4th August, 2007

Prodigy

Sounding a little like a drugged-up version of Peter Steele from Type-O Negative, Michael Cullen makes his solo debut.

You can be forgiven for wondering just who this Michael Cullen bloke is. Apparently he was frontman for some pop punk band or other. That must be where he wrote all his better lyrics, because as far as penmanship goes Cullen is pretty drab.

However, the strange haze of almost Tom Waitslike melancholy – bordering verrrry closely to melodramatic – saves this from being a complete trainwreck.

This was the most surprising release in my review batch this week.

Give it a try if you like bands such as Counting Crows. He sounds absolutely nothing like them, but its the atmosphere it creates that’s similar, and that’s no bad thing.

7 of Spades

 

Drum Media

Be prepared to be surprised with Love Transmitter. if you’ve followed Michael Cullen’s career through The Hardheads and the unjustifiably ignored Watershed, this is another side of him barely hinted at in those projects. Apart from anything else, Cullen has played the majority of the instruments, with Tim Powles of The Church taking care of the drums, percussion, beats, loops and production, as well as the odd backing vocal, along with the odd guest on the odd track, like Jon Butler drumming on two tracks, and Dave Skeet adding voice here, organ there.

In some ways, this record could only have been produced in collaboration with Powles. The songs have that otherworldly quality that we’ve come to expect of recordings made in Powles’s Spacejunk Studio, with that timeless kind of instrumental wash layered beneath and behind the voice. it works a treat with the vaguely ‘dark beatlish’ feel of All Used Up for instance. Cullen’s subversive sense of humour comes into play on the title track too. Powles must have smiled at the line ‘then she told me Kilbey was God/well I laughed at that’ the metallic, restrained grind of guitar chopping and building inexorably.

Contrasting that humour is the worldweary sadness of Closer, but there’s plenty of light and shade across the ten tracks, from the bounce of One is Still my Number and sarcasm of Professional Entertainers to the stumbling plea of Chinese Hammer.

References? You can hear Cullen is very much a man who came into his creative muse in the early 80s, so the references would be, i suppose, New Order or Jesus & Mary Chain, but there’s Aztec Camera and The Smiths there if you want to hear it. The truth is that while artists like that may have addressed his youth, Cullen has grown into his own voice, so forget the above and just listen to that voice and discover a quietly unique talent.

Michael Smith

 

CUrio

This is the debut solo album from the former front man of punk groups The Hardheads and Watershed. However if you were expecting another punk album then you would be in for a massive shock. Instead Mr. Cullen has gone for a very dark and moody soundscape. The results of this departure in style are quite astounding as each track is beautifully crafted. All Used Up and Transmission both stand up as powerful highlights.

Michael Cullen’s music is reminiscent of bands such as Joy Division, The Birthday Party and the Triffids to name a few. He manages to combine the best bits of each of these artists to come up with something distinctive of his own. The quality of the record is further enhanced by the production work of The Church’s Tim Powles.

This is a brilliant piece of work that consists of dense sounds and beautiful melodies. All songs on offer manage to be self contained as well as fit together with one another to create a smooth flowing long player.

Grade: Distinction.

Richard Rowe

 

2XX

Reviewing = Interesting. I’ve had this by the cd player for two weeks now, trying to decide whether it goes into the 2XX new releases draw or not, coming back to it every few days.

Giving it a good listen now, I have to say it will. I’m enjoying the guitar and the overall production (when I read about the Church connection I went “Aaaah, that sounds right”). Nice to find someone with their own sound though unafraid to show their interest in music history. I thought maybe I heard a little bit of Edwyn Collins styling in there too.

Well done dude.

singoda

 

seance list review 1

Well i bought this CD after reading a review which said it was produced by Tim Powles and also the mention of SK in the lyrics of one of the songs(the line is in every review you read and it will appear in this one later!)-so i thought got to have it.

Tim actually plays on just about every song-for example on Hey Sister he gets credit for bass,drums,guitar,percussion,organ and some vocals! Most tracks though he is doing drums and percussion.

I know nothing about Michael Cullen or if he has done anything previously however as a singer has a really distinct very deep voice – sort of reminds me a bit of the Joy Division – Love will tear us apart vocalist. Possibly even a melodic Nick Cave? I don’t know he just has a really distintive deep voice.

Their are some great tracks on this album lots of vocal hooks and indy rocken riffs – Do you believe and then Tidal wave kick of the album well in about second to even third gear. We then hit fourth gear for the almost indy punkish All used up which has a rockin riff. Hey Sister drops back a couple of gears almost nick caveish.

Transmission follows which is a superb track with the excellerator back on-Someting about putting his wedding ring in his pocket whilst riding a rocket and meeting a girl who was a love transmitter.

“she said that Finn was good and gave Cave a nod/ then she told me Kilbey was god/ well I laughed at that as you might/ then the rush came and I thought she was right”

We ease back a couple of gears for Spill and Chinese hammer which both work well. However the highlight of the album for me are the two tracks Professional Entertainers and One is still my number which are both really catchy tracks.I’d swear Professional Entertainers could be put on a Go-Betweens Album:

“I’m surrounded everywhere I turn by professional entertainers/ telling me how much they earn/ hard boiled c-c-c-campaigners”

great stuff i’d be signing this all day but i can’t get the next track out of my head:

“one is till my number/ you now its true/ one is still my number honey/ I’ve got the juice/ I try to be humble but it isn’t any use”

The album then closes with the dark closer where the deep voice is in deep mode.

Overall this is a great album with superb production by Tim Powles. The album has plenty of tracks which would be really radio friendly – will a track from this ever manage to get on rotation on JJJ? Its not the sort of album you nead to listen to heaps to get into – just a great easy listen with plenty of hooks.

David Rundle

 

Seance Lists 2

Recently Michael Cullen’s Love Transmitter arrived in the CD review pile
for the Uni magazine I edit. I’m not sure I’ve heard of this guy (he’s
Australian) but the blurb said “produced by Tim Powles” so I grabbed it.

