VPC4 Round 2:

Nerdcore Goes...

Nerdcore Goes Pop! Nerdcore Goes Metal! Nerdcore Goes New Wave Shoegaze Blackened Folk Celtic Punk! It doesn't really matter what you go, but it can't be hip-hop for this round. Your team is tasked with covering an existing non-hip-hop/rap song. Any other genre is open for your choosing. And while we're on the topic of "no hip-hop," your cover doesn't even have to be in a hip-hop style either! Been wanting to rework an Iron Maiden song into a soaring pop track? Do it. Wanna cover Kenny Loggins in a crust punk style? Have fun! Think you could do a rap cover of a CHVRCHES song? Have at it.

To clarify, your submitted song can be in the style of hip-hop, or any other genre you want. The original song you choose to cover cannot be hip-hop. You will be required to submit a link to the original piece in which you cover.

Annex Dote

Once In A Timeline

Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime

Brandon - 4.25

This was a very ambitious selection. Talking Heads. Holy fucking shit. Props for that! Unfortunately, the execution is largely flawed, especially in the very messy refrain, which is one of the strongest parts of the original. It's simply too chaotic overall. While the original is in its own way (that timing & dramatic delivery; srsly it's WEIRD AF) it comes together well, particularly in the refrain. This simply does not.

Desh - 8.25

This feels fun. You need to be more consistent rhythmically, mostly in the first verse. Fantastic job maintaining the general feel of the Talking Heads inspiration, at least thematically. I love that you didn’t try to do “too much here”. Direction and tone-wise, you felt quite comfortable, while exploring basically whatever you wanted to cover. Nice work I’m so glad you rapped this. When I saw the song on SC, I was worried you’d sing it. The song felt great. You could have been more consistent, rhythm and feel wise.

Richie - 6

Overall, I like this! Beat was cool, just a bit melodically repetitive. The atomospheric effects were a nice touch. Vocals could benefit from having a little more shaved off from the low end.

Thomas - 8

A good choice of a pop song to cover that can be easily translated into a rap format. After all, David Byrne already speaks on the verses. I'm not sure how adequately this counts as a cover. The chorus is certainly used and other elements are inspired by it, but so are any number of commercial rap songs that are never considered covers. I kind of get the feeling Annex Dote are more so taking the piss out of the song and the group...Still, the song provided the perfect opportunity for Kordlys to flex his flow, and it really pulled me in. The lyrics are absurd, satirical and timely. The minimal beat is a great idea - it allows the elements of the original to flow in and out of the song easily, it's prefect for Kordlys, and those wind chimes are awesome!

Public Vote - 6.5

Total Score - 33/50

Round 2 Standing - 15th

Aural Sex

Nerdcore Jesus

Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus

Brandon - 6

Pretty fun take on a classic here. Music is solid enough & the lyrics are really smirk & snicker worthy. Short rap breakdown works well. That said, while I dig the singing on the verses, it's stretching too hard on the higher notes in the chorus; this is exacerbated by the lower octave harmony (makes the pitchy bits stand out more).Also, #blessed

Desh - 8.5

Nailed the singing parts (unlike many in this round). Cadence on the singing and raps was on point. None of the harmonies were “bad” but the way they fit bothered me. When the harmonies are stacked...they could be less harsh and more on point, pitch and balance-wise. Again, not bad. Just not great. The irony used here is A.Ma.Zing. Overall, no complaints. Bars are strong. This is the first time I’ve had trouble being objective. I don’t like this song, but you did a good job on it. Overall vocal delivery was strong. The rap verse, while solid, was abrupt; the transition from singing to the rap kind of sucked and could have been more nuanced. Maybe an instrumental lead in or some noise talking before and after would have helped?

Richie - 7

I like this team's style! That switch-up mid way through is a nice touch. The beat has a catchy melody that I can appreciate. I really like the style of singing presented on this track, but the vocals seem a bit low & dry compared to everything else.

Thomas - 8.5

Holy shit do I ever hate this song! The original, I mean. So much triggering of high school. Ugh! Anyway, "Nerdcore Jesus" is a pretty straight-forward parody. The lyrics are rewritten and crammed full of nerdy references, and the horrible 80s synth beat is given a little more of a crunchy edge. Johnny Hacknslash's singing is even quite good on this song. I actually really dig this version of the song. The rap seemed a little out of place. I liked it, but I'm not sure if it just needs to be better integrated with the rest of the song (maybe borrowing an element of the melody) or if it just needs to be delivered with the confidence of the rest of the track.

Public Vote - 7

Total Score - 37/50

Round 2 Standing - 10th

Beat Tape Bandits

Weekend

Louis The Child & Icona Pop - Weekend

Brandon - 7.75

Oh hey. I hate this original song. It's fucking trash. But this cover is considerably better than the original so I guess I won't give it a 1. ಥ◡ಥ Music is fucking jamtastic. The Snarky Puppy vibe wasn't just a boast. Congrats on that! Vocals are satisfactory, but not exceptional. They're there, they're better than the original (not hard...), but doesn't wow me. Additional vocal harmonies could add some interest there. Dat music tho. Aw yea bby. (⌐■_■)b

Desh - 9

Sick work delivering this track. Great cover for a newer track that I really really enjoyed. Be more of a perfectionist about your pitch. Otherwise, this was great.

Richie - 8

This team's production values are solid. This beat is naaaasty, especially that tonal switch-up after the isntrumental solo. Lex's voice compliments this production style very well. There seems to be some harmonic dissonance in different spots between the beat and the singing. It's not as if the vocals are off-key per se, but it might just be notes within the key that aren't melodically ideal.

Thomas - 9

Unusual song choice from this team, something so modern. I wa hoping to hear something jazzy, perhaps a cover of one of the artists mentioned on their first round song. Or maybe it's a ballsy choice. The vocals of the original are out of Lex's range, so it gets a bit monotonous. On the other hand, the rawness works. But the real winner here is the beat. Klopfenpop trades in the big beat dance sound of the original for a dynamic acid jazz vibe. I imagine this is what it would sound like if Jamiriquai covered "Weekend". Also, I'm also ready to give up on getting a rap out of Lex in the VPC4.

Public Vote - 7

Total Score - 40.75/50

Round 2 Standing - 6th (tie)

CamOflage

Be Prepared

The Lion King - Be Prepared

Brandon - 7

Are you fucking kidding me? Is this actually fucking happening? WOW. ʿʿ⁽⁽((⁰ⅈ⁰))⁾⁾ʾʾ The whole thing is epic and theatrical, both the music and the vocals. The vibe is absolutely on point. I want to go back and watch the movie now. But damn, that one held note, the big closer, "Be prepared", every time is cringe inducing. It's way flat & the scoop and slide was not a good choice. It's my only complaint, but since it's such a climatic point that's flawed (it's glaringly obvious) I can't score it as high as I would like. Overall, though, it's a solid job. Still can't believe the cover choice. Ballsy yo!

Desh - 9

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this, though I'm pissed at you for not dropping a verse. Like, I get that it's a cover challenge, but these guidelines aren't so strict that you can't drop a mean Osiris verse. Come on man. The singing wasn't perfect, and the whole track is sung. It's so well done, in my opinion, that it's still good, but the singing did hurt you some.

Richie - 8.5

Very well-done! This beat is extremely dope. There might be a few spots where the beat could use a bit of understatement to bring more attention to the vocalist, but still...wow. Cam kiled it on the vocals. Not a fan of the reverb during the conversational bit at the beginning

Thomas - 7

Why? Why did you make me listen to show tunes? I don't get paid enough for this! Still, nice to see what I would consider an outside-of-the-box choice. With the limited amount of singing on this song - it's really almost talking - I would have loved to see the song switched to a rap. After all, the beat hints at that possibility. The singing is good but it's the beat that really keeps this track interesting for me The reframing of the story through the intro was a nice touch, too.

Public Vote - 8

Total Score - 39.5/50

Round 2 Standing - 8th

Custom Prize Joker

World's Worst Drum Programmer

Shael Riley - World's Worst Drum Programmer

Brandon - 2.5

While I'm a Shael Riley fan, I've gotta admit that I really struggled to find anything good to say about this one. Mix is not the best, vocals are flat as often as they're not, chip elements are half heartedly implemented; sounds like a rough draft tbh. Spend some more time on it and it *could* be good, but in this state it's a no go for me.

Desh - 5

The singing is not good. Why did you sing this? Why did you not sing it better? It's pitchy, the stacks probably make the pitchiness worse. It also sounds like you're struggling to sing. Like, there's no smoothness to the way you transition pitches. I really liked your first round entry, so I know you can do better. Punk-style half-singing will not work here. Please do better next time.

Richie - 7.5

HAHAHAHA! This is such a cool song! I really how this team's beats evolve throughout the song. I'm definitely digging the chiptune stuff. I had issues with the tonality in some of the singing, and damn near forgave them after hearing the "i sing off-key" in the lyrics, lol.

Thomas - 5

I like the rawness and the stripped-back instrumentation of the original. It's a fine folk flavour. Sure, the song has the lyrics "I sing off key" and Shael Riley does, Memory Fades just doesn't have the same character and emotional resonance on the cover. It's kind of flat, actually. The new interpretation of the music is cool. I like how it builds and has a short dance interlude. It is a bit weird to have such a solid drum track backing a song called "World's Words Drum Programmer". I'm also not sure I like the vocal/production combo.

Public Vote - 6

Total Score - 26/50

Round 2 Standing - 21st

Dappersaurus

Danger Zone (Dapper Bastard Mix)

Kenny Loggins - Danger Zone

Brandon - 4.5

This is dangerous starting off because it's an 80's song that I actually like (those are FAR & FEW between...). And with that said, this doesn't quite work for me. The kinda lulzy delivery doesn't work vocally on this one (off time a lot too). The backing vocals are weirdly placed and a bit pitchy. Nice attempt with the Synthwave-ish baseline to reference the 80s, but it doesn't blend with the minimalistic drums & garage band sounding guitar well. The rap breakdown is cool, but doesn't save it; and it's too jarringly placed (I.e. "let's throw a rap break here to try and save this"). Nice attempt guys, but not quite there with this one.

