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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Music Reviews »

Permalink Honest Reviews???

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Maybe it's just me but....I have yet to hear a surf release that I thought was bad..I may like some styles more then others and some recordings/mixes also..a lot is so subjective ..must always give credit to anyone willing to put it down on disc

www.northofmalibu.com

I don't pay attention to "professional" reviewers of any area of the arts. In fact, I've always found the profession to be pretty laughable. As if Roger Ebert has special inherent skills to tell us what makes a good film, or any of the myriad of bozos at Rolling Stone over the years rating the greatest rock albums.

The people that actually create music are in a far better position to give honest reviews. Ivan was kind enough to give me honest critiques of hom recordings I did several years ago. What helped me the most is what he had to say regarding structure and proper song length. I think the majority of us here just love the music and want to hear more surf music being produced. This music is about having fun, not creating the next million seller.

Shawn Martin
http://www.drummerman.net
http://www.youtube.com/GKacedrummerman
http://www.facebook.com/drumuitar

kenposurf wrote:

Maybe it's just me but....I have yet to hear a surf
release that I thought was bad..I may like some styles
more then others and some recordings/mixes also..a lot
is so subjective ..must always give credit to anyone
willing to put it down on disc

I've got to disagree, George. I hear too many surf releases that I consider bad. I try to support as many bands on this forum as possible, and occasionally, I will dislike their CD/song/video. The most common of these are uninspired rehashes of traditional standards that have been done to death. To my ears this is Muzak: it's innocuous & not out of tune. But instead of being pleasant background music, it bugs me. Some are so poorly played, and/or recorded as to be unlistenable to me. Then there is music that I just don't like. But if it is well played, imaginative and creative, I don't consider it bad: just music that I don't like for some reason.

Bob

It is a hard question - you don't want to offend people because it's such a small community. You might find yourself sharing a bill one day with a band you've given a bad review to.

On the other hand if a band is going to invite critique then they've gotta take the good with the bad.

I'll appreciate anything that's reasonably played and / or shows some imagination in the songs.

I wouldn't buy or review a CD of a band that only did surf standards, but I might enjoy that band if I saw them live, if only because there is no other surf music in my town.

http://www.reverbnation.com/spaceparty4

Well, if you go out and play music..no matter if you record it, play it live or even sell CDs through Mailorders, you will get a reaction...that's actually the point of playing in a band Smile
So you gotta expect good and bad reviews...and maybe think about your music a little more, if everybody says it's boring or badly recorded.
On the other hand it would be good, if surf bands get of the corner and send Cds to Punk/Pop/Rock magazines/websites..could spread the music around.
What I don't get is the idea that Surf is a hobbyist GENRE...how can a genre be like that? There are professional surfbands (I'm in one by the way..) which tour, sell and record a lot and there are so many hobbyists in Punk/Blues/Rock..I guess it just depends on your goal, what YOU want to achieve with your music..not on the genre..I'd like to see more reviews of our CD, so if you want to review it, give me call!

My personal feeling is that without bad reviews, the good ones lose a bit of merrit.

Kill, Baby...Kill! ... Apocalyptic Surf Punk from the bowels of Alabama!

www.killbabykill.com
http://www.deepeddy.net/artists/killbabykill/
www.reverbnation.com/killbabykillal
www.facebook.com/killbabykillal

What I want from a professional reviewer is enough information to know whether I'll like something. Siskel and Ebert were good for that, Ebert and his next partners weren't so good at it. I don't care whether they liked it, I want to know if I'll like it.

And a friend of mine who is a very recently published author said that a great weight had been lifted from him when he finally saw a negative review of his first book.

As for the standards, I really don't mind one or two on a CD. IF the band likes the tune enough, they're going to record it, and there's nothing wrong with playing songs you like, especially if it puts a little royalty back in the pocket of those who came before.

