Download This scours the web’s dark corners for cool cover freebies. View past installments.
We’ve reviewed and recommended cover albums galore here at Cover Me, from seemingly random collections to artist-specific tributes. The risk of redundancy grows as a collection’s focus becomes narrower, but in the right hands, a clear focus can work wonders. Check out our reviews of Dave Depper’s Ram Project and Thea Gilmore’s John Wesley Harding for a view of each side of the coin.
The folks over at Apskaft, a group of D.I.Y. artists who gather at last.fm, have taken such specificity to a whole new level. They recently created two compilations devoted to covers of one song each: The Ramones’ “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” and King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man.” The sheer diversity of artists involved in the projects and their hardcore D.I.Y. ethic make these comps anything but redundant.
As expected from a collaborative group that describes themselves as, among other things, “anti-folk,” “noise” and “avant garde,” the covers of “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” range from wild to completely unrecognizable. Toffeljagarn’s take on the song draws inspiration from the Ramones’ garage roots, from the pounding retro keyboard to the completely out-of-whack mixing that puts the cowbell upfront and makes the track sound like it was recorded in a cardboard box. A.K.A. Lurholm’s calypso-style arrangement would sound at home on any ’90s David Byrne album with its crooning vocals and island horns that have you looking around for the waiter with your third daiquiri. Contrast these with awaycaboose’s appropriately retitled “She Nah,” a grinding minute of noise that will make your mom buy you a Godspeed! You Black Emperor album to try to straighten you out.
Sure, some tracks miss the mark. Tradgardstomtarna (say that one ten times fast) seem to be going for the bunch of Russian drunks singing in a bar sound and succeed just a little too much. And Christian Munthe’s “Sheena” sounds an awful lot like his “Schizoid,” even sharing the same running time! Overall, though, you leave with the impression that bedrooms worldwide are overflowing with inventive musical talent that more people need to tap in to. Listen to the samples below and head here to listen to or download the rest. If you feel particularly musically adventurous, head here for the “Schizoid Man” comp.
Apskaft Presents: Sheena is Several Punk Rockers Tracklist.
01. Plakonik Project – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
02. Toffeljagarn – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
03. awaycaboose – She Nah
04. A.K.A. Lurholm – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
05. Christian Munthe – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
06. Trädgårdstomtarna – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
07. Drn Drn – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
08. Pet Ulcer – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
09. Speculativism – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
10. Vanny Zero – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
Find more free music from Apskaft on their blog.