- The Coffinstuffers
The Coffinstuffers are Martin Graves: vocals, guitars, bass, harmonica, mandolin and John Minster: vocals, keys, guitar, keys bass, drum programs. We are veterans of the Philadelphia original music scene. We play rock basically, but we like psychedelia and other genres.
- music writing
- film / video
- Philadelphia, PA
On "Rhapsody In Black" by The Coffinstuffers, the morbidly-titled rockers lay down six minutes of world music-influenced psychedelia the likes of which is rarely heard. The musical arrangement is indeed quite diverse, rounded out by strings, pianos, and bongos in place of the more conventional rock instrumentation. Lyrically, the song is quite deep, recalling a lover who is seemingly torn between good and evil, with the song's protagonist seemingly holding the balance of power in his hand. Relying heavily on extended ambient instrumental passages, "Rhapsody In Black" makes excellent use of space within the song to allow the listener's mind to wander and explore the sonic terrain that The Coffinstuffers are erecting with every passing note. Overall a highly contemplative song, The Coffinstuffers successfully rewrite the rules on conventional rock instrumentation and musical arrangement with "Rhapsody In Black," ultimately begging the question: where will their muse take them next?
There's some good stuff here and some excellent ideas at work. But what you have is a solid demo that shows your songwriting, performing and programming ability. What might this material sound like with a full band and/or an outside producer who could show you how to make the arrangements fuller, bigger-sounding and with more punch? That's my advice: Shop this to some producers who might be able to take what you do to the next level.
Cool intro. Caught my attention right away. I get the Ray Mazerek keyboard, too. Programmed drums? Sounds like it. I'd like to hear a version of this with a full band and with an outside producer manipulating the arrangement for maximum effect. A good start.
"Dear Prudence" is one of the Beatles songs that offers plenty of opportunities for re-imagination (Just ask Siouxsie and the Banshees.) This arrangement reminds me a bit of Billy Thorpe's "Children of the Sun" from 1979 (https://youtu.be/XR2oct3zeTM), especially with the guitar sound. Now, some questions: What's the overall goal of this project? Where are you hoping to take it? Is something music supervisors should be looking at? Or are you looking to take it into another area? Given that the market for albums filled with covers is limited, who do you see as your target audience? Is this the kind of project that requires a music publicist to take it around to people who are looking for this kind of music? Just some stuff to think about. I'll spread it around through my social media channels.
I dig your style. This has a cool, retro punk vibe akin to the Dead Milkmen and the Violent Femmes. The vocals are fun, the riffs are tight, and the chorus is catchy as fuck. I would bet that this is a fan favorite at live gigs and I am sure the crowd will be singing along. I am sure there is a punk label out there that would be into supporting the band, but unfortunately that is not my area of expertise and can not think of anyone in that scene to share this with. I would submit a digital care package to every label you guys are a fan of and follow up with a snail mail swag bag. I would also send the track to college radio stations around the country and follow up the same way. If you guys can do cheap tees and/or buttons and/or totes I would send those. The swag bag costs a bit more, but I know from experience that it stands out and definitely gets you recognized. Please keep sharing your tunes and holler with any questions any time. Best of luck.
Overall the track is well produced and the production values are spot on. The singer has very unique vox, it's almost raspy yet has a definite pop vibe to the delivery. Keep up the great work!
Interesting choice of a cover. I like it when people take the time to dig deep for tunes to cover. This gives you a chance to really make a song your own. Same questions as last time. Where do you see this project fitting into the musical food chain? A manager or agent is essential at this point.
I like the short concise format, well recorded and a distinctive vocal sound. I dont really love the lyrics, but that is a personal preference... I just prefer a bit songs with something more uplifting or with some swagger.
Nice Song. Though The Sound mixing needs a lot of improvement. Mixing: Vocals can be louder Triangle Bell can be softer. Synths can be Panned bit Centre. Reduce Chord Organ/pad a bit Music Arrangement can be a bit more interesting to keep listener interest. Like you can stop the Drums at few moments. Vocals: You could add backing harmony vocals in chorus.
Spooky arrangement/performance! I could rarely remember if I was stuck in a cavern or listening to your SC track in my music studio. Checked it out on both my computer speakers and studio monitors: crazy cool. Kind of a weird mix between the tambourine and the sensation of being inside bagpipes. I'd love to hear this track live; how do you re-create the vibe? Or do you create a completely different arrangement? The point is that this is an intriguing track. Ironically, you haven't really told us a story in the lyrics. Just given us a taste of something that we get to create in our own memories and wonderings. Moody and nicely done.
Some of the backing instruments sound a little too loud during the intro, but aside from that, the song is interesting and sort of unusual. It structurally sounds different from a lot of songs, though that could be more because of the vocals and use of synth sounds. This track does make me want to hear more!
Interesting track! I'm not sure what to make of it. I hear hints of Ventures surf rock, but then the production is more modern - almost artificial with the panned cymbals. Which I find more and more distracting as the song progresses. Lyrically, the only way it makes sense is if it's a girl named Summer. It would be nice if it doubled as making sense with the season, but it really doesn't. I like the poetic turnaround from "you're not coming back" to "I'm not coming back" but I don't feel like I understand the story at a deeper level. It's also confusing because you're saying goodbye, but apparently it was a long time ago. Maybe I'm overthinking it. 😜 According to SoundCloud, it's an old track, so I'm not sure if my feedback will help. It's not really a great fit for my following on Twitter anyway, as they tend to be Depeche Mode fans. A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions: 1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along (I understood them just fine, and saw most of them in the cover art, but still...) 2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world. Thanks for sharing it with me!
Interesting. Retro-y melodic vibe (early 60s?) but difficult to pin down. Familiar yet new. That's hard to do. I'm also torn between saying that it's just the right length and that it needs to be longer. After a couple of listens, though, I'm wondering if there shouldn't be another verse before the bridge. And then I'm wondering if (a) the final verse should be different rather than a repeat of the first one. And a final thought: what about arranging the ending to end on a last chord or with a cold out. While the fade lends a wistfulness to the song, I don't think the track is long enough to warrant a fade. It makes the whole thing feel...truncated, you know? I wonder what another producer might make of this? Would be change the synth solo on the fade?
At first listen, I love the alternative indie pop sound of this as it starts out. Catchy and earwormish! It sort of veers away at about :53 though, with some instrumental guitar work that in itself is great, but feels a bit disconnected. And then comes back again somewhat at about 1:14. I'd definitely suggest further development of the initial melody, tune, vocals, and vibe in the first 53 secs of the track. In any case, this is obviously just a quick snippet, further development would be required if you are looking to release commercially/get airplay and further attention. Hope that's helpful, thanks for your submission, good luck with your music!
Hi, Thanks very much for sharing with us. Personally i'm not sure Coffinstuffers is a the best name. Makes me think of death. Unless that's what you want. I like the tone of your voice, it has a nice timbre, low and husky slightly flat at times but I quite like it actually. The thing that jumps out is the drums on this for me. They are so weak and tiny. Midi drums always are but you can process them so much to really beef them up. Or even use samples to make it sound better. Midi drums are the worst! The actual song is pretty catchy actually - musicality/structure is good for me. Keeps my interest. Just needs a bit more production/mixing on the whole to really gel it together, beef up those drums (they really let it down) sort out those levels etc. Thanks again for sharing with us. Kx