Hipsters Out Of Metal!


  • Anso DF


Saturday is Record Store Day, which is awesome cuz neat bands release neat records exclusively to stores. Best of all are the super-neat cover songs. For example, last year the Deftones collected their many remakes for the vinyl collection Covers. This year’s special third Saturday in April will see Mastodon unveiling a Flaming Lips cover 7” and teaming with pop chanteuse Feist for a mutual-cover song mini-project (above). I love these fun, limited releases and the glimpse into the history of record-shopping that they enable: You have to go buy them before they’re sold out! Memories.

So, in a few days, music-shoppers can vote with their wallets for metal cover song projects and cross-genre collaborations. But here and now on MetalSucks, let’s freely spitball some ideas for next year’s Record Store Day: What pop-ish jamz do you think are perfect for a loud upgrade? What killer metal bands should undertake the upgrading? Why and how? Check out my fantastical ideas after the jump!



Song “Heart And Soul”
Artist Huey Lewis & The News
Year 1983
Themes Man-eaters, boner-breakers, hot loving
Hit single? Yes US #1

Okay, if at a party some joker insisted to me that a metal band totally should cover this Huey Lewis smash, I’d be justified in responding, “Ooh what a quaintly wacky idea, douche.” Right? And yet a closer inspection reveals that it is an awesome idea. Consider the jam: That Black Album-style chorus riff. That pseudo-Judass Priest harmony riff in the bridge. The echo on the verse vocals, later borrowed by Pantera on “Mouth For War” (here srs). So bam! it’s already radder than the first six Whitesnake albums! And the shit is so ready for a Steel Panther-style lyrics touch-up (at 1:04 for starters).

Key lyric “I let her take advantage of me”
I’d pitch it to Steel Panther, Anthrax, Opeth


Song “Invisible Sun”
Artist The Police
Year 1981
Themes Fallout, totalitarianism, despair
Hit single? Yes, UK #2.

If I had been producer on the Children Of Men soundtrack, I would’ve enlisted a mega-heavy band to cover this brain-smashing, BBC-banned Police single for the movie’s end credits. The jam’s low-lying vocals are haunting, its vibe dark and hopeless, its chorus massive in the hands of an awesome guitar-drums tandem.

Key lyric “And they’re only going to change this place/By killing everybody in the human race”
I’d pitch it to
Gojira, Mastodon, Voivod


Song “Hateful Hate”
Artist 10,000 Maniacs
Year 1989
Themes Colonialism, genocide, religious fanaticism
Hit single? No

Between their college radio breakthrough album and their mainstream radio breakthrough album, 10,000 Maniacs unveiled their moody, dour, and um manic Blind Man’s Zoo in 1989. Even its upbeat stuff is themed by mistrust and dread, but none more than cataclysmic closer “Jubilee” and the pounding, raging “Hateful Hate” (above). An indictment of religious opportunism, “Hate” is only one blown-out guitar squall, a pissed-off drummer, and a distorted bass away from pure metal apocalypse. The tough part is matching it to a powerful, furious singer and a cacophonous keyboardist.

Key lyric “See death in its eyes to know you’re alive.”
I’d pitch it to The Devil’s Blood, Faith No More, King Diamond



Song “Deliver Us From The Elements”
Artist XTC
Year 1983
Themes Natural disaster, hubris, famine
Hit single? No

Another song tailor-made for a massive metal upgrade, XTC’s “Deliver Us From The Elements” starts pretty, foreshadows a thunderous chorus, then bleeds swirling into a spine-mangling maelstrom. Also I’d kill for a jungle remix of their jam “Shake You Donkey Up.” Bass drops not optional.

Key lyric “Well, we’re as helpless now as we’ve ever been.”
I’d pitch it to Black Sabbath, Between The Buried And Me, Deftones



Song “Angels On The Balcony”
Artist Blondie
Year 1980
Themes Ghosts, dementia, spookiness
Hit single? No.

Blondie’s Autoamerican is remembered for a chart-topping reggae cover (“The Tide Is High”) and a number-one disco jam that introduced rap to whites (“Rapture”). Elsewhere on the album, “Angels On The Balcony” acts as a demo for a future metal smash. It’s not proto-metal, but “Angels” pivots on a crushing single-note riff amid its djent-ready intro, wordless choruses, and shimmery guitar mini-suite (at 1:57). The only necessary overhaul is the drums, which could go half-time in the verses and Boredoms-style cymbal-wash/kick-on-the-one for the choruses.

Key lyric “The door swings open and it’s cold inside.”
I’d pitch it to Iron Maiden, Ghost, 1989 Queensryche


Song “Losers”
Artist The Cardigans
Year 1996
Themes Wimps, trick-ass marks, pity
Hit single? No.

The heavier metals suffer from a dearth of call-and-response vocals. I mean, God Forbid kinda did it (awesomely) on “Into The Wasteland” as did Devin Townsend on “Bad Devil” (so awesomely), but an ace metal-ization of “Losers” by The Cardigans might re-open metal eyes to the grabbiness of interplay between backing and lead vox. Plus this jam is huge and angry, like all the best metal. Plus plus it’s not the Swedish popsters’ only metal-ready song. Plus plus plus they have twice covered Sabbath songs, so it’s fair play to claim “Losers” for us brutalists.

Key lyric “It’s lonely to be strange/And you would never tell.”
I’d pitch it to Testament, Lacuna Coil, Devin Townsend & Anneke van Giersbergen


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