Noise Narcs’ first post was one year ago today. What’s the traditional one year anniversary gift for a music blog? Paper, silver, a shutdown notice from the RIAA?
I was hoping for the last, but instead we get two gifts: a Noise Narcs show and a new feature. Still firming up details on the show, but expect mid-March and some fantastic bands. And we probably have room for one more band, so if you know one, tell them to get in contact.
The new feature? “Noise Variations,” where we tackle several cover versions of a song. And what could be more appropriate for an anniversary than best the annum song of all: The Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year.”
This is a tall order for a cover. In my mind, “This Will Be Our Year” does no wrong. Only the brave (or the very foolish) would attempt it. The gorgeous, steady piano. The way Hugh Grundy’s drums, heavy on the hi-hat, kick in. Colin Blunstone’s perfect vocals: the phrasing, the way it trembles towards cracking, dancing around the beat, the way “go on” drops out of nowhere, dripping in echo. This is a song that knows at two minutes and eight seconds that it has accomplished everything a pop song can and so calls it quits. This is a song that makes me fall in love again every time I hear it: with it and my girl.
So, with all that, do any of the covers match up? In a word: no. A lot of acoustic dreck. But there are some worthy of a listen, although none really hold a candle to the original.
The Mynabirds: This is probably best in class. Although the slide guitar throughout and so high in the mix makes this a bit overloaded, it takes the bare sweetness of the original and makes it swing. And fuck it: I love slide guitar. Although this version is great, it makes me wonder, desperately, what Willie Nelson would do.
Dear Nora: As if recorded by the Velvet Underground with a toned-down Veronica Bennett instead of Nico. A lithe, little garage band version.
The Zombies (demo version): Wow. What a difference a take can make. Still a great song, but pales, pales, pales, pales in comparison to the original. The only thing that matches the studio version is Grundy’s drumming. There’s also a mono version with horns: better than the demo, but the horns just get in the way.
OK Go: This version needs a clever video. And euthanasia. At least he nails the “go on!” OK go away. One-year-old-blog burn!
Other notable versions: The Avett Brothers’ dreadful live take, Rose Melberg’s too cute by half ukelele version, Great Lakes’ points-for-clarinet track, and the Model Rockets’ slice of snearing grunge. Any we missed? Let us know in the comments.
And thank you, everybody who has read and contributed. Been a fun year. Come to our show!