LP £19.99 CF015LP
LP on Castleface inc. Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, White Fence, Fresh & Onlys, Burnt Ones etc.
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- The Velvet Underground & Nico by Various
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Wow! It briefly looked like we weren’t going to be able to get any of these so I’m delighted that this compilation has actually turned up at the office at all. Those of you in the know will already be aware that this is an LP where all your favourite Castleface artists cover ‘The Velvet Underground and Nico’ in its entirety. There’s Kelley Stoltz, Warm Soda, Ty Segall, Blasted Canyons feat Jeremy Cox, White Fence, The Fresh & Onlys, Burnt Ones, The Mallard, Here Comes The Here Comes, K Dylan and Thee Oh Sees, working their way through the album track by track as it appears on the original LP.
As you’d imagine from a collection like this, the quality is somewhat mixed, but overall it’s a lot more consistently brilliant than I’d expected. The first three tracks start exceptionally strongly, with Warm Soda’s knockabout ‘Waiting For The Man’ an instant standout before things go a bit weird for Blasted Canyons’ fuzz-drift through ‘Venus In Furs’ and White Fence’s tinny and shambolic version of ‘Run Run Run’ which only really moves into the foreground towards the end before The Fresh & Onlys drag us back into reality with their hypnotic trenchcoat trudge through ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’.
Flip it and Burnt Ones have a respectful but electrifying run through the ebbing tempos of ‘Heroin’ for another clear highlight, then The Mallard have a nice drifty bit of summer indie jangle on a totally reinvented but still catchy ‘There She Goes Again’, then Here Comes The Here Comes have a haunted rendition of ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ which makes me want to cry in the same way that Suicide’s aspirational masterpiece ‘Dream Baby Dream’ does, K Dylan scrapes through ‘The Black Angel’s Death Song’ with a screeching fiddle drone dropping sloppy Cale-isms over a nonchalant somewhat Lydia Lunch-esque delivery, and then finally Thee Oh Sees round things off with a gleefully anarchic, awkwardly cacophonous take on ‘European Son’, turning it into a giant and punishing freak-folk workout reminiscent of early Woods when they got loose, or maybe even Raccoo-oo-oon. It’s wild!
All too often I find these themed covers compilations to be a little redundant, doing little but remind me how wonderful the original is without providing any kind of exciting new angle on the material beyond throwing it into a basic genre template, but here the Castleface family have laughed in the face of those who said they were just courting disappointment and delivered a tribute album which is in places even, dare I say it, as good as the original! If you’re a fan of the Velvets or just of the brand of US garage rock which these artists peddle then this is an essential purchase. Oh, and beautiful artwork from Saint David of Shrigley too. Six out of five!
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