Matthew McGuinness

Matthew McGuinness

Matthew McGuinness

London-based producer involved in multiple projects covering alternative rock, metal, and electronica.
music tech, recording engineer, music production, music festivals, music writing, music production / mastering, music performance, music composition
metal, alternative rock, bass music, computer music, film / video, progressive rock

Recent Submissions

Matthew McGuinness submitted media.

Stitch by Orca

Brody Ramone

Interesting track. I'm all for having heavy rifts to carry a song but the one thing that didn't catch my ear was the overall melody. I understand the vibe you're trying to achieve for the track, however it doesn't flow in a contrasting way, in my opinion. I am interested in your work though as the vocalist has a smooth vocal range and the band itself is musically proficient. I plan on looking more into this band to see what else I can uncover. Keep up the good work!


Well this is one of those songs that gets your attention.  It is a great song.  There are some seriously strong musical elements in this song.  I think that it does go in a couple of different directions and might be better as separate songs but this is really good.  I can't wait to hear the rest of the album.   

Michael Hunter

I'm finding it interesting how many songs are coming my way here where, despite being quite different genres altogether, there is a shared willingness to go a bit beyond the perceived expectations of a style and to keep the listener's interest by keeping them guessing.  

In this case, the heavy chords of a metal song herald what could have been a straight-ahead aural assault but then almost immediately, the shifting of time signatures add what could be called a prog-rock element.  Then the vocals come in and rather than being a screamfest, there is a definite melodic quality that actually fits with the feel of the song, rather than seeming incongruous.  

Listening to the vocals by themselves as best I could (it's still a loud and heavy track however you approach it), I thought they could maybe fit with much earlier styles such as 80s bands from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal as well as they do here, although the production on this track is of a more modern variety.  I like the way heaviness-upon-heaviness is added to the overall sound as the song progresses too.

Lyrics like “I’ve been as beautiful as you make me” may not be quite what's expected in such a song either - which only adds to the whole effect of going beyond expectations as mentioned earlier.  

All of which, to me, adds up to a song with a "melodic assault" (I just made that up) that not only keeps the listener's interest but would most likely make them want to explore the band in more depth.  

Nix Cooper

A good mash up of heavy riffs and twisted up melodies. It's a tune with many facets and showcases that Orca have the ability to pull out sharp, aggressive slabs of rock but then switch it round to create borderline epic noise landscapes. My favourite part was the powerful vocal change from 1.52. There are definite hints of Deftones and Muse in "Stitch" which is very pleasing to these ears! Had to check out more of the tunes on Fluence after listening.

Tim Medcraft

OK this is very much a different sound to my usual sound
However, same things apply
The arrangement is a little all over the place.
It doesn't matter the music genre, you still need to think in terms of cycles.  So 4 / 8 / 16 or whatever sections of bars.
You have 6 repetetive sections after the initial 4 bar intro (so from when the drums come in) 
But they then go on for an odd number 6 times and drop into a 2 section breakdown
"I want to get...." vocal goes into this bit
So what might be bars 42 to 65 is a very strange section 
The point is that if this was symmetrical it would work but it just makes everything messy
Metal isn't supposed to be messy - it still relies on punch from a proper arrangement
65-97 is another weird section
starts with a breakdown (although you could argue this is the end of the last section)
but then it runs into a weird almost polite bit.  Which doesn't have enough definition and separation
If this is supposed to be a middle 8 part then you should drop all the heavy elements and let it breath
Give the track overall some peaks and trough which also reinforces the heaviness when it comes back in
You should still have noticeable sections - so heavy guitar x3, then breakdown.  heavy guitar x 3 then breakdown, middle 8 / musical bit no drums just vox and strings then breakdown (or in this case heavy guitars back in)
then last section of everything and resolution of song
The last section on this track just sort of ends
the problem with all of this is that the track becomes boring - you need light and dark and definition to really crystalise your ideas
watch the tuning on the vocals it slips
recording in general is too muddy
i hear the stitch lyric as some sort of hook but it isn't really used as a hook in a true sense.  may be something to look at.
i've worked with a couple of bands who can really do this sound well and they nail the verse chorus structure as it helps make an impact.  You should probably look at that as a template to help maximise the ideas you have
Trust that helps

Cougar Microbes

Tracks kicks off like a truck crashing into a wall and certainly gets the listener attention. Took me a couple of listens before I could take it all in but glad I stuck around for more as it brought me back to the music I loved the most in my late teens/early 20s. Reference points for me (and please correct me if im wrong) where A Perfect Circle and Glassjaw.

The vocals are a big pull throughout but I especially like it when the singer soars. He sounds like a cross between Chris Cornell and Chino Moreno in these parts which can only be a good thing. In that respect the lower parts are a little flat in comparison (for example at 1:20 to 1:30 mark) especially knowing full well that the high notes are so accomplished. This low vocal works much better when the track adopts it's more melodic approach on the 2:00 mark but again the higher "BEAUTIFUL" shouts towards the end are a big pull and probably my favourite delivery. 

The various breakdowns (0:57 in particular is ace) are unpredictable and add an extra layer as is the utter power at 1:10 with the double drumming.  The aformentioned second half of the track is disarmingly melodic without relinquishing the momentum built previously and by the time the main rif returns it's like reuniting with a track I've known for many years. 

