To be successful at covering a song, a band has to tap into a song that is either inherently great (for example: Shai Hulud's cover of NOFX's "Linoleum"), or can be molded to be great by reinterpreting it using the idiosyncratic qualities of the particular band covering that moldable song (for example: any song covered by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes). Some songs and bands just can't mix like Throwdown and "Baby Got Back." Sure, results can be humorous, but they definitely aren't good. Enter Between the Buried and Me. They, as a band, are already sort of goofy and definitely are very self-aware of their genre splicing and over the top aesthetic. So, when BTBAM, who already dabble in death metal, prog, pop, etc., decide to make an album dedicated to covers, the possibilities seem limitless, right? Not quite.
BTBAM is a band who rely on their variety and technicality and this album clearly serves up both. However, do I necessarily want that same old variety and technicality? A cover album featuring songs by bands ranging the gamut of influences that pretty much sum up the BTBAM sound really just reiterates a lot of qualities that BTBAM have already explored in their previous efforts. Hearing a Metallica or Pantera cover, with their wailing riffs and solos is really like hearing an anachronistic version of the metal part of a typical BTBAM song. Hearing a proggy, jazzy interlude with lots of weird angular guitar is just like hearing an anachronistic version of the proggy, jazzy part of a typical song. Hearing a poppy cover...you get the idea. So, BTBAM are generally choosing songs that don't give fans anything new to chew on. They picked songs that already have the idiosyncratic qualities they have, meaning the songs aren't as much reinterpreted as they are replayed.
So, that means that the album is completely dependent on how good the songs that BTBAM picked are. I happen to dislike Metallica and Pantera, excepting maybe the guitar leads (which is exactly the element of their music that BTBAM distills and uses in their original compositions), so I don't enjoy those more metal moments on that album. I didn't like the King Crimson I had heard in the past but was intrigued by the song I heard here. I loved the Counting Crows cover, mostly just because the Counting Crows are a nostalgic 3rd grade guilty pleasure of mine. BTBAM are all very talented, and picked some fun ones out on this album, but overall it's just not very impressive. I'd rather hear them completely reinterpret these songs, or pick songs that are nothing like what they currently do (which is difficult because they are all over the map). Without that extra step covers just feel like re-issues, which this album pretty much is.
Recommended Tracks: Whichever ones you know you already like. My favorites are: "Colorblind," "Three of a Perfect Pair," "Us and Them," and absurd "Bicycle Race."
[quote=person]Wow. I'm like almost the only person who actually loves this band.
Doesn't anyone have any of their REAL albums? I mean, you have to listen to that to see how amazing they really can be.
I personally have all of their albums. I'm sure a lot of people also have all three REAL albums. Also, "actually" loving a band isn't just blindly liking everything they put out, which was sort of what you're implying.
Yeah, Audition is one of my favs. Mostly everything Miike has touched I adore, although sometimes it is mindless gore. Still fun though.
And I hear ya about that listen then delete thing. I do that with all the silly posst-rock I download.
And yeah nice review yeah.