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Codename: Tom Selleck (NGADM '17)

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Author Comments

Welp another year another NGADM. Wait there wasn't one last year right? Either way I have another NGADM submission with a goofy name. This year I took my sweet time with this one and will probably continue to change it as the deadline comes closer. I don't think it's good enough to advance as is but I'm still pretty happy with it. NGADM hasn't ever been a thing that i've wanted to win but mostly just an excuse to step up my songwriting. So in that sense i've been having a lot more fun this year than previous ones

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Hello! Time for your review of a few points I think could be improved.

Points of Goodness:
-Your mix is pretty darn good throughout this whole thing, which is excellent.
-The triplets around 2 minutes in are a great touch.

Points of Improvement:
-Okay, I know there's something more than thrashing in here, but the song is almost all thrashing. Throttling the guitar is fun, I'm sure, but some more finesse-focused sections would be excellent as well.
-So overall, this song just doesn't give one's ears a break. It's basically just "WALL OF DISTORTION" the whole way through. Try having a calmer breakdown in the middle - there's a reason nearly every single popular song ever has one.
-Ending leaves a lot to be desired, but mainly due to the song being a flat line of loudness.
-There isn't really much in the way of memorable melody here, or any particularly memorable moments.


The fade-in at the beginning struck me as a bit lazy, but I did enjoy the catchy riffs and energy at :13. The build-up during the first minute or so is good, but I think you needed a stronger transition at :59. The melodic content there is enjoyable, though, and I enjoyed the transition at 1:25. I also enjoyed the melodic content at around 2:36, although I would’ve liked to hear a little more structural variety in the latter ⅔ of the piece or so. It has a near-constant sense of energy and drive that could use some variety. I also think the mix could use a little more clarity at 3:48 - the harmonies just seem to be straining to get attention. I also thought the ending was a tad bit rushed. You just seemed to be arriving at this really cathartic melodic section, and then it ended. Overall, though, I’m impressed with your effort here. The melodies are really enjoyable, and you keep the texture nice and full throughout. Keep at it, JDawg00100! :)


Writing was on par. Progressions standard for the genre. Transitions well done, with the exception that I did not like the sudden cliched glitch for coolsies before the last chorus was nailed home.

Mixing on the other hand is subpar.

Guitars are very flat. Rhythm is buried. Lead meshes in with the rhythm so that it's hard to pick out where your melodies are coming from. There's not much use of melodic space note wise.

No soaring highs, crushing lows, or full use of what the sonic space has to offer. Actually, the lead sounds so much more muted than the rhythm, it made it hard to pick out the pick noises! There's practically no treble to your leads, yet the rhythm is hot on the treble. As a result, the leads sound like they're hiding in a dark room while the rhythm does the hard work of driving the track -- rather than the leads soaring above and LEADING.

I also didn't like the section at 2:00. Really showcased the next area of weak mixing/production I'll be discussing.

Drums are totally buried in the mix, ESPECIALLY cymbals, and all the instruments are flat. Also where are the toms? As slow and ponderous as the drums are here, the lack of them for fills REALLY shows how empty the writing is. Snare sounds flat and lifeless too.

Drums need more compression overall. The only instrument I can really pick out is a poorly tuned snare with a serious ringing overtone that clashes with the key of the song.

Kick is also very tinny and lacking in meat. Compress it. Apply EQ. Kicks shouldn't interfere with your bass frequencies much at all, though.

Speaking of bass, it's almost non-existent here. Remember, the purpose of bass is NOT to be replaced by low-tuned baritone guitars, but to beef up the rest of the track and breathe life into it. I can hardly hear the bass at all. No pick noises, no nothing. Don't hide your bass! It's better to have it too loud and have to turn it down later than missing it almost entirely. I can hear it just on the edge of perception, and that really bugs me. Some of the best metal has a prominent bass line, which it sounds like you've shoved into the corner here.

Think about that. It's the same as if you'd made your drums virtually inaudible. You'd rob one of the essentials of the track!

Finally, this piece as a whole does not excite me, move me in any particular way, or impress me. These are things I already know I can expect from you. The song itself has all the excitement of a backing track for an emo band ballad. This is not to say that it's bad or completely boring, or even without merit. It's just missing something.

JDawg00100 responds:

Thank you for the detailed review

aha, some metal in the ngadm! good stufffffffffff. i think the melodies could be a little better - they arent bad, but they aren't super compelling either.

JDawg00100 responds:

Thanks for the review :)

The kicks are fantastic, I love how you made the snare cut through the mix too. Takes me back to my emo days when you broke out that riff at 45secs ish. The rhythm guitar sounds a little muddy to my ear, but other than that great work.

Good luck!

Credits & Info


4.37 / 5.00

Jul 1, 2017
11:52 AM EDT
Heavy Metal
File Info
9.7 MB
4 min 43 sec

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