THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

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THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by ThruBeingCool » 02 Jan 2011, 22:20

O.K, I thought I’d give this album a boost by providing a more in depth review of the tracks covered. A lot of effort has obviously gone into these recordings and I think those that have contributed to this project deserve a little more feedback than has so far been posted. I have to say that whilst reviewing these tracks I honestly don’t have a clue which forum members are responsible for which songs apart from on a couple (hello Eric!). Therefore no chance of any “licky licky” stuff from me which will make a change. Sorry then if I offend any of my friends but it’s the only way to guarantee an unbiased opinion innit?

So here goes;

Broadly speaking, the songs covered fall into 2 categories imho. The first type is where the artist(s) have attempted to do something different, putting new twists to some of the classics. On the second type we get various forum members showing off in their bedrooms doing note for note cover versions which, whilst being impressive, don’t hold as much interest for me. Ok lets go!

DUCHESS
Pleasant enough kick off to the album with (dare I say it?) female backing vocals. Could be wrong about this btw. No complaints but a fairly straight forward take on the original and there are better treats in store.

BEARCAGE
Hypnotic bass run compliments some fine guitar. Sounds like how Hugh might re-work the song with his 3 piece line up. Only the vocals disappoint otherwise this would be one of the highlights of the album.

ROK IT TO THE MOON
Now to one of the definite highlights. Even though this is a radical take on the original it still sounds very Stranglers in spirit - imagine if ‘Rok It’ was recorded during the MIB period with one of the Hairy Bikers doing a spoken vocal and then you might get some idea of what it sounds like. Totally weird and totally excellent at the same time. This track is dedicated to all forum members who aren’t twats apparently which is a shame because this will alienate a large section of the potential audience I’ll wager.

MEAN TO ME
Well this one ain’t a cover version, more of a re-mix. I was hoping for more as this is a song I love but after 3 minutes of listening to the intro on a continuous loop my interest was fading and the eventual introduction of the original song only lead to disappointment. The track finally evolves into ‘Silver Machine’ which perked me up somewhat and made me wonder what drugs were being taken, so it wasn’t all bad.

IN THE END
This is a very professional sounding note for note cover of the original. The singer sounds even more French than JJ but he does need a bit of oil for that guitar as it seems to be squeaking throughout the recording. Other than that, I can’t fault this and my advice to the vocalist is “You oughta join a tribute band mate!”


SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS
Inspiral Carpets play The Stranglers and it’s fucking brilliant! Also gets quite jazzy in places. One of my favourites in this selection of covers. Totally different from the original, good vocal and with a nice polished sound.


MIDNIGHT SUMMER DREAM
Musically this is fantastic, a great re-working of the original and even more laid back (if that’s possible). Like many of these covers the only real problem I have is with the vocals. Can’t really make my mind up about this one but it would have made a great instrumental. Also very cool how it eventually segues into the bass line from ‘Ships That Pass In The Night’. Another highlight.

STRANGE LITTLE GIRL
Heard this before and I think I described the vocals as “weird” at the time. Actually, following repeated listens I now quite like the style. Very close to the original in terms of structure but still a very enjoyable 2:38 minutes.

SECOND COMING
A very trippy take on the ‘Gospel’ track and I thought the bass line was from ‘Mony Mony’ at first. Another spoken vocal lets it down a little but overall an interesting version .Can’t get more enthusiastic than that at the moment unless someone rolls me a joint.

VALLEY OF THE BIRDS
I love this! I love the original anyhow so that’s probably why I’m so enthusiastic. It’s not massively different from the original but I really do like the vocal on this and I’m impressed by the overall sound. Possibly the best track imho. Top marks!

SOMETIMES
A difficult one to judge is this. Musically it’s quite enjoyable but the vocals need more bite. Sounds like it’s not finished. See me Laddie!

TANK
Ya know? I wish I could do summat like this, play Stranglers songs in my bedroom or garage. This is a DIY note for note cover of the original which as impressive as it is I have to deduct brownie points all the same for the originator not bringing summat new to the song. Is this by the late GazinCumbria btw?

NEVER SAY GOODBYE
Now, if I ever did get my arse into gear and attempted to recreate a Stranglers song at home it may possibly sound something like this ie fucking awful!