Desh - 7

You've done better, An. I understand that this is a cover round, and I'm guessing that having to limit yourself to someone else's work limited the creative, risky storytelling that you engage. I actually enjoyed this, nevertheless. I'm extremely happy about you not singing it. It just...didn't work all the way. I think you could have played around more with how you delivered. also, the stacks don't match up rhythmically.

Richie - 6

Fuckin' Top Gun. This cover has a warm place in my heart. The guitars are well-placed in this beat. The clappy snare feels a bit out of place with the rock feel of the beat. Could use a beefier kick too. However, I like the switch-up. The vocals sound straight.

Thomas - 6

Picking this song to cover is purposely riding into the danger zone... The original is, like, 99% chorus or instrumentation (proven fact!), and Kenny Loggins hits and holds a few notes. Plus, "Danger Zone" is a masterpiece of cheese. You can't out-cheese it, and you shouldn't try to make it better. Slowing down the instrumental was a bold move, and a good way to sample the song without it being the exact song. With that being said, there just aren't enough lyrics outside of the chorus to sustain the slower speed. In other words, the vocalist just isn't there enough. and the instrumental can't hold it on it's own. And when the vocalist is there, it's the same thing over and over again. Having said that, this is the first time I've understood the lyrics... The rapping could have been better and the beat better integrated, but I also really liked the Archer rap sequence at the end. The song should be shorter and the rap in the middle.

Public Vote - 6

Total Score - 29.5/50

Round 2 Standing - 18th

Disstopia

It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

R.E.M. - It's the End of the World As We Know It

Brandon - 10

See this? This is how you choose a cover song that WORKS for your collaborating team. Not just a song that you like. Not just something that's popular. But something that both artists can *MURDER*, & put their own creative spin on it (i.e. not just a lazy, shitty attempt at replicating the original song). This is excellent. *EVERYONE*, listen and learn from these guys, because they nailed it, and two rounds in a row at that!

Desh - 9.25

This. Is. So. Effing. Dope!!!! So you managed to actually cover 2 songs. This is definitely a Kriss Kross cover as well. I ain't mad though...Nice work here. Petty dock, but some of this just sounds square. Like you wove out of totally owning it. But otherwise it's great.

Richie - 8.5

Head bobbing immediately when the song dropped. Beat well-mixed, great drum selection. Scratches were a good touch as well. This shit sounds straight out of the early 90's. Vocals mixed very well.

Thomas - 9

This is the type of song I was hoping to see more of in this round: a hip hop cover of a non-hip hop song. And aside from a few awkwardly delivered lines - spots that would usually be drawn out in the singing - MC 117's raps are done well. The beat is filled with nostalgic rap samples, ultimately resulting in a groovy g-funk. It's a really creative cover, but even better... it's also just a really good song.

Public Vote - 8

Total Score - 44.75/50

Round 2 Standing - 1st

The EL & Solo Act

En Fattiglapps Rapsodi

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Brandon - 5

This is a bizarre, yet well produced track, but about as much a cover of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody as my dick is made of Fruity Pebbles & my balls are made of diamonds. This re-arrangement is *too* far from the original for me to consider it a cover, to the point that I do not recognize the original song *at all*. And it's not just the language change (which is impressive btw), although that does make it harder to identify as well here. Regardless, this is an issue for me when it's a cover challenge. I would personally DQ it, but since that's not my call and I can't abstain from voting (but also feel that killing it with a 1 would be unfair when everyone else thinks that it qualifies) half marks is the best I can do. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Desh - 6

I enjoyed this, but it's not a cover. It's too loose. The language piece was really impressive though! Wish I had time to translate. Just not a cover, so you missed the challenge

Richie - 7.5

Couldn't understand a word, but this shit goes hard! The beat is cool. The major tonality of the chord progression on the pianos doesn't quite fit with the minor tonality of the synth and 2nd piano that come in later. The vocals are crisp and mixed well within the beat. Well done!

Thomas - 9

As a cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody," I hate it! Sure, I wouldn't want to hear a straight-forward cover of the song, but this version lacks the big, epic sound of the original in comparison. At the same time, I enjoy "En Fattiglapps Rapsodi" as it's own song. There's no denying that a Swedish language dark circus rap interpretation of the song is unique, and it makes it easy to forget it's a Queen cover. In fact, if I hadn't known it was a Queen cover I wouldn't have known it was a Queen cover. Also, Vincent EL is a rather solid rapper in the Swedish language, engaging despite the language barrier.

