Monday, December 03, 2007

Review: Tia Carrera - You Are the War 7"

Label: Arclight Records

Released: 2007

Over the course of rock history, "Louie Louie" has been covered countless times. Its simplicity and infectious hook make it an easy task for even the most pedestrian bands. On the other hand, to my knowledge, only one band has covered Lungfish's "You Are the War." There's a few reasons: Lungfish is fairly far outside of the mainstream, "You Are the War" is far from a pop song, and most importantly, how would one go about it? The song is a great example of Lungfish's seething, yet oddly subdued psychedelic art punk. Where to go with a song that already pushes the edges of sanity?

Enter Tia Carrera, a band who's captured the trippy energy of Hendrix and the musical insanity of instrumental Black Flag on other outings. Even for them, "You Are the War" had to be such a challenge. Where could they take it? Well, first, they take the three minute original and expand it to a twelve minute epic (splitting the song over both sides of the 7 inch). Then they take the psychedelic power that churns under the surface to the forefront, rounding off its angular punk edges with waves of fuzzed out guitar and organ. The extended interplay between these two over the thunder of the rhythm section is one of the best excuses not to do drugs. Who needs anything else with a freak-out like this? This is what true psychedelic music should be. This is the trip. And it just keeps going...and going...and going. Even having to flip the record won't break the spell they cast.

If I had any doubts remaining after hearing November Sessions and Heaven/Hell that Tia Carrera was the best heavy psyche act going, this EP, this one song, a cover even, dispels them. Tia Carrera take an almost uncoverable song, shake it free of its moorings and fly off on a new trip.

Rating: 10/10



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Blogger taotechuck said...

Wow. Strong words from a simple man. I haven't been moved by the little bit of TC I've heard, but I'll give this one a listen. The cover art is wonderful; is there anything good on the back or the fold-out?

9:52 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Fuckin' A I wanna hear it, especially since I introduced them to you...taking my pats on the back in small increments. I really liked the "Louie Louie" opening..."pedestrian," great line.

11:35 AM  

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