OUTSIDE TOKYO
This is a first! A 1960’s Cyberman providing vocals to a Stranglers criminally ignored classic. Once again, another example of a forum member demonstrating how good he is at playing and how bad he is at singing.

DREAMTIME
Superb! This is more like it! As I said at the start of the review the radical re-workings are the ones that tend to come over the best and this is a fine example. I’ve loved the tracks where I’ve had to try and guess the song before the lyrics kick in. Well done on this one and another highlight.

THROWN AWAY
I’ll be honest and tell you that on first listening to this track in my car that I was almost tempted to eject the CD and launch it out of the window to find an eternal resting place somewhere on the M1. However, after reading some of the positive comments regarding this particular cover I’ve found myself having to force myself to listen to it again. Try and imagine a particularly pissed up Stranglers fan listening to ‘Thrown Away’ on his headphones and singing along. Then imagine that someone has recorded his vocals and then got Mumford & Sons in to provide a backing track. Well, that’s what it’s like. Make your own mind up!

TIME TO DIE
Here we go! Time for another note for note (albeit nicely polished) cover version with “ouch!” another squeaky guitar! But this is better because we have a female on vocals which gives this track a new twist. Beautiful vocal it is too, best on the album! Enough said. Who is she btw?

GRIP
Musically this would make another great instrumental, good for a soundtrack somewhere and parts of it in a TV show theme maybe?. A respectable experiment but lets get rid of the vocals eh? Another one that I’m divided on at the moment.

TRAMP
Do you remember ‘The Gong Show’? Like a karaoke version of someone singing along to a poor quality demo.

NO MORE HEROES
And so to the finale! Meininblackinbrugge revisited innit? And that squeaky guitar has gone to Belguim too! Nowt wrong with this at all if ya like the Stranglers acoustic style stuff. Which I do.

Can you remember the inscription on the free ‘Choosey Susie’ single all those years ago? It went summat like “What Do You Expect For Nothing?”. Well, I reckon that would have been a great title for this album. No one involved with this project has made any money out of it, it’s all been done for fun and we have the end product for FREE! And! Just like the ‘Choosey Susie’ single we have some genuine quality music for nowt too.

To all those involved with these recordings - you have my maximum respect for putting this together. It’s been enjoyable (in most cases) for me to listen to the music and review this album. For those who haven’t given any feedback yet I urge you to do so otherwise who could blame the (piss) artists for thinking “why did we bother?”
To those who haven’t downloaded yet - go on! Give it a go! You might be pleasantly surprised and even if you’re not it won’t cost ya anything.

Finally, to anyone who may have issues with my ability as a reviewer, all I can really say is;

"WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR NOTHING?”

:smt025

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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by theraven1979 » 02 Jan 2011, 23:36

Tank is Gaz - as is a few other tracks.

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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by ThruBeingCool » 03 Jan 2011, 00:15

theraven1979 wrote:Tank is Gaz - as is a few other tracks.

Jim
My memory is not that bad then.

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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by jason » 03 Jan 2011, 01:08

Great review TBC.

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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by Alias » 03 Jan 2011, 11:32

Brilliant stuff Barry, much appreciate the effort taken to sit down and put finger to keyboard-
as you quite rightly said, I too thought it deserved more feedback than has so far been posted.
No one has to like it, or all the songs, but a small appreciation of the effort taken by the
contributors would be nicely paid back by some thoughful reviews, I thought.
And you got the point of the annonimity (so far- the CD cover will reveal contributors handles at least,
if not what drugs were integral to the recording of the songs!)- we were hoping for some honest feedback,
not plaudits/insults based on who did what- just honest comment on the versions, and that's what you done,
so, again, nice one.
And I reckon we could still stick your "What Do You Want For Nothing" idea onto the cover somewhere. 8)
Anyhoo, enough moanng, I'll sign off now, and leave the rest of the thread for all the other reviews...




