Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Listen to Publicist UK Cover Tori Amos
Before there were blogs there were these things called magazines, and the only metal magazine we still get excited about reading every month is Decibel. Here’s managing editor Andrew Bonazelli…
The longer the Decibel Flexi Series rumbles along, the weirder it’s gonna get. I mean, what else can you say about our 63rd installment being post-punk supergroup Publicist UK covering Tori Amos?
Last year’s Publicist UK debut, Forgive Yourself, was a revelation—we ranked it as one of our Top 5 Records That Tied for #41 in our annual Top 40, but that already seems like short shrift. Boasting members of Municipal Waste, Revocation, Goes Cube and Freshkills, the quartet specializes in dark, morose introspection. They swung for the fences here, and totally make Tori’s melodramatic, piano-and-percussion “Precious Things” their own. Remember that one killer Beastmilk record? This is just as good, and kind of astonishingly heavy.
“In the last year, the four of us have traded ideas for covers,” says guitarist David Obuchowski. “I’ve been a fan of Tori Amos since her ‘Crucify’ single came out—so, in other words, I’ve been a fan of hers since I was about 12. Anyway, the song ‘Precious Things’ was always a favorite of mine. Not only is that riff throughout catchy as hell, but I’ve always thought the middle section was super fucking heavy, even though it’s not metal. Zachary [Lipez, vocalist] has been really getting into Tori Amos these last few years, thanks to his girlfriend Zohra Atash [Azar Swan], and musically speaking, Dave [Witte, drums] and Brett [Bamberger, bass] really loved the dynamics of the song, and agreed about its inherent heaviness.
“But the funny thing was, I didn’t really know any of this until after the fact. I mean, we’d discussed a ton of cover ideas, from the Misfits to Pagans to Dream Syndicate, and I didn’t really know that there was one idea anyone liked more than another. But then Dave texted us and was like, ‘Hey, you guys want to cover that Tori Amos song for the Decibel Flexi Series?’ I think that of all the cover ideas we had, this song was definitely the biggest stretch for us, which makes it the best one, in my book.”
It all ties into our first Decibel Yearbook, the 1991-themed March issue, as Amos recorded the original that year for 1991’s debut LP, Little Earthquakes. Enjoy this intoxicating experiment below, then hop in the Deci-lorean to pick up the hard copy on plastic, as well as features on everything that was cool 25 years ago, from GN’R and the Black Album to Arise and even Skid Row.