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Table Scraps

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Author Comments

This is the second song in my collection of singles over the summer. I'm really nervous about releasing something like this. This is probably the first time I've released something that has more of a political message to it. Thank you to anyone who listens to it! I hope you enjoy it.


If you like this song check out more of my stuff on

Bandcamp


Credits:

Music & Lyrics: Louis Messina


Guitar, Synth, Bass, Drums, Vocals: Louis Messina

Mixing and Arrangement: Louis Messina


Sub-par Album Art: Louis Messina


Lyrics:

You can change the world

But don’t do it on our dime


Do well in school

But only if that job’s paying fine


We’re not asking you for luxury

We just need something to eat


It’s not something so cognitive

We just need somewhere to live


All you give us is your table scraps

And you expect us to be ok with this


Y’say We’re sucking dry your tree full of sap

Yet you’re the one emptying it


All you give us is your table scraps

Expect us to get you out of this mess


We’re the ones killing industry

Yet we can’t afford some shoes and a sick visit


They won’t listen


They’ve had their meals and will gladly watch us sink


They’ll say we’re too lazy to start a career


But who wants to get a paycheck that doesn't cover half of the bills


All you give us is your table scraps

Just a pea from a turkey meal


We’ve only got each other

And yet you replace that trust with fear


All you give us is your table scraps

And expect us to get through the year


We ask for a little help

And you’ll give us a callous sneer


You’ll say there’s exceptions to the rule


You’ll say I’m wrong just because I went to a school


Making all these claims from your tower of off-white


Been up there so long that you’ve lost your sight


Arguing with people

That are so out of touch


Trying to define ourselves

But apparently that’s just too much


We’re expected to cook without a recipe

Setting us up for failure while you laugh from your seat


We made a bird that’s way too dry

The “fresh” turkey we’re given was a lie


All you give is some table scraps

You can’t bother to give us a bite


Have us fighting amongst ourselves

Adding another hurdle to our plight


All you give is some table scraps

Double-down on your outdated ways


Most of us are sticking together

Even if we have to play your games

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I like the lyrics and energy right off that bat, although the piece probably could’ve used more of an intro just to get the listener oriented a bit.

The mix feels a bit thin and constrained at times, especially the guitars and vocals. Did you equalize out the bass tones in the guitars? You might consider putting more of the mid-lows back in there, because otherwise they sound pretty constrained and artificial. It also might be the mic that’s making the output sound that way - it’s hard for me to tell.

Also, the vocals are a bit dry - I’d suggest layering on some reverb, compression, and maybe other mixing effects that give them some power. Your voice also sounds a tad strained at times - it might be that you’re singing near the top of your range, but even so a vocal coach could probably show you some exercises that make it easier to open up the sound even at a high register.

Like I said, I’m enjoying the lyrics, but sometimes you squeeze in a few too many syllables in one line (example: at :38, the frantic delivery of “you expect us to be okay with this” doesn’t really fit with the other lines in that phrase). I find it helpful to practice using fewer words when you need to in other writing contexts, even writing haikus.

The harmonic content gets a tad repetitive after a while. The spoken word vocals at 2:20 are a nice way of switching things up, but the overall chord progression and layout of the texture is pretty constant throughout. A solo or bridge earlier on could really help break up the long sections of similar vocal phrases and backing guitar. Part of the problem might also be that there isn’t a huge amount of contrast (in energy level, instrumentation, etc.) between the verses and the chorus here. That said, the keyboard solo at 3:18 is a great moment of structural relief, and I like that you are faintly talking through it in the background. I just wish it came a little earlier in the piece, which I think would give you a good opportunity to hammer home the message in the final chorus and layer on the guitar and keyboard at the same time.

Either way, the piece comes together well at the end. You have a good sense of progression, harmony, and mastering, and I can’t help but identify with the generational angst you express here. :) Keep at it, Realmaskband!

Mixing, mastering, and balance
1.5/2
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
1/1.5
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
1.75/2
Instrumentation and sound design
1/1
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
1.25/1.5
Originality and uniqueness
.75/1
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
.75/1
Composite score
8/10

realmaskband responds:

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks a ton for the feedback!

nice to see another one-person punk band in this bracket. pretty good bass and guitar playing, but the synth solo at the end is dynamite! the bass and cymbals are way too loud, creating this big midrange deficiency in the track which makes it sound kinda weak. generally you want the kick and snare to be the loudest drums and have the cymbals/overheads a bit further underneath - right now it gets tiring to listen to those loud cymbals for the whole time. vocals are ok but could seriously use some doubletracking, harmonies, extra parts. bit of compression + eq to shape the vocal tone, bit of reverb/delay to give them width, and if you're feeling adventurous maybe rewrite some of the lines that don't fit in the bar properly so your delivery isn't awkward in those sections - e.g. "and you expect us to be ok with this" can be "are we supposed to be ok with this?" and will fit without you having to go full rap god. anyway your recording, mixing, and songwriting will improve with practice, so keep making more!

important notes on my NGUAC review process: https://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1476427/18#bbspost26965604_post_text

realmaskband responds:

Thank you for the advice! I realized after the deadline that I could have mixed the drums a bit better. I was trying out a different set of sounds for my kit and forgot to mess around with the mix of it. The only thing I didn't really understand from your criticism was what you meant by midrange deficiency. Is that referring to like eq-ing something or is it related to panning?

Credits & Info

Artist

Listens
179
Downloads
1
Score
Waiting for 2 more votes

Uploaded
Jul 23, 2021
5:00 PM EDT
Genre
General Rock
File Info
Song
8.2 MB
4 min 13 sec
Hardware
  • Epiphone Electric Guitar
  • Squier Electric Bass
  • TD-11
  • MPK Mini
  • Spider V
Misc. Kit
  • Waveform

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.