The Smiths: "Please, Please, Please: a Tribute to The Smiths" CD Review (American Laundromat Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Smiths: "Please, Please, Please: a Tribute to The Smiths" CD Review (American Laundromat Records)

Sheila Take A Bow (Smiths Cover) by Telekinesis by americanlaundromatrecords

Panic (Smiths Cover) by Kitten by americanlaundromatrecords

I'm not sure what will happen first: the Age of Quarrel line-up of the Cro-Mags reunite, The Smiths reunite or hell freezes over. It is a funny world though as I can remember listening to a mid-90's interview with Metallica where they were laughing when asked about the possibility of ever playing again with Dave Mustaine and Dave just played with Metallica at the band's 30th Anniversary show in San Francisco.

For anyone who needs a fix while waiting to see whether the rumor is true that The Smiths are reuniting for Coachella 2012, American Laundromat Records has just issued a loving 2-CD tribute to The Smiths - Please, Please, Please. Following up on Morrissey and Johnny Marr's fascination with English pop-singer Sandie Shaw, American Laundromat Records secured rights to use a Sandie Shaw photograph for the cover of this new tribute disc and tapped rock-poster designer Lonny Unitus (Apples In Stereo, The Decemberists, Willie Nelson) to design the cover art and eco-wallet packaging.

The twenty indie-rock band on this collection keep the core foundation of Marr and Morrissey's songs intact and immediately recognizable but each of these bands reinterprets and adds their individual imprint to the songs so this collection should pull in both long-time Smiths fans along with indie-rock fans who want to hear a new take on the band's back catalogue. Sadly, aside for a few greatest hits releases, The Smiths' catalogue has languished since the late 80's so this compilation breathes some new life into the band's well-established legacy.

Disc One starts with a shoe-gazer, shimmery cover of "Panic" by Kitten and some of the highlights on this first disc include Tanya Donnelly and Dylan in the Movies' languid cover of "Shoplifters of the World Unite" and the industrial leaning "Shop Me If You've Heard This One Before" by The Rest and "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" by Chikita Violenta. One of the other stand-outs on Disc One is Greg Laswell's moving piano-driven cover of "Half a Person.

Disc Two starts with Telekinesis' cover of "Sheila Take a Bow" which is one of the few tracks on this set that doesn't stray far from the Smiths' original. From there, Solvents pick things up with a shambling alt-country cover of "Is It Really So Strange?" and Wedding Present deliver an alt-metal version of "Hand in Glove". There are a number of engaging tracks on this second disc, which range from Trespassers William's shoe-gazer version of "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" to Girl in a Coma's alt-punk delivery of "Rubber Ring" to a Blondie styled cover of "I Know It's Over" by Elk City. This disc closes on a striaght-forward note with a glistening cover of "Reel Around the Fountain" from Built To Spill's Doug Martsch.

American Laundromat Records