It’s hard to think of a band that epitomizes longevity like the Rolling Stones. Mick, Keith and the rest of the band have been rocking out and touring the world (including a tour they did this year) for over 50 years. That’s just insane, and not many bands can compete with that.
Originally a one-off offshoot of 80s/90s indie stalwarts the Wedding Present, the Ukrainians bizarrely continue to exist, plowing their singular farrow, long after their parent band have become a distant nostalgic tear in the eye. With a mission statement of mingling western rock with eastern folk, and never straying far from that, the band has a history of liberally including the odd quirky cover in their repertoire, notably of the Smiths and the Sex Pistols. Now, the five grizzled individuals in the current lineup have decided to devote an entire album to cover versions. This was a project capable of falling flat or becoming parody; however, I am delighted to inform that, both on record and (especially) live, such is their fervor and dedication to their craft that A History of Rock Music in Ukrainian is a delight.
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
Lemmy has admitted to being more of a slot machine man than a poker one, but the Motorhead bassist knew which topic would make a better lyric (“when it comes to that sort of thing… you can’t really sing about spinning fruit”). “Ace of Spades,” his paean to gambling that sure sounds like it’s about more than your typical deck of cards, is his band’s signature work and the proto-speed metal song. Anyone can perform it and sound dynamic – even a bunch of plastic dolls.
French band Red Beans & Pepper Sauce serve up a treat here with a funky version of Motörhead’s iconic ‘Ace Of Spades’. And as usual with songs that are so ingrained in people’s minds, it’s always great to hear someone put a whole different spin on a song that you’ve probably heard a million times.
Skynet has unleashed the rock! Meet Compressorhead. The first ‘bot is Stickboy who rocks 4 arms and a double kick equipped 14 piece pearl kit. Stickboy brings precision that meatbag drummers can only dream about. Next up is fingers who has 78 fingers. The 78 fingers are hydraulic actuated, so fast you can’t see them string manipulators and a head that just won’t quit. Last is Bones who holds down the badass ‘bot bass.
These robots call themselves “the most metal band on earth” and armed with their cover of Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades” they grind some heavy gears. As pioneers of thrash metal, Lemmy would be proud of the cyborgs that are carry on the robot rock. Compressorhead will be playing live on the mainstage at Australia’s Big Day Out Festival 2013 this summer (credit tavorus here). Resistance is futile “meatbags”!
Compressorhead – Ace of Spades (Motorhead cover)
Get more robot rock over on Compressorhead’s website.
Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.
In Memphis, Tennessee, Union Avenue is the name of the street where the legendary Sun Studio is located (706 Union Avenue to be exact, if you want to give your GPS a workout). In Edinburgh, Scotland, Union Avenue is the name of a band steeped in rockabilly-roots music that sounds like it got its start under the watchful eye of Sam Phillips himself. Both Union Avenues have a rightful claim of the legacy of Johnny Cash – Memphis was where Cash laid the first bricks in the building of his legacy, and Edinburgh is not only Cash’s ancestral home, it’s the home of bandleader Andrew Cardno, whose playing and singing make him sound possessed by the spirit of the Man in Black.
Motörhead and Robyn don’t have a lot in common on first look, but they at least share some admirers: the Duke Spirit. The British indie quintet recently followed up their “Dancing on My Own” cover with the ‘Head’s “Damage Case.” The group rocks out a lot harder in the performance, letting their hard rock flag fly.
Last night the “Big Four” of thrash metal – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeath, and Anthrax – played their second U.S. show at Yankee Stadium. Despite bad blood in the past, the vibe onstage was all bro-hugs and congratulations all around on having made it this far. The four bands even united during Metallica’s first encore song to pay tribute to a mutual influence: Motörhead. James Heftield called Lemmy the Godfather of Metal (“whether he likes it or not”) before rocking through the band’s legendary “Overkill.”