It is possible that the track would benefit from a clearer mix as there is a lot going on and it would benefit from being crisper. 

Having listened to other tracks on soundcloud "Ark" is a more melodic offering and possibly a better track to push to reviewers who aren't already familiar with the genre. In addition the lower vocals which slightly irked me on 'Stitch' are actually an integral part on tracks like "Universe" where I feel a slight Mike Patton vibe. Good stuff all round. 

Trina N. Green

This track was all over the map as f*ck. And because of that, it actually felt longer than 3:44 minutes to me. You're dealing with a gal who has limited intel on the school of metal (tho I have willingly seen Watain live) but I can work with sound. Let's work with yours:

Overall there's nothing 'bad' going on here. I love a song with dynamic and even unpredictable musical changes but here it sounded like 5 different songs stitched together into one. Same thing with the vocals: multiple personalities. Just as with the song's structure, find a vocal approach and figure it out. Nothing wrong with vocal versatility, but I think it needs to flow and I wasn't sure if you were going rock opera or straight up Dio devil horns. But maybe that's part of the beauty of the more metallic side of rock and it just eludes me. 

D Grant Smith

Great track with a songwriting style similar to Chris Cornell ala Audioslave with a twist of System Of A Down.
Vocals work well but production could polish the vocals out a little more with some compression early in the track in first buildup. Overall production is balanced and mixed well. Could use a little more presence from the bass, which is somewhat not as prominent as other instruments.
Solid track for radio.

Raziq Rauf

Excellent riff. Excellent song. Reminds me of Dillinger Escape Plan, Faith No More and Muse. No more references required. I'd definitely listen to more. A lot more. Get in touch.

Bob Lugowe

I think this is a really strong, unique song that shows you guys have a lot of potential.  The main riff is in a league of it's own and reminded me of a simpler, more melodic Dillinger Escape Plan riff.  When the vocals came in I was relieved to hear that they weren't trying too hard to sound like any of the thousand cookie cutter alt-metal vocalists.  There is a good balance between Chino Moreno and Brandon Boyd's styles though he has his own voice.  I did find the vocals to be a bit too high in the mix however and thought the production could be cleaned up a little bit.  

The band's self-description of their sound is really on point and I couldn't describe it better myself.  I also like the band name but after doing a simple google and bandcamp search I was not able to find this particular Orca and there seems to be a metal band from Toronto with the same name.  If you're self-releasing this album and want to make an impact I would suggest hiring a well respected publicist in the UK that is into the band and willing to give you guys a push.  Make sure your music is on Bandcamp and all the streaming sites / digital retailers and that you have a strong social presence so people can find your band easily when searching your name.  

All in all, keep up the good work.  I definitely hear potential with this track!

Travis Keller

FUCK MAN, YES! Finally something that rocks... was the first thing that popped into my mind with that opening riff. After the last four submissions on here... I was ready to fall asleep or kill myself... which ever took less effort....

Yeah man... that riff came in and I had visions of The Jesus Lizard and The Birthday Party....

But then your singer happened.... Who went from apeing  Maynard from Tool to morphing into Soundgarden's Chris Cornell while finally settling on a cross between Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson.

And just when I was about to give up on your guys the band took a System Of A Down left turn that kept it interesting. I'm not even really a fan of SOAD but at least they do things different which although at times makes them look like a circus band at least they're not just a cookie cutter version of the next metal band. 

Ok, look... I'm not much for metal. it's always seemed pretty fucking goofy to me. Like pro wrestling. when I was 13 I felt like I had to choose between punk and metal and I went with punk cuz at least the punk scene had chicks. Weather this is intentional or not, you guys wear your influences proud on your sleeve, the problem is you guys aren't digging very deep to find those infuences... it's modern rock FM radio bands. (and there's a compliment coming here soon I PROMISE) Yet you guys still have some how managed to pull bits and pieces from all these pretty average and dull corporate rock bands and construct your own band that's way more interesting that it's original parts. And congrats for that...

You guys, for what you do, are pretty damn good. I'd like to see you guys actually check out The Jesus Lizard "Goat", The Stooges "Fun House" and "1969" and "Raw Power", Iggy Pop - "Lust For Life" & "The Idiot", Suicide - "Suicide", The Birthday Party - "Bad Seeds EP" & "Junkyard", Black Sabbath - "Vol 4", Led Zeppelin - "physical graffiti", black flag - "SLIP IT IN", flipper - "generic", Nirvana - "in utero" (if you want big radio rock, here ya go), The icarus line - "slave vows" + "penance soriee", refused - "shape of punk to come", minor threat - completediscography, misfits - every album danzig sings on. or just get the box set, the velvet underground - white light white heat / the velvet underground and nico, wipers - is this real?, gun club - fire of love

study those records. play them until they wear out. absorb their souls. eat their energy like food and shit it out in the form of your own songs. I wanna hear em. Bring me some weird rock songs man.

Don't quit doing this... this isn't my bag yet you made me listen three times all the way through... you guys have something. I just think you need some musical education... you know some musical knowledge expansion. We can all use this... dont feel like i'm talking down to you. I study my rock n roll every day.