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Thursday, September 23, 2010

White Elephant Club: Skultar Review

The first batch of songs from the White Elephant Music Club have been posted, and are available for free download on BandCamp. Let's go back & review the challenge:

"The challenge is simple, write and record a song with a Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery theme."
It's really more complex than that short statement. There's various ways to get 'bonus' points by pimping Skultar, but I don't wanna go over all that again.

Since this is the first time I've done a White Elephant review I guess I'll do it like my Song Fight reviews. Which means I'll mention my favorites, and if another song sparks a comment I feel might be helpful (good or bad) I'll mention it. So it's more of a list of favorites than a real review...but it's my blog so deal with it.

Chris Cogott: "Skultar" - The opening is exactly what I expected to hear from these songs. Drums, drums & more drums. Sounded like the opening to a Skultar movie. This is the first finished song I sat down to review, and it set the bar high...real high.
<a href="http://whiteelephantmusic.bandcamp.com/track/skultar">Skultar by White Elephant Music Club</a>

Jutze: "Planet Earth Role Playing" - This might be the best song I've heard from Jutze. I don't think the direction he took will end up getting him the victory, but the song was catchy. Few of the lines didn't seem inspired, but I really did enjoy this tune.
<a href="http://whiteelephantmusic.bandcamp.com/track/planet-earth-role-playing">Planet Earth Role Playing by White Elephant Music Club</a>

Kevin Savino-Riker: Skultar's Blade - I told Kevin on Twitter that I didn't think I'd given a positive death metal review before. This isn't going to change that fact, but I do think the song meets the challenge very well. Sounds like something a barbarian would like, and I enjoyed the lyrics....well READING the lyrics... :p My personal dislike for death metal means I wouldn't listen to this outside of reviewing it probably.
<a href="http://whiteelephantmusic.bandcamp.com/track/skultars-blade">Skultar's Blade by White Elephant Music Club</a>

JoAnn Abbott: The Ballad Of Skultar - I felt like it was story time back at the daycare. I know JoAnn is limited when it comes to instruments, but this just doesn't work for me without some sort of music holding everything together.

Emperor Gum: Iphis And Ianthee - Having not watched Conan, Red Sonja or anything like that in awhile...if someone would have told me that 0:16-1:23 was a midi arrangement of a score from one of those films...I'd have believed it. Unfortunately the music changes pace after that, and again there's some recording issues. The fuzz is annoying, and I didn't get into the lyrics. Really thought you were onto something with the long opening, and I'm wondering why you changed it up?

wait, WHAT?: S-K-U-L-T-A-R - There's some very funny stuff in this song. A couple lines did nothing for me, but then others had me almost falling out of my chair....especially the 'dyslexics' line. I want you in SpinTunes. Someone make this happen.
<a href="http://whiteelephantmusic.bandcamp.com/track/s-k-u-l-t-a-r">S-K-U-L-T-A-R by White Elephant Music Club</a>

Boffo Yux Dudes: Roll Dem Bones, Skultar - I heard a draft of this before, and it got me more excited to hear the results of this contest. This song uses more of the Skultar back story than others, and that's a good & bad thing. For my personal listening pleasures I don't give a rats ass about Skultar, so I don't always like having to look up info to get a song. On the other hand, for this particular challenge it's probably going to work out well for the Boffo Yux Dudes in the contest.
<a href="http://whiteelephantmusic.bandcamp.com/track/roll-dem-bones-skultar">Roll Dem Bones, Skultar by White Elephant Music Club</a>

Heather Miller: The Ballad Of Skultar - To me this song just sounds to 'sweet' when using lines like "The blades will slash and blood will flow". There were a couple bad transitions, but my big issue was the sweetness of the music & singing in comparison to the actual lyrics.

Side Notes:
- Well done Russ & everyone involved. I would suggest not making people give their e-mails to download a song in the future. I hate being added to a mailing list just to download a song. Small complaint considering...

- I actually commented on every song...didn't plan on that...don't get used to it.

- I have no say in who wins, but my favorite song was from Chris.

- Chris DID end up winning, so I picked a winner this time. Congrats on a great song Chris.


  1. Thanks for the Spintown review. I really appreciate the energy Spintown's devoted to making the White Elephant Music Club's first Music Challenge a success.

    I'm really pleased with the quality and wide variety of songs. "The Legend of Skultar" the album deserves a listen. Many of the songs are quite funny. Several are catchy. And a few may make it into rotation on your iPod playlists.

    I'm excited about the Grand Prize! The winner will be immortalized (by getting drawn brutally killed) in the up coming "Skultar" comic, by Mj Butler and Mark Weatley. I know, the idea of a series of songs being about a comic book character that hasn't even been published yet is a bit strange. Blame me. I got excited about Skultar and this music challenge around the same time, and somehow that merged to produce "The Legend of Skultar!" http://whiteelephantmusic.bandcamp.com

    Check out a preview of Skultar at: www.skultar.com

    Thanks to the excitement these songsters have brought to the game, and thanks to the interest Spintown and a few other keys spots around the Net have shown (Thanks, Jules and Marc), membership and participation is White Elephant on facebook has more than doubled! http://facebook.com/whiteelephantmusic

    Rock on!

  2. haha, thanks Travis, that's good feedback. If this song was going to go any further, maybe I should get someone else to sing it, or else put on a real character voice. hmmmmmmmm.

  3. Thanks Travis. Glad you liked it. It's been a LONG time since I was able to complete anything and I had a lot of fun with this. A lot of variety with these songs. Great job by everyone involved.