starchildren

released on iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/starchildren-ep/id98198683

(official release date 31/3/2015)

TRACKLIST:

  1. Afterdrive
  2. Fixation
  3. Droid Dance
  4. Blindvei

 

Official videoclip for “Fixation”, taken from the “Starchildren” EP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCDHhhDEtuQ

—————————–

Armada Named Sound is an electronic music band consisting of Maus and Andromeda S.

An organized retrofuture sonic attack, based in London.

Sounds and textures combined to produce songs and tunes varying from electronica and synthpop to trance/techno and trip hop.

With innovation, originality and diversity in mind, the use of synths, beats, loops and human voices brings forth sonic creations and soundscapes

with the sole purpose to intrigue you, make you dance, laugh or cry. Songs produced in several places and moments in the space time continuum.

Their music influences vary from Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Grimes, Gwen Stefani to Bjork, Massive Attack, Portishead, as well as classical and rock

music. All these sounds are filtered through their everyday life experience and interaction with other people, abstract thoughts and ideas, and their inner self.

Their masterplan is to engage the world in an audiovisual conversation and take over the galaxy.

OFFICAL WEBSITE: http://www.armadanamedsound.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/armadanamedsound

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/armadanamedsound

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFURVALERhmE6i3tKi9UQA

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/armada_baby

VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/armadanamedsound

Armada Named Sound

January 20 ·

New song coming up: “NY”
No relation to concrete jungles where dreams are made of…
wink emoticon

Armada Named Sound with Spiros Maus andAndromeda Sfakianoy.

January 18 ·

Last night’s show on BBC, featuring “White keys and black silk”!
Have a listen here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03fczr7


Armada Named Sound
 with Spiros Maus andAndromeda Sfakianoy.

January 17 ·

“White keys and black silk” on BBC tonight!
Armada baby…
BBC Introducing ‪#‎BBCintroducing

Armada Named Sound

January 15 ·

All things electronic:
www.armadanamedsound.com
Armada Named Sound
 updated their cover photo.

January 4 · 
Armada Named Sound
 with Spiros Maus andAndromeda Sfakianoy at Αστικά Στούντιο Ηχοληψίας – Urban Recording Studios.

December 30, 2015 · Athens, Greece ·

“Crush” live in the studio
‪#‎live ‪#‎studio
shot by Valia Fotiou Photography
edited/manipulated by Maus
Armada Named Sound
 with Spiros Maus andAndromeda Sfakianoy.

December 29, 2015 ·

“Electronica wizards Armada Named Sound come out with their audio guns blazing, on their retrofuture sonic attack, Starchildren.”
http://www.crossradar.com/armada-named-sound-starchildren/
Chris@CrossRadar
https://soundcloud.com/armadanamedsound/sets/starchildren

Armada Named Sound Retweeted

DJ AATISSH~आतिश~آتش ‏@AAtisshDotCom  Jan 18Los Angeles, CA

@armada_baby Nice

Armada Named Sound ‏@armada_baby  Jan 15

Hey guys! Have a nice day .. This is our website Take a look Take a listen http://www.armadanamedsound.com 


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People Named Michael

By: Derek Spencer

There’s a lot of god damn people named Michael in this world, and it feels like half of them have requested I review their god damn music. This post is for a bunch of you musicians named god damn Michael.

Michael Sterns

Hello Michael Sterns (or “Mike”, as you call yourself on your bandcamp page). I appreciate your honesty here Mike. There are a lot of people making music alone in their dorm rooms these days. It takes grit to fess up. You could have left that to my imagination, Mike, leaving me to imagine you as a solo artist with his own studio band. But you’re an honest guy, Mike, a real stand up guy.

You’re also a precise guy. Like on that song, when you sing “when I was 22/and you were 19”. Those aren’t round numbers, Mike. Those are specific numbers, and I appreciate that attention to detail. Mike, you’d be surprised how rare attention to detail is these days. Trust me, I know.

Anyways, I like your shit, Mike. You have gumption. You have real pizzaz. You pull back and push forward. Dynamics! You got em. Tone! You think about it. Real high quality stuff here Mike. You got the whole singer-songwriter thing down. I mean, sometimes I wish you were saying different words, but cringe-inducing earnestness is part of the indie game, isn’t it?

Biggest negative here has got to be these sound effects. Man. If I knew how to make memes I would do one where Bernie Sanders likes spoken word interludes and Hilary thinks it’s a good idea to put lightning sounds and alarm clocks in your tracks.

You know, you’re doing yourself a disservice by calling this album Collegiate Daydreams. That name makes me think your too young for this to be good. And maybe you are young, and maybe this isn’t good in the professional and/or critical sense, like maybe you can’t make money doing this, or like maybe you could have made money doing this but only if you had a time machine to go back and release the music years ago. But, point is, you don’t sound like a Collegiate Daydreamer, Mike. You sound like maybe a twenty-something go-getter. Or like at least, like, a graduate underachiever. You get what I’m saying, right Mike? Of course you do.

Michael Blackmond

Michael fucking Blackmond. You record under the name Dora the Destroyer, but you’re a Michael, through and through. It’s in your music. Don’t hide from that.

Anyways, Michael, I gotta hand it to you. You and Mike up there are repping the Michael crew well with your honestly. Glad to know Michaels like you are out there ready to disclose the fact that you recorded all of your prog metal songs in your living room. Thanks!

I like when you get all metal with it. The thumpity thump suits you, Michael. Sometimes, though, you get all leggity-leggi-wah with your metal, and it kinda feels like I’m playing Sonic the Hedgehog. In fact, did you score any Sonic the Hedgehog games? According to this list, you didn’t, but maybe you have an alias?

Anyways, I imagine that the word you’d like people to describe your music with is “soaring”. and I’ll give you that, Michael, sometimes this music soars. But sometimes it putters, too. Sometimes, I’m not really sure what to think. You got these Joe Satriani vibes that really take me out of my Sonic space, you know what I mean? I think you do. Oh and the synths! Really not working for me, Michael. Gotta say.

End of the day, I could see this being fuck-wit-able. I don’t think anyone will ever fuck to this music, but that’s a whole different question. Thanks Michael!

Michael Byrne!

Michael Byrne! Sausage suit in a Sam Adams! Your email says (not making this up, readers) that you go by Dirty Mike, and I think that’s god damn swell. I like how your friend is named Uncle Jesse too. The album here, folks, is Die Until Ur Not Alive Anymore… by The Raspberry Keystones.

Dirty Mike, it says in your email that you aren’t really sure what genre your music is. I think that’s a good question! It’s a little bit puzzling to me too, if I’m being totally honest. Let me say this, your music sounds like strung out teenagers rapping over Animal Collective‘s Campfire Songs. But with surprising wit (at times!)! I think we are permitted to call this “experimental”. Does that work for you?

Anyways, Dirty Mike, y’all got some promise here! Sure, we’re missing some vital production elements that might be necessary to qualify this as listenable music to the majority of the population, but what they’ll call “stupid shit” I call a “niche product”.

Middle track “Above Ground Places” stands out to me as the most captivating composition. It’s like your version of a banger.

The covers are a bit baffling, both in choice and style, but that’s okay! This EP seems like a great place for ol’ Dirty Mike and Uncle Jesse to stretch their wings and figure out what works. In this humble reviewers opinion, covering “Sleepwalker” might not be your strong suit. But now we know!

Past and Future Michaels

There are quite a few Michaels I didn’t get to here. But don’t worry! I will endeavor to review all people named Michael before anyone else gets reviewed.