* This is an official 2017 NGUAC review *
Overall, really catchy and fun. On to specifics...
Mixing, Mastering, and Production: Generally speaking the whole mix was pretty nice, just a few things I'll nitpick.
The bass guitar is a little muddy - it would sound much cleaner if the mid-low frequencies were downplayed a bit. There's a careful balance to be woven there, as those are some crucial frequencies for bass. But as it stands the bass guitar sticks out of the mix a little too much, and not necessarily in a positive way. You can get that same focus on the bass guitar and have it stick out of the mix (as it's doing some cool stuff I wouldn't want to not hear) by upping its higher frequencies a bit. You could listen to some modern hard rock for inspiration here...I think Nickelback's latest stuff has some really solid mixes, especially when they showcase the bass guitar.
Some of the drums are pretty obviously virtual...the hi-hats and tambourine could be a touch crisper and reverbed a bit better to fit in with the rest of the mix. I could've also enjoyed hearing some more volume in the snare.
Pretty much every 'auxiliary' instrument sounds really great. All the little effects and touches here and there work very well. My right ear has a little bit of fatigue, however- there's a lot of stuff panned to the right side throughout the song. Main guitar melody, tambourine, strings, etc. What really seals the ear fatigue is the bass guitar which sounds out more to the right ear than the left. Having those constant mid-low frequencies on the right ear gets pretty draining.
The mastering is pretty solid; most instruments are clear and come together well. There are no big volume problems (just a little drum stuff as mentioned above).
Composition: Really great melodies, really solid harmony and texture. Everything sounds full and complete at the big parts, and quiet but still clearly there in the quiet parts. The blend of instruments is also great; they're unique and work together well.
There was nothing WRONG, per se, with how the piece is structured, it just didn't wow me in any way. The structure serves its purpose but I was never caught pleasantly off-guard by it.
My only other points in composition came from what I heard as missed potential in some of the chordal stuff. In the main sections with the guitar melody going with the bass counter-melody you mostly went between two chords, but I so clearly felt in my heart the progression wanting to move more. It may be a personal style choice, so I didn't mark much off for it, but maybe something to keep in mind. At 2:20 when we have some chord switches it was a really great moment - made more so by the bold strings coming in!
All in all, a fun and unique track. Super looking forward to hearing what you come up with in the KO round!