The National’s High Violet is almost 18 months old, but the covers keep coming. Earlier this month, we heard Oh Land deliver an upbeat electronic cover of “Bloodbuzz Ohio.” Now we have two new High Violet covers, from Sharks and Lotte Kestner.
There’s no denying that it can be a nice change to hear some fast-paced classic punk rock brought down to an acoustic murmur – it’s essentially what Green Day did to their entire career with “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” That one worked out alright for them though; it’s only played at every graduation from anywhere ever.
UK rockers Sharks have done a stellar job slowing down the Ramones‘ “Life’s a Gas,” in honor of the tenth anniversary of Joey Ramone’s death. While the slowdown doesn’t quite match the optimism of the lyrics, it hits a nice pitch of melancholy in remembrance. The life’s a gas chant at the end sounds like a reassurance that doesn’t fit with the words being said; there’s none of the rollicking Ramones attitude on display here. That being said, it’s a nice cover of a great song; just don’t think about it too much.