Public Vote - 7

Total Score - 34.5/50

Round 2 Standing - 13th

Fated Rebellion

Stronger Than You

Steven Universe - Stronger Than You

Brandon - 6.5

Pretty straightforward cover of the original song. Feels like it drags a bit overall; slight kick up of the tempo might help. A bit of pitchiness here & there with some of the signing, but not anything terrible (wish it wasn't there all the same #FixThatSpots #ReferenceATuner #TuningSoftwareIsGreatForSpotFixes). It's an enjoyable cover, but not outstanding.

Desh - 9

I see you coming for these heads, Lady J. WHAAAATT?! This is COLD AF. Look, your singing is pitchy. That's it. I struggled on how much pitchiness is worth. But you owned this so hard...IDK. Great job.

Richie - 8

Wow. This is dope! Really digging the pianos and organs throughout this. I really like the bass lines as well. The quantization of the actual kicks and snares seems a bit off in places. Vocals sound good overall. The doubles seem a just a hair off at certain spots.

Thomas - 9.5

One of the most faithful covers in this round, and while it's not perfect it also some of the best singing, too! Lady J isn't just a dope rapper...! I also really like the piano, a wise addition to the song that gives this version more heart than the original. Not really sure what else to say. Great cover!

Public Vote - 8

Total Score - 41/50

Round 2 Standing - 5th

Flying Fortress

Living in America (House United Mix)

James Brown - Living in America

Brandon - 1

....you just fucked up James Brown. Badly. I will never forgive you for this bullshit. *EVER*. ᕦ(ò෴óˇ)ᕤ Also, if you're going to go for the T-Pain effect with Antares Autotune, please do it correctly (i.e. not *ANYTHING* like this...).

Desh - 2

Why would you do this? Why did you decide to sing this? All due respect, but please don't ever do this again.

Richie - 4

LOL, I damn near want to overdub this song into Rocky IV. The beat isn't bad. There seems to be some dissonance going on in the low end. As for the vocals, auto-tune is lik gunpowder. It can be a useful tool, but it can also blow up in your face. In this case, it REALLY killed the song's production values. Regardless, this is my favorite song of the round... score be damned, lol.

Thomas - 5

Ha ha! Love the remake of the beat. Not as much of a fan of the vocals, though. The effects were annoying, and I want to say unnecessary but combining the beat and vocals results in a sickly carnival sound that is the perfect soundtrack to living in the nightmarish circus that is currently the United States. Is this a sly political statements? Even so, it's still hard to listen to. The effects on the rap are especially inexcusable. And there's no reason other than torture to explain the excessive length of this song. You're getting points for accomplishing the challenge, having a good beat, and the possibility you were actively attempting to horrify. I'm so exhausted...

Public Vote - 4

Total Score - 16/50

Round 2 Standing - 24th

GO TO BREAD

Rock Lobster

B52s - Rock Lobster

Brandon - 6.25

Okay, so this original song blows. Let's throw that bias out in the front end. But this ridiculous cover of the original ridiculous song improved the ridiculousness of it in a way that I can appreciate. It's just... bizarre af. Man, I don't even know what else to say about this shit except I grinned a lot. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ hahahaha "ROOOOCK LOBSTAAAAAAA~"

Desh - 6.75

While you sound like a Power Rangers super villain on this song, you make it fun. I like that you brought some strong screaming in. It just didn't fit in every aspect of the rest of the song. Kind of felt like you were forcing a feel.

Richie - 7

I'm a fan of Go To Bread. This beat is pretty dope. Mad props on the synth-work on this one. Feels like it could use something more on the low-end. The vocals are good as well. The vocal effects work well for this song.

Thomas - 7

Another great remake of the beat. It makes the song darker and harder, a good fit for Dynamo Dash's screamo vocals. Still, a bit more edge would have added a greater authenticity to the local delivery. Instead, the duo inject the track with a more blatant humour and a lighter touch. I'm not sure it was the right direction. Something more subtle, perhaps. Also, I know the cover is about the same length as the original but it could probably do with an edit for length.

Public Vote - 7

Total Score - 34/50

Round 2 Standing - 14th

Helephino

Red Right Hand

Nick Cave - Right Hand Red

Brandon - 7

Alright, so here's a damn unique pick for a cover! Music arrangement here actually kicks up the creep factor of the song an addition notch, which is impressive because it's already creepy af! Mix is a bit unbalanced (had to turn up, turn down at points), but nothing that a bit more work couldn't fix. While not perfect (some pitchy spots here & there), the vocal delivery suits the song well too. Seriously, this is a good job. Bit more work & it could be great! Keep at it!

Desh - 9

Won't lie. First four bars I was like "WHY DID ADAM SING THIS". Four bars later, I was like "huh". "Hmmm." This was nice. I'd pick this over the original. I can't offer much helpful feedback relative to future rounds. But you owned your delivery of this track...I'd pick it over the original. Really

Richie - 9

This is insane. Sounds like some shit that would play in Dumb 'n Dumber 2020. The production is otherworldly and Adam's vocals are sublime. This song is a twisted spirit that posessed the body of the original song.

