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Cover Your Tracks

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