Cougar Microbes

Cougar Microbes

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Cougar Microbes

Music Blogger
Cougar Microbes is a London based music site with a fierce loyalty to the British scene and a keen ear to what’s going on globally, Cougar‘s roster of contributors hail from as far afield as Los Angeles, Tel Aviv and Milan.

Founded in 2008 Cougar Microbes is dedicated to unearthing exciting new music as well as some old gems. The blog is a member of the prestigious Hype Machine website and has been featured on BBC Radio 6 as well as having covered festivals around the world including SXSW, CMJ, Reading Festival, Liverpool Sound City and Paris Rock En Seine.

Since joining Fluence we have featured a number of submitted artists on our pages.
emerging artists, music writing / blogging, promoting artists, music reviews
hip-hop, alternative, electronica, alternative rock
London, UK

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submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

Really liked the flow and energy of the verses. Something about the urgent vocals over the minimal beat gives this a real edgy feel. Lyrically some great lines in here and a great pattern to the delivery

I wasn't entirely sure about the auto-tuned "interlude" part of the song which felt a little bit too stylistic different the other parts. But this may be down to personal taste more than anything else. 

Tom Crowell submitted media.

Closer by The Pulltops

Cougar Microbes

The lead guitar line on the verse is slightly reminiscent of U2 but that's a good thing in my eyes. The more open chords played in the second verse really added depth.  The bassline is strong but not dominant and I enjoyed its presence. The almost syncopated vocal delivery may be an acquired taste for some but I felt it worked well, particularly in the harmonies. I also felt the vocal pattern towards the finale of the song worked a treat. 

If I had to offer some criticism I would say that perhaps the pacing of the song could be slightly quicker so as to benefit from some of the momentum built. Additionally, perhaps the production could be a little beefier to give this a more rounded sound. 

Generally speaking, I enjoyed this track and it comes across like it would particularly deliver life

Nicolas Vandenborre submitted media.

The Unstoppable View by Vandenborre

Cougar Microbes

A charming composition that has a nice natural flow. Vocally, the track offers a very interesting delivery which is enchanting. However, at times the words are not entirely clear and could possibly be delivered with more crispness. This could also be reserved in mastering possibly

The track development is very interesting and I like the addition of keys and other textures later in the piece. I do however feel that the track could benefit from a stronger bass sound to anchor the entire composition and offer some contrast to the ethereal tones elsewhere in the song. 

I would also suggest a little more dynamic play with the guitar not appearing so heavily throughout but occasionally allowing the track to breathe. Possibly the addition of some syncopation here could help in this regards. 

I would certainly be interested in following how this progresses as there is a lot of sonic choices that I like in this track. Best of luck

Orouni music submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

The track offers a very pleasing melodic progression and some really pretty arrangements. The slightly accented vocals work well for me but I would say that they're often delivered in the same range and that perhaps a little variety in delivery would benefit the overall progression of the track. 

On the first track I felt there was a great underlying idea and, while this is naturally a looser live delivery, the track could have been delivered a bit tighter and with a clearer sense of start and finish between the various section. This would have served to highlight further the inclusion of additional instruments such as the trumpet. 

The second track has a real fairytale like melodic progression and vocally again the accented vocals work well in the tracks initial build up. I think the bass in particular sounds great on this song and it's introduction really helps to frame the track. Again, I feel perhaps some variation on the vocal delivery would make the track immediately more compelling. 

Thanks for the submission and best wishes. 

Human in Bloom submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

The track does a great job at building tension through it's deceptively restrained introduction verse. Vocally, there is a vague resemblance to Thom Yorke's delivery in these parts. 

The chorus comes in quite unexpected and surprised me, in a good way. It works as a great release of the build up that preceded it. Perhaps the vocal refrain is a little repetitive here but that's a small issue. 

Once the track returns to the second verse there is great use of rhythm section to fill the space without over doing it. . 
Visually this video is often stunning and really works a treat although I would have liked to see where you could take the overlaid images effect further but that's mostly because they looked epic. 

Would be happy to feature this on our pages. 

Qyko submitted media.

Under My Skin by Qÿko

Cougar Microbes

Production wise this was very well executed. The sounds are well selected and the main melody is very catchy in its own right. There is some good play with dynanics with the track lowering and heightening it's presence very well. 