Thomas - 10

Love Adam Selene's delivery on this one. Really sticks with the vocal sound and delivery of the original Navi builds on the music of the original, which brings more energy and engagement to the song. It's especially exciting about mid-song - I love the short organ solo. I'd probably pick this one over the original if I were ever in the mood to listen to "Red Right Hand" in the future.

Public Vote - 9

Total Score - 44/50

Round 2 Standing - 3rd (tie)

JC'd Less

The Hurricane

Bob Dylan - Hurricane

Brandon - 2

BIG fan of this song. Hyper criticality: ENGAGE!! ..or it would if I could even recognize this as a cover of said song. Ultra repetitive musically (the variations from the original are non-existent) the rap is downright messy, the mix is mired in mud; starting and ending with a really long movie quote is rarely a good idea as well. This is exceptionally boring. Reminds me of grade school homework that was completed within the hour before it was due. It's just that rough. :/ Considering how topical and timely this cover is it would've been nice to see it treated with more care. I can *hear* your passion in your delivery, but it's lost in the roughness of the arrangement. Seriously, I challenge you to re-visit this one afterward just to see what you can *really* do with it.

Desh - 7

You had me SO hyped up with the clip and then brought a super messy delivery. Lyrical content was timely and relevant. I'm trying to give you benefit of the doubt, as production completely screwed you over here. Still, you could have spent more time making your cadence stand out. There's a lot of energy here...It's just not matching up. Maybe spend more time working out rhythms for the lyrics you right, as they are on point. Delivery wasn't.

Richie - 7

Here we go, this team has arrived! This beat is on some wu-tang shit. The drums seem a bit low compared to the sample. The vocals are good, but they're too low in the mix.

Thomas - 7

Great choice for a cover. The topic is still timely, and Bob Dylan's lyrics are easily transferable to the hip hop format. The delivery was pretty good but could have used more personality, especially early on. I'm probably a bit bias, but I prefer the hip hop beat over the original. I think this track has two major issues:
1. The sound is muddy - a better mix and mic would really make the song pop, and
2. The song is too damn long thanks to a bunch of extraneous movie dialogue on both ends of an otherwise solid track.
The intro dialogue works, but the ending dialogue mostly repeats the lyrics. No one wants to listen to that, especially not more than once.

Public Vote - 6

Total Score - 29/50

Round 2 Standing - 19th

Magical Beer Squad

I Am The Best

2NE1 - I Am The Best

Brandon - 6.5

Is this k-pop? Wow. There's an unique song pick! haha It's a pretty straight cover of it, but the performance is solid and the music is fun even so. Really dig the vocal harmonies; those are tight. My biggest gripe is the lead vox are way too hot & not really mixed in whatsoever; they just sound like they were dropped on top of the song and left there. That's a pretty big production faux pas that I can't overlook. Definitely avoid that going further.

Desh - 9

You're so much better when you don't try to do too much. This was great. Pitchy in spots. It seems like that's more due to switching between singing and raps. Overall, great vocal delivery here.

Richie - 6.5

This team makes some fun shit, I can dig it. I like the synth melodies throughout this track. The drums are a bit underwhelming tho. The vocals seem to vary from being too low at spots to being just right in others.

Thomas - 7

With one cover translated from English into a foreign language, here we get another that is translated into English. What a multilingual bunch! It's probably a surprise, but I had never heard the original song, but after that video I really want to grow my hair long so I can always have those "horn buns". The original is a hype, energetic club track, but the cover just can't reach those lofty heights. Ally Desu impresses with her singing although there are a few rough patches to start. Her rapping is a little stiff, but that could be due to the translation. The original is bigger and better, but this cover is still a pretty decent dance track. And it's cool to hear the lyrics and understand them - they're not at all shallow!

Public Vote - 7

Total Score - 36/50

Round 2 Standing - 12th

Ohm - I 1 - UP

No Mo No Mo Caz Pokemon Go

Ray Charles - Hit the Road Jack

Brandon - 10

Okay, this is fucking great. Excellent source track (which I would've SKEWERED you for ruining had you!) fun samples from it, topical references, comical rap utilizing themes from the original song, weird but fascinating interlude; yeah, this is damn good. I threw it on repeat a couple times! Well done y'all! Random bullshit rec tech nerd comment: there's certainly enough reverb on that snap. What did y'all use? The "Grand Canyon" preset? (ᗒᗨᗕ)

Desh - 9.5

Overall, this track is coold!!! Nice work adding these verses in a way that fits the theme. And you still brought in bridges from the original. I have a minimal complete. The singing could have been better, ie. more convincing.

Richie - 8

A wild Pokemon song appears. Production is great, I appreciate the producer's use of the entire stereo field. That shake in my left ear was a nice touch. That switch-up into "Favorite Things" was nice, and it saved this from being just another rap song with a "hit the road jack" sample hook, lol. Vocals were nicely mixed.

