Bruce Springsteen‘s Nebraska isn’t the album with the most radio plays, but as the “cool” Springsteen album, it’s certainly generated a lot of covers from musicians who appreciate its incredible songs. The Boss’s storytelling is dark throughout the album, and the songs are wide open for reinterpretation due to the sparse instrumentation. Liverpool duo King Hannah recently took “State Trooper” and expanded its simple premise into a noodling jam session.
The song starts out sounding very much like the original, with a shuffling guitar riff and singer Hannah Merrick’s voice echoing and insistent. The song quickly builds, adding rolling drums and a chugging electric guitar. In the interlude before the last verse Merrick’s yelp, reminiscent of Springsteen’s, erupts, and it’s awesome. If this was the extent of the cover, it would have been pretty good: taking the simple template of the Springsteen original and adding a little flair works well.
But that’s not where King Hannah stops. As they cross the 3 minute mark, just about where the original song ends, the guitar solo starts. It’s a Neil Young-ish trip that just gets better and better over the course of the next 3 minutes. It’s an incredible payoff to an already excellent cover. King Hannah just released their debut album late last year and here’s hoping we hear more from them soon.