Tag Archives: rpm challenge

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?

Advertisements

2019 RPM Challenge – Update 2

Here’s the second update video!

This vlog focuses on the three days I spent tracking electric guitar for the album. Clean and distorted guitars were recorded through two different amp heads but the same speaker cabinet. That’s why I did all the distorted guitars first, then went back and took care of the cleans. Enjoy!

2019 RPM Challenge – Update 1

At some point last year, I discovered something called the RPM Challenge. The challenge is to record an album (RPM = Record Per Month) entirely in the month of February. Followers of this blog know I can’t turn down a good musical challenge, so I simply had to participate this year!

I’m also filming sizable chunks of the process. Here’s the first update video, chronicling how I spent the first three days. Enjoy!