To my way of thinking, bands that cover songs penned by other bands typically fail at about a 9-out-of-10 ratio. Having been in several far-worse-than-mediocre bands myself at certain points, I can attest (as can anyone in a band) that playing a cover song is not only the easy way out, most of the time it’s also 100 times more fun than struggling to come up with your own material & lyrics. Actually listening to covers, though, particularly when you’re well-acquainted with the original, is often excruciating. So imagine my surprise when I got the new MONKEYWRENCH CD in the mail and saw that track #2, was (gasp) “Pray ‘Til You Sweat”!! The FLESH EATERS’ “Pray ‘Til You Sweat”, that is – likely the best song on my favorite album of all time. The surprise wasn’t that they’d covered it – I knew that Mark Arm was a big Flesh Eaters fan, and in fact we’ve bonded in person about the band – but that they TOTALLY pulled it off. I’m especially impressed that no attempt was made to recreate Chris D.’s unparalleled vocal histrionics, and instead the band play a more “subdued”, twangy version of the song that totally smokes in every way. I think it might be the best cover performed ever. Or at least this century (for a list of my other favorite covers, click here). Oh, and the new MONKEYWRENCH CD “Gabriel’s Horn” is quite tasty beyond the cover song as well – as you knew it would be. Recorded in 2002, and just out now on the Birdman label, it’s distorted, dirty, psych blues that arrives halfway between 80’s Seattle and 60s Texas. I’m posting an original from it as well.
Play or Download THE MONKEYWRENCH – “Pray Til You Sweat”
Play or Download THE MONKEYWRENCH – “That’s What You Get”