The Strength / The Sound / The Songs, by Volbeat
Suggested by Danny Nuttall
I’m a sucker for heavy metal cover version of pop songs.
There’s thousands to choose from. Anthrax’s Got The Time, Metallica’s Stone Cold Crazy, Xentrix’s wonderful Ghostbusters. Although some call him rote, I’m a fan of Frog Leap Studio’s Leo Moracchioli and his dedication to the genre. And no, this isn’t a shoutout for Leo to be added to the list by well-meaning readers, although admittedly it does feel a bit like a local radio presenter sneaking “I like Jaffa Cakes” into his show on the off-chance of receiving some freebies from McVities.
I mention this because we can’t go any further without focussing on Volbeat’s excellent cover of the Dusty Springfield classic, I Only Wanna Be With You. This is my pick as the standout song.
It’s not the best song on the album. It’s not even in the top five. It is, however, the most memorable song on the album, purely by being weird.
So, with that out of the way… are the other songs on this album forgettable?
Far from it.
This album is an absolute, unmitigated blast. Start to finish. It’s fantastic. If you like your music heavy, you can’t go wrong here.
Volbeat pack this album with a classic metal sound, but project as timeless rather than mawkish. The songs are reminiscent of an early Nineties Metallica, replete with Hetfield’s growl, working on the grittier tracks from the Black Album. Then they are funkier, reminiscent of early Incubus. Then the next song fires up, and the guitar tone in unmistakeably Slayer. Then the next has the fun-fuelled tautness of Anthrax. The reason I had trouble choosing the best track? Because they were ALL the best damn track.
I listened to this album almost slack-jawed in wonder. Then I listened to it again. It felt as if Volbeat were hitting every beat of my own personal Heavy Metal History. It sounded exciting and new, and as familiar as a warm hug from an old friend.
That’s weird, right? Feeling nostalgic for something I’ve not heard before? And if I’m honest, maybe the classic feel isn’t the fresh new experience I was after when I started this project.
Nah. This album rocks. I’ll give it 9/10, and I’ll check out Volbeat’s discography with glee.