This from the track Transmission:

—————
she said “I didn’t mean to be rude”
I didn’t see it otherwise could be construed
“you have an innocent face perfect for deception”
we talked about adultery and redemption
she said that finnn was good and gave cave a nod
then she told me that kilbey was god
well I laughed at that … as you might
then the rush came and I thought she was right
—————–

(And yes, there are three n’s in “finnn” on the lyric sheet. Not sure if
this is a typo or an attempt to differentiate between the Finn brothers.)

It’s like a darker and crunchier version of Stephen Cummings’ recent stuff
(blurb suggests Swervedriver as an influence). I heard a lot of Go
Betweens in there too (they also get namedropped on one track), recent
Leonard Cohen too perhaps. Strong growly deep vocals. Strong production,
though I found a couple of tracks a bit overcooked at first listen. Lyrics
need work, decent ideas but too many very forced rhymes or near-rhymes.

Kevin Bonham.

Garage Band

Transmission

tight

Gtrs build the wall; splashy reverse cymbals fill the pool. Oh… it’s quite the “The Cure” influenced thing. Vocals have the “Robert Smith” thing. Nice arrangement; recording is very harsh… almost like it’s been over-EQed (esp cymbal trax). The mix is good, recording is hurting… make sense? Brit-rock. Good stuff. I like the 8th note guitars that keep everything full. “Transmitter”. Wasn’t what I wanted to think, but I saw her slip something in my drink. It’s been quite the tense little number for a while… seems to need to break out and groove for a few bars. Good lyrics. “my cancers” (or whatever). With cleaner tracks (and without that harsh, grainy sound) this would be top of the pops. Nice job all the way.

super_enthused from Sandy, Utah

great lyrics

love transmitter, eh? I like it … a lot. Great story. I’m not gonna blink! Good sense of urgency created musically. Extra credits for mood, lyrics, and originality. Also for male vocals – nice voice!. I’m picking this for best potential movie soundtrack!

Plankton, Culver,Indiana

original

I don’t know what type of music this is, but it’s different. I like the guitar riff and the effect on it, sounds like the right amount of reverb. Vocals don’t fit into the mix as well as they should.

Built to Burn – West Bridgewater, Massachusetts

this song grows as it goes on

I like it. I knew I’m lucky after a few seconds. This guy knows how to do a good song.Extra Credit: Melody, Mood Special Award: Most Rocking Track

Had to listen to it again. I’d love to see the band live!

lofik7

Great Layering

You really did a good job with the instrumentation of this track. Very dramatic. I think the vocals are a little loud. They need to be more integrated into the mix. The lyrics are compelling, but I feel the volume of the vocal is overpowering this song. Its also got a good hook. i like the phrase love transmitter. Very clever. Good songwriting. Work on the mix and this will be a more solid track.

gutterstar – Hoboken, New Jersey

Overall Good

Cool lead in, builds tension. The vocal is right out front. The mix sounds good, the production sounds good. I like the chorus. The vocal is a little bit reserved, not as emotionally expressive as it might be, to me. The music builds tension, I am still waiting for it to let loose …. the bridge could get loud and loose and make it more compelling to me. the whole tune seems to hold back somehow. overall a good song. The playing is good and intelligent, the production clear. I’d change the arrangement and dynamics, but that’s just one guy’s opinion. overall, a good song with a solid chorus.

Abarrs – Tampa, Florida

Chillin’

Song had a nice feel to it, production was good, vocals were smooth and just right for the riff. it has a chillin’ mood to it, good work. I was waiting for it to climax somewhere but it didn’t but I get the idea …. good luck! Extra credit: Male Vocals, Guitars, Production, Lyrics, Mood

Patmulwany – Austin,Texas

Blade Runner Love Song

This could have the sound of a runaway subway train. Good song. i’d really ‘toughen’ this up. Maybe it’s the recording? maybe the mix. good words and well sang. Nice composition. Lots of tension and feeling, even though it’s pretty one note-ish. this has good potential. Rework and record. Good luck.

dgrundy – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

thurston moore meets depeche mode

hmm.. its kinda .. hmm.. its alright.. needs to kick in at some point and kick in hard.. the chorus is prettty gothy . hmm its good

dead_meat St Louis, Missouri

A Modern Joy Division

The fresh drum patterns are fantastic, reminiscent of Joy Division’s experimental percussion-style in places. Great skip-beats and effects used. The guitars are strong with good dark progressions throughout. The vocals work well and I do like the lyrics too (I especially like the timing skip on the second “don’t play”). For me, this track would benefit from a breakdown where there is a melodical departure from the main theme, but the track is a nice length and overall this was an excellent song with fine production. Great job. John, Misnomer – www.mp3.com/misnomer Extra Credit: Drums, Mood

Misnomer – Southend, Essex, United Kingdom

weird

space 60 bowie. britanian emo pop. nice tight verse, good use of unique vocal patterns. i appreciate. Extra Credit: Male Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Bass, Lyrics, Beat, Mood

moah, Grand Rapids, Michigan

CrazySexyCool

Really neato song, nice vibe going on, and I really like the weird cymbal effect. Despite being different, it’s still really catchy (I hope that’s what you were going for, some people get ticked at that kind of thing.) Really nice guitar solo, very simple, it serves the song well. However, the song does get a little tedious towards the end, but maybe that’s the short fast food/tv attention span talking… Extra Credit: Drums, Sequencer/Effects Programming, Mood

slobstar1 Winchester, Kentucky

Over Dramatic Cool

The overdramatic vocals in the first verse, well sounds like they’re sticking around, are strangely appealing. The music is reasonably cool. Maybe a better mix, yeah, a better mix. This is a cool song. All of a sudden hits me like I heard it once. There’s a Sonic Youth thing going on, musically, just not as dissonant.Extra Credit: Male Vocals, Melody

mrjones_fptoz – Fairview, New Jersey

Garage Band

All Used Up

a good demo

The lo-fi production doesn’t obscure the song too much, but will make it difficult to get airplay and possibly club-play. Maybe I’m wrong. Still, I don’t think it’s going to help. I would encourage getting a better recording done. You could improve the quality here by double in most decent home studios even.