Thomas - 8.5

This one's another of those submissions that's more like one of those hip hop songs that takes inspiration and the chorus from another song rather than a true cover. With that being said, this is still a pretty damn good song. 1-Up chops the original for the verse section and goes full Puff Daddy with the chorus. Ohm-I is great rapping on the beat for the first half or singing during the sudden beat change a little over halfway through. The switch is perhaps too sudden, but it provides a great diversion. The title seems unnecessarily complicated and gimmicky.

Public Vote - 8

Total Score - 44/50

Round 2 Standing - 3rd (tie)

Orzhovian Rhythm

Gay Bar

Electric Six - Gaybar

Brandon - 1

ఠ ͟ ಠ

Desh - 2

*DJ Khaled face* Congratulations, you played yourself. In all seriousness, I can't even be constructive here. It's that bad. Please don't do this to yourself again. I know it's a cover round, but sheesh.

Richie - 2

The beat doesn't really have anything driving it. Drums are underwhelming and the melody is too haphazard. The vocals sound pretty raw. Regardless, this is my 2nd favorite song of the round, so I give it a 2.

Thomas - 4

Why would pick this song to cover? You obviously can't sing, and I say that as someone who obviously can't sing. If it's just because you love the song, at the very least you could have attempted to turn it into a rap. Or even spoken word. The beat is a decent loop, but it just become repetitive without any change-ups. And the mix is terrible, which just further cements the demo vibe. Also, I'm sorry, but the original sounds more Devo than this cover.

Public Vote - 2

Total Score - 11/50

Round 2 Standing - 25th

P4STRAMI

We Will All Go Together When We Go

Tom Lerher - We Will All Go Together When We Go

Brandon - 7.75

Wow. Another unique cover choice! Cool shit. Music wise, the darker spin on the original tune brings the fatalism out of the lyrics into the tune. Not overdone tho. Just enough development of the arrangement. Distant whistling in the background is my fav touch. Well done all around. Vocally, the lyrical expansion in the rap further fleshes out the song as well. Singing is processed nicely with the lofi, distorted effect, but is a bit pitchy here & there ("go" in particular, which is tough because ending note...). Fix/tune those pitchy handful of notes and you're good tho. This should seriously go on an album/be in a live set. I'm definitely a fan.

Desh - 8.5

Okay, I really appreciated the vocal performance here. Singing is a bit pitchy, but it fits SO well. The rap is dope. It fits perfectly and does a fantastic job of expanding the song concept. Redeems the mediocre singing and really elevates the overall feel of the vocal performance. I know you don't sing. The singing still could've been much better.

Richie - 7.5

Really feeling the atmosphere on this one. I really dig that theremin-ish synth used in the melody. Vocals sound good. This song does a great job of making me not hate generous amounts of reverb, lol. Good stuff!

Thomas - 8

Right from the start I really dig the whistle and cuts of the intro. the beat is sparse but brings an element of darkness to go along with the apocalyptic lyrics. C0splay's singing in the first half doesn't cover a wide range, but it works with Tom Lehrer, and it sounds like there might be a local effect that helps provide a rawness to the vocals. I dig it. The second two rap verses don't hit me as much as the singing first verse, but they stick to the theme and the delivery is good at this tempo. The beat is good but it could use more change-ups, especially in the the drums. Also love the Star Wars sample.

Public Vote - 7

Total Score - 38.75/50

Round 2 Standing - 9th

RA - CROW

Is You Is Or Is You Ain't

Tom & Jerry - Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't My Baby

Brandon - 4

I really can't hear this song without thinking of old Looney Tunes cartoons (Tom & Jerry I think?). Vocals are some of the best singing this round. Music, however, is pretty subpar. I think the jazz trio got drunk before the set here.... (;一_一)

Desh - 9.75

Top 3 vocal performance this round. Best singing this round. Also, the nostalgia feels on this cover. Look, y'all did it this round. GREAT GREAT vocal performance Some of (and I mean maybe 2 or 3 bars) the singing is lazy. I'm not judging anything relative to production, but the other scores will probably reflect how much your producer screwed you over this round. Keys are dope, but this bassist is on this struggle bus the whole time. If If the jazz combo is all one person, Angry Crow, you've got to do better on your instrument representation.

Richie - 9

Wasn't expecting this at all. The production here is amazing. The electric piano... the bass... the drums... it all comes together so well. Vocals sound good. Listening to this w/ eyes closed makes me feel like I'm at a bar on jazz night. Well done.

Thomas - 10

This is one of the first tracks I heard for this round, and it set the bar high early on. I love Angry Crow's jazzy lounge beat. I'm curious how much is sampled and how much is played live. Rhyme Artist delivers on the vocals with a smooth set of pipes. My only criticism is the very short dialogue inserted during the song. It could be better blended. But it's not enough to dislodge the song as my favourite track of the round.

Public Vote - 8

Total Score - 40.75/50

Round 2 Standing - 6th (tie)

Saints Of San Secuestro

Pokémon Theme Song

Pokémon Theme Song

Brandon - 4

First off, I've always kinda hated this stupid theme song. I'm a crappy nerd, okay? W/e. #FiteMeBro (ง'̀-'́)ง That said, this is a straightforward, yet rather boring cover. It's missing the obnoxious energy of the original, the vocals fall kinda flat, the music feels rather phoned in (tho I dig the eastern flute sample in the bg), & it ends in a fast rush. It's not technically that bad, but it feels so halfhearted.

