Cryogenic Husk #4 - The Cure Covers
There are a million different cover songs of The Cure out there. We’d say about 90% of them are in the indierock/pop/electronic/whatever genres, basically sticking within the stylistic framework of The Cure themselves. That’s all fine and dandy, but we think most people would agree that when a band can take a song from another musician and mold it into their own, making it something new, unique and fresh, THEN is when it has been properly covered. “Oh yea? You covered a song by The Cure? Guess what - The Cure did it first and they did it better than you, so just stop.”
With that idea in mind, we made a mix of cover songs of The Cure that were different, a little left of center and in general a little heavier than the original. (We wanted to put Indecision’s “Just Like Heaven” on here, but it was just horrible. Compounding the horribleness of it was its placement: on a split with the UK’s beatdown hardcore bruisers Knuckledust. That’s like having an emo band open for Terror.)
Cryogenic Husk #4 - The Cure Covers
- 1) Misery Loves Co. - The Drowning Man
- 2) Year Of No Light- The Figurehead
- 3) Carpathian Forest- A Forest
- 4) Nadja- One Hundred Years
- 5) Converge- Disintegration
- 6) Deftones- If Only Tonight We Could Sleep
- 7) Dinosaur Jr.- Just Like Heaven
- 8) Cave In- Plainsong
- 9) Jesu- The Funeral Party
- 10) Snake River Conspiracy- Lovesong
- 11) Nadja – Faith
1) Misery Loves Co. - The Drowning Man
One of my favorite cover songs of all time. I picked up Your Vision Was Never Mine To Share when I was on tour in New York back in 2000 right after it came out. Predominantly labeled as “industrial metal”, as the Swedish duo evolved up to this point, they progressively began painting with a much broader brush musically. I interviewed singer Patrik Wiren when the album came out and he mentioned at least a couple of times his love for Joy Division, The Cure and so on… Like my unofficial mantra for cover songs, I think they made this “their own”.
2) Year Of No Light - The Figurehead
What’s interesting about this cover is that post-metallers Year Of No Light went the direction of stripping this song down from the original. The somber/depressing melody is the backbone, but it’s like the music has been water damaged and faded over time. Kind of like that cassette tape that you played over and over again before you noticed the highs and lows were deteriorating and you were left with mostly the mids in their dried out glory. And yet, you still loved it just as much. I guess that’s why I love this cover, it SOUNDS nostalgic, like a time-worn picture. And while their version of this song is different from The Cure’s, that same feeling of nostalgia is paramount to what made The Cure famous in the first place.
3) Carpathian Forest - A Forest
Context can be everything. Like how this cover song was tacked on to the end of an otherwise abrasive and harsh black metal album. Heard on it’s own, only the chorus gets loud and “in-the-red”, the rest of the track follows a repetitious “one-two” beat and pulsing bassline. And when you think about it, some of the most provocative and emotional songs rely on those two basic elements. When coupled with the forlorn lyrics of the original it makes for a winning combination.
4) Nadja - One Hundred Years
For the uninitiated, Nadja make “wall of sound” their business… and business is good. Layers of distorted, melancholic melodies buzz on top of one another, while vocals reverberate to you from the surface. Back in the dream, the slow motion sizzles keep you warmly sedated.
5) Converge - Disintegration
Chances are, if you’re a fan of heavy/loud music, you’ve heard this one before. It’s appeared on a compilation of The Cure covers featuring hardcore/punk/metal bands (another of which is later in this mix) and was also tacked onto the Y2K EP they put out in ‘99. I like how the song is divided into two halves. The first half bears the closest resemblance to the original, but with more of an industrial twist, before the second half opens up with loud guitars and Bannon’s trademark ‘crazier than a shithouse rat’ vocals.
6) Deftones - If Only Tonight We Could Sleep
This cover appeared on the Deftones ‘Rarities and B-sides’ record, and was recorded live but sounds terrific. Chino probably gives the best delivery for soulful performance on this mix, even sounding similar to Robert Smith at some points with his inflections.
7) Dinosaur Jr. - Just Like Heaven
This was featured on an NME compilation of The Cure covers. To be honest, it’s the weakest link we got here… that being said, imagine how bad Indecision’s take on this song was if I opted to include THIS version instead? A couple more fails: 1) Too close sounding to the original, would rather be listening to The Cure, and 2) What the fuck is going on at 1:46?! Is that shouting/distortion necessary? Wait… maybe it’s so random and out of left field that I like it. Now I’m thinking those ten seconds make the rest of the song look like it’s trying too hard. I guess I’d give this a C-
8) Cave In - Plainsong
This is from the same compilation that Converge’s track appeared on. Very different take on the original. Instead of the goth-synth-pop bliss of The Cure’s version, Cave In, speed the song up a bit, add distortion and viola. Hmm, not sure what else to say, but maybe my complete indifference is a bad sign… At the least, an interesting listen.
9) Jesu - The Funeral Party
From 2008, this track comes from the only cover song collection of The Cure’s that has been “approved” by Robert Smith - whatever that means. But the proceeds from it went to benefit the Invisible Children charity, so cool. Musically, this is just like mid-to-late era Jesu; electronic beats, fuzzy ethereal guitars and delayed vocals… almost like a toned down version of Nadja.
10) Snake River Conspiracy - Lovesong
Although there’s a definite nu-metal tinge to this song, I give kudos for a complete and utter re-working of the track into something completely different. This duo has been gone a long time, but her vocals coupled with electronic synths and industrial beats are something that I was glad to stumble across again when putting this list together.
11) Nadja – Faith
Whoa, Nadja’s covered The Cure twice? Yep. This one comes from their all covers release When I See The Sun Always Shines On TV. Very similar to their previous cover in almost every way. Buzzing, hypnotic, yet melodic, drones emulating a much slowed down version of the original.
Any other covers of The Cure out there you like?