My main critique of the track is that it relies heavily on one repeated note pattern and while, as mentioned above, I did enjoy the melody i felt that some variation on the common theme would better serve to highlight the quality of the chord progression. 

On a slight note, the sounds selected are heavily processed and I understand this is a stylistic decision but dropping a hint of some organic sounds may better frame the piece. Best of luck

Joel Rekiel submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

first of all, I should say this is perhaps a little more "pop" than what I would normally cover. Having said that, I really enjoyed the track and in particular the arrangement and vocals 

As mentioned the voice sounds great on this recording, I listened a few times in a row without ever feeling like I was getting tired of it. I'm not sure if it's a deliberate decision but the decision to leave the fancy effects on the vocals fairly low in the mix was great. It gives the vocals a wonderful warm restrain.

The finger snapping at the start gives the track a good foundtion and keeps the intro from being too sparse and leaves the track ideally placed for the "drop". A little word about this; the crescendo leading to this moment works well in building tension coming just at the right time. The rapped vocals also work well and don't detract or distract from the shifiting the focus suddenly. 

A slight critique I would provide is that some of the more electro sounding keyboards in the intro are perhaps a little at odd with the warmth of the composition but this is a slight point really. 

Steve Benjamins submitted media.

The Infidelity Of Language by Steve Benjamins

Cougar Microbes

From the get go the track is vaguely reminiscent of Dire Straits, specifically the tuneful guitar which makes for compelling listening. Structure wise the track is a little more in the field of some of The Killers slower numbers (particularly the keyboard breakdown).

The track works wonders at building up a tension with the verses perfectly paced to give the vocals a run for their money without ever overwhelming them . Vocal delivery remains interesting throughout and building up nicely with the music. A special note to the higher sung chorus which is well delivered and gives a healthy change from the verses. 

The previously mentioned middle 8/ breakdown around the 2:30 mark drag the track to a higher dimension and (while it sounds simple enough to do) the end fadeout is also expertly delivered leaving you wanting more. 

I'm usually all for immediacy but perhaps if I had to nitpick a little bit I would suggest a few more bars could be spent on the intro but really this is a small qualm. 

Good job on the track. 

Evan Tyler submitted media.

So Nuanced by EVAN TYLER + topless literati

Cougar Microbes

Not really related to a review but the sound at the very start freaked my dog out :)

The guitar intro and general groove of the verses this is guaranteed to get everyone moving. In addition the little keyboard scale that is thrown in occasionally works wonders in building momentum in the second halves of the verses. I can't even reallly dance myself and believe me I still gave it a go with this on. 

The chorus could easily be an electro-pop festival anthem getting people up and dancing. While I generally like the delivery on the verses, with some great and memorable quotes, I think maybe the rhymes could be shortened and spread out more through the verse. In the present iteration gives a rightful spotlight to the rap verse but with so much going on in the song as a whole at least in some areas less would really be more. 

Overall, a good effort and a track that's beckoning the summer on. 

jair Sagström submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

melancholic and beautiful, the track really knows how to hit the right spots. The vocal textures are warm and embracing drawing the listener closer and lending a sense of familiarity
There is a careful build up of the instrumentation that really aids the so song in so much that even the addition of a couple of piano keys adds a whole load of depth. Even the repeated guitar never feels tired as it serves as support for the rest of the track

This is a track worth listening to over and over if only to be able to pick up all the various elements that are slowly join to add to the foundation of this track. 

I'd be happy to post an adaptation of the above words on the blog as part of an upcoming "Weekend Videos" session . 

Jonny Freesh submitted media.

So I Tell 'Em Fuck Off by Jonny Freesh

Cougar Microbes

Hey Jonny, 

The track is catchy as hell and I challenge anyone to not nod their head along to this. Obviously the track name and main chorus lyrics will have certain puritans showing faux-shock but moving past that the track remains very radio friendly (and not in a bad way)
The verses are expertly delivered and show a constant stream, I'm particularly impressed when you are spitting chopper style, which is by no means a given. 

I felt the beat worked really well but possibly needed a little variation somewhere (a middle 8-section or some breakdown) to change the vibe a little bit. Also, this may be related to my speakers but maybe the bass could be turned up a little. 

When matched with the video, and the tribal beat, this reminded me somewhat of Busta's Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See and that can only be a good thing. 