The song and performance work really well within the genre. I would take it to be an established act if the production were better.

dantelolo from Chicago, Illinois on 16Nov2004

chaotic

wow this song starts very sudden… hm, I guess an intro would’ve been better for this song…

the vocals remind me of the beatles, they’re quite good in combination with the music

it all sounds very lo-fi … the bass guitar is rather monotonous in the beginning … the lead guitars are okay. Very nice chaotic ending, I like that! In some parts this song reminds me a little of Sonic Youth.

– eVa, LiquidSorrow from Borgerhout, Antwerp, Belgium on 16Nov2004

Not bad

Like the vox, nice production overall, nothing really new though, no hook for me, but a decent recording overall

BlindeaD from Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 16Nov2004

Cool shit.

Finally…a band that can play and sing. This is cool shit. I dig it. Cool chorus. I like the way that the guitars blend in. Come to Denmark and play gigs with us;) Good production, good sounds. This is good.

Vilgersence from Copenhagen, V, Denmark on 16Nov2004

Catchy

A catchy song with lots of energy in it, performed in a competent way. Production is good, overall a song that has got hit potential.

Sunvision from Unspecified on 15Nov2004

Love the quick beginning

The chorus could be developed further, specifically expanding the melody line, which would add a stronger dynamic to the song. I liked this song for the first minute to 1:30. After that I got bored. It has potential, I really like it. A very 80s New Wave type feel. The song is relying only upon melody/mood/beat, no guitar solos or anything, which is fine, but the melody/vocals need expanded to keep the song alive. Either that or throw in a horn section or something. Good though. Keep at it.

paintonmyhands from Taft, Ohio on 14Nov2004

good lyrics

I like the lyrics alot. The production is very nice great vocal effects. I can’t think of anything that could improve this track.

groovfidel from Virginia Beach, Virginia on 14Nov2004

“Weird Sex” factor inplay- repeated listening..

This song is like intercourse with someone who won’t bother with foreplay, climaxes a bit early and THEN wants to cuddle after. In other words, the song starts abruptly, almost mid-beat(I actually restarted it a couple times because I thought it was a streaming error). It then drives on steadily for approximately two minutes until it reaches it’s peak. It then lingers about without much purpose for the last minute or so. This is unfortunate because the band is tight, well rehearsed and sufficiently skilled. I liked the percussion especially, which distinguished itself without distracting. Production did a good job of capturing the fullness of the instrumentation, but not as well with the vocals, which sound a bit tinny.

My big problem with the track is the intro. On 2nd and 3rd listens I really enjoyed the music but the first time I heard it, the way it dropped in at the beginning made it pretty inaccessable. -If I weren’t reviewing it I wouldn’t have given it a 2nd listen.

Some minor tweaking would go a long way on this track. A little adjustment to vocal effects, cutting off the 15 seconds(?!?) of feedback at the end and adding a couple of seconds of it to the beginning for a lead-in would probably do it.

ApacheFogg from Muskegon, Michigan on 14Nov2004

just comes out swingin

not quite sure why but dont like distortion on the voice matching the distortion of guitar I think the voice and guitar should be more differnt sounding might consider puting some reverbs on the guitar riffs between words our something to further seperate the guitar from words give it more range of sound so to speak good song lyricial … alright guitar nothing real out of the orderniary

I_have_goiter from Stillwater, Oklahoma on 14Nov2004

Dueling vocals

An interesting approach to the phenomenon that is retro. More of a combination between grunge and the 70s comback, i like it, i would like to hear something a little bit mor upbeat the next one.

whoisplanb_com from Virginia Beach, Virginia on 13Nov2004

OK

I like how the song starts out running, straight to the point…it’s a nice change from the long intro stuff that is prevalent today (including my own stuff). The basic melody during the verse is engaging, and while I realize the delay is a nice originality touch, it just seems to get in the way more than anything. Ignoring the delay, the vocals are well performed and I like the voice.

The heavy guitar plods along but gets lost in it’s own muddiness. It’s not a bad part, but with all the drums going on, and the delayed vocals, there is just not much space in there. So, the guitar provides a rhythm more than anything. I’d like to somehow hear the tone of it (would require getting rid of cymbals).

Chorus doesn’t do anything for me. I guess it is simple and catchy…but I need something more substantial to engage me.

I think there is a bridge at 1:30 or 1:40, but it doesn’t really do anything musically. I like the fact that you attempted to put one in this song to break it up a little, but seems like the part could be made into something more musically cohesive.

Drums are either computer driven, or live drums that have been quantized to exacting parameters. They sound good but inhuman, so I’d like to hear them with a live drummer.

fraghead from Longmont, Colorado on 13Nov2004

Steady Waiting

This song has a very anticipitory feel to it. It kept me expecting it to kick up a notch at any moment. It has that build up type of steady rythem that never develops into anything, but itself. Thats coll if thats what you were going for, but it was a bit dissappointing to me. Good production and musicianship, I just think the arrabgement was not as strong as it could be.

GuerrillaWrench from Boise, Idaho on 12Nov2004

I’m all used up..up…up…up..up.

Origional style. Performance is good – top marks to the drummer for working so hard on this one. I think the vocals are a little weak in delivery, that is, I think the emphasis here is effects vs letting the lyrics dictate the impact of the song. (It works at 2:06, though, when the music fades out with the “I’m all used up baby” line – there was more attitude there with the vocals) I think the idea for the song is cool/I liked it more the second time through. Production is pretty lo-fi. I think its a good demo for getting the vibe of what you’re about across to the listener.

TerraFirma from Calgary, Alberta, Canada on 11Nov2004

Joy Division

Like the way this song starts instantly real nice feel to it quiet dark in places almost like Joy Division.

spark74 from Dublin, Ireland on 11Nov2004

Gene meets Moby

Mix is very low. The song itself is very good, I particularly like the chorus. A different take – nice.

The voices are a little to muffled and could be brighter. The perfomance was full of controlled energy and worked v well. It does sound a little like one long intro at times. The drums were particularly impressive, really moved this tune along well… Nice one..