If you are going to review a CD, please avoid such trite, overused, cliched expressions as "sophomore effort," "tunesmith," "songsmith," "penned (in reference to songwriting)," etc.

Ted James
Deep Eddy Records http://www.deepeddy.net
The Nematoads http://www.nematoads.com

When everything is good, nothing is good.

The Exotics 1994-Current
http://www.myspace.com/theexotics
The Chickenshack - www.wmse.org
www.uptownsavages.com

RobbieReverb wrote:

kenposurf wrote:

Maybe it's just me but....I have yet to hear a surf
release that I thought was bad..I may like some
styles
more then others and some recordings/mixes also..a
lot
is so subjective ..must always give credit to anyone
willing to put it down on disc

I've got to disagree, George. I hear too many surf
releases that I consider bad. I try to support as many
bands on this forum as possible, and occasionally, I
will dislike their CD/song/video. The most common of
these are uninspired rehashes of traditional standards
that have been done to death. To my ears this is Muzak:
it's innocuous & not out of tune. But instead of being
pleasant background music, it bugs me. Some are so
poorly played, and/or recorded as to be unlistenable to
me. Then there is music that I just don't like. But if
it is well played, imaginative and creative, I don't
consider it bad: just music that I don't like for some
reason.

I see your point Robbie...maybe I need to listen to more cd's?! Standards...on our new cd we mixed in several standards with the originals but tried to add our mark on them as well as being true to the spirt of the song.

www.northofmalibu.com

kenposurf wrote:

I see your point Robbie...maybe I need to listen to
more cd's?! Standards...on our new cd we mixed in
several standards with the originals but tried to add
our mark on them as well as being true to the spirt of
the song.

With all due respect George, 7 out of 13 is more than several. What was your thinking in including so many standards? I personally think it limits your sales potential amongst those who seek out surf albums. For $15 I'd like to hear more originals.

Danny Snyder
aka Mycroft Eloi of The TomorrowMen
aka Shecky Shekels of Meshugga Beach Party

Last edited: May 23, 2011 09:01:14

Professional reviewers always amazed me. From Rolling Stone to Pitchfork online, they stroke their egos by making every obscure reference imaginable. Although, they are fun to read at times if only to see how many references you actually get…like “the new band Gospel Music is nothing more than a glorified Beat Happening”…

Frankly, in this day and age I’m not sure we even need elaborate reviews. A reviewer could just write – check of these new releases I like, and readers with similar tastes go immediately to the internet and listen to every tune. But, I guess the bands deserve more than that, and I guess listeners need to be told why certain music is good or bad…as if the reviewer is the authority.

And...I greatly value all the music comments/reviews here. It has helped significantly.

Shoot the Pier
Shoot The Pier on Facebook
The Crowkeepers
The Crowkeepers on Facebook

Last edited: May 23, 2011 09:10:35

DannySnyder wrote:

kenposurf wrote:

I see your point Robbie...maybe I need to listen to
more cd's?! Standards...on our new cd we mixed in
several standards with the originals but tried to
add
our mark on them as well as being true to the spirt
of
the song.

With all due respect George, 7 out of 13 is more than
several. What was your thinking in including so many
standards? I personally think it limits your sales
potential amongst those who seek out surf albums. For
$15 I'd like to hear more originals.

Point taken..we tried to cover a bit of ground on this one..the track w/Memphis Charlie is in rotation on several channels that play a lot of Americana..also has been placed in 2 non surf films. Along w/ Man From Malta my hope is to break the cd out to a much wider audience who are not as familier with the the standards. Now getting sg101 members who have a zillion versions of Baja to check it out might be tough though most of the covers imho rock harder then most versions out there I digress Smile That was the thought train anyway..we have another 12 or so songs orig and covers from these sessions but decided to go with the mix..thanks again for the input!

www.northofmalibu.com

Double-Crown-Records wrote:

For example, it's
no secret that I'm not a fan of the Mermen. However,
none of the reasons I've given above for writing a
negative review can apply to their releases. I just
plain don't like their music. So do I give it a 1 or 2
star review, based on how much I like it?

