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Author Topic: I make some dark, semi-industrial rock (first album)  (Read 2530 times)

iglidante

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So, I'm a guitarist / singer / producer. I released my first album, "The Solomon Project," last year. It's entirely self-made, out of my apartment - but I promise it sounds good. I put some serious time into it.

The sound is dense, with layers of guitars and (at times) synths. Big, pounding drums. My best description of the vocals would be "sometimes like Ric Ocasek, sometimes more like Marilyn Manson."

Anyway, if you're willing to take a second, I've got a bunch of tracks from the album up at www.myspace.com/ianmarquis. "Candy" has been the favorite so far, but the sound varies quite a bit from track to track - so if you don't like that one song, don't assume they're all like it, because they aren't.

I'd love to hear what you all think.
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iglidante

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Re: I make some dark, semi-industrial rock (first album)
« Reply #1 on: 27 Jan 2010, 09:07 »

I should add that I'm kind of a big fan of 80s production, and some of that has worked its way into my music. But part of that is also an issue of utility: as a solo artist, I have to program all the parts I can't actually play, so the drums are sampled. And my samples are huge. That is, epic. Some people have asked if that was an attempt at riding the "80s revival train," and it isn't. I just like that style of production.
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rynne

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Re: I make some dark, semi-industrial rock (first album)
« Reply #2 on: 29 Jan 2010, 12:48 »

Okay, I'll bite.  The first real genre that took hold of me in adolescence was industrial rock in the early 90s, so hopefully I can give some constructive criticism. 

First, the positives.  Your songs sound really good.  The guitars are well-defined, very nice and crunchy.  Compared to other music in this genre, I don’t hear much difference between your stuff and and professionally-recorded material.  Incidentally, I don't hear much 80s-revival production except on "Ministry" to some extent; the production sounds much closer to the style of someone like John Fryer or Flood.  Also, it’s pretty clear you have a good handle on putting your vision through into the music and on fundamentals of constructing a song.

Now the negatives.  The songwriting is generic—there’s not much to distinguish you from similar bands.  Depending on your point of view, that's not necessarily a bad thing: if your aspirations are modest and you're looking for fans who are already deeply into industrial rock (and, more importantly, if you're making the music *you* want to make), don't worry about it.  But if you're looking for some kind of larger or crossover recognition, you're not going to get it with your current songs. 

If I were to make one recommendation, it'd be to put serious effort into crafting better melodies for your instrumental parts.  I feel it's very common for industrial rock bands to focus on creating big, pounding riffs that are melodically uninteresting, and your music is no exception.  I'd suggest trying to do something that'll force you to come up with melodies that are a bit out of your comfort zone (perhaps try New Standard Tuning?) and applying them to your songs.  If you can marry your production skills to music that's a bit more unique than what you've got now, I think you'll be headed on the right track.

Good luck.
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iglidante

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Re: I make some dark, semi-industrial rock (first album)
« Reply #3 on: 30 Jan 2010, 07:18 »

Hey, thanks rynne.

Regarding the production: it's the thing I've focused the most on. I love to listen to my favorite songs until I've completely digested all the bits and pieces that make them pop for me, and then I try to replicate them in my own way. I like really well-produced music, so that's what I shoot for when I make my own stuff. And it's never as good as I want it to be, so I keep aiming for something better.

Melody is a major weakness for me. When I play guitar, I'm drawn to strong rhythmic parts. I'm not much of a lead player because I never took the time to learn scales and modes. And when I sing, well, I've only been doing that for a year, and my voice isn't very versatile, so I get pigeonholed in a way. I know I need to work on this - I don't have as many hooks in my songs as I'd like, and hooks are what make hits.

Just out of curiosity, which songs did you listen to? Some of my stuff, like Break and Candy have a more heavy, industrial grind, but some of the others (like Give It Up and (Shhh) Don't Tell) are different, with more of a straight-up rock edge.

I really appreciate your insightful comments, by the way - feedback like that is huge, and difficult to get.

Oh, and I put in the thing about the 80s production because someone in another forum said I was "milking the 80s comeback train," and that confused me, because I'm not.

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