Best of luck

Ralina PR submitted media.

RED (Radio Mix) by Emii

Cougar Microbes

Following the intro track was not what I would have expected but instead proves to be so much more rewarding.  The contribution of having such an expert production team pays dividends with every single sound feeling absolutely essential (with the lead sample sounding like it belongs in a particularly gritty British cult movie). Furthermore, the decision to keep the drum beat somewhat minimal really allows the melodies to flourish. 

The vocal performance is phenomenal with Emii's voice making it seem like she was born to be on this track. They help turn a great pop track into an edgy and all together more ballsy effort and have enough variations to support the entire mix. 

Martin Tillman submitted media.

Wonder by Martin Tillman

Cougar Microbes

The track could be labelled a grower as each subsequent listen reveals more details. 

I'm not entirely enamored with the basic beat that accompanies the track throughout. I understand this is a staple of the genre but with so much work being put into offering varied landscapes of instrumentation on the track, it's a shame to only vary  the beat for a short while round the 2:00 mark. 

The lead play between the keyboards and guitars throughout the intro is really pleasing and when the pacing drops around the 1:00 mark there is a real sense of build up and tension that is very cinematic, perhaps unsurprising given Martin's resume. 

While the track veers in a very trance direction it's core sounds could be exported into many areas of electronica and I would strongly suggest offering it up for remixing purposes. 

Needless to say, the cello is fabulous. 

submitted media.

Armchair Committee - Domovoi by Armchair Committee

Cougar Microbes

Domovoi does a great job at throwing the listener off with the spooky intro before the mighty riff smacks them in the face. From there on it's a bit of a rollercoaster ride of a track building momentum with every hard hitting riff and culminating in a soaring chorus line that begs you to shake your head. 

There's definitely a menacing quality to the arrangements that keeps you on your toes all the time. The change of pace at the 2:30 mark in particular catches you off guard before the final crescendo delivers the final knock out. 

Good job all round and the video plays it's part too.

I would be happy to feature this on the blog in the next few weeks, can you send me a band image and/or single cover image plus any information about the album the single will be taken from. 

Best of luck

Max Green submitted media.

Homebody by Max Green

Cougar Microbes

I'll be honest, I didn't really get this track to begin with (and think I may have even passed on it on submithub) but It's slowly growing on me after a few listens on fluence I can safely say that with a few more listens under my belt I may well grow to love it. 

A lot has occurred since the Postal Service released their seminal album and whereas that album blended where Indie and indie electronica stood in the early 00s Homebody is perhaps an accurate snapshot of where indie as a whole is in 2016

The sampling concept is interesting enough as it is but its the execution here that leaves me most impressed. Most of all I liked the little vocal variations offered for each section. 

The chorus alone is a soaring piece that capitalizes on the songs building momentum.

Will be happy to post on the blog. 

submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

Great vibe on this track. It almost feels like Alice Glass, formerly of Crystal Castles fame, is fronting a Giorgio Moroder 80's coke fueled production. 

The track starts off innocuously (a word I surprisingly didn't have to spell check) enough but as soon the sax is dropped in it's clear this isn't quite the average production. The intent is very clear with the keys building a steady and recognizable foundation that the listener can follow and vibe too throughout. 

The aforementioned vocals drift in and out of the mix in slightly spooky fashion (which leads to the earlier comparison) and the slight retouches makes the delivery sound affected.  Those vocals alone would do well to lead a track but then the addition of the sax is a hark back to the glorious 80s. 

Overall a good job and almost a shame when the track ends. 

Critics may suggest to tone down the sax influence but i'm keen on it. 
p.s. Having listened to other material on soundcloud i see a clear stylistic theme. Good job

Cyndi Cook submitted media.

Pre Op Momma in Striped Pajamas by Cyndi Cresswell Cook

Cougar Microbes

Let's be honest, (sadly) tracks like this are not going to be troubling the top 40.. but clearly that wasn't the intention and thats all good. 

The lyrics themselves are kind of quirky but also betray a real sense of wit that is refreshing. the chorus in particular is fun and upbeat and most importantly very singable. This is a little rough around the edges but this is likely an intentional choice and serves the track well and the underlying pop arrangements are not betrayed as a result

If i had to make a slight complaint I might suggest that the song needs a little more oomph at the mastering phase to really bring out all the varied tracks. Also, a friendly suggestion would be to include biographical information and relevant links in your description area as, ultimately, you only get one chance to impress whoever checks this page. 