My pointless derailment for today: point taken with the Mermen example, I'm just always stunned when I hear of instro fans not liking them... to me they aren't just surf music, they're OCEAN music! Really intense and emotional stuff. Anyway, please continue on with this thread, it's really fascinating.

Mike

http://www.youtube.com/morphballio

Someone earlier brought up a very valid point. Do you review an album based on your own personal taste or based on the overall quality of the writing, recording etc. I can imagine this is tricky. They also pointed out that they try their best, even when giving a negative review, to explain themself well enough so that someone who might actually like the record would not be detoured.

I would imagine the best way to do this would be very much in the way you described. You don't like the Mermen. That is fair. If someone sent in a CD to be reviewed that was very derivitive of The Mermen then it would be quite easy to list your distaste. Then you would be leading people in either direction based on their own personal taste.

As for me, I am well known for being entirely too blunt with people. What few realize is how much I don't say. I will not give critique or advice unless I actually hear potential there. I told someone recently that they really shouldn't worry if I say something that appears negative. When they should worry is when I say nothing at all.

Kill, Baby...Kill! ... Apocalyptic Surf Punk from the bowels of Alabama!

www.killbabykill.com
http://www.deepeddy.net/artists/killbabykill/
www.reverbnation.com/killbabykillal
www.facebook.com/killbabykillal

morphball wrote:

My pointless derailment for today: point taken with the
Mermen example, I'm just always stunned when I hear of
instro fans not liking them... to me they aren't just
surf music, they're OCEAN music! Really intense and
emotional stuff. Anyway, please continue on with this
thread, it's really fascinating.

That's kind of why I don't get on with them. Too emotional. Great band, though.

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

Those with talent play-whose without become critics!

Last edited: May 23, 2011 10:57:30

elreydlp wrote:

Those with talent play-whose without become critics!

Is this the same as that old saying "Those that can, do. Those that cannot, teach."?

Kill, Baby...Kill! ... Apocalyptic Surf Punk from the bowels of Alabama!

www.killbabykill.com
http://www.deepeddy.net/artists/killbabykill/
www.reverbnation.com/killbabykillal
www.facebook.com/killbabykillal

elreydlp wrote:

Those with talent play-whose without become critics!

Professional critics maybe. The original intent of this thread (I believe) was directed towards peer review on this internet surf forum. There are two types of criticism, thumbs up/down recommendations and constructive criticisms. The former is only valuable in it's effect on sales, the latter is extremely important to the motivated musician. I'd like as much of that as possible from people with informed opinions. However, I don't necessarily see a need for it in a public setting.

Danny Snyder
aka Mycroft Eloi of The TomorrowMen
aka Shecky Shekels of Meshugga Beach Party

Last edited: May 23, 2011 11:24:09

DannySnyder wrote:

elreydlp wrote:

Those with talent play-whose without become critics!

Professional critics maybe. The original intent of this
thread (I believe) was directed towards peer review on
this internet surf forum. There are two types of
criticism, thumbs up/down recommendations and
constructive criticisms. The former is only valuable in
it's effect on sales, the latter is extremely important
to the motivated musician. I'd like as much of that as
possible from people with informed opinions. However, I
don't necessarily see a need for it in a public
setting.

We all like strokes Smile I sent a copy of the new one to Phil, New Gandy Dancer and Pipeline..of course, I hope for a good review..it's public and that's the point on those..re: peers opinions, overall I would agree maybe best considered over a glass of wine or a beer..depends on the source maybe..I respect Danny and his music so I'll listen to what he says..maybe not follow it ..but listen..as humans we have egos and ya put a lot of yourself into a work you do feel the yays and nays more I'm sure..hey, we're all buds here so it's good stuff

www.northofmalibu.com

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