Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Songs to Hear: We Versus the Shark cover Radiohead

We Versus the Shark



If you've followed my posts on this blog, you probably know how much I like We Versus the Shark. One reason I like them is due to their current prolific nature; not only have they released the excellent full length Dirty Versions this year, but they've also been releasing a new cover song every month, which will eventually make up a full album called Murmurmur, for free on mp3-based donation label Quote Unquote Records. So far they've provided unique takes of songs by well-known artists past and present, such as Tom Waits, Deerhoof and Television, and this month they cover the grandaddy of them all, the one band that's almost forbidden to be covered: Radiohead. Not just settling with any old Radiohead song, We Versus the Shark takes on Kid A centerpiece "Idioteque".

Amazingly (or not so amazingly, considering how skilled We Versus the Shark are as musicians), the band's cover is immensely enjoyable, displaying few, if any, of the qualities that made Radiohead's song so great while still creating a song just as good, if not better than, the original version. This is the way covers should be, a total reworking of a song as opposed to a song that adheres strictly to the original band's template. We Versus the Shark changes Idioteque from a somber dance song to an even more depressing-sounding rock opus, with a slow-stomping chorus, verses that just get louder and louder, and a haunting outro. It's unquestionably one of the best covers I've heard, and you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not checking it out.

Listen to We Versus the Shark's cover of "Idioteque", as well as all their other covers, for free here.

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