Tuesday 26 March 2013

Review: Interstitial - 'Judge A Crook By His Cover'

'Judge A Crook By His Cover' 

The one man electronic project Interstitial has been slogging away for ten years now. And in that time his daring and experimental covers have been a particular source of fascination. Now finally he has collected some of his best into a free download album (he also has some pro bono CD copies too if you live in the USA). The collection 'Judge A Crook By His Covers' see's the Southern Californian native lend is experimental electro style to a diverse range of works by the likes of Tool, Pop Will Eat Itself, Queensryche, Killing Joke and Journey.

The album's Skinny Puppy meets Front 242 style electro-industrial, as you would expect, works very well on songs like 'Walk Away', 'Darkest Entries', 'Ich Bin Ein Auslander', 'One Hundred Years' and 'Love Like Blood' as they retain their original charm but still giving them each drastic dance-friendly makeovers. The most unexpected choices for covers yield the most interesting results though, such as the covers of Tool's 'Sober', Queensryche's 'Silent Lucidity' and Journey's 'Separate Ways' which all sound completely alien to their originals.
However, the film / computer game / professional wrestling themes that round off the collection feel a little hit and miss with the 'Halloween' and 'Stone Cold Steve Austin' themes in particular sounding a bit too thin and rudimentary compared to the hard and compelling 'Chrono Trigger' and 'Metroid' themes.

For a low budget recording set up that is aimed solely at releasing music for free the mixing and production isn't bad. The vocals occasionally sound a little indistinct from the rest of the mix. But it gives the whole album a comfortable, old school kind of sound that tugs nostalgically on the ear.

What constitutes a good cover song is a very subjective matter that will no doubt ensure plenty of debate. But what isn't up for debate is that, just like last year's 'Stolen Thunder 1' EP from Goteki, 'Judge A Crook By His Cover' is a fun and endearing release that will no doubt find a willing audience, especially considering its lack of a price tag.  

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