Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Cover Your Tracks

September 1, 2007

Band: V/a

Album: Cover Your Tracks compilation

Best Element: A great introduction to Deep Elm’s roster.

Genre: Punk/Emo/Post-hardcore/Indie-rock

Website: Deep Elm Records

Deep Elm Records’ Cover Your Tracks is a very unique comp. The premise is this: new-school Deep Elm bands cover a song by an old-school Deep Elm band in their own style. There’s two ways to look at it: you can see it as intended (a clever reward to long-time Deep Elm fans) or as its de facto result (a introduction to Deep Elm’s current roster).

Admittedly, I am not a hardcore Deep Elm fan – many of the bands covered here weren’t even on Deep Elm by the time I heard of the label. The few songs I do know go par for the course – I liked Burns Out Bright’s cover of Pop Unknown’s “This Guy’s Ready for Bed,” while I hated Slowride’s life-draining cover of The Appleseed Cast’s “Fishing the Sky.” I can’t say much else about that end of the comp.

If you take the CD purely as a Deep Elm comp, it’s really good. There’s a lot of variation of genre and style on this comp, but one thing remains clear: Deep Elm knows passionate music. Whether it’s the lush and dewy-eyed sounds of Surrounded, the Long Island pummeling that is Small Arms Dealer, the frenetic dance-rock of Free Diamonds or the post-hardcore of Fightstar, there’s quality in all of these bands. That’s incredible.

Cover Your Tracks is essentially a hipster in-joke that’s funny even if you don’t get the punch line. I would recommend this comp to anyone interested in underground rock right now. Props to Deep Elm, once again.

Stephen Carradini

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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