Category Archives: The Hockey Project

The Hockey Project: You Can Put It In The Win Column!

We made it! Eight months (and a strange year-long hiatus) later, we’ve finally reached the end of The Hockey Project. So what better way to end it than with its longest song? I thought so, too.

You Can Put It In The Win Column!

A quick word on the title: I used to listen to a lot of hockey games on streaming audio after work or after Sabres games were over, typically leaning towards the western Canadian teams. I was never a big Flames, Oilers, or Canucks fan, but those radio guys always seemed to call a good game. This song title is what longtime Flames radio announcer Peter Maher said after every Flames win. Obviously, that phrase stuck with me.

Lyrically, this one serves mostly as a wrap-up of the whole project, complete with a section of complaints and a clean section written from the perspective of that guy whose job is to watch over the Stanley Cup. Like usual, I started with the singing sections first, then went to the harsh vocals. I always cut the singing parts first whenever I make a song like this. Seems easier on the voice that way…

Musically, this one was definitely fun to make. I really like the dynamic contrast that the middle section provides – one good way to ramp up the intensity in metal is to back off for a while. The last thing recorded for the whole project was the keyboard parts – a last-minute addition after I thought “you know, this track is missing something” after I finished the vocals. That included a rarity for me – a keyboard solo. And to think I played it on a two-octave MIDI controller…

Whew! I think that covers everything. Enjoy, let me know what you think, and I’ll see you next time. Meanwhile, I’ll be over here thinking about the next project…

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The Hockey Project: Now Available On Bandcamp

Hello there. Today’s a big day because I have FINALLY finished The Hockey Project! Now you can listen to and download the entire project in one place.

 

Out of all the sports projects, this one was not the longest in terms of running time but definitely the heaviest. This is unwittingly a pretty solid reflection on the niche-sport quality that hockey holds, though it’s largely due to me liking metal and also adding an 8-string guitar to my arsenal. Super heavy and oddly personal in spots, this project was quite a journey and I’m proud of the results. Enjoy, let me know what you think, and I’ll see you next time.

The Hockey Project: Campbell And Wales Get Overlooked Again

Well, the third round of the playoffs is over, so it’s time for a new song. If you follow the sport at all, you most likely have heard that hockey players are an incredibly superstitious bunch. If they even put on their equipment in a different order, their heads might explode. One of the many superstitions in hockey pertains to the trophies for winning the conference finals – it’s supposedly bad luck to even touch them. Sure enough, in both 2014 (the year this song was actually written) and 2015, neither team touched the conference champion trophies. This song is written from the perspective of the neglected hardware.

Campbell and Wales Get Overlooked Again

Like I mentioned before in this project, I always enjoy when a rock/metal album suddenly goes acoustic for one or two songs. One fairly common spot for a metal album’s lone acoustic track is right before the last song (i.e.: Track 9 on a 10-track album). So what better time to go acoustic then right now? For you inquisitive guitar dudes, this song is in Drop-D-flat tuning (Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb, or C# G# C# F# A# D# on your tuner). I also enjoyed adding all the percussion – this song features cajon, darbuka, tambourine, and claves. Enjoy, let me know what you think, and I’ll see you next time when we finally wrap this puppy up.

The Hockey Project: Eight Remain

Well, that was quick. Feels like Round Two just started and it could be ending in the next few days. Guess it’s time to post the next Hockey Project tune, huh? This is a song with a simple lyrical idea to compliment music that’s anything but simple.

Eight Remain

Lyrically, I wrote about reaching the second round of the playoffs and otherwise just kinda threw words together and pretended to be serious. The part I was unsure about until my friend Adam heard it and burst out laughing was the “well, congratulations” background vocal line. The doubling, combined with the lower register, makes it sound incredibly sarcastic which I like a lot.

Musically, this is another case of “Ed Likes Progressive Rock, Part X”. At the time I wrote this song, I had recently seen The Safety Fire live and was in a massive kick with that band (If you’ve never heard them and like super-intricate guitar work, then definitely check them out). That kick helped me write the first distorted riff – one of the more difficult riffs in my catalog. Position changes and string jumps give it an extremely high margin for error. The song is also mostly in seven, because I like using seven and it had been a while. Enjoy, let me know what you think, and I’ll see you next time.

The Hockey Project: Outraged By The Outrageous Outrage

Ah yes, nothing like some good ol’ unfinished business. For those of you who don’t know, I occasionally enjoy writing music about sports. Typically, it’s been either baseball or football, but last season I finally decided to undergo a hockey project. The idea was to write a song every two weeks for the regular season and one for each playoff round, giving me eighteen total tracks. For some odd reason, I wrote and recorded the four playoff tunes (except for the vocals on the last one, which I’ll get to in the coming week or so) and shelved them. Well, now that it’s hockey playoff time again, I’m going to finish those tracks and release them this year! Starting… NOW.

