Metal covers of non-metal songs are a dicey proposition; they can reinvigorate an old classic and take it to new places, but they run the high risk of abysmal failure in the process. There are ironic covers of modern pop-songs, which I think we can all agree are a bad idea, and serious covers of ’80s pop songs, a fun idea at first that’s been beat into the ground in recent years. Not all are doomed from the get-go, though; the best metal covers of non-metal songs are those that strike a balance between the original arrangement and the covering band’s haecceity, or “thisness,” making the new version their own. Misery Signals’ cover of Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them” really blew me away for that very reason, and I’m happy to report that The Atlas Moth’s cover of The Mamas and the Papas’ classic track “California Dreamin’” does the same.

This cover appeared on The Atlas Moth’s 2010 EP The One Amongst the Weed Fields, but like the aforementioned Misery Signals track I somehow missed it when it came out. I’m glad MS reader Kevin Ridge tipped me off to its existence.

The Atlas Moth’s new album An Ache for the Distance is out now and streaming in full on their Bandcamp page. It’s one of 2011’s best, and I promise you’ll dig it.


Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits