Sunday, May 30, 2010

What Not To Hear: Carbon 9 cover Danzig's Mother

Yeah, I just covered Danzig's mother too. Get it? Cuz she's easy?

(JK, Danzig - love you - xoxo)

But seriously, earlier today I heard a godawful cover version of Danzig's classic "Mother" and, well, I just threw up in my ears a little bit. Now, not everyone needs to love Danzig, or even like metal, but sometimes a great song is a great song. And "Mother" is a great song, thanks to three great power chords that go great together, Glenn Danzig's sexy baritone an charmingly predatory antisocial message. Internet research suggests that what I heard was this:

Though it's certainly possible that many, many crappy covers of this song are floating around out there.

Personally I have a deep affection for Danzig, regardless of their extremely hit or miss track record (of tracks - ha!), so I take this half-assed remake as a personal insult. Danzig the first band I got to see live in a club (The Sting in New Britain, with then-unknowns Korn and Marilyn Manson) and "Mother" (the live '93 version to be exact) was a ubiquitous radio staple in my formative years as a music-head. And like I said it's just great. Here, relive it:

Carbon 9's (whoever they are) abomination is overproduced nu-metal nightmare which mistakes style for substance and makes the hideous errors of reducing the song's tempo, forgoing the powerful opening riff, and diminishing the song's melodic qualities due to vocal limitations which no doubt define the rest of their repertoire.

Now taking the tempo down on a great song isn't always a bad thing. It can bring out emotional dimensions or make room for instrumental and melodic exploration, as when Lady Gaga covers herself, or some random fans cover her. But Carbon 9 have nothing to contribute except for random electronic whooshing and weak, tortured post-grunge vocals. They come across as a pathos-deficient watered down Marilyn Manson - too little, a decade and a half too late.

In point of fact, when doing a cover, a band ought to try and make it their own - otherwise it's just karaoke. Unfortunately, Carbon 9's own just happens to suck.

I haven't seen Danzig live in probably 10 years, so I can't vouch for his current line-up, body or vocal condition, but you can catch him live in NYC June 18 at the Nokia Theatre.

1 comment:

  1. Great to have an opinion, but the Carbon 9 version is Kick Ass!