WizardSween from Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom on 11Nov2004

making slashing motions in a westernly direct..

cool harmonized vocals in the beginning. all the instruments sound like their glitching…like a scratch on a cd. then it kicks into more straightfoward mode. this song has a really great mood. i like the excess reverb/echo on stuff. sort of shoegazey..but not really. i really like this song. the mood is really the best part of the song, as it completely enveloped me. only complaint might be that the vocals are pretty high up in the mix, and they could probably be brought down a little. otherwise…this is a nice song with a great mood. thumbs up.

nearertonever from West Lafayette, Indiana on 9Nov2004

JESUS-AND-MARY-OASIS-CHAIN

CHAOS REIGNS,THE DRUMS AT THE START WERE A BIT ANNOYING,HI-HAT PRETTY BRUTAL,THE SONG GETS BETTER HOWEVER,WITH THE FIRST CHORUS ADDING MELODY,ON THE PRODUCTION SIDE ITS A BIT MUDDY THOUGH THAT COULD WELL BE ON PURPOSE,I LIKE IT MORE AFTER A COUPLE OF LISTENS AND ITS AN ENERGETIC HONEST PERFORMANCE

MichaelLee from Martina Franca, Taranto, Italy on 8Nov2004

Garage Band

Do You Believe

unique vox

like the vocals and the lyrics, they’re both unique and have character. sort of brittish ish. the production seems quasi 80’s but without those dumb gates on the drums. i like the synths. they have nice melodies and contribute very well to the already unique vocals. they also blend very nicely with the guitar lines towards the very end of the song.

At 2:10 i feel the whole tune changes pace and gets flipped around into ‘rock’ for a second. the guitars become more active and the synths die out but shortly return which is nice. all in all i think this band has character and i’d like to hear more from them.

sashalsmith from Los Angeles, California on 10Nov2004

Altern-a-tive

Great performance of the song. The song is good there maybe some room for improvement but still a good track.’do you believe’ chorus is good simplistic an effective. The production is definently professional.

munkipunk from Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa on 10Nov2004

What the hell do I put here?

The playing is very sparse, I think that it works for a song in this genre. It would be easy to add too many frills, so the band got that right.

However, I thought that the drums were a bit over-powering, I would have preferred them a bit lower in the mix. At times that was true of the keyboards as well, it detracted (and distracted) from the vocals.

Not a bad tune, not exactly to my taste. Reminiscent (to me at least) of New Order and bands of that ilk.

teddy_twl from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 10Nov2004

Reminds me a little of Tiamat, a band from Eu..

The performance feels solid and I’m enjoying the song. The arrangement is good and the song is pretty solid. I’d say that the song could benefit from revised synths.

Bridge around 2:15 caught my attention. The more I listen the more this reminds me of European bands that I really enjoy. (watch me find out that this artist is from Europe!) Overall enjoyable track.

specter_ghost from Gretna, Louisiana on 9Nov2004

Very nice track.

The overall performance was good, but there were a couple little parts that sounded like they didn’t match up or were off time. It’s not anything that would bring down the whole song, though.

I really liked the sound cause I’m just a sucker for this style of music. The vocal style was very unique for the genre. It reminded me of a less-intense Nick Cave. The song reminded me of more recent bands like Doves or The Stills.

It has that airy feel to it built on good instrumental mood setting. It didn’t get too complex or weird. The layering of sound worked well to hold the song through to the end. The production work on the guitar parts was good enough for me to notice.

If this was on a sample CD, I would definately try and track down more songs by this artist.

75Cents from Tallmadge, Ohio on 8Nov2004

I don’t believe… stop asking

Very nice guitar fade. Way crappy fake synth not appropiate to the song. Nay for electronic drums or drum machine… or very very poorly sounding drums. vocals occasionaly not in pitch. I need more guitar present to actually continue listening. I semi like the ending but the crunch sound in my left irratates the contrast.

bluecomb from Corvallis, Oregon on 8Nov2004

My review

I really like the verse. You have a Joe Jackson vibe goin on. The chorus is weak compared to the verse. Overall the song is quite good but I’d rework the chorus. The performance is solid.

JustAudio from London, Ontario, Canada on 4Nov2004

Like a plain, bland muffin…

I’m just not getting it guys. I’m not sure where this song is going.

I don’t think it’s “performed” poorly, per se, but I just don’t know about the song writing. It doesn’t really inspire an emotion in me. It doesn’t excite me, and does not truly hit the sadness emotions. I’m just indifferent to it.

Totally subjectively, I’m not sure I like what the vocalist is doing with his voice. Too much inflection perhaps (Also, I’d suggest getting rid of some of the vocal effect/reverb, esp. on “do you believe” refrain: let his true voice come out). Speaking of vocals, you can get anything more stock than “Do you believe in love?”

I like the rythym, drums/track. Good production though.

– lehnherr12 from Atlanta, Georgia on 4Nov2004

Believe

Real interesting tune;keeps your attention. Well played and in time with each other.Overall pretty cool!

pkndille from Warwick, Rhode Island on 3Nov2004

the hardest review i’ve had to do yet

i will focus on performance, song writing, and production. performancewise, you have suceeded for the most part. technically, you sound like a tight and well practiced band. the drums are proficient if a tad unexciting. the guitar and bass are confident. the vocals, however, falter. lyrically, there is some awkwardness here. some of the lines, particullarly the verses sound clumsy and forced. these are mostly a lyrical and phrasing problem. strive for liquidity. you tone is similar to evan dando, look to”shame about ray” for inspiration. the song writing evidenced here is overall competent, however, the hook falls short. lyrically it is a bit cliche. melodically, it simply isn’t catchy enough. i do, however, want to make it clear that i think you are onto something here. you definitely have the makings of a good song. don’t misconstrue my review as being overly negative. you are really close to achieving the brass ring. production wise, overall it is clear and a notch above the typical demo. the vocals are upfront, a neccesity of any pop song, and clear. the beginning of the track though is somewhat awkward. the panning is confusing and distracting. it seems empty and may turn off listeners from what would otherwise be an ejoyable song. remember,the first 30 seconds are the most important. one other note on production. the keyboard sounds are not happening. why would you sully anotherwise professional sounding song with chessily ironic casio tones. you are better than this.

thegentry from Hillsboro, Oregon on 29Oct2004

Nice Song

I thought the production and performance was pretty good. I would have liked to hear more effects in the main vocals in the verses especially…maybe even just slightly different mixing, more reverb or something…i dunno. Overall, I thought it was pretty well done.

– arghhh2004 from North Bay, Ontario, Canada on 29Oct2004

I believe!!

I like the originality. The fade in is cool. Great ideas. I LOVE the vocals and the tone. Nice ear candy with the guitar sounds. Production is very lively and refreshing. Nice key work. The song has a cool mood. I LOVE the sparce drum beat. The only constructive critasims is to have a more intense part of the song to catch a higher emotion level. AWSOME job guys!

SamuelSharkey from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada on 28Oct2004

ill give you a chance..

dudadudadudadudaduda dudadudaduda
she was wearing that red dress…
blablablaaaaahh blablahhhhhh
sorry just alittle generic for me.. more 2 note riffs please!

Hecubis301 from Central, Florida on 28Oct2004

Gothic love at its best

Filled with a creepy vibe throughout, this song has a subtle, dramatic quality that frames the lead vocalist’s deep, hypnotic voice perfectly. An inescapable sense of foreboding rides alongside quiet musings of love, which makes your heart ache while the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Lush, engaging, and addictive, this song is everything you want in Gothic-Alternative sound.

madsmiley78 from Brandon, Florida on 28Oct2004

nice sound

simple guitar riff that sounded good and grew louder,was a bit let down by the beat at first but it got better.Performance is good and production is spot on too,song itself pretty good but i found vocals are a little sort of one leveled and quite not boring just a little monotomous,not a bad track at all though

ashaxx from Stourbridge, Non Usa, United Kingdom on 28Oct2004

hard to place

the vocals were a bit muddy. I did like the overall leonard cohen feel… didn’t really care for the lyrics.

bunnysound from San Francisco, California on 27Oct2004

Sweeping sound, underwhelming chorus

I like the harmonies and the full, intoxicating sound. The melody in the chorus itself is a little monotonous to me, and the lyrics are on the trite side.

Great soundscapes you’ve created here though, lots of potential. It is performed well, and produced well (maybe the vocals could be mixed better?)

– lhawkins from Los Angeles, California on 27Oct2004

A bit gloomy

Interesting intro, sounds quite dark in a way. The singer sounds like Syd Barrett on his way to a radiohead gig. Nice chords/melody. A bit gloomy (good for a song like this).

TheMattBrown from London, England, United Kingdom on 27Oct2004

Go Go Gadget Headline

I like the bridge part most. And I dislike the chorus. This has a sound that reminds me of a cross between The Smoking Popes and The Magnetic Fields. If more was done with that bridge part and less with the chorus, I’d be all over this like lube on a porn star.

Flloyd from Boston, Massachusetts on 26Oct2004

80’s is not dead

again this is a good tune for the beauty bar on thursday nights.good rockin drinking music.somber,moody,melloncollie,s its own way)i love descenant sounds.sounds that appear to be trailing of into the amber sunset.this song is simple which all good music is.they are obviously not trying to break any records which is good.the song is good very listenable(is that a word?)the production sounded better than most of the shit i have listened to on this website.good shit guys.good luck

mrwong2442 from Brooklyn, New York on 26Oct2004

song

Good ideas here. Too much synth, I think, perhaps a better idea may be a lead guitar with lots of effects. I like the chorus, sounds more clear than the verse. NIce and meloncholy…I’m a fan of that.

cjmahoney from Boston, Massachusetts on 26Oct2004

katchy

like how the guitar comes in…the keyboards sound alright…little video-game-ish at times….the arrangements are alright…the drums cut through nicely and mix well with the song…like the changes…like the chorus..good performance…the production is pretty well down..the song overall is pretty kewl…hey..its a love song…good stuff guys

-John sykossun from Alliston, Ontario, Canada on 26Oct2004

do you believe

I really like the bouncing guitars coming into the synth pad setting up the verse here, The vocal tone is decent, but I’m not in love with this singer… Interesting drum tones coming in around 1:39… At the 2:11 mark, the backgrounds add in some nice warmth and the guitar playing becomes strong. Performance- strong in many areas, especially drums and bass

production- fairly well done… Song- It’s ok…try breaking things up a bit more.

Audioride from Brighton, Massachusetts on 26Oct2004

Keep up the good work

What a nice mood this song had. I think this has some real quality to it. Unusual production, but engaging. Keep up the good work.

foffster from B�, Telemark, Norway on 25Oct2004

Just not very inspiring

The drums were really buried in the mix. Production value low. The song itself left me feeling kind of uninterested. Vocals sounded like that guy from Duran Duran on zanex… He sounded like he was phoning in his lines- or at least like he was very bored.

jamies_ice from New Castle, Pennsylvania on 25Oct2004

(snore)

Somehow, the words of this song just don’t belong with the rythmn. I don’t know what it is. Quite interesting, but mostly just makes me want to sleep. Are you kids on Valium?

wheresmebox from Unspecified on 25Oct2004

Big Sound

My first reaction on hearing the mix was that the keyboard seems to be quite prominent and seems to be treading on the guitars a little. Not that the production is bad in any way – in fact, it’s very bright and clear and well produced and does seem to pick up halfway through.

All performances sound accomplished but with music being such a subjective thing, I have to say that I’m not too keen on the song overall. I’m just not a fan of the tune. Just my opinion there.

dinerhq from High Wycombe, London, United Kingdom on 25Oct2004

nice intro

vocalist could work on his approach i think that perhaps he could work on the lyrics of the chorus also there decent but its just been sung about so many times you know? over all i think that this song would sound very good live and the performance would probably be there but in just audio it doesnt grab me ? production ok its definately good enough to get the idea of the song through but if you got signed you would rerecord any way so dont sweat the production.

stockton from Fort Lewis, Washington on 25Oct2004

Good song…just needs a little more variatio..

The beginning of the song drew me in… sort of a Pink Floydish feel. The vocal melody was a bit too straight for me, not much of a hook, in my opinion. I like the bridge, a bit of a change up. The production is good, mixing is good. I definitely think a little variation in the vocal melody would make a huge difference.

onewhodreams from Laguna Niguel, California on 24Oct2004

like Nine Inch Nails struck by Cupid

Singer needs to try recording this when he isn’t half asleep; that way the words won’t run together.Song has the right texture for the style. The bridge was a nice contrast. Overall, a bit too mellow for me; if you want to do a slow song, you need to emphasize the lyrics. Clear lyrics in a ballad turn the song from a puddle into a stream; a stream that can flow right into the listener if you do it the right way.

darkmorning from Lancaster, New York on 24Oct2004

alice in chains meets the grand orchestra

she was wearing that red dress, huh? god the vox are horrible. is this robert smith’s new band? Yes, I believe in love. this belongs in pop section. I cannot go on listening to this crap. shut her down 1 of 5 b/c thats the lowest rating garageband allows. hey at least I’m honest.

maulingallmules from De Pere, Wisconsin on 24Oct2004

 

Garage Band

Do You Believe

unique vox

like the vocals and the lyrics, they’re both unique and have character. sort of brittish ish. the production seems quasi 80’s but without those dumb gates on the drums. i like the synths. they have nice melodies and contribute very well to the already unique vocals. they also blend very nicely with the guitar lines towards the very end of the song.

At 2:10 i feel the whole tune changes pace and gets flipped around into ‘rock’ for a second. the guitars become more active and the synths die out but shortly return which is nice. all in all i think this band has character and i’d like to hear more from them.

sashalsmith from Los Angeles, California on 10Nov2004

Altern-a-tive

Great performance of the song. The song is good there maybe some room for improvement but still a good track.’do you believe’ chorus is good simplistic an effective. The production is definently professional.

munkipunk from Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa on 10Nov2004

What the hell do I put here?

The playing is very sparse, I think that it works for a song in this genre. It would be easy to add too many frills, so the band got that right.

However, I thought that the drums were a bit over-powering, I would have preferred them a bit lower in the mix. At times that was true of the keyboards as well, it detracted (and distracted) from the vocals.

Not a bad tune, not exactly to my taste. Reminiscent (to me at least) of New Order and bands of that ilk.

teddy_twl from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 10Nov2004

Reminds me a little of Tiamat, a band from Eu..

The performance feels solid and I’m enjoying the song. The arrangement is good and the song is pretty solid. I’d say that the song could benefit from revised synths.

Bridge around 2:15 caught my attention. The more I listen the more this reminds me of European bands that I really enjoy. (watch me find out that this artist is from Europe!) Overall enjoyable track.

specter_ghost from Gretna, Louisiana on 9Nov2004

Very nice track.

The overall performance was good, but there were a couple little parts that sounded like they didn’t match up or were off time. It’s not anything that would bring down the whole song, though.

I really liked the sound cause I’m just a sucker for this style of music. The vocal style was very unique for the genre. It reminded me of a less-intense Nick Cave. The song reminded me of more recent bands like Doves or The Stills.

It has that airy feel to it built on good instrumental mood setting. It didn’t get too complex or weird. The layering of sound worked well to hold the song through to the end. The production work on the guitar parts was good enough for me to notice.

If this was on a sample CD, I would definately try and track down more songs by this artist.

75Cents from Tallmadge, Ohio on 8Nov2004

I don’t believe… stop asking

Very nice guitar fade. Way crappy fake synth not appropiate to the song. Nay for electronic drums or drum machine… or very very poorly sounding drums. vocals occasionaly not in pitch. I need more guitar present to actually continue listening. I semi like the ending but the crunch sound in my left irratates the contrast.

bluecomb from Corvallis, Oregon on 8Nov2004

My review

I really like the verse. You have a Joe Jackson vibe goin on. The chorus is weak compared to the verse. Overall the song is quite good but I’d rework the chorus. The performance is solid.

JustAudio from London, Ontario, Canada on 4Nov2004

Like a plain, bland muffin…

I’m just not getting it guys. I’m not sure where this song is going.

I don’t think it’s “performed” poorly, per se, but I just don’t know about the song writing. It doesn’t really inspire an emotion in me. It doesn’t excite me, and does not truly hit the sadness emotions. I’m just indifferent to it.

Totally subjectively, I’m not sure I like what the vocalist is doing with his voice. Too much inflection perhaps (Also, I’d suggest getting rid of some of the vocal effect/reverb, esp. on “do you believe” refrain: let his true voice come out). Speaking of vocals, you can get anything more stock than “Do you believe in love?”

I like the rythym, drums/track. Good production though.

– lehnherr12 from Atlanta, Georgia on 4Nov2004

Believe

Real interesting tune;keeps your attention. Well played and in time with each other.Overall pretty cool!

pkndille from Warwick, Rhode Island on 3Nov2004

the hardest review i’ve had to do yet

i will focus on performance, song writing, and production. performancewise, you have suceeded for the most part. technically, you sound like a tight and well practiced band. the drums are proficient if a tad unexciting. the guitar and bass are confident. the vocals, however, falter. lyrically, there is some awkwardness here. some of the lines, particullarly the verses sound clumsy and forced. these are mostly a lyrical and phrasing problem. strive for liquidity. you tone is similar to evan dando, look to”shame about ray” for inspiration. the song writing evidenced here is overall competent, however, the hook falls short. lyrically it is a bit cliche. melodically, it simply isn’t catchy enough. i do, however, want to make it clear that i think you are onto something here. you definitely have the makings of a good song. don’t misconstrue my review as being overly negative. you are really close to achieving the brass ring. production wise, overall it is clear and a notch above the typical demo. the vocals are upfront, a neccesity of any pop song, and clear. the beginning of the track though is somewhat awkward. the panning is confusing and distracting. it seems empty and may turn off listeners from what would otherwise be an ejoyable song. remember,the first 30 seconds are the most important. one other note on production. the keyboard sounds are not happening. why would you sully anotherwise professional sounding song with chessily ironic casio tones. you are better than this.

thegentry from Hillsboro, Oregon on 29Oct2004

Nice Song

I thought the production and performance was pretty good. I would have liked to hear more effects in the main vocals in the verses especially…maybe even just slightly different mixing, more reverb or something…i dunno. Overall, I thought it was pretty well done.

– arghhh2004 from North Bay, Ontario, Canada on 29Oct2004

I believe!!

I like the originality. The fade in is cool. Great ideas. I LOVE the vocals and the tone. Nice ear candy with the guitar sounds. Production is very lively and refreshing. Nice key work. The song has a cool mood. I LOVE the sparce drum beat. The only constructive critasims is to have a more intense part of the song to catch a higher emotion level. AWSOME job guys!

SamuelSharkey from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada on 28Oct2004

ill give you a chance..

dudadudadudadudaduda dudadudaduda
she was wearing that red dress…
blablablaaaaahh blablahhhhhh
sorry just alittle generic for me.. more 2 note riffs please!

Hecubis301 from Central, Florida on 28Oct2004

Gothic love at its best

Filled with a creepy vibe throughout, this song has a subtle, dramatic quality that frames the lead vocalist’s deep, hypnotic voice perfectly. An inescapable sense of foreboding rides alongside quiet musings of love, which makes your heart ache while the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Lush, engaging, and addictive, this song is everything you want in Gothic-Alternative sound.

madsmiley78 from Brandon, Florida on 28Oct2004

nice sound

simple guitar riff that sounded good and grew louder,was a bit let down by the beat at first but it got better.Performance is good and production is spot on too,song itself pretty good but i found vocals are a little sort of one leveled and quite not boring just a little monotomous,not a bad track at all though

ashaxx from Stourbridge, Non Usa, United Kingdom on 28Oct2004

hard to place

the vocals were a bit muddy. I did like the overall leonard cohen feel… didn’t really care for the lyrics.

bunnysound from San Francisco, California on 27Oct2004

Sweeping sound, underwhelming chorus

I like the harmonies and the full, intoxicating sound. The melody in the chorus itself is a little monotonous to me, and the lyrics are on the trite side.

Great soundscapes you’ve created here though, lots of potential. It is performed well, and produced well (maybe the vocals could be mixed better?)

– lhawkins from Los Angeles, California on 27Oct2004

A bit gloomy

Interesting intro, sounds quite dark in a way. The singer sounds like Syd Barrett on his way to a radiohead gig. Nice chords/melody. A bit gloomy (good for a song like this).

TheMattBrown from London, England, United Kingdom on 27Oct2004

Go Go Gadget Headline

I like the bridge part most. And I dislike the chorus. This has a sound that reminds me of a cross between The Smoking Popes and The Magnetic Fields. If more was done with that bridge part and less with the chorus, I’d be all over this like lube on a porn star.

Flloyd from Boston, Massachusetts on 26Oct2004

80’s is not dead

again this is a good tune for the beauty bar on thursday nights.good rockin drinking music.somber,moody,melloncollie,s its own way)i love descenant sounds.sounds that appear to be trailing of into the amber sunset.this song is simple which all good music is.they are obviously not trying to break any records which is good.the song is good very listenable(is that a word?)the production sounded better than most of the shit i have listened to on this website.good shit guys.good luck

mrwong2442 from Brooklyn, New York on 26Oct2004

song

Good ideas here. Too much synth, I think, perhaps a better idea may be a lead guitar with lots of effects. I like the chorus, sounds more clear than the verse. NIce and meloncholy…I’m a fan of that.

cjmahoney from Boston, Massachusetts on 26Oct2004

katchy

like how the guitar comes in…the keyboards sound alright…little video-game-ish at times….the arrangements are alright…the drums cut through nicely and mix well with the song…like the changes…like the chorus..good performance…the production is pretty well down..the song overall is pretty kewl…hey..its a love song…good stuff guys

-John sykossun from Alliston, Ontario, Canada on 26Oct2004

do you believe

I really like the bouncing guitars coming into the synth pad setting up the verse here, The vocal tone is decent, but I’m not in love with this singer… Interesting drum tones coming in around 1:39… At the 2:11 mark, the backgrounds add in some nice warmth and the guitar playing becomes strong. Performance- strong in many areas, especially drums and bass

production- fairly well done… Song- It’s ok…try breaking things up a bit more.

Audioride from Brighton, Massachusetts on 26Oct2004

Keep up the good work

What a nice mood this song had. I think this has some real quality to it. Unusual production, but engaging. Keep up the good work.

foffster from B�, Telemark, Norway on 25Oct2004

Just not very inspiring

The drums were really buried in the mix. Production value low. The song itself left me feeling kind of uninterested. Vocals sounded like that guy from Duran Duran on zanex… He sounded like he was phoning in his lines- or at least like he was very bored.

jamies_ice from New Castle, Pennsylvania on 25Oct2004

(snore)

Somehow, the words of this song just don’t belong with the rythmn. I don’t know what it is. Quite interesting, but mostly just makes me want to sleep. Are you kids on Valium?

wheresmebox from Unspecified on 25Oct2004

Big Sound

My first reaction on hearing the mix was that the keyboard seems to be quite prominent and seems to be treading on the guitars a little. Not that the production is bad in any way – in fact, it’s very bright and clear and well produced and does seem to pick up halfway through.

All performances sound accomplished but with music being such a subjective thing, I have to say that I’m not too keen on the song overall. I’m just not a fan of the tune. Just my opinion there.

dinerhq from High Wycombe, London, United Kingdom on 25Oct2004

nice intro

vocalist could work on his approach i think that perhaps he could work on the lyrics of the chorus also there decent but its just been sung about so many times you know? over all i think that this song would sound very good live and the performance would probably be there but in just audio it doesnt grab me ? production ok its definately good enough to get the idea of the song through but if you got signed you would rerecord any way so dont sweat the production.

stockton from Fort Lewis, Washington on 25Oct2004

Good song…just needs a little more variatio..

