The Atlas Moth - One Amongst The Weed Fields
Back when cover songs were a novelty, they usually fell into one of two camps: sarcastic, smart-ass commentary on lame music (think Circle Jerks) or semi-reverent takes on songs that inspired a band (think Metallica). Now, though, it has been done to death, to the point that the fact of a band doing a set of covers, rather than the covers themselves, is cause for ridicule.
So here is "One Amongst The Weed Fields," a four song EP of covers by Chicago stoners The Atlas Moth. To be fair, they got it half-right. While none of the tracks-hence, the entire record-are memorable or necessary, a couple of them help kill time in a good way.
The choices are a bit odd. The only fairly obscure one in Failure's "Golden," which is the best covered song on the set. Here the raucous guitars and throaty roar work well, emitting power and subtlety rare on the other tracks. Likewise, the tempo changes in Pink Floyd's "Fearless" adds depth of feeling. These two are covers that show inspiration, or, at least, props to the original bands.
The Door's "Fine To One" and, no lie, "California Dreamin,'" are other beasts entirely. Hard to tell where the band stands on these tunes, as they both get the standard Doom treatment; hearing doomy grunting vocals deliver the opening lines of each is kinda funny, but the yuks don't last long. These songs come across as neither reverent nor really good satire; they're just cookie-cutter metal songs that happen to be covers of tired oldies.
We all know, or ought to, that The Atlas Moth is much more than what they display on this EP. Only rarely on "One Amongst The Weed Fields" does the band share its grinding power and twisted sense of humor. Clearly, this was meant to do both, but in the end it is a poor place-holder for their next release.
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on 2011-06-04 hhbrady Said:
I totally agree with the reviewer, and yet wish to point out that they've missed a crucial point: covers are there, in my opinion, to give you an intro to an artist's sound: I play and love jazz, and one way to "learn" about another player is to hear them cover something. Everyone and their mother does a version of "Body and Soul" or "Loverman" or whatever. These covers may not be the best overall songs, but they give you a a way to introduce yourself to a performer. This EP has the same function for The Atlas Moth. It introduces you do their debut full-length LP.