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Big Black Boots - WIP


Lee Knight

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I messed around in the studio today. It's been a while. So I went for something different. Sort of a Muse meets Trent meets a bad blues singer trying to do pop... or something. Anyway. This a couple'a three hours work (just singing into a cheap, {censored}ty crystal mic - fun) so it is a work in progress. Ideas? I need a bridge? And maybe a wah'ed out mania solo. More FUZZZZ!!!???

 

Please... blast away...

 

Second version:

 

[video=youtube;zvNa3AXckzg]

 

Big Black Boots

 

If I were stronger

Not so afraid

I

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i love industrial, esp NIN and some kmfdm, bauhaus & ministry.

 

i think this has potential, but the lyrics just don't work for an industrial song, it's more like something a country dude would sing about - how to be more "man enough."

 

If you're gonna sing industrial about boots, they cant be big black boots, which sounds like it was lifted from a woody guthrie songs.

 

it has to be about about Combat Boots, Tanks, and other Heavy Artillery. Hell, if you're gonna go that route, you should bring in the desert wars into the mix (like ministry is doin), and how terrorists use rocket laucher ak47s and other arms.

 

AND if you go the full-scale war route, a PERFECT bridge would be the sound of marching and maybe a marching cadence on top of that "i dont know what i been told, but eskimo {censored} is mighty cold", that's what we chanted when i was in bootcamp

 

also, the perfect 4th in the chorus - from G-C-(the on to D) is WAY TOO HAPPY. I think it should be G-Bb-F for a nice I-bIII-VII, which is more heavier.

 

FWIW, i found if I cup my hand around the grill of my SM58, it sounds a lot like a distorted piezo mic. I guess it's the same technique harmonica players use.

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i love industrial, esp NIN and some kmfdm, bauhaus & ministry.


i think this has potential, but the lyrics just don't work for an industrial song, it's more like something a country dude would sing about - how to be more "man enough."


If you're gonna sing industrial about boots, they cant be big black boots, which sounds like it was lifted from a woody guthrie songs.


it has to be about about Combat Boots, Tanks, and other Heavy Artillery. Hell, if you're gonna go that route, you should bring in the desert wars into the mix (like ministry is doin), and how terrorists use rocket laucher ak47s and other arms.


AND if you go the full-scale war route, a PERFECT bridge would be the sound of marching and maybe a marching cadence on top of that "i dont know what i been told, but eskimo {censored} is mighty cold", that's what we chanted when i was in bootcamp


also, the perfect 4th in the chorus - from G-C-(the on to D) is WAY TOO HAPPY. I think it should be G-Bb-F for a nice I-bIII-VII, which is more heavier.


FWIW, i found if I cup my hand around the grill of my SM58, it sounds a lot like a distorted piezo mic. I guess it's the same technique harmonica players use.

 

:) I agree about the way to happy bit. And the "man enough" sort of worked in my regular world of mildly sarcastic guitar pop but... I agree there too, it's losing the humor with this type of backing.

 

To be honest, I'd like to layer some guitars that bend those chords from happy too a little freaky. But with pop undertones. So yeah, good input. I'm feeling that way about some of the melody too, a little too friendly.

 

I'm not really trying to go industrial. More pop than that. I plan on getting some high chick vocals like Black Grape. Except it'll actually a great heavy metal dude I know doubling me up an octave on the pre and chorus.

 

And the bridge. I'm thinking "goosestep". So really, I'm sticking with the Black Boots and actually like the idea of a Guthrie allusion.

 

I've got to bend in a new way. More Muse than Trent. More Black Grape than Ministry.

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It's very good. It's not the kind of stuff I would normally listen to, but I admire what you've done.

 

A few notes: on the 2nd and 4th lines of each verse, the melody line goes down, and I think it might work better if it went up. Though now that I think of it, I'm not sure that would solve the problem, which is that it all sounds too much the same. Like Duke of Boom said, it has the feel of "I don't know, but I've been told..." Maybe you could try going up on "hand" and "pick," etc.)