P.s. bonus points for the handclaps. 

Carl-Marcus Gidlöf submitted media.

For Someone by Flora Cash

Cougar Microbes

Hey there, 

Lovely little track you've got here. 

The intro is very tasteful with the gradually introduced piano leaning heavily on the listeners melancholia. 

Cole's vocals specifically remind me of a cross between Edward Sharpe's more introspective moments and some Bon Iver dynamics. 

John Wlaysewski submitted media.

Late Cambrian by Yearbook Photo (Single)

Cougar Microbes

The immediate comparison here is Passion Pit and, in my mind, that's not a bad thing at all. 

The track's introduction is perfectly paced with the first trace of the vocals hitting the right spot. I'm particularly fond of the vocals on the 0:33 mark where the melody switch is done great. 

The consistent synth sound in the track would be deemed repetitive in the hands of someone else but here the arrangements offer enough variety for it to never feel tired. 

A slight tip I may offer is to further overdub the vocals in some areas so as to strengthen certain key messages. Other than that this is a lovely track and I'd be happy to post about it on the blog in the next few weeks. 

Twinkles Twinkles submitted media.

Blithe by Tw*nkles

Cougar Microbes

Firstly I should say listening to this song made me dig a little further and the previous single was also stellar. Having said that I find myself drawn to the sounds in Blithe entirely. 

Right from the intro there is building tension that is seemingly released as the vocals come in. 

the rolling piano adds a lot of character and is the perfect accompaniment for the vocal track that, in my  mind, is  constantly impressive. The vocals just before the second chorus are particularly inspired and work wonders just before the chorus's slightly meatier punch. 

A slight critique could be that the lyrics for the second verse (appear to be) the same as the first verse, perhaps a little variation could benefit the general track. Having said that I would be happy to feature this over on the blog and will get something written and live in the next week. 

Keep me posted and if there is any specific info (besides what is mentioned below) you would like me to reference please let me know. 

DJ Who submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

Starting with a clear vocal track shows purpose and gives a recognizable melody that can be followed from the start. The extended build up in the 20s mark works wonders in building a sense anticipation that is certainly fulfilled once the chorus drops. 

The underlying guitar track sounds vaguely U2-esque, offering a restrained yet powerful foundation for the entire track to flourish around but once this track drops it has "radio hit" written all over it and is guaranteed to get the dancefloor pumping.

Perhaps the second verse could do with some slight variations but this is a minor qualm

Bonus points for the vocal harmonies on the 2 minute mark

Bob Manning submitted media.

Mountain by Cold, cold heart

Cougar Microbes

Sparse instrumentals and delicate melodies collide effortlessly on the track. The piano playing throughout is restrained which adds a sense of anticipation that, perhaps intentionally, is never completely fulfilled leading the listener (or at least myself) to listen to it over a few times,  With the introduction of the strings around the halfway mark there is a clear focus on dynamics and the slightly distorted guitar that follows is a layer that for me brings the song to a fantastic crescendo.

Some listeners may possibly critique the guitar fret sounds heard later in the song but personally I feel it adds to the authenticity of the piece. 

A link to Explosions In The Sky can be found although this is slightly lazy as, besides both being instrumental acts, Mountain deal in a slightly different music range. 

Well done guys! Hope to blog about this one

Dashal Beevers submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

A lovely upbeat sentiment transpires in the track which made me listen to it a few times on repeat with my morning coffee. 

Arrangement wise it reminds me a little of the Oasis track "All Around The World" with a similar major chord progression on the chorus that is easy to repeat and hum along to. 

Lyrically the spoken word parts were also a hark back to Baz Luhrmann's Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen from the late 90's, in theme if not anything else. With the rest falling somewhere in the territory of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros epic debut album (Om Nashi Me)

The video (which i presume is found footage) is a perfect companion piece with some great themes touched upon 

Overall this is a great and enjoyable listen. I would recommend releasing a shortened "radio" version of the track to target those industry folk who may not feel the whole  minutes

Shaun Hettinger submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

 Well done for keeping enough of the original in the track for it to produce a "ahhhh" moment yet re-imagining it nicely. There are elements of this remix I really love like the verse after the first chorus which comes in majestically. Likewise the second chorus is excellently paced. I would possibly tone down a bit of the glitches but overall this is an awesome take on a classic. 

