Cover And Duck

Picked up for a few quid in Chester one lunchtime when I was feeling a bit blue, I bought Duck And Cover, a 1990 covers compilation from SST Records.  Featuring the luminaries you’d expect, Black Flag, Descendents, Dinosaur Jr. and Minutemen, together with a bunch of (mostly) guys I’d never heard of before, or since.  The results? varied.

Duck and Cover 01

The three real heavyweight tracks here are the ones I bought Duck And Cover for, Black Flag ‘Louie Louie’, Husker Du ‘Eight Miles High’ and Dinosaur Jr ‘Just Like Heaven’.  They’re pretty much Grade A solid class.  Black Flag’s version of ‘Louie Louie’, which I only just realized has Des Cadena on vocals rather than Rollins, is an absolute bulldozer of a track – mean, nihilistic and musclebound and I’m pretty sure I first heard it hundreds of years ago on a cassette a friend had called The Best Of Louie Louie, which was an album of cover versions of ‘Louie Louie’*.  I also have a real thing for the sheet metal version of ‘Eight Miles High’ by Husker Du, which despite having hippy parents I heard years before I ever heard the original,  Bob Mould’s vocals on this one are great as always he just sings with TOTAL conviction.  The Dinosaur Jr. version of ‘Just Like Heaven’ is just pure trademark Dino, those lazy can’t-be-assed vocals, stabs of stunningly fluid guitar and bits where I just wish they’d pull their finger out and play for their lives, rather than go through the motions.  I’ve always found them such a frustrating band**, controversial I know but I far prefer Joy Zipper’s version of ‘Just Like Heaven’.

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The rest veer from the pointless (Saccharine Trust with ‘Six Pack’), the okay (Volcano Suns ‘Kick Out The Jams’), the unmemorable (Leaving Trains ‘The Horse Song’) and the strange, but not in a great way (Trotsky Icepick ‘The Light Pours Out Of Me’).  A few others of some note though, including Revolution 409, who basically seem to be 1537-faves Redd Kross^, covering a tune I just plain love, ‘Crazy Horses’ pretty darn well.  Also Minutemen’s jerky, ADHD-like cover of ‘Ain’t Talkin ’bout Love’ bears some repeating too.

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Here’s a band I just don’t get though, Meat Puppets.  I know we all love their contribution to Nirvana Unplugged, but I inherited a greatest hits album of theirs from my brother and I just don’t get it.  They have a version of ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ on Duck And Cover and it’s excruciatingly bad, it sounds a bit like a sped-up version of one of those bands who make the instrumental tracks for karaoke CDs but with really horrible, almost helium-affected vocals on top.  Am I just being grumpy because my broadband still isn’t working properly and I’m really tired? or do any of you out there see/hear things in this band that I just don’t?

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All compilations are mixed bunches, by definition really, but Duck And Cover a bit more so than most.  I’ve burnt 5 tracks out of the 13 here and that’s about it, it’s too fractured an LP to just slip on the turntable very often.  Shame SST couldn’t/didn’t include anything from Sonic Youth or Soundgarden.

I won’t be back this way for a while.

414 Down.

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*including the brilliant marching band version heard at the end of The Naked Gun.

** Freak Scene, Start Choppin’ and Take a Run At The Sun, excepted.

^or at least feature both McDonald brothers; topical as I can’t stop play Off! Wasted Years at the moment.

13 thoughts on “Cover And Duck

  1. Meat Puppets: I also had that Too High to Die album. I may still have it somewhere. I thought it was pretty good (Backwater is a crackin’ tune) and I believe Lake Of Fire is on there as a hidden track, too. That said, I obviously didn’t like it enough to go buy more Meat Puppets.

  2. Every “Best Of The Minutemen” mix tape I have EVER made includes “Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love” – luv dat song, and also HUSKER DU’S version of “8 Miles High” !!!
    Have to check out “The Light Pours Out Of Me”- a fave from Devoto’s MAGAZINE, even IF it’s TROTSKY iCEPICK.

    I’ve thought for a long time that The Meat Puppets were signed to SST in error, their name fooled someone into thinking they were punk. Great name, boring music.

    This post? a solid THWAP

    1. I’m with you on your Meat Puppets theory, but I have promised elsewhere that I’ll give them another go this weekend and I am a fair and just deity.


  3. Damn You! This another one those records that I will spend the next few weeks searching for. Something about bands doing cover songs really tells me a lot about the band.

    1. Cool, like I say I didn’t hear the original until years later. You’ll be telling me Sex Pistols didn’t write ‘C’mon Everybody’ next.

  4. Hooray for SST comps! They’re all spotty (and a bit Spot-y) [points for Spot-ing the pun] but I think that’s sort of the point. I have another really good one from them on CD called Chunks. Some good tracks, some weird shit, some that’s royally bad. Still, the only place to get a lot of those tracks unless you wanna go searching high and low for all the albums.

    Meat Puppets are an acquired taste. I had an album of theirs called Too High To Die, back in the day. It had a sweet track called Backwater. I dunno about the graphics in this video (it’s obvs not from the band) but that guitar riff can get stuck in my head every time.

    Right on!

    1. Yayy! Broadband working again!

      Some great tracks here, too much that wasn’t though, which was sort of the problem with SST – some greats but, overall I think not enough quality control. One day, when I’m good enough I’ll review Minutemen ‘Double Nickels On The Dime’ – can’t yet though.

      Cheers for the vid – still not stirring anything in me though, but I’ll give the LP a spin at the weekend. Cheers.

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