Codename: Michael J Fox (NGADM '15)

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Welp, it sure didn't take me long to make this one. I actually don't play guitar much anymore but I dusted off the ol' 6 string and gave it a whirl. Haven't written a song in about 5 months too.

But it was fun making this song. I did a lot of experimenting and messing around with ideas. One thing that I tried with this song was to use existing lead parts or rhythm parts and inject them over or with new riffs and leads, instead of just having the same exact riff/lead combo repeated. That might actually be a bad thing in the long run of the song but I don't know. It's a kind of happy sounding song.

Writing a song for NGADM is interesting, I was fortunate enough to get into the first round last year and I was super nervous about it, especially when writing. This time was a little different thankfully. I also tried to listen to a lot of the reviews I got in the last NGADM, but I also stuck to my guns with a few aspects of how I write.

There are so many good musicians on Newgrounds, it's awesome. I'm just glad I could even be able to compete with some of these guys.

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This is a NGADM Round 1 Review.


- Love the guitar/synth blending.
- Great riffs, good structuring overall.
- Excellent use of the break/relief!
- Great for everyday listening OR for use in any form of media.

Oh yeah! This blending of the guitar and synth really appeals to my ears! You implement both skillfully, and the riffs and scaling are put to good use here. The break (2:25) was placed perfectly, and honestly, I would have loved to hear a relief in the first half of the track, too. On top of all of this, I think this is a track that would be suited to pretty anything (games, film, TV, casual listening). It is pretty rare for a piece of music in this style to have that characteristic.

What to consider:
- A little repetitious.
- Some mixing issues here and there.
- Conclusion was cut just a few seconds too short.

Yep, the track is a little repetitive. It isn't repetitive to the point where I became bored while listening, but the same riff is utilized with minimal differences just one too many times. There are some mixing quirks that can be heard around the song, but nothing that really stood out a whole lot. The drums could have used some more 'punch' and the there are few times where I felt like the bass didn't hold much power in the track. The conclusion was sounding great, everything was coming together and winding down...and then it stops just short of where it FELT like it should have.

Excellent stuff, keep it up!

Score: 7.9/10

I like the upbeat guitar sound here, although I think you could’ve found a more creative way of introducing the piece than with a fade-in. The drums are a little dry. I think they should’ve been a lot more up-front in the mix, with more reverb too. Compressing them might help. The melodic content in this piece is great, and overall it seems well-structured and smooth-flowing. I like the structural relief you offer at 2:25. However, I think you missed an opportunity to play with the dynamic contrast/phrasing a bit more throughout that breakdown section. I wanted to see a more dramatic crescendo into the next refrain, and also some more interesting mini-phrases so that the entire section didn’t sound so structurally flat. The mood here is really cool. It sounds almost victorious by the end, and I liked your idea of using the tempo automation to wind things down. The very end literally made me groan, though. You should’ve used more reverb and/or echo effects (or at least some sort of volume/filter automation) so that the last chord doesn’t cut off so suddenly. Overall solid work! Hope this review helped. Keep at it, man. ;)


This review was written for the Newgrounds Audio Death Match 2015.

JDawg00100 responds:

Thank you for the detailed review!

fuck yea it's like post-hardcore meets post-rock, right up my alley! the kind of repetition you've used is also right up my alley :) actually i know a lot of chip musicians who write in this style, the similarities are uncanny. awesome guitar playing and writing, the solo with the synth unison at the end is just fantastic. i'd say the drum writing is a bit weak compared to the rest and i'm not sold on that snare sound but there are some great moments for the drums too. really good work man!

JDawg00100 responds:

Thanks I'm glad you dig it! It's strange hearing people compare what I write to different bands and genres, because I kind of just write what's in my head, I don't really aim for a specific style. So it's cool look up what other people hear in my music.

This is cool.

I'd be careful with some of the repetition though. In terms of composition, you like to stay with one theme just a bit too far out of its welcome before you move on to a break. When the theme starts off at the beginning it's really cool, but the constant trilling can become a bit of a bother after hearing it about 30+ times (I apologize for being a bit harsh, but it's probably no wheres near the detail that the judges will be getting in). I love the break at 01:17-01:50. Not only is it refreshing but the atmosphere you're making is well done. 02:25 reminds me of something that I learned at NGADM last year. Volume dynamics is a beautiful thing. You don't want a song that's loud all of the time because listeners ears will feel tired towards the end of the song, but at the same time you don't want a song that's too quiet otherwise it will give the listeners a feeling of emptiness during the song. So I guess a rule of thumb is more dynamic contrast the better. Last point about composition. Do more with the ending, especially since you still have time before the deadline. The ending is too abrupt. All you need is maybe an ending chord to properly end the song. Like whatever chord you're in at 03:58. What you're doing is that you have a chord that's in the main key of the song at 03:58 (I don't know what it is but let's say that this song is in the key of D) and then it sounds like you go into the 5th chord at 04:02 (lets say A) which acts as a transition chord. The problem is that you stop there. You're not settling the song when it ends and it acts as a really bad cliff hanger. All you need is a guitar and synth thing striking the main chord again with a drum hit and that's all you need to make the ending a bit better.

Now for instruments and mastering. As larrynachos pointed out the mastering is good. The drums are also good. If anything they could be just a little louder. But the drumming really compliments the song and I never once thought that the drums were out of place. The kick is quite authoritative and overall the drums drive the song well. The guitar work is really good too. Especially at 02:25; I really love that part. The most brilliant part of this song I think (aside from 02:25) is the synth in this song. It just blends well with the guitars, and (just like I've said before) the mastering is done just right especially with the synth.

So to wrap it up really quick. Not bad. You could explore themes move and add a bit more variation with sections like 02:25, but fix the ending. Especially since you have time right now. Fix the ending. It doesn't need much. Do it.

Good work and good luck

JDawg00100 responds:

Yeah I'm probably going to get docked points for having a lot of repetition but that's just how I write. As for the ending it sounds really cheesy to me when I have the ending end on a note for some reason, I prefer it without one. I actually had a really drawn out sort of ending with different bpm changes and I also tried it simple but oh well, if that docks me points then I don't mind. Thanks for the detailed review though I will definitely use a lot of it in the future

Well that was fast. How the heck did you get something like this done in such a short amount of time?

The sections are a bit monotonous, but the progression is nice. The thing that stands out to me in this song is the mastering. Dear god the mastering. I've always wanted to make rock/metal music, but I'm rubbish at mixing the instruments together. You've mastered the art of mastering!

I don't know how I'm gonna compete against this. I'm probably screwed lol. Good luck!

JDawg00100 responds:

I write music pretty fast, sometimes if I take my sweet time I end up making riffs that don't match the song and stop writing altogether. This time around I actually did a lot of fixing certain parts until I was 100% happy with them, that took more time than I thought.

Good luck on your song, I'm sure you will make something rad

Credits & Info


4.54 / 5.00

Aug 6, 2015
1:10 AM EDT
Heavy Metal
File Info
8.7 MB
4 min 10 sec

Licensing Terms

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