 

Or change the chords? If it's in G, try:

 

G ........... F .................. D

If I were stronger, not so afraid.

 

Though you might think that sounds too corny or something. I'm just kind of talking in my sleep here, but I think the melody/harmonics on the verses need more punch. I might feel differently in the morning.

 

That said, I think the break is almost perfect, but I think the three lines of the break(?) should sound the same, in other words, end on the same note for the 3rd line that you do on the 1st and 2nd. You could try it and see what you think.

 

The chorus is perfect as far as the melody and chord structure are concerned. The vocal needs a bit more clarity IMO. As for production touches, I'm hearing trumpets BLARING and a marching band type of snare drum. Or something martial like that.

 

Other than that, the instrumentation is really, really good. And so is your vocal. I am jealous of your studio savvy.

 

Nice work,

 

LCK

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It's not the kind of stuff I would normally listen to...

 

:) Well, it's not the kind of stuff I would normally do but I listen and love everything. So...

 

... I'm going to have to take some time with your input. It sounds like you're onto something but I'm fried at the moment. I've gone ahead and changed the bassline on the pre-chorus and added an F pad chord over the G on the verse to tweak it a little. This helps but it still needs to be re-written melody wise for the verses.

 

And I think some lyric changes as I'm not happy with losing the humor. I'll have to rethink, readjust my intentions here. Anyway, the 2nd version should be up soon...

 

Oh, and the vocal will be redone with a good mic along with the lo fi thing. So, I'll have the clarity and the lo fi crunch thing. Right now it all crunch.

 

Thanks Lee.

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hmmmm interesting - i LOVE all your songs but im really not sure about the way you are taking this.... i just think vocally and lyrically its not matching the music... and like you say this style of music isnt really your normal thing.... i think it kinda comes across that youre not entirely feeling it

 

Production is great and married to the right song may be an interesting task for you.... i just think maybe you should go back to basics a little on this.... get something down more your style then see if you can add any extra elements to make it s "little" different

 

just my opinion as the song stands right now..... who knows you may just get away with it once its finished!

 

i got a kinda huey lewis and the news doing electo feel from it...which sounds cool on paper...but isnt floating my already sinking ship

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hmmmm interesting - i LOVE all your songs but im really not sure about the way you are taking this.... i just think vocally and lyrically its not matching the music... and like you say this style of music isnt really your normal thing.... i think it kinda comes across that youre not entirely feeling it


Production is great and married to the right song may be an interesting task for you.... i just think maybe you should go back to basics a little on this.... get something down more your style then see if you can add any extra elements to make it s "little" different


just my opinion as the song stands right now..... who knows you may just get away with it once its finished!


i got a kinda huey lewis and the news doing electo feel from it...which sounds cool on paper...but isnt floating my already sinking ship

 

:) Yeah, that sums it up pretty well. :) I agree. It was to kick start my waning creative juices. I really didn't want some heavy thing and was looking for an interesting hybrid that... doesn't fly. My style of irony doesn't work with industrial? Who knew? :) It comes off as serious. Not good when you're trying to be ironic.

 

And Huey Lewis?!?! OK... you're right. Ick! :)

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I think it works as a culture/style hybrid. It's clearly a pop tune, sort of bubble-gum punk industrial, and addresses that typically awkward phase in many young men (and women's) lives when they wrap themselves in the fantasy of projecting power through footwear. It doesn't, of course, hurt that big black boots typically add an inch or two of height -- and the weight swinging at the ends of your legs makes you feel like you could kick down any barrier that got in your way (like the head of that varsity football bully in your third period).

 

Get the right video under it and you might have some viral potential, there, Lee. Hint: hire all 19 year old actors.

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It's not often that a timbre suffices as a hook, but that opening synth sounds boss. Drums sound great as well--are those live?

