the guys at Buffet Libre are engaged in a project called Rewind where they are getting a whole host of their current favourite artists to cover their favourite songs from the 80s.
now covers can either be brilliant or disastrous (see: Kate Nash), and covers of 80s songs usually means bands slaughtering prolific musical moments, which is why i was extremely wary about this whole thing. is it ever a good idea to cover one of your favourite songs? is it ever a good idea to listen to a cover of one of your favourite songs? and if your favourite song is a cover, would you steer away from the original?
i saw the following song on the list and winced quite a lot. South Central doing 'Kerosene' by Big Black. initial reaction: "nooooooooooooooooooooo!". i love South Central and whilst i'll put my hands up and say i'm not Big Black's number one fan or anything, i really really love 'Kerosene'. all this could possibly spell for me was disaster. all the bands on the project were asked 3 questions and South Central's answers convinced me the whole thing might not be as bad as i'd originally thought.
1. Why have you chosen to do a cover of this song? Does this song bring back childhood memories?
No memories as such. Big Black were one of the early Punk/new Wave acts to mix electronic beats with Guitars and they had a cool DIY ethic, so it was a logical or natural choice for us.
2. If you were asked to do a tribute to the 00's in 20 years time, what song would you choose?
Probably something by the Fall maybe Sparta FC.
3. If you could choose, who would you like to do a version of one of your own songs?
Kraftwerk doing one of our songs that would be the business.
in 'Kerosene' South Central manage to maintain the dark and menacing tones of Big Black whilst neatly working their electro vibe into the track. it stomps and growls just like it should. the bass reverberates whilst the vocals snarl the lyrics. the opening 35 seconds even propose the possibility you could move around on a dancefloor to 'Kerosene'. it sounds like what The Horrors should sound like.
perhaps i shouldn't have been so quick to judge the outcome of this track. South Central always do a top job and this is definitely no exception. if only all covers were this good.
South Central - Kerosene [right click save as]
Big Black - Kerosene (live) [YSI]
ps. Modular have just launched some new clothing merchandise. completely bypassing the the scary gimp mannequins, who the fuck is going to pay nearly £40 (minus p+p!!) for a tshirt you could probably knock up yourself?? i know there's inflation insanity but this takes the piss.