Desh - 7

Nice work not trying to sing this. But it's awkward. Maybe just not the best song choice for you.

Richie - 6.5

Another wild pokemon song appears! Beat is nice. The main synth melody is cool, and could be enhanced with a few portmento slides from note to note for extra character. The drum pattern could use a a few switch-ups. Vocals sound cool and use the entire stereo field.

Thomas - 8

I have to admit I was ready to hate this cover. It's such a typical cartoon theme song, and the beat that opened this cover was aiming for real cheese. Thankfully Yugen started rapping and the beat took a twist into the twisted. It was tolerable. Probably even better than that. Still, I probably won't listen to it again.

Public Vote - 5

Total Score - 30.5/50

Round 2 Standing - 17th

SWA

Comfortably Numb

Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb

Propagandhi - Ska Sucks

Brandon - 1.25

As a pretty big Pink Floyd fan, this was a very painful listen. Very bad mix, poorly tracked & sang vox, messy ass musicianship (not sure they're even all playing the same song at some parts...). #AllMyNope .25 point added for #SkaSux ending. Lololol

Desh - 5

Mix killed this song, but the singing wasn't much better. Nice attempt to stay with the original theme. But.....gah this makes me sad. I have nothing to say that would actually help. This just could've been a lot better, vocally.

Richie - 5

This is pretty decent. I like the guitar accents throught the beat. The overall volume of everything is way too low. The vocal mix definitely could use the most improvement. Too much low-end makes it sound a bit muddy, and the doubles need some cleaning up.

Thomas - 4

This is a ballsy song to select to cover, and unfortunately it was the wrong decision. I don't really know the original other than having listened to it for this round, and I'm pretty apathetic about Pink Floyd on the whole. But it's obvious pretty early on that Rafe can't match the singing of either Waters or Gilmour. It also isn't a match for the ska sound the duo is trying to give to the cover. The hardcore beat is simple but workable. The big problem is the muddy mix of the beat and also Rafe's vocals. It was a brave experiment, but ultimately it rather spectacularly blew up in your face...

Public Vote - 5

Total Score - 20.25/50

Round 2 Standing - 23rd

SWERV

Hands in the Sky

Straylight Run - Hands In the Sky

Brandon - 4.5

Unique & topical song choice with some unique choices with the arrangement that add to the intensity of the original, but ultimately doesn't come together well enough to pull it off (vocal issues, mixing issues, musicianship issues). Drags on too long in this form as well, including the ending sound byte (not a fan of long intro/outro quotes, even when they're good). Even so, props for trying something really different here. With a bit more work, this *could* come together.

Desh - 6

Love the topical matter. It's intense. Your delivery is intense. It's just odd and the elements you use vocally don't quite come together. That may be mixing...the scream-isa elements and singing don't quite mesh in a way that works for me.

Richie - 7

I like this...definitely grew on me. The production is good. I like the panning used on the snares and other elements on the beat. Sounds crisp. Vocals sound good, although they get a bit tinny in certain spots.

Thomas - 5

What I would classify originally as dream pop gets re-made here into a hip hop song as fronted by a death metal singer with a six pack a day habit. The beat is good, but I really feel that the combo of screamo rap and the crazy beat is just too much. It really overwhelms. Or maybe Josh Krow is just mixed poorly. No, too much is going on AND Josh Krow is mixed poorly. Also, way too long.

Public Vote - 5.5

Total Score - 28/50

Round 2 Standing - 20th

Team Fat Smith

I Write Smiths, Not Tragedies

Panic! At the Disco - I Write Sins Not Tragedies

Brandon - 3

Ain't gonna lie, I hate this original song. #ItStinks That said, this arrangement doesn't do it justice. Some parts of the music production are cool (albeit oddly structured....), but the vocals are effected so badly that I can't even make out what they're saying most of the time. Doesn't work *at all*, especially in the chorus. Take this one back to the practice shed to work on it some more.

Desh - 4

Why did you choose this song though??? The autotune use is poor. The harmonies almost redeemed the track, but then the awful pitch correction use came back...meh

Richie - 6.5

Panic At The Disco was my shit back in the day. The beat serves as a solid foundation for this song. I don't really have any complaints on the beat at all, actually. As for the vocals...when done right, Auto-Tune can be a thing of beauty. When done wrong, it can take away from a song. This falls in the latter category.

Thomas - 5

The autotune works at points, but mostly it's just a cheat. The song seems like an attempt at a joke but I don't think the beat goes far enough for it to work. Regardless, I don't want to hear someone attempting to hit high notes with autotune. I liked the cuts toward the end. And the beat could probably get me dancing when I was younger. But I'm not likely to consider putting it on again myself.