Matt Specht submitted media.

Calamity! by Rainy Day Crush

Cougar Microbes

The vocal delivery is great and confidently holds the track. The use of self harmonies works great. The chorus  ("The tides comes from behind..") is a sweeping moment in the track and instantly memorable. 

The bass and piano alone moments are a great piece of arrangement as is the down played second verse. Overall the musicianship on display is very impressive. 

A slight gripe is that the recording seems to lack depth with some of the textures being lost in the mix. As mentioned above there are some great arrangements and musicianship in this composition and it would be great for the production to make these shine more than they are currently

Ignacio Simon submitted media.

Reflection by Northwest

Cougar Microbes

Having recently reviewed some of Ignacio's other work I was excited to hear this track and glad I did. The track and video are a perfect match mixing hopefulness and sorrow. As the description says there is certainly a bleak quality to the track but it's not all desolation and there are some rays of light, particularly within the vocals which soar well above. 

I'd be happy to feature this on my blog in the coming weeks. 

David Rosen submitted media.

Gravity (Music Video) by David Rosen

Cougar Microbes

Having reviewed David in the past I kind of know what I'm getting into. Once again he's produced a composition that plays on tension. This should be a theme for spy show or a thriller movie because as soon the drums came into play there was that cinematic unease in my house. The keys coming in around the 2m mark only heighten this sense of anticipation and foreboding. 

The visuals are hypnotic and accompany the piece excellenty. I can easily imagine the music being played in some underground club while the visuals are displayed on the wall. 

Another captivating gem from David Rosen

Real Roger Houdaille submitted media.


Cougar Microbes

"on the sidelines" possess a retro charm reminiscent of 90s/early 00s guitar rocked. The track comes across as a sugar sweet hook filled alternative anthem. The dual vocals work great and the fact that they aren't "perfectly" aligned adds to the previously mentioned charmed. 

The breakdown on the 1.33 mark is immense although I might consider toning down the guitar jangle around the 0:55 mark. 

Overall the track ends so quickly that I found myself playing it again. 

Shaun Hettinger submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

Hey Shaun, 

Love what you have done with the track.  Production feels very current while incorporating elements that wouldn't be entirely out of place in the 80's. Everyone in the office appreciated bobbing their heads along to this on a Monday morning. The horns are a nice touch as well. Didn't realise "tropical synth" was a thing but you've made me want to head to the beach now!

Will be happy to post over on the blog, is there any additional info you would like mentioned?

Carl-Marcus Gidlöf submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

The video is simple yet greatly stylish and suits the sparse production perfectly. The slowmotion-ish efects look great (particular when the girl "moves" one of the guys heads") and the shoot location is extremely fitting. I would possibly include just a handful shots that break from this mould just to break the viewers focus. 

The track itself is a great sunday comedown track. Great production value and some very "now" sounds, The way the track ends leaves the melody humming in your head long after it's over. 

I'd be happy to blog abut this. 

Thomas Hricik submitted media.

The Truth (Eric Sharp & Tenova Remix) by Mansions On The Moon

Cougar Microbes

The transitions within the mix are on point. They do a good job of carrying you from a very silky intro into a gentle drop. The only thing they can change is the transition at 1:55 may feel slightly out of place within the greater context of the track. After the drop the beat becomes very funky and club like, but retains the smoothness of the intro which is a great feat. . I would also suggest making the vocals slightly cleaner, when the girl and boy voices are together they sound very grainy and metallic but this is honestly quite nitpicky. Otherwise, a great indie pop track that I would certainly consider blogging about. 

Ignacio Simon submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

'How Could We Get Ourselves So Lost' follows in the fine tradition of new artists mixing folk influences with a modern approach. There is a touch of Bon Iver and a little Nick Drake. The track subtely works its way into the listener's brain and the cello touches add to the composition. 

The video itself is hard to take the eyes off of. The black and white imagery works wonders next to the song and every shot looks and feels essential. 

A slight critique would be to possibly make the lyrics slightly clearer. There are times when the words can be lost in the overall instrumentation and I would imagine that Ignacio's aims for every word to hit with maximum impacy. 

I am hoping to post this on my blog this week. 

