I still don’t know entirely what to think about this lil’ venture here but it seems we been remiss about not sharing it with you. It may well be stupid, possibly even slightly offensive some ways but don’t take it too serious and let it bring a smile. Still, we always had a weakness for this type of thing. Hayseed Dixie, Nouvelle Vague, Senor Coconut – genre re-imaginings of familiar, generally alt-rock/pop type hits, y’know the sort of thing. In this case a bunch of loosely ‘Brit pop’ or ‘independent’ tunes done up in country style or thereabouts. The title’s a treat, the name of the band so ‘does what it says on the tin’ I just don’t know what to think about that. By now you’ll probably have decided if this is something you’re prepared to give any of your attention or not. What can I tell you ’bout it? The songs they’ve picked are generally strong enough to stand up to a beating but the new arrangements are more imaginative than a simple shift of tempo and instrumentation. They do a decent job of pushing the original versions firmly into the background, although I don’t think we’ve discovered any definitive new readings here. As it goes with these things some work better than others – Happy Monday’s ‘Wrote For Luck’ is a success, the Mary Chain’s ‘Blues From a Gun’ makes a good country tune although I always thought a rockin’ country-soul Elvis version with the Vegas period Hot Band would be a killer and this don’t quite match those imagined heights. The Mariachi brass on ‘Made Of Stone’ is a nice touch and elsewhere there’s a lot of pretty sweet organ on the record. In the midpoint head to head Blur and Oasis fair so-so. My own feelings to the side a moment, I reckon Oasis probably wrote a tune or two that’d work as country songs, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ don’t appear to be one of them though. Then again you’d think Teenage Fanclub’s ‘Star Sign’ would be a gift and yet, maybe because it’s too close, it doesn’t work so well. On the other hand, possibly the most obscure tune of the bunch Moose’s ‘This River Never Will Run Dry’ was always a country song from the point the band tried an only partly successful shift from indie art rock to americana, and it works great. So, I think, does the closing ‘Big’ despite being a fairly abstract open ended groove piece in it’s original form – nice going there boys.
I put my pain in a jar and it will be full tomorrow