Tag Archives: metal

Distinct Kicking Motion – Just Happy to Be Here

NEW ALBUM on Bandcamp now!

This album is my entry into the 2019 RPM Challenge. Since it’s done, I thought I’d give a quick track-by-track breakdown.

“Happy Song”

This song spawned from this Instagram post. The background noise was my super bowl party (recorded with their permission) and I also got them all to yell at me. Nobody seems to turn down a chance to yell at me on my recordings… My brother did the whistling because he’s better at it than I am. The sucker punch of the metal band at the end (it is, indeed, a trappy song) works as a direct segue to…

“Swimming Patterns Against the Tide”

A good friend of mine gave me the title without hearing the song. These are some of the last lyrics written for the project, so this wound up bringing a few other tunes together. Recorded on a 7-string guitar in standard tuning.

“The Irish Goodbye”

I came up with the verse and chorus riffs in early January but didn’t get the lyrics until the middle of February. I thought I was gonna have to scrap it until I woke up one morning with “When it all comes crashing down you’ll know just where to go” in my head.

“Video Games”

I wrote these lyrics as a petulant six-year-old. I work with kids for a living, so getting into this character wasn’t too difficult. This is on the 7-string again, but in drop-A tuning this time. Also, that’s a PS4 controller at the end.

“Grounded For Life”

I had to have at least one uptempo punk tune on this record. I unabashedly love poppy songs played way too fast. The thought of starting every verse with “Everything sucks when…” made me laugh so I had to use it.

“Tap Into the Potential”

I came up with the verse riff at work. I teach private lessons for a living so I literally have to play guitar every day… and that day a student or two got to witness me go “whoa that’s cool I gotta remember that.” I rarely write songs about music, so this was a conscious decision to make an exception. For the record, “the driver song” is “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” by Primus and “the side two thing” is the Abbey Road medley. I changed the end of the last verse to “you’ll find them soon” from “stop lying please” after thinking about my line of work.

“Meteor Shower”

This one stemmed simply from a desire to have at least one acoustic song on this record. I’m a huge fan of Opeth, both heavy and acoustic, and this was definitely inspired by their quieter work. Incidentally, the hand drum on this song is a darbuka. Snow is a running theme on this record because I live near Lake Ontario and we get a bunch of it every year…

“Take the Stairs”

I’m a huge prog and metal nerd, but sometimes you just gotta sit back and groove. I wasn’t too sure about this one – admittedly, I almost cut it – but it found a home and it’s still pretty fun to play.

“Encased in Ice”

The chorus riff was the first one I ever demo’d on my iPad back on New Year’s Eve… so, naturally, these were the last lyrics to be written for the album. Another influence is worn on the sleeve – Gojira this time. Were I to do this song again, I’d hook up a second amp and essentially quad track the guitars instead of merely double tracking. It’s in Drop-D tuning, so you know we’re being serious here.

“Restless”

Every Distinct Kicking Motion album and EP has at least one instrumental on it. I love instrumentals, I love odd time signatures, and I love 8-string guitars. Put that all together and you get this! I didn’t intend on making the instrumental the longest song on the album, but I’m not complaining about it either. I tend to pace when I get restless, so I automated the panning on the beginning guitar to do exactly that.

“Luna”

Heavily inspired by two bands – one current (Astronoid) and one from the 90s (Hum). The main rhythm guitars played the same chords in different positions and there’s also a clean guitar buried in the mix. That clean guitar is a Gibson SG – my workhorse for almost all of the record – and the rest is my 8-string.

“Blanket Fort”

This one hurt to record and it was completely worth it. That same friend who gave me that song title towards the beginning of the record and I had talked occasionally about building blanket forts and I guess it stuck with me. And right on cue, a massive snowstorm hit my hometown mere days after I wrote this song. Another influence shines through here – this may be the most Porcupine Tree-esque song I’ve ever written.

So there’s my album. If you’ve listened, thank you. If you made it to this point in the blog, thank you again. This was a ton of fun to make and I’m thrilled I found the RPM Challenge. See you next year?

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Side Effects May Include…

Today, the Laryngitis EP concludes.

This song being here is proof that sometimes chronological isn’t the best order for music. This closing track was written before each of the previous three AND was recorded on the same day as “Laryngitis” (I had the day off from work that day). The impetus for this one came simply from looking at my lap steel and deciding to use it again. Then, to take the tune to the next level, I took my Gibson and put it in Open-D tuning to match the lap steel. The final piece that really put this one over the top is the solo in the whole-tone section – I received an Otamatone this past Christmas and it finally made its recording debut here.

As always, thanks for listening! Feel free to let me know what you think. Have a good one and I’ll see you soon.

NEW ALBUM! Distinct Kicking Motion – Greatest Hits

Surprise! Today, I’m releasing a new album! Here’s a video about it AND a link to the Bandcamp page.

This is Distinct Kicking Motion’s first non-concept album, 14 tracks long and spanning a decade of my songwriting catalog. The oldest song on this album dates all the way back to 2006 and the newest was written in 2016. I’ve been sitting on this album for a while, debating wether or not to make physical copies, but I decided to release it online anyway. It’ll be wherever else you like to stream and download your music in the coming days (links to those will be in the video’s description). Thanks for reading and listening and I hope you enjoy! See you next week with the final song from the Laryngitis EP.

