Cover Your Heart

Black Light Burns


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


For an interim record between Black Light Burns’ debut Cruel Melody and their upcoming follow-up, Cover Your Heart is a pretty impressive effort. What’s more impressive is that it is an album of covers that sounds just like a set of Black Light Burns songs. And considering the broad spectrum of songs considered for this record and how well they have been interpreted, Cover Your Heart is a pretty solid effort.

This is primarily an album of covers with extra instrumentals thrown in at the end, which don’t do much either to enhance or destroy the album. The disc starts off with Lard’s “Forkboy,” which doesn’t have to be tweaked much to make it seem like Black Light Burns’ own. And even though the version here is as good as the original one (not having compromised the punch-kicking aggression), the record is truly remarkable for what follows, which is every bit as bizarre as it is amazing.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Forkboy” is followed by “So Alive” (Love And Rockets) and then by Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like A Wolf.” If creating an industrial version of the goth-pop “So Alive” sounds tricky, then covering the pop song “Hungry Like A Wolf,” which represented all the silly hairstyles and reprehensibly garish fashion of the ‘80s, is a matter that’s best left unspoken, let alone having been reconceived the way it has been done here. There are keyboards, but not the frivolous kind -- more like the gloomy kind. Complete with a stellar guitar solo, this version not only sounds completely unlike the original, but might be a better version.

With more surprises thrown in, like covers of “Rid Of Me” (PJ Harvey) and “On The Bound” (Fiona Apple), this album just gets more interesting with every song. Black Light Burns is treading on shaky ground by covering a sacrosanct PJ Harvey classic, but has done such a great job giving the song a completely new persona that Wes Borland (the man behind Black Light Burns) should not only be forgiven, but actually applauded. As is the case with “On The Bound,” which sounds like a perfect industrial rock song until you learn that it was written by Fiona Apple.

Although the fact that Black Light Burns has also covered a Sisters Of Mercy song (“Lucretia My Reflection”) and a Stooges number (“Search And Destroy”) doesn’t sound surprising, it is how these numbers mingle so easily with the other oddball covers that’s awesome about this album. No matter how freakish it might seem, Borland hasn’t tried changing his music style to fit these unusual song choices. But he has changed them to fit his music style without not only not ruining them, but instead, executing his completely opposite rendition of them flawlessly. On the album press-release, Borland said, “I hope the original artists hear what we have done and aren’t too upset” -- this is modesty in greatness.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2008 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of I AM WOLFPACK, and is used for informational purposes only.