JANUARY: GOLDEN PALOMINOS - LITTLE SUICIDES
I've been wanting to do some kind of version of this song ever since it originally started haunting my emotions in 1995. At first, I was gonna keep it heavy for the entirety of the song but keeping it subdued until it explodes in the middle seemed more effective.
FEBRUARY: DEVO - RACE OF DOOM
From the often-overlooked album NEW TRADITIONALISTS, I don't think I ever got through one listen of this song without thinking "a slow, doomy, industrial-tinged version of this song would be so fun". I made my own wish come true! Self-fulfilling genie.
MARCH: NICK DRAKE - BLACK EYED DOG
This song is an absolute paradox. For something that sounds so lovely and uplifting, you'd never guess it was one of the last things he recorded shortly before his untimely death, not to mention about being literally hounded by severe depression. The black metal slant seemed appropriate.
APRIL: TEARS FOR FEARS - START OF THE BREAKDOWN
SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR is my absolute favourite album of all time. But everything off that album seemed either too familiar or too big to attempt, so I went with something off THE HURTING (also an amazing album). Basically the same approach as LITTLE SUICIDES. Four songs in and I'm already copping out! Also, the first of many to feature an unintentional British accent.
MAY: THE JESUS LIZARD - GLAMOROUS
I remember listening to a live version of this song way back when and my friend/bandmate commented that "the singer doesn't even sound human! He sounds like an animal!". I agreed enthusiastically before realizing that this was not meant to be complimentary. Funnily enough, he wasn't my bandmate for much longer after that.
JUNE: THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT - EYE IN THE SKY
This used to scare the shit out of me when I was a kid. Again, the same approach as JANUARY and APRIL. One of my templates, apparently.
JULY: LONG FIN KILLIE - HOLLYWOOD GEM
No one really sounded quite like these guys which is one reason I think they ultimately slipped through the cracks and went unnoticed. They put out three fantastic albums during the 90s. Their music is much prettier than my rotten take on it.
AUGUST: SKINNY PUPPY - SPASMOLYTIC
My favourite band since I first heard them in the 9th grade. I remember listening to the beginning of TOO DARK PARK for the first time and popping the tape out about 20 seconds in because I was sure it was being eaten (I was a little bit in over my thrash metal addled head). This song basically has blast beats in it (sort of) so a black/death version seemed like the way to go.
SEPTEMBER: TESTAMENT - THE BALLAD
I basically fucked this month off. I had a couple of other bands in mind to feature but ultimately the one-song-per-month schedule got the better of me. So I took this intro to a TESTAMENT song (an amazing piece of music that goes by way too fast and ultimately gives way to a pretty-ok but not nearly as amazing song) and wanked over it. Done.
OCTOBER: SYD BARRETT - OPEL
SYD BARRETT has always been a favourite of mine and a constant source of fascination (even though I'm convinced that much of what is written about him ranges from gross exaggeration to complete fabrication). So weird that this song, one of his absolute post-Pink Floyd best, is an outtake that sat rotting in a box well after he'd stopped playing music. More grist for the Barrett-Bullshit mill. The British accent is back on this one.
NOVEMBER: KILLING JOKE - LET'S ALL GO (TO THE FIRE DANCES)
My very favourite KILLING JOKE song off my very favourite KILLING JOKE album. I recorded this and SONG AND DANCE at the same time because I couldn't decide between the two. This one seemed a little better. So SONG AND DANCE was relegated to the "bonus tracks". More British accents.
DECEMBER: THE HARRY SIMEONE CHORALE / SLAYER - THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY (PIECE BY LITTLE PIECE)
My favourite Christmas carol (it has to be the HARRY SIMEONE version though - that's the album my parents owned and played every year as we would decorate the tree) and one of REIGN IN BLOOD's finest (like every song on that album isn't a 'finest') "PIECE BY PIECE" tacked onto the end (so chosen because it's short and has no guitar leads).
BONUS: SALVADOR DREAM - MOVE ON
A sort of shoegazing version of HELMET from Vancouver, BC. I loved them back in high school. No one else did. Covering this song could be seen as the ultimate act of gratuitous self indulgence. The same could be said for this entire album. Actually, now that I think about it, a better name would have been 12 ACTS OF GRATUITOUS SELF INDULGENCE.
My BEST OF 2014 list is coming soon. More self indulgence....