The Doctor Will See You Now

The instrumental EP continues… and we kick off metaphorical Side B with a fun one.

As you might be able to guess from the overall sound, this is my attempt at an early Metallica instrumental – I was picturing it as a combination of “The Call of Ktulu” and “Orion” in a fraction of the time. Shortly after I put this one together, I got an idea: Since there were three spots in this tune for solos, let’s give two of them to other people! So, I got a hold of my friends Jay and Neil (the first two guitar players that popped up in my mind) and they were willing to play! Fun Fact: The solos were recorded in reverse order – my solo was tracked first, while Jay’s was done last (Jay’s a busy guy).

As always, thanks for listening! Feel free to let me know what you think. Enjoy the start of summer and I’ll see you soon with this EP’s closing track.

I Googled My Symptoms and Now I Have a Headache

Here’s track two from the upcoming instrumental EP.

I had so much fun writing “Laryngitis” with my 8-string guitar, so why not write another 8-string instrumental? This one, to me, has much more of a djent vibe than “Laryngitis”, which I like. Also, to mix things up, I decided to play all of the melodic/solo work on keys this time around.

As always, thanks for listening! Feel free to let me know what you think. Have a good day and I’ll see you soon.

Laryngitis

A few weeks ago, I went and got sick. Shortly after I got sick, I lost my voice. Well, that’s no help… but I had an idea.

During that weekend where I had almost no voice whatsoever, I started to write instrumental music. I’ve always liked instrumentals in the first place, and I couldn’t sing at the time, so why not just play stuff? I promptly wrote two tunes that weekend – this guy here and another one coming later called “Side Effects May Include…” Needless to say, there’s an instrumental EP in the works.

As always, thanks for listening! Feel free to let me know what you think. Take care and I’ll see you soon.

The Frogurt Is Also Cursed

Admittedly, 2018 started in a lull for me. I didn’t write any new music in January or February because I simply wasn’t feeling it. March started the same way until one seemingly random day. While talking to friends online waiting for my next student at work, somebody said “The Frogurt Is Also Cursed” and I immediately thought “oh, that’s a good song title!”

Within about a week, the instruments were all recorded. Vocals had to wait until early April (darn laryngitis), which then in turn gave me another idea: Since it’s this big evil metal thing, why not release it on Friday the 13th? So, uh… here we are.

The musical premise is simple to talk about. The main riff is in seven, which if you’ve followed my music long enough you know I like to do. The main riff is also the first in my entire catalog with legit sweep-picking, one of the newest additions to my bag of tricks. In this tune, I play a note on seven of the eight strings – the poor A string only gets muffled string hits.

As always, thank you for listening! Let me know what you think and I’ll see you next time.

Distinct Hitting Motion: After All That Work…

It’s the playoffs! Ten teams qualified and four of them get… a winner-take-all game. Well then…

My preamble there tells you exactly where this comes from. Think of this as the anger of the wild card winners’ fans for all that time spent in the regular season earning them… one lousy game. To make matters worse this year, both home teams won the wild card games, meaning the second wild card winners didn’t even get a playoff home game!

Musically, this one was highly inspired by Strapping Young Lad, which explains both the drastic dynamic shift right at the beginning and all of the layers. There were an awful lot of tracks for a song so short… This song’s recording trick: The initial rhythm guitars didn’t have the articulation I wanted, so I tracked them again through a Roland Micro Cube. I kept the originals, so there are four tracks of rhythm guitar on this sucker.

As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Have a good day and come on back next week for something totally different!

Distinct Hitting Motion: Pennant Chase

Middle of September? Already?! Where did the time go?! Suddenly the regular season is almost over and it’s time to wrap up those playoff spots!

This song is another classic case of “new gear, new riff” – in this case, a new pedal. I went into this song thinking of making a straightforward, driving tune with a fuzz pedal. So, I got my hands on a fuzz pedal, hooked it up to my Orange amp, plugged in my seven-string, and away we went. I had originally played the main riff on a six-string, but I wanted that low B and using the seven was way easier than detuning…

For the ending, I was torn. I originally wrote a sudden ending, which was fine… but part of me wanted to fade out. After some thought, I decided to do both! I kept the sudden ending, waited around, then went back to the main riff for the fadeout. Why choose, right?

As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Enjoy your day and come on back in two weeks for something completely different from anything else in this project!

Distinct Hitting Motion: The Challenge

You know what number always comes to mind when I think of baseball? SEVEN. Not nine, not three, but SEVEN. Because, you know… OK, not really. But I wanted to write in seven, so I did anyway.

The first riff came about literally trying that specific guitar in a music store. I picked that guitar up, plugged it in, and started playing that riff almost immediately. I’ve been wanting to use more complex chords in my writing and this was the perfect opportunity. Funnily enough, the song wound up being structured kind of like a march or a rag (double-binary form – ABABCDCD) and I didn’t even realize it until long after I had tracked it.

Lyrically, I was struggling for this one – in fact, this tune almost didn’t make the cut for this project because of that. But right as I was about to shelve it, an idea was hatched. Manager’s mad about a call and challenges it! And, of course, doesn’t like that the call stands and gets himself ejected. I tried a new style of harsh vocals since the low growls didn’t seem to make sense for this one.

As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Enjoy your day and come on back in two weeks for fun with a fuzz pedal!