Like many of the best songs about drunks, the Kinks’ “Alcohol” pulls in two different directions. If you want a booze-infused party, dance to the music and the pub-singalong chorus. If it’s a cautionary tale you’re after, well, just focus on the lyrics. The theatrical barroom-ballad carries a certain Kurt Weill cabaret vibe, an off-kilter pop song for the depressed and deranged.
The cover by Austin’s Mr. Lewis and the Funeral 5 walks that line perfectly, sounding like a rollicking party saturated by misery. The polka-punk romps along with wailing horns, slamming drums, and convincingly slurred vocals. The bar-band swagger fits the drunken lament well. It comes from the band’s upcoming sophomore release Delirium Tremendous, a title that describes what you’re hearing well. Download “Alcohol” below.
Check out more Mr. Lewis and the Funeral 5 at their website. Delirium Tremendous drops July 26th.