Monday, November 2, 2015
Cvlt Nation Sessions : Joy Division's "Closer"
I think most of my readers here are aware of my connection to Cvlt Nation. So it should come as no surprise that I am going to review their Sessions album which focuses on Joy Division's "Closer" album. They have done this with a wide range of punk, metal and post-punk classics so it makes sense that this album is up for the cover treatment. When looking at the kind of bands featured on this they all fall in line with the sort of artists the website has branded itself with. We agree on many things, the difference in our musical tastes tends to be Sean and company come from more of a punk rock background and steer away from some of the more commercial bands we touch on here. I like what I like regardless of if they are on Century Media or only releasing their albums in a limited 100 copy cassette pressing. In fact I like better production most of the time.
First up is "Atrocity Exhibition" covered by the drone project Ambersmoke admitted to not liking this song or this album and that is evident because for the bulk of the song the beat is really the only thing this has in common with the original, though it eventually takes on a shape closer to the original. Lunch is a band much more suited to cover "Isolation". While it's a similar delivery perhaps a little faster phrasing, The vocals are a little higher than Ian's , but over all the do the song justice. A Black People handles "Passover" . They deviate from the blue print but being a death-rock band this is done in the best way possible. I assumed Shadowhouse would also take good care of "Colony" and I was correct. They might even have come closer to the bulls eye than Lunch. There is an almost 90s industrial feel to the vocals on Sun Splitter's cover of "Means to an End". They nail the guitar riff for sure.
Sannhet's take on 'the Eternal" shows their respect for the band but still honors their own sound. The guitar playing is some of this album's best. They surprise me by using vocals on this one. Rule of Thirds is up next with "Decades". Another band that I had a feeling would at least musically capture the feel of the original. The vocals are where things really wildly differ and from their it twists my ear askew. The bass player knows what time it is for sure though.The band maintains their identity for sure. Going into Scott Kelly's cover of "Isolation" I was not sure what to expect. The music is more minimal and Kelly sticks to his more folk approach than the kind of singing he delivered in Neurosis. He does honor the feel of Ian and the boys. Overall I think there are some good pairings of artist with songs, the stand outs here being A Black People, Shadowhouse, Sannhet and Sun Splitter. If you are a Joy Division fan this is worth a listen as you might find some new bands you like in the process.