 

I'm also hearing the dissonance between style, lyric, and performance. I think the lyric can get by, but your singing style is a little too you on this one. Huey Lewis may have been a low blow, but it's got a definite neo-80s vibe to it--Fountains of Wayne, perhaps? It gives is a kind of disingenuous feel which doesn't gel well with the dead-serious music. Maybe even putting one of those bullhorn effects on the vocal would do it, or just re-singing it with less affect.

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Wow... that music sounds 'dead serious' to you?

 

Honest -- and I don't mean this to sound like a slight (souffles are hard to make, after all) -- the instrumental backdrop here really sounds like I said, bubble-gum industrial punk. Rebecca Black meets NIN, if you will.

 

(It's probably worth noting that I always thought of NIN as pop, first and foremost.)

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Lets not make the WIP become RIP

 

:)

 

Yeah, well I'm at least putting it down for a nap. I'm working on something else...

 

Blue, you seemed to get the intent, as did you Chicken dude, but I think Chicken's point, "kind of disingenuous feel" is spot on. I want it to be silly and fun. A guilty pleasure we hear and go, "Oh THAT ONE!" Like a modern ABBA techno guilty pleasure bubble gum thing. It's definitely not that right now. I'll have to leave it for a bit...

 

Drums are me programming the demo of Addictive drums.

 

 

Hey Blue, you just gave me a great idea. It should be sung from the point of view of a 15 year old. I've been picturing a 21 year old thinking of becoming a cop so he can kick some ass. I like the zitty teen idea. Even a little tough chick. And the "march in stride" would be a chorus of 14 year old girls. Yeah! That'll drive you guys nutty! :)Wheeeee!

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I think the vocals are fine the way they are. Teenage boys want to identify with someone bigger and tougher than they are. Henry Rollins isn't an icon with wimpy 15 year olds cause he reminds them of them... but rather because he's someone who seems like he's going to yell back at dad and maybe give him a good smackin' if he deserves it. Come on with a Henry Aldrich voice and you'll have lost them.

 

 

(Mind you, I'm not saying the vocal you have now comes off as Henry Rollins-esque. Just that it has an aggreeable, 'grown-up' quality to it.)

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The first impression I was trying to place, now that people said 80s was "The Art of Noise" meets Peter Gabriel.

 

It isn't what I'm into these days, but it crosses over to earlier influences. I've got to listen again, but there's something slightly different I'd do to the rhythm to drive it up a notch, like a closed high hat on the third to give it the high "pthhhhk" beat if you get my drift. There's something that's not quite driving the beat, but of course I could be wrong. I've got to listen again (the first pass is always misleading), so I might have something more to say after that.

 

I'll try to spend some more time on it, it's got potential. I like it (and I've got my old punk knee-high boots in the basement, probably haven't been worn in over a decade since I got a real job and got off the poverty line :) I used to think I was "selling out", but then I started to like paying bills, buying groceries and affording a car. )

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Well I love it!


This tune'll kick start about anything.

 

You are a king among men and just made my morning coffee less bitter. :)

 

I think the issue is the verses. The way the subject matter is voiced and the "Huey Lewis-isms" of the verse melody. I think the pop chorus and pre will sound good once I redo the verse. I like the backing track and will probably get something more fitting for the vesre stanzas soon.

 

Thanks Mr. Leo

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Well. It's just a suggestion. I understand where you're going with the boots. I just expected the line to flow like the rest. (singing along sort of). So, it's an OK thing to shake up the listener on what is your anchor phrase. But you might try doing it slightly differently each time you pass by; to hit the listener with something fresh each time.

 

Or not. Just a simple suggestion.

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Well. It's just a suggestion. I understand where you're going with the boots. I just
expected
the line to flow like the rest. (singing along sort of). So, it's an OK thing to shake up the listener on what is your anchor phrase. But you might try doing it slightly differently each time you pass by; to hit the listener with something fresh each time.


Or not. Just a simple suggestion.

 

 

I love simple suggestions! No, its great. You triggered something else in my mind that I think is going to work very well. I get what you're saying, I'm just going to deal with it differently. Thank you!

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