Andres Aloi submitted media.

I Want To Know by Robot Garden

Cougar Microbes

Considering the low budget of the video I really enjoyed that. Personally I think it picks up visually once the party scene begins. . For example the thunder coming out of the guitat as well as the money bags falling off the tree where pure genius and Swapping people's faces for emoticons was inspired. Perhaps could benefit from a couple more scene cuts and a few teaser shots of the band playing earlier.  

Musically I enjoyed the track; had a slight Bowie doing Rebel Rebel vibe in parts updated for a garage rock generation. Definitely holds a radio friendly sound as described. I'd be interested in hearing more material. 

Elliott Sencan submitted media.

Seeing What's Next (Preview) by Hollywood Principle

Cougar Microbes

I reviewed "Breathing Underwater" on here a few weeks ago and that song possesed stripped down verse structure which made the song stick with me beyond the a banger of a drop. 

For "Seeing What's Next" i've had a very small sample to hear so hard to pass a complete judgment (smart move with the Fluence short preview, well played) but I would say the verse is possibly a little less memorable (although by no means unpleasing) but the chorus makes up for this in bucket loads. 

I'll be happy to hear the entire track and also I will fulfil my promise of blogging "Breathing Underwater" now that the whole SXSW/Coachella work stress has quitened down. 

Thanks for sending. 

yochay mocsari submitted media.

Straw into Gold by Yochay & Michal

Cougar Microbes

First the video offers some lovely visuals that would work even without the song. I especially liked the butterly towards the end which managed to seem almost enchanting. 

The track brings to mind legendary band Modest Mouse. The rolling drum pattern is very apt and the verses are melodic yet off kitler enough to maintain interest in the listener. 

The first chorus is a little too quick a change of pace but by the time it comes around the second time its' delivery is accomplished.

I especially liked the touches the guitar solo and ktasteful keyboards add to the song. 

The entire track posseses a haunting quality and i loved the echoed vocals at the end. 

Do you guys have any english material? 

David Rosen submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

Having previously reviewed the video for "If Only Tonight I Could Sleep" it was great to recieve more of your stuff and this video and track don't dissapoint. The visuals are stunning and perfectly matched to the menalcholy the track offers and while there are no lyrics the track manages to remain driving and memorable in an alt cowboy kind of way. Together with the video this is a winning combination. Lastly, the electric guitar outro is perfectly placed in my mind. 

I have just published a post on my blog referencing the previous video I wrote about. Will be happy to feature this one as well. 

Azida Nina submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

Had to return to this track with headphones because my laptop speakers just weren't doing it justice. 

I'm loving the atmosphere the track puts across with the subtle intrumental elements conveying a dark undercurrent. The constant beat is highly addictive and I'm impressed with the sounds selected throughout with the reverby beat proving to be a particularly strong. 

Perhaps my highlight is when the sparse vocals come in in the last 1/3 of the track so a possible suggestion would be to release a version with vocals throughout (but that is just nitpicking)

I would like to blog about this in the upcoming weeks. 

Anthony Kohliem submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

Firstly the track shows a great flow and the rhymes are impressive throughout sounding like a cross between Immortal Technique doing "Hola Hovito". There is a sense of immediacy that makes you wanna nod your head along. The electronica elements which are slowly intorduced are a good addition. 

I would like to see the intro changed a little as it lacks some of the punch present on the rest of the song. Also, the vocals get lost a little under the bass notes. The sample used is great though.

submitted media.

Cougar Microbes

'Make The Grade' is a suitable throwback to the early 00's when emo made its second breakthrough and wouldn't sit badly along the likes of Something Corporate or ealy days Brand New. The track manages to sound familiar without resorting to copying and pasting past refrains avoiding sounding generic. For a 3 piece offers a very full sound

Flanger on guitar at the start is very fitting and vocals throughout are very accomplished though perhaps I would use some more double vocals to reinforce certain key phrases.  I would also raise the keyboard-y solo in the last 30 seconds or so in the song to give it more prominence. 

I have decided to focus on the track itself but will definitely be digging through the rest of the materials. With the right production "Make The Grade" definitely possesses some memorable qualities. 

Michael Gray submitted media.