Public Vote - 7

Total Score - 25.5/50

Round 2 Standing - 22nd

Team StarboRob

Want You Gone

Jonathan Coulton - Want you Gone - Portal 2

Brandon - 9.5

This... is *GOOD*. License this & put it on y'all's eventual album that I'm pretty sure you're gonna hafta to produce after this competition is over. hahaha

Desh - 9.75

Dear God This Is Amazing. What??? I SEE YOU COMING FOR THESE HEADS, STARBY!!!!!!! You nailed this one. I think the singing, all effected, worked well. Still think you could have been more convincing?

Richie - 8

GLADOS!!!!!! Okay, the beat is very good. Again, nice piano work. The vocals are cool and you absolutely nailed the Vocoder effect. That ain't easy. I would have rolled a just little more off the lower end of some of the vocoded vocals...but still, great job.

Thomas - 9

Portal 2 is awesome, and the end credits song perfectly captures the humour of the game. Starry switches up the vocorder singing of the verses on the original for raps, and they actually work pretty well. But the highlight is the chorus, which remains true to the original with Starby singing assisted by voice effects to imitate Gladios. Roborob beefs up the original beat but doesn't get flashy, leaving the song to be all about Starby. What a great husband!

Public Vote - 8

Total Score - 44.25/50

Round 2 Standing - 2nd

Tha Go Hamurai

Weeaboo

Beck - Loser

Brandon - 3.5

This... just doesn't work. Adventurous experiment with the source material for sure, but ultimately no dice. Except the "KA MA HA MA HA MA HA". That fucking killed me. hahaha

Desh - 7.5

Look...the first verse, I was IN THERE, especially since the original is almost like a Beck rap anyway. Was super dope. The chorus took you down 2 points. That chorus is bad, man. Awful. You can do better. And those dope verses were done a disservice by it. Sad day

Richie - 8

Watashi wa Ish1da desu. This beat is a BANGER. Vocals are mixed well during the verses. There's a bit too much of what sounds like a flanger for my tastes on the hook. Other than that, good shit!

Thomas - 6

I would argue that "Loser" is most definitely a rap song even if Beck is not himself a rapper. I love the original so I'm glad to see Go Hamurai try to change it up somewhat rather than compete with it. I dig the more mellow beat even if it loses some of the personality that makes the original so enjoyable. Ishida's delivery of Beck's raps is different and done well, but I just can't get with the chorus at all. It's partly the addition of the "Weeaboo" element and partly the vocal effect. It's an interesting cover, but it won't replace the original for me.

Public Vote - 6.5

Total Score - 31.5/50

Round 2 Standing - 16th

The Only Black Man In Nerdcore

I Want To Pay You Back (For Loving Me)

The Chi Lites - I Want To Pay You Back (For Loving Me)

Brandon - 1

.................

Desh - 3

I ain't mad

Richie - 5

I can always appreciate a throwback to the Chi-Lites, lol. The beat definitely sounds like the broke man's Motown band. It needs a better mix and the drums could be quantized a little better. The vocals could be turned up a little bit. There seems to be too much taken off of the low end. Regardless, I can see folks getting laid to this.

Thomas - 3

I'm giving you 2 points for submitting a cover and another because I kind of like the beat event if it is a bit oddball, and also produced by the vocalist (a big no-no!, as you know!). But I can't get with the singing. Even if you were going to get disqualified since you produced yourself, I still wish the submission was taken more seriously.

Public Vote - 4.5

Total Score - DQ

Round 2 Standing - DQ

West Coast Finest

High By The Beach

Lana Del Rey - High By the Beach

Brandon - 3.5

While I'm far from a fan of this original tune, this cover doesn't do it justice. The rap comes off as lazy & uninspired (if it had half the passion in the "break up speech" I'd be sold 100%), the 4 note chorus is hella pitchy (re-take or tune those spots, *ESPECIALLY* when there are harmonies involved...), and the mix is too muddy. I feel like this is trying really hard to emulate the original, but ultimately misses the mark. Give it more work & some heart and that could change.

Desh - 9

The laid back flow crushes. I was very very into this feel, though I think that elements of it felt a bit lazy. Not sure if you were trying to simulate actually being high by the beach or not. Strong adaptation overall, and I got the "woman who DNGAF" vibe from it. Effectively delivered. The hook brings this down some. Could have been more intense to make up for the lack of singing proficiency.

Richie - 8

This is a great song to listen to while high. That beat is INSANE. Those drums are the filthiest of the whole round. Vocals are cool, there are oh-so-slight harmonic issues in the hook vocals and they could be a bit more pronounced in the mix...but it still sounds really good.

Thomas - 9

West Coast Finest turn an ethereal pop tune into a chill hip hop jam. The build up tot the beat is a bit long, Once it kicks in, Shubz rocks the beat with a laid-back flow that is a nice match for the beat. By that point they're also her own lyrics which might help. Her chorus is a bigger production than that given by Lana Del Rey, and perhaps that makes it a definite catchy highlight.

Public Vote - 7

Total Score - 36.5/50

Round 2 Standing - 11th