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A revelation about AoU

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    Posted: 06/07/2019 at 11:16
When Jesse and I were driving in our car just now I put on an automatically generated playlist on Spotify that contains songs from newly released records from bands I listen to. After a couple of songs... there's My Sanity. From the very first second we were in shock about how 'dark' or heavy' it sounded compared to most if not all other songs on the playlist. It kinda didn't feel inviting to listen to more.
As a test, we put on Stranger Than Fiction (also because many people - not me - seem to detest the sound of that record)... And holy shit, does that record sound waaaay more 'friendly', 'fresh' and 'open'. In contrary to the newer records, it actually made us want more.

Perhaps we're just getting too old for the new production/mixing style.. which kinda has been going on since NMoH?



Edited by Marty - 06/07/2019 at 11:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ComicSans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/07/2019 at 11:44
I've always loved the production on STF. Definitely distinctive – I'm probably biased as it was my first BR album :)

One of thing I find unique about STF in the catalog is a lot of the oozing' ahhs are in a lower register than the lead vocal. I wish they'd do more of that...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Groomits Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/07/2019 at 11:57
Originally posted by ComicSans ComicSans wrote:

One of thing I find unique about STF in the catalog is a lot of the oozing' ahhs are in a lower register than the lead vocal. I wish they'd do more of that...

That's interesting, never realized that, but I guess that's one of the reasons I love Tiny Voices so much.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chainofslowdecay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/07/2019 at 15:29
AoU definitely is very bass-y sounding to my ear. I can imagine a/b-ing it with STF is a sharp contrast, since STF is pretty bright sounding. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bad Farmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/07/2019 at 15:54
Funny how different opinions people have on sound...I think the overall sound on AoU is pretty good, almost as good as TPoB and tDOM. What struck me is a somewhat polished vocal sound, in particular on Chaos. It for some reason reminds me of Rise Against.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chainofslowdecay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/07/2019 at 15:59
Also, I listened to STF recently and was thinking how that production style would not have worked AT ALL with Baker and Dimkich on guitars. The guitars are so bright and relatively clean on that record. Ideal for Brett's playing style with full chords and lots of high strings. If you took songs like Tiny Voices and Better Off Dead and played them with the current guitar style- heavier, more basic power chords, mostly low strings- they would fall completely flat.

Not saying one guitar style or the other is better, just saying that sometimes production suits some players better than others. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bad Farmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/07/2019 at 16:02
Isn't that Hetson too? With a more grungy, raw tecnique?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chainofslowdecay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/07/2019 at 16:08
Yeah I'm sure Hetson had something to do with it. I'd actually say Baker is more raw and grungy though. Brett played full, proper chords. It's more "grungy" to just play power chords on the low strings and that's what Baker seems to have fallen into despite being perfectly capable of playing full chords. I'd also speculate Hetson probably hasn't played much on any recording in the last 15 years or maybe longer. 

Baker describes his philosophy here, and it is the opposite of Brett's playing. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrjnepDqtf8


Edited by Chainofslowdecay - 06/07/2019 at 16:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote punkrockjustin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/07/2019 at 19:02
I dunno.  From what I've been reading lately, some people think it's a big deal that AoU had a new producer.  I do think the production is good--the previous two records seem a bit "muddy" to me (i.e. I have trouble hearing the distinct musicians--something which added to, say, No Control, but definitely takes away from NMoH and DoM, imho) but I think there's more clarity on this one. 

StF sounds "bright" or "friendly", as said above, I agree, and it's probably my second favorite BR record production-wise--I'd also point out that it strikes a nice balance between 80s style (read: Metallica-style) and the more modern style that has been around in rock and roll since the mid-late 90s.

Gray Race is actually my favorite in terms of production--specifically because it sounds so heavy and dark to me.  I think it's the heaviest of all.  New America (which I'd place 3rd on my production scale) on the other hand, sounds so "bright" that the production completely refracts the anger some of the songs express.

btw, the terms "bright" and "dark" have been thrown at me by musicians and producers/etc for years now, and I know they have some specific meaning but I've never quite been able to define them.  I have some vague understanding, and I'd describe AoU as in the middle.

Edit:  I have no opinion about the production of True North, except that the bass is too high.


Edited by punkrockjustin - 06/07/2019 at 19:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harbortown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/08/2019 at 00:55
Originally posted by Chainofslowdecay Chainofslowdecay wrote:

Also, I listened to STF recently and was thinking how that production style would not have worked AT ALL with Baker and Dimkich on guitars. The guitars are so bright and relatively clean on that record. Ideal for Brett's playing style with full chords and lots of high strings. If you took songs like Tiny Voices and Better Off Dead and played them with the current guitar style- heavier, more basic power chords, mostly low strings- they would fall completely flat.

Not saying one guitar style or the other is better, just saying that sometimes production suits some players better than others.
I've mentioned this a few times without getting too much response. I miss the full chords-production so much
https://soundcloud.com/johnzackarias/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nropevolI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/08/2019 at 03:44
I actually created my own version of this album, adding a little high in the equalizer and boosting the vocals and losing some guitars. So it sounds more like TPOB with loud Graffin vocals and less guitars. 
I just couldn't listen to the original album without lowering the volume during track 7-13 because it's all loud guitars and heavy compressed sound.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harbortown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/08/2019 at 04:09
Could you share it?
https://soundcloud.com/johnzackarias/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anti- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/08/2019 at 04:45
I'd like to hear it as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chainofslowdecay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/08/2019 at 05:09
Originally posted by punkrockjustin punkrockjustin wrote:

btw, the terms "bright" and "dark" have been thrown at me by musicians and producers/etc for years now, and I know they have some specific meaning but I've never quite been able to define them.  I have some vague understanding, and I'd describe AoU as in the middle.

I'm not an audiophile or production engineer, but I always associate "bright" as higher, sharper tones and "dark" as lower, and sometimes more muddy, tones. 

And yeah Harbortown, I know we have discussed the guitars before. I respect the hell out of Baker as a player, but I too miss the full chord Brett style. When I learned to play guitar in the early 90s it was from listening to grunge records- Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden. Those bands heavily used the approach Baker uses now- basic low string power chords. Hell, you can play the entire Nevermind album with two fingers and a chorus pedal. Very simple. But a few years later when I got STF and RFH by BR, I was like woah, wait, I can't play these songs right just using power chords. I need to actually learn how to properly play guitar. That always set BR apart a bit for me. Yeah, they are thrash punk band. But they write great songs, they use full major and minor chords, Jay plays cool bass parts not just all root notes. And obviously the vocals and harmonies. They are and always have been pretty damn good musicians. 
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