The Lemonheads: Varshons (Bad Taste, 2009)
I’m a big fan of The Lemonheads and Evan Dando. The Lemonheads have given us several great cover versions in the past and therefore making a cover record might seem like a good idea. Usually it’s a horrible idea and eventhough for The Lemonheads the idea doesn’t sound too bad, the end result is still rather dissapointing. Varshons does contain some really good stuff, but there’s just isn’t enough of it for a full-lenght album.
A good thing is that Evan Dando haven’t selected the obvious songs to cover and instead have made some obscure choices. For example picking a rare Gram Parsons song I Just Can’t Take It Anymore instead of a Gram classic is great idea. Gram’s shadow isn’t hanging too close above and the song sounds almost exactly like 90’s The Lemonheads (okay, I admit I’m a fanboy stuck in the past and one of the reasons I’m not so into this cover disc is that overall, it doesn’t sound like The Lemonheads I fell in love with). Too bad Evan didn’t do the same thing with Townes Van Zandt and selected Waiting Around To Die. He might have pulled of some rare Townes number, but now I’m just left wondering how is it possible to make one of the best songs ever written sound so lame. I admit it’s a bit personal thing as well. If I had to choose the 10 greatest songs ever, this would be one of them. I love it to bits and I probably wouldn’t approve any other versions than the original. Dirty Robot is probably painfully bad, but how would I know for sure. I really can’t even listen to it. I refuse to even think about it. On a positive note, Wire cover Fragile is a great one and garage classic Green Fuz is another treat. How about 7″ inch cover EP with I Just Can’t It Anymore as A-side and those to as the b-sides. Now that would be worth all five hearts..