Break You Down by Michael Gray

Cougar Microbes

- There are shades of Jeff Buckley on the guitar intro before the track well and truly kicks and in my opinion you took it in an interesting direction. 
- While I realise this is a demo recording I would recommend making sure the strummed guitar doesn't sound so thin, a lot of the song is built on this rhythmn track and stylistically I'm imagining this will work wonders on a full rrecording. 
- The silence around the 2:20 mark is well placed... nice!
- Chorus is a hark back to 90s alternative and a moment I trust would be very enjoyable live too.  
- The solo is a great payoff after the track
- Vocals are a little muffled but i suspect this is due to the recording more than performance so again I look forward to checking out the finished article. 

- I have checked out the other tracks on Soundcloud and, while they are not quite the same as "Break You Down" they show an interesting body of work and I'd be happy to hear these tracks once they are finished. 

Matthew McGuinness submitted media.

Stitch by Orca

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. 

Elliott Sencan submitted media.

Breathing Underwater by Hollywood Principle

Cougar Microbes

First of all I need to state that I'm digging the name Hollywood Principle, works for me. 

Musically breathing underwater is not necessarily what I would normally go for but it makes a sufficient impact to have had me return for a few more listens. With a slight Banks-y vibe the verses are steeped in atmospheric that only serve to further highlight the great vocal prowess on display. The sparseness of the verse is an excellent foil for the predictable, yet by no means dissapointing, "drop" on the chorus.  The chorus incidentally gets better with every offering with quasi-dubstep elements adding to the cacophany of sound. The final chorus in particularly packs an almighty punch. 

Bonus points for the repeated backing vocals which add an extra dimension to the track. My only slight critique would be that the outro is a little dragged out and following the aformentioned final chorus perhaps the track could cut out on this massive crescendo. 

Dylan Myers submitted media.

One and only's by Dylan Myers

Cougar Microbes

Hi There, 

First of all some Fluence/soundcloud advice: 

There's almost a minute silence at the end of this song, since Fluence charges per time you should shorten the outro down to save a little money. 

Soundcloud wise, the accepted formatting is "[ARTIST NAME ] -[TRACK NAME]". Any other format will not embed properly in sites such as etc. 

On to the music: 

I found the track "one and only's" posesses a real charm, The chord progression is far from predictable with a chorus that well and truly soars. Strumming coming into the second chorus could benefit from being as close to the beat as possible ( I realise the track is intentionally recorded a little loose but this part may improve by offering a contrasting metronomed strumming). Having said that the return to the verse structure is my favourite part of the track dynamics wise. 

As there is only one track up on Soundcloud at present I'm curious to know what direction you will take his music next, do you intend to record this solo or as a full band? Both propositions intrigue me so I'll be keeping my ears open. 

Tash Hagz submitted media.

Into My Arms by TashHagz

Cougar Microbes

Nice little track that goes from strength to strength, I found myself enjoying this more and more as the track progressed. Perhaps the initial verse comes in a little weak (in comparison to what follows at least) but on the second verse I variation on the standard line is very much appreciated. Overall while the vocal delivery may not be everybodys cup of tea it worked for me  The chorus is the real shining moment of this song and I found myself humming it later, particularly to the brilliant backing vocals.  The final solo reminded me of Weezer on their track Suzanne and that is a good thing. 

Sydney Friedman submitted media.

Burying Love Alive by Sydney Lauren

Cougar Microbes

Did not expect what I recieved from the opening 30 seconds but after an initial tiptoed entrance Sydney Lauren offers a superb little pop track. It is possible that this type of brightly colored pop may not appeal to everyone but it makes a welcome change and displays more substance than recent female fronted BIG singles.  While "Burying Love Alive" doesn't entirely divert from a typical pop blueprint Lauren there seems to be a large focus on songcraft that makes the track both genuine and appealing.  Of all the moments I feel the hook on the chorus elevates the whole track.

William Cross submitted media.

Commodity by Trenchard

Cougar Microbes

This speaks to my early 90s indie/alt rock sentimentality and is a track I'm really digging. The drum track is especially spot on and while the vocals aren't "perfect" in the traditional sense for me they perfectly fit the track and the chorus is especially memorable. The whole track could probably benefit from a slight remaster/remix to add a little punch to the vocals and guitar. Also If i had to nitpick I would also say the solo towards the end is perhaps a little too long... but mentioned that is nitpicking, and having said all it's definitely something I would return to.