Total Guitar has hooked up with www.numu.org.uk to choose four outstanding original tracks for review per month on this here blog. NUMU is a site for young people to showcase their music, meet others and learn new skills and was designed to support the Music Curriculum across primary and secondary schools. We were pretty impressed by this first round of students:
‘Cold’ – Open Ocean
This song was recorded using the built-in mic of an MP3 recorder, but rather than take away from its appeal, this lo-fi approach gives 'Open Ocean' a real blues-era grit. The intro’s a bit long and could do with trimming – generally it’s best to cut to the chase. And if we have to have another grumble, the lyrics are a little repetitive. The songwriter could think about developing the theme on each verse rather than simply repeating the previous verse. But hey, the dude is only 14 years old and this is a promising start!
Check it out: http://www.numu.org.uk/artist.asp?lngUserID=16987
‘Forever’ – Falling Charlie
‘Forever’ is played well throughout and the structure’s interesting enough to hold the listener’s attention. The only area that needs some work is the vocal department. The vocal needs more conviction– sing it like you really mean it, especially the last line ‘I’m forever alone’. This should be screamed at the top of your lungs to give the song a suitable climax. Charlie could also consider using the death metal vocals in other sections of the song. Oh and try halving the intro. This will give the song a greater sense of urgency. Sometimes less is more.
Check it out: http://www.numu.org.uk/artist.asp?lngUserID=14615
‘Guitar shred solo’ – Shredder
Wow! There’s no doubt this young guy can play, as he shreds the living daylights out of his axe at a recent live performance. Top marks for your alternate picking and legato, but wait a minute… isn’t that Van Halen’s 'Eruption' in the middle?! Plagiarism aside, this is an impressive feat of imagination, not to mention stamina as the 15-year-old Shredder performs unaccompanied beyond the four-minute mark.
Check it out: http://www.numu.org.uk/artist.asp?lngUserID=17524
TRACK OF THE MONTH
‘Love Is Like A Road’ – Sasha
There are elements of this song that remind TG of Incubus but also the kind of UK bands who populated the 'Skins' soundtrack. It’s an intriguing mix and with a bit of editing, this could be a seriously decent tune. Unless you’re a prog rock act or have something so special you could fart in a crisp packet and people would declare it ‘genius’, steer clear of flabby arrangements. Keep the song structure tight and intros/interludes as short as possible. That said, ‘Love Is Like A Road’ is our pick of the bunch this month. Well done, Sasha!
Check it out: http://www.numu.org.uk/artist.asp?lngUserID=8116