By Matt Hinch
Cover albums play a very important role in spreading music. They may not be universally accepted by metaldom but there’s no doubt countless fans have discovered new bands, if not entire genres, through cover albums. Falling into this category as well are tribute albums and compilations of covers (Remember Punk Goes Metal?). Their purpose of revealing influences and paying homage can lead directly to new paths for fans and artists. For example, Slayer’s Undisputed Attitude introduced me to Minor Threat and D.R.I. Metallica to Budgie (‘Breadfan’), Helmet to Black Sabbath (and Helmet themselves for that matter. ‘Symptom of the Universe’) and the N.I.B. tribute albums to Corrosion of Conformity, Machine Head and a host of others.
What am I getting at? Well, that spirit of discovery has been rekindled by Intermediate Level Hard-core from splatterthrash miscreants Ghoul (yes, I cribbed that descriptor from the press release.). The masked crew covers the like of GWAR, Fearless Iranians from Hell, Willful Neglect, N.O.T.A. and Dayglo Abortions on this 5-song EP out on Tankcrimes. I’m not afraid to admit I had to look up the original versions of each one of these tunes. Even GWAR and Dayglo even though I was familiar with the bands. But like I said, discovery is the point! The original versions are all freaking rad! I mean, it even says on the cover “A Tankcrimes Records Music Primer featuring: Ghoul”.
For the 5 tracks here Ghoul honour the spirit and attitude of the originals yet put their own spin on them. In every case, the biggest difference is in the vocal department. The clean(ish) vocals are replaced largely by Ghoul’s demonic rasps and monstrous guttural growls. The EP flies by in less than seven and a half minutes and each second oozes blood-soaked fun. It’s a riotous good time full of aggression and tongue-in-cheek humour. Perhaps the best track is ‘Proud to be Creepsylvