Boots of Righteous Defense

April 5, 2009 5:31 PM

The first finished recording for my band's new album.

There are pros and cons to having 2 people in a band. You can exercise a lot of control over the end recorded result, but you might not be able to play it. What we've found that works for us is to throw in everything including the kitchen sink, then removing parts one by one until we have a core that stands on its own.

posted by dobie (21 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I remember when you posted this acoustic a few months ago, it was a good song than and it's just as good electric. One thing though, the drums weren't really doing it for me, kinda sounded off beat at times and a little overcomplicated. But still good stuff.
posted by BrnP84 at 8:14 PM on April 5, 2009

It's funny, everybody who has heard it, including the drummer himself, has told me that they aren't happy with the drums. But I love them... Neil has insisted that he wants to re-record them, I guess I can't say no, but I still don't get it. Thanks for remembering. BrnP84.
posted by dobie at 9:28 PM on April 5, 2009

I like the drums, I think they really set the tone. They have a very particular sound, but it's a sound I happen to like a lot -- really compressed and up front. And the frenetic fills just follow the fumbly guitar (in a good way). Really lends to the epic feel of the song.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 9:46 PM on April 5, 2009

Dobie, I feel horrible! Somehow I have missed almost every song you've posted! I do listen to Whispers often, so hopefully that makes up for it a little bit.

But I love this! I love the original, too (which I just heard). They're both wonderful takes on this song. I think the drums are cool - to me they add to a certain sense of giving up (although this song is by no means whiny and self centered). If I were good at drumming, I would try and add a bit to the falling apart feel of the drums, while still being controlled and mostly on beat. But I really like the way the drums actually sound, so I hope that you can keep that. And the vocals sound perfect, to me.

Off to finish listening to the rest of your tunes now!
posted by Corduroy at 10:02 PM on April 5, 2009

I also liked the acoustic version a few months back, and I also like this version. I'm a little uncertain about the drums; at points I really like them and at points they sound like they're, well, the best descriptor I can come up with is "flailing." Over all, though, I really like this song.

Corduroy: I highly recommend "Morning Anger," which seems to be the most listened to song in my entire music collection, according to iTunes.
posted by Caduceus at 10:24 PM on April 5, 2009

Great song. I really like the feel of it. And I actually like the drums. But I can see the issue; it's not so much the "flailing" as the fact that there's a few parts where the timing is slightly off, in that the guitar hits just before or after the drums and however you rationalize it, people are still going to think, "mistake." I personally don't care. And I love the vocals. So calm in the sea of madness. Kind of made me think of the Doves.
posted by chococat at 10:35 PM on April 6, 2009

Yea, I can hear where the percussion doesn't seem to syncopate, or maybe there is one extra note, but it doesn't throw me off at all.

I've known other bands that TRY to get this kind of effect with MUCH less success. From what you're saying it clearly wasn't intentional, but it happened and it happened pretty damn good!
posted by snsranch at 8:28 PM on April 7, 2009

I wouldn't say it is wasn't intentional, that's just kind of his style. Regardless, we re-recorded the beat tonight, the chorus is much much simpler and creates a bit of a counterbalance to the guitar rhythm. He really makes it come alive.
posted by dobie at 12:13 AM on April 8, 2009

The idea of this drumming is some of the most interesting stuff I've heard in a while, although as chococat points out, there are some places where the timing is off. Personally I wish that wasn't the case, because to me, this is an audacious player, and I want him to deliver on the promise/premise 100%. The drum sound is awesome.

I understand that you are going for a particular sonic landscape here (and a interesting one it is), and since nobody else is "complaining" I'm sure that I'm the weirdo, but I feel like the mix is teetering on the line between disaffected cool and just plain muddy. I'm a big fan of your vocals, and I get the stylistic choice of embedding it in the music... but I think it gets a little too buried/obscured at times. I especially wish I heard it more in the chorus. Maybe your re-recording of the beat has already helped with that.

Anyway, you're doing interesting things. I feel like there is a possibility that you will make an album at some point that will become a classic; a must-have record.
posted by edlundart at 11:09 PM on April 8, 2009

I like it a lot. I think it stands on its own and it works. Would you mind posting a link to the new, rerecorded version? It would be interesting to compare them.

I really like this one, though.
posted by micayetoca at 12:24 AM on April 9, 2009

I'm really curious to hear the new version of this. I think as is it's a really interesting and compelling recording, but the loose craziness of the drums is a really standout element for better or for worse, and it'd be great to hear the alternate approach and compare the two.
posted by cortex at 2:58 PM on April 9, 2009

Edlundart, I know what you're talking about with the drums. I think we aren't used to hearing drums that aren't exactly in time because of how easy it is to use drum machines and the power of digital editing. I subscribe to a concept that sometimes little rhythmic incongruities make a song more sticky in a listener's brain. They can build anticipation because people start to think "here comes that mistake" and they listen closer than they normally would. In this case however some of the offbeats were just a little too off, and Neil agreed, so we re-recorded. The cymbals in the chorus definitely ate a lot of the vocal frequencies so the new drums should reduce some of the murk you refer to.

To all, thanks for the feedback. It'll take me a little time to mix the new drums. We only use two strategically placed omni-directional mics so it is a bit of a black art of compression and eq jockeying. I'd feel a little presumptuous posting the song yet again, so perhaps I'll send a link to the (new) final copy to anyone who'd like it.
posted by dobie at 4:15 PM on April 9, 2009

No sweat with just posting the link in this thread, if you aren't worried about bandwidth, of course.
posted by cortex at 4:33 PM on April 9, 2009

I'd also like to hear the new recording, so please do post a new link or something. The more I listen to this the more I like it, so I'm curious to hear how it's changed.
posted by Caduceus at 11:41 PM on April 9, 2009

YADC. (Yet another drum comment.) :). My brother is a drummer and he talks a lot about walking the line between clean and sloppy (syncopated). Early Ringo is an excellent example of a drummer who's syncopations and funk? really increases the listenability of some Beatles tunes. It's about not being so predictable. This is a tricky drum beat, and I think the slow tempo makes it even harder to stay in time. Overall nice song. And, mysterious drummer, your high hat work was awesome!
posted by brickmachine at 6:32 AM on April 10, 2009

Okay, I'll send the link to the new version to anyone who adds this to their favorites... :)
posted by dobie at 7:31 AM on April 10, 2009

Hey thanks man, just heard the new one. You guys definitely got rid of the glitch in the matrix without losing ANY of the drama. I'm fucking digging it.
posted by snsranch at 2:39 PM on April 11, 2009

Okay, I'll send the link to the new version to anyone who adds this to their favorites... :)

I can't favorite stuff anymore because of some update they did to the site (I use NoScript and I would have to accept, but I'd love to hear the new version. Do I still get it?
posted by micayetoca at 7:24 PM on April 11, 2009

I can't favorite stuff anymore because of some update they did to the site (I use NoScript and I would have to accept, but I'd love to hear the new version. Do I still get it?

Sure, sure. Make sure your tinfoil hat isn't covering your ears when you listen. ;)
posted by dobie at 8:20 PM on April 11, 2009

I just didn't think you were serious about the favoriting thing. I'd very much like to hear it.
posted by cortex at 8:39 PM on April 11, 2009

I'm all about the loosey goosey, almost uninterested feel that you guys have gone for, but I think that same attitude would sound even better with some peppier, more assertive song-writing. This to me sounds like an early demo of The National almost... lackidaisical baritone singing and wild drumming. I think if you structured the song a bit more, particularly the drummer's parts, and moved away from the post-rock sort of feel and a bit more towards cheeky indie it would be a pretty ear-catching tune.
posted by jdnason at 10:12 AM on April 20, 2009

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