The beginning of the song drew me in… sort of a Pink Floydish feel. The vocal melody was a bit too straight for me, not much of a hook, in my opinion. I like the bridge, a bit of a change up. The production is good, mixing is good. I definitely think a little variation in the vocal melody would make a huge difference.

onewhodreams from Laguna Niguel, California on 24Oct2004

like Nine Inch Nails struck by Cupid

Singer needs to try recording this when he isn’t half asleep; that way the words won’t run together.Song has the right texture for the style. The bridge was a nice contrast. Overall, a bit too mellow for me; if you want to do a slow song, you need to emphasize the lyrics. Clear lyrics in a ballad turn the song from a puddle into a stream; a stream that can flow right into the listener if you do it the right way.

darkmorning from Lancaster, New York on 24Oct2004

alice in chains meets the grand orchestra

she was wearing that red dress, huh? god the vox are horrible. is this robert smith’s new band? Yes, I believe in love. this belongs in pop section. I cannot go on listening to this crap. shut her down 1 of 5 b/c thats the lowest rating garageband allows. hey at least I’m honest.

maulingallmules from De Pere, Wisconsin on 24Oct2004

 

Garage Band

Tidal Wave

It’s alright

I like the melody. The vocals are great in the chorus, I don’t really like the beginning vocals. The drums were great.

AdoptMe from Crownsville, Maryland

Intresting

The guitar is pretty good at the beginning. The singer’s voice isn’t really my style, might be because it’s a bit loud too. Other wise its pretty good. Reminds me of the Doors for some reason.

malakikourt from Ninety Six, South Carolina

<h3pulp< h3=””>

This is very Pulp influenced. This one is loungy with dirty hooks. trip out.

peck from Hayward, California

BINGO!

Loved the lyrics! And that super low lead voice. Beautiful stuff! Everything about this song was just right.

Had to listen to it again. I’d love to see the band live!
– jnny808 from Cyberspace, Alberta, Canada

Interesting

Vocals are to high in the mix. It sounds a little like Sean Mullins. The recording is good.

rbell44 from Saint Paul, Minnesota

Very interesting

The singer’s voice…whoa, it made me feel like I was in a dream. Very intoxicating and unique. I’m not sure that I’m a big fan of this kind of music, but I do appreciate that the singer wrote some very interesting

The bridge section was kind of a letdown…I was expecting something more from it. I’m not sure what it should have been, but it just killed the momentum of the song. I would like to see your band live to see what kind of energy you have and how you connect with the audience.
– SamsaraMan from Evanston, Illinois

Please more sex refrences

Lyrics really bad. And thats a completely subjective category, but they completely ruined the song for me. The lyrics in the chorus arent so bad. But the verse, is mind boggling bad. Song sounds alright though. Bass is very very strong. Drums sound alright. Vocal delivery is a little weak. Especially at the begining. AHHHHH i just remembered the first line again “Love is an ocean, why dont you get wet”. That one hurts fellas.

Baron_Zemo from Vienna, Virginia

dark but catchy

Tthis is a pretty catchy song, but dark at the same time. all the parts are played well, and the vocals are nice. however, i much prefer the sung choruses to the verses, because during the verses the singer takes on a kind of Nick Cave baritone that is a bit irritating. my favorite part is the background organ (or synth organ), but i kind of wished that it was brought more to the front of the mix. this is a quality song though… nice work.

sansarc from Woodbury, New Jersey

Dreamy alt-rock

Sounds well-produced. I like the instrumentation, the vocals are alright, but they are a little too conversational to me. The voice might be better if it was sung higher, but that’s okay. It reminds me of Pink Floyd and Interpol. The vocal effects are slightly distracting, but not bad. The drums are very good, keeping the beat well and adding just the right amounts of rhythm. The guitars are pretty good. I like the feedback noises, very cool. Maybe there could be a bigger break-down in the middle or something? Or maybe a guitar solo? Or a riff jam? It sounds very good though.

Forever_Endever from Eau Claire

eerie

the vox are eerie and are like…the doors mixed with beatles melody, that’s kinda what i’m hearing atleast….nice lil breakdown in the middle with the vocalist..talking to…whoever he’s talking to

blankosmosis from Levittown, New York

Lose the Verse Melody

the instruments sound good. I’m not a big fan of the vocals in the verse. When the vocals are layered a bit it helps. I would rethink the melody on the verse and then you would be getting closer to having a good song in my book. I do give you props on the mix.

bartongill from Studio City, California

I think I’m Elvis

Lyrics and vocals need serious help, but the music isn’t too bad.

LithiumSuede from Medford, Oregon

right on…

WEDDINg PRESENT!!! decent song, original play and vocals…good job…

lesblack from Chicago, Illinois

crash test

the drums and vocals appear to be too high in the mix…the two are washing out the guitar, which is a strong point of the song…i like the instrumentation and the chorus, i just can’t get into the vocals on the verse…it’s good, otherwise

chickenking from Smithtown, New York

Interesting lyrics

Good production on this track. The vocals are good and clear. The lyrics are interesting. The guitar bass and drums all seem to work well together in this tune. I like the change up at the ending. Good work.

BigBadBoMan from Langley, British Columbia, Canada

 

jjj unearthed

transmission

rating: 5/5

Michael Cullen’s music is reminiscent of bands such as Joy Division, The Birthday Party and the Triffids to name a few. He manages to combine the best bits of each of these artists to come up with something distinctive of his own. This song has a fast energetic vibe with dark atmospheric undertones. The music alone creates vivid imagery while the cleverly crafted lyrics add the story in.

Tomatrax, SuperUser 04 Aug, 2007

all used up

rating: 5/5

A very dark and gloomy tune looking at despair and what could have been. Mr Cullen uses some interesting effects on his vocals to create a chilling echo sound. Overall this is a brilliant piece of work that consists of dense sounds and beautiful melodies.

Tomatrax, SuperUser 04 Aug, 2007

One is Still My Number

rating: 5/5

The music here is like post punk crossed with rhythm and blues, the end result is both unique and infectious. This is led my a solid vocal style that pushes out some bitter emotion. To top it off the lyrics in this piece are sharply delivered with some cleverly crafted metaphors. Overall this song is totally brilliant!

Tomatrax, SuperUser 01 Jan, 2008

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