Noobs on the NSR – a Radio Show Review by Alex Peter Josephson (college)

Listen to the show here.

As I tuned into NSR just the other day a mix came on by four of the college’s students. The show begins with no opening but with a short introduction to their first song ’18 and Life’ by Skidrow, a song about a young man being imprisoned for murder. Starting of the show this way is kinda dull as anyone listening might not know what the show is about. The Show itself follows a simple format of introducing each song, playing the song and then each other presenter giving their own opinion about the song. While there is nothing wrong with this format however it is executed in a clumsy way.

Their next song is ‘Kings of Beer’ by Tankard, a song that follows ’18 and Life’ well being the same genre and style. Now despite the lack of opening just by the first two songs listeners should be able to gather what genres they will hear… Or at least you would think.

Thirdly is the song ‘Run with the Hunted’ by Sky Hill, this song while still technically rock music stands out instantly with it’s alternative style rather than heavy metal. Despite this, it is still a nice song and somehow does fit with the show.

Now would be a good time to mention that the songs for the show were each chosen by the four presenters evenly meaning that their personal tastes are brought to the show. This does work for most of the songs with the exception of songs brough on by both Joseph and Ryan as they stick out, especially with Ryan’s songs (You’ll see what I mean).

The fourth song is ‘Comfortably Numb’ by Pink Floyd, again sticking out from the first two but still somehow fitting. This song was chosen by Joseph and you will notice a “dad’s record collection” vibe to his choices, all of which being from the 70’s and being prog. This is one of my favourite songs from the set, but this is inevitable accounting to the fact that I am a major Floyd fan and have been since The Wall was released in 1979.

After a fantastic solo from David Gilmour and more rubbish commentary we move onto ‘People = Shit’ by Slipknot. Oh dear. This song instantly displays terrible mixing within the show as I found myself turning the radio down 20 dB lest the neighbours complain. It feels as if the editing consisted of sequencing only and not mixing the audio to give a consistent dynamic range. Going back to the commentary they clearly recorded it with no effort as it sounds like they passed around an SM57 with no pop filter or shield and just gave a brief view on each song. A better way to have recorded the show is to get a condenser with an omnidirectional pick-up field and talk with that in the middle of them, but that’s just how I would do it anyway.

Our next delight is ‘Put Your Death Mask On’ by Wednesday 13. This song returns the to the style of the first two songs. They should have really thought about their choices more to make the style consistent. If you think that all the songs so far are fine together (and I know I said they worked but I can go back on myself) then think again because after this comes ‘The Next Episode (Remix)’ by San Holo. This song is a remix of a Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg song…. Yes, Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg. Now tell me how did we get from rock and heavy metal to hip-hop? Well that fault belongs to Ryan, one of the four presenters. While this song sticks out more than Kim Kardashian’s ass it is still a good song… But 0 points for consistency.

We then return thankfully to rock music with ‘Watcher of the Skies’ by Genesis. The song unfortunately is the previously unreleased single version as opposed to the 7 minute album version but the length suits radio more, that and this version is interesting to hear. After that we have ‘My Name is Jonas’ by Weezer. This song again fits better with the first two songs and was a good choice for the show. This can also be said about ‘Milk Lizard’ by The Dillinger Escape Plan. This song has a very experimental style to it which wins me over being a prog fan. After these three songs I felt like the show was becoming more consistent in style, how can they fuck it up?

Well… ‘Raw’ by Bad Meets Evil, that’s how. This is another song from Ryan. Although it is a good song like his last choice ‘The Next Episode (Remix)’ it again sticks out so much, how hard is it to be consistent? You pick a genre, then pick your songs. This inconsistency continues with ‘Oxygene Part 4’ by Jean Michel Jarre. This electronic gem is a favourite of mine but seriously guys, pick songs that compliment each other. It seems that I am focusing too much on the inconsistent nature of the show’s music choices so to be constructive, maybe they could have done a prog show as the style is quite universal. That way “Oxygene Part 4” would have fit in being ambient electronic, a genre that has origins from progressive rock.

The next song almost gave me heart attack as it exploded into my ears. This was ‘Coldly Calculated Design’ by The Faceless. Again fitting in more with the opening songs but maybe a bit too heavy, especially following Jean Michel Jarre. Still a decent song with again some interesting compositional elements to it.

This is followed up by ‘Dragon Slayer’ by Ninja Sex Party, a band with a pretty funny name. This song though sounds like it was ripped straight from the music video which there is nothing wrong with in a way but couldn’t they have edited out the opening and closing sounds? There really is no excuse for that lazy editing. Ranting aside, this song is a parody satirising songs where the protagonist is bragging to a women about the stuff they have done to try and get into their pants. Quite funny when you listen to the lyrics. The Lead singer from this band is also the lead singer from Skyhill who was featured earlier within their mix.

After some more bland commentary we move onto ‘Know your Enemy’ by Rage Against the Machine and I Love this song. Rage against the Machine’s funky style always gets me moving just from Timmy C’s great bass playing. This is followed by the final song ‘Funny Ways’ by Gentle Giant. This song is a decent choice to end the set but again the lack of mixing is evident as the song is really quiet. It’s as if the group slacked off for most of the time and then their teacher informed them of the deadline so they rushed to finish on time. Idiots!

The show ends so abruptly after the group converse. They could have at least recorded a short opening and closing then put some sort of stock music or whatever, maybe it would have sounded a bit more professional. Despite this and the inconsistencies it is still worth a listen for fans of rock music (who also like a bit of hip-hop) and is a good listen if you are doing house work or typing up a review under a fake name of your own radio show made for college…

With that note, I conclude.