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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by evonx » 03 Jan 2011, 14:08

Beautiful vocal it is too, best on the album! Enough said. Who is she btw?
my thoughts exactly!
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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by Bubba » 03 Jan 2011, 15:10

Nice, honest reviews there, Barry. :grin:

I too like "Time to Die". Possibly because I've never heard the original, so I'm not comparing it to anything, but mainly because the female vocal sounds very, very nice and the guitar playing is pretty good. I also really like "Rok it to the Moon". If I'm not mistaken, the vocal appears to have been done on "Microsoft Sam" or a similar synthesized text-to voice program. Very entertaining. :smile:
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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by Détective Privé » 03 Jan 2011, 19:40

Bubba wrote: I too like "Time to Die". Possibly because I've never heard the original,
:shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by Black Leather Jacket » 03 Jan 2011, 20:09

Pretty fair view imo. Only played it all once but Rok It To The Moon was the stand out for me because it has some of the original Stranglers humour and it is re worked in an inovative way.

Time To Die and Tank were other highlights. Good effort everyone. :smt023
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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by Détective Privé » 06 Jan 2011, 11:49

OK guys, my turn now. First I have to say that even if there are some tracks I didn't like too much, I'm quite sure it asked a lot of work to record them. So I'd like to thank everybody involved in this compilation. Cheers ! 8) :grin:

01 Duchess
Good starter, maybe not my favorite track here, but still a good one. I don't know why, but the vocals remind me Taxi Girl.

02 Tank
I don't know what to say about that one. Maybe it's too quiet. There's something missing, some kind of madness.

03 Outside Tokyo
Same feeling as the previous track. Sorry, guys.

04 Dreamtime
Big surprise. Music : IMO, superior to the original version ! Vocals : could be better. Great work, though.

05 Thrown Away :grin:
Well, it's Thrown Away, Pogues style ! I Like it. It's great to try something really different. We could imagine a whole Stranglers cover album that way.

06 Time To Die :grin:
Superb female vocals (who is she ?), from a too rare Woman in Black (it's a Maninblack world...). Music might be a little bit too close to the original version, but it's still one of my favorite tracks here.

07 Grip
Reminds me some version Hugh did in the 90's. Kinda funky stuff. One more great vocals version.

08 Tramp
Vocals too up in the mix, I think. Of limited interest, sorry.

09 No More Heroes
Funny easy listening version. Reminds me that english band who started that revival Lounge stuff 20 years ago... Can't remember their name.

10 Bear Cage :grin:
Another great track. Excellent synthesizer effects. It would just need a slightly better production (well, I know, this is home stuff, not professionnal studio recording).

11 Rok It To The Moon :grin:
Love that one. Excellent from the beginning to the end. Crazy.

12 Mean To Me
More a remix than a cover version. I think it would have been a better idea to keep it instrumental, just like it is on the first minutes, with the strange sounds effects and the psychedelic synthesizers. As soon as the original version begins, the magic is lost.

13 In The End
Nothing to say about the one. Very close to the original but JJ sings it much better.

14 Sweet Smell Of Success
I suspect this one is from the same guy who made No More Heroes, am I wrong ? Another "Lounge" version. Quite funny, but it would have been even better if it really was a mambo or a cha cha cha.

15 Midnight Summer Dream
Minimalistic Midnight Summer Dream, with a Young Marble Giants touch, except that it's not Alyson Statton singing. Cool song, just need some more production.

16 Strange Little Girl
Terrible vocals. Sorry. Next try, maybe. Actually, I think you got to be a really good singer to try that one.

17 Second Coming :grin:
Another highlight. It really got something. Great Raymond Scott kinda strange sounds.

18 Valley Of The Birds
Well, I didn't like the original version, and have to say I'm not fond of that one either.

19 Sometimes
Another good version, with nice keyboard effects.

20 Never Say Goodbye
Just another track. Not bad, but nothing special to say about it.

OK. Thanks again, everybody.
Cheeeeeeeers !
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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by ThruBeingCool » 18 Mar 2011, 23:46

So? Who did wot?...anyone gonna own up :?: :smt025

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Re: THE FORUM MEMBERS COVERS ALBUM - A REVIEW!

Post by Alias » 18 Mar 2011, 23:59

It's on the back cover :smt006
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"Further modulation of the frequency rotation, Triggered waveband activation - near elation"

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