UNDER THE COVERS WITH DEFTONES, THE CARDIGANS
It’s a long way from loving a band’s record to loving the band. There are records I’ve listened to eight-hundred times whose authors, if ever set on fire, would die at my feet as I arch a stream of tinkle just past their twitching, smoldering carcasses. Hate their guts. On the other hand, there are terrible, mega-awful bands staffed by funny guys who don’t dress like dogfuckers and are fans of your favorite records, too. Isn’t that a bummer.
Occasionally, you luck out and like the band as much as the band’s music. I love that! The best case scenario in my book is Faith No More, but a deceptively close second goes to the Deftones guys. It’s so easy to like bands that can select and execute cover songs so well. As a fan, I worry that either band might appear to be a purveyor of the dreaded Wacky Cover Song, or worse, the Pretentious Cover Song that’s actually a demand for respect in disguise, as if to say “Man, look at all the cool shit we listen to!!!”
But shit, you know when a cover song has no significant motives (cough Anthrax cough) and feels affectionate, like it did that night in Minneapolis when Deftones took a dump on my chest with a live cover of “Subliminal” by Suicidal Tendencies. A year later, it was a album-stealing version of “The Chauffeur” on that Duran Duran tribute. And still to come were expertly rendered songs by Sade, Cocteau Twins, and, oh, that super-depressing Cars single. And now, with purchase of the fancy shmancy version of their Diamond Eyes, a killer song from the Cardigans’ masterpiece Gran Turismo. Score!
The cool thing about The Cardigans is that they’re pretty metal anyway. Their wiki could tell ya about their covers of “Iron Man” and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” but that’s just goofing around compared to some of their own tunes, which often are soft and thunderous. I notice your bowtie spinning, but seriously, tunes like “Do You Believe” (above, Deftones version; here Cardigans version) and the ball-crushing “Losers” (here get ready to headbang) suggest the work of a metal band that decided to change styles but kept/lightened their heavy back catalogue. Or maybe the fury you’re hearing is super-hunk guitarist Peter Svensson squeezing his eyes shut and just willing his band to be metal. Hey it worked for Peter Wichers!