Outraged By The Outrageous Outrage

This tune is about the thing I dislike the most in sports – they’re taken WAY too seriously. Everything is SUPER IMPORTANT and if something even remotely controversial happens, well, look out ’cause there’s a storm a-brewin’ – especially online. This song is written from the perspective of one of those dudes.

Musically, this one is driven by my love for both djent and speed metal. The song’s arc from “driving double kick” to “groove first, chops later” to “syncopated” really helped the lyrics out in this case. Also, the guitar tone changes here because this is when I started double-miking my amplifier. If you have a condenser microphone that can handle high sound pressure levels, I highly recommend it. Finally, if you listen not too closely, you’ll hear a callback to “Anatomy of a Match Penalty”. Enjoy, let me know what you think, and I’ll see you in the next round.

The Hockey Project: 82

Hey! We made it! After six months, we’ve finally reached the end of the regular season. So, how’s about a fun little pop-rock tune to commemorate the occasion? That’s what I thought, too. Like the last tune, this is a bit of an homage to Coheed and Cambria – their most recent album closes with a simple and fun rock song, which is what I tried to do here.

The lyrics should be somewhat obvious here. It’s a long season for sure, and there’s a good chance it didn’t end the way you wanted. But, since this is the last game (game #82 for the NHL season, hence the title), why not just have some fun? For the record, there are a total of 1,230 games in an NHL season. I checked the online official scoresheet of the last game just to make sure.

82

Enjoy! Thanks for listening and I’ll see you next time with a return to the heavy stuff.

The Hockey Project: ELIMINATED

Hello there. Today’s Hockey Project tune is a notable departure, mood-wise. As the title would suggest, this tune is about finally being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. It’s in all caps because I always type it like that in this context. More fun that way, I think. Either way, I guess this is what you wind up writing about when your favorite hockey team is dead last in the whole league…

Musically, this – and the following song – is a bit of an homage to Coheed and Cambria. Their most recent album (which is excellent, by the way) has a really dark-sounding opening track much like this. For the music theory buffs, this is one of the rare times I’ve ever used an augmented chord. Also, that acoustic part was much more difficult to record than I expected. Holy crap did that hurt…

ELIMINATED

Thanks for listening and I’ll see you next time with a more uptempo song.

The Hockey Project: The Rental

Hello again. Today’s Hockey Project tune tackles a huge day late in the hockey season – Trade Deadline Day.  Lots of players and draft picks change hands as some teams gear up for a playoff run and others just kinda throw in the towel. Lyrically (with the exception of the second section), this song is mostly from the perspective of a guy who just got traded, from hearing the news to joining his new team. As for the second section, picture it as your standard talking heads show discussing the deal.

Musically… I like Tesseract. There, I said it. This is likely the djent-iest djent fest of a song I’ve ever done. Oddly enough, this almost feels like more of a showcase for the bass and drums to me. Also, I like how the rhythm guitars almost get lost in the last section because so much is going on… Enjoy!

The Rental

I’ll see you next time for something noticeably darker.

The Hockey Project: Pardon The Patriotism

Well, this one is super-late, but hey – better late than never, right? I decided, at the start of the olympic hockey tournament, that I should write a silly Team USA anthem. To further add to the ridiculousness, I decided to channel my inner pro wrestler for the lead vocal – Not surprisingly, my throat hurt for a while after I recorded this song…

The music is just a big ol’ slice of metal. Frankly, I wish more team anthems were like this – less light cheese, more heavy cheese. This is where the Dallas Stars have most teams beat – Pantera made their anthem (seriously). Meanwhile, the song for my local baseball team (Rochester Red Wings) sounds like it belongs in a musical… Anyway, here it is.

Pardon The Patriotism

Enjoy and I’ll see you next time with a song about a guy getting traded.

The Hockey Project: Time Zones Make My Head Hurt

Hello again. After that nice little intermission, The Hockey Project returns to the rock for this song. Lyrically, this one is simply about the start of the olympic break and the fact that the hockey tournament’s late games started at noon in my time zone. Thanks, nine-hour time difference!

From a musical standpoint, this song was definitely an experiment. I flipped my usual 5/8 pattern in the verses (from “2-3” to “3-2”), flipped the standard “3 vs. 4” rhythm so that the note I cut short is at the start of the riff instead of the end, and kinda went off the deep end in the bridge. Why? Because I can. Oddly enough, I think this all turned out really well… probably because it’s just under three minutes long.

Time Zones Make My Head Hurt

Enjoy and I’ll see you next time with a song that’s both shorter and dumber. It’ll be great!