Anyone who has ever seen Everclear play live has more than
likely heard them throw in a cover song during their set. Throughout
the history of the band, Art Alexakis has picked some fine
songs to cover, and now for the first time on an official release
the public has been given a chance to hear some of those songs. The
songs that Alexakis has chosen over the years vary widely in source,
but he has always been adept at taking the songs and making them his
own. Hall & Oates' "Rich Girl" is a perfect example
of this; even in knowing the song is a cover, the production and the
sounds are immediately reminiscent of Everclear's music, making it
seem as though these are the band's own songs. The Go-Go's
"Our Lips Are Sealed" has the band stretching sonically,
breaking some new ground and having some fun, while the cover of Thin
Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back In Town" is a bit more straightforward
and rock'n'roll-ish, as would be expected. The band does an admirable
and cool take on the incredible Yazoo track "Bad Connection",
taking all those synth sounds and transitioning them to guitar perfectly.
This is probably the most standout track on the album for me. Previously
unreleased is a cool psychedelic version of Paul Revere & The
Raiders' "Kicks", strikingly heavy and cool, with some
great guitar work and throttling rhythms. Alexakis takes on whiny
Neil Young's great "Pocahontas" in his own nasally
voice, draining a bit of the gruffness from the song, but maintaining
the cool vibe. The album also contains tracks culled from such various
sources as Van Morrison, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick,
and Saturday morning cartoons, including a rocking version of the
theme from "Speed Racer" (just in time for the summer blockbuster?).
The collection wraps up with a humorous revisit to the 80's with Tommy
Tutone's "867-5309 (Jenny)". The few tracks like this
one that were recorded live really show the intensity of the band
in performance, giving a nice counterpoint to the polish and production
of the studio tracks. The Vegas Years is a fun collection of
familiar songs that will leave you wishing you could run out and catch
an Everclear show sooner than later
and besides, it's nice to
get a break from Art whining about his dad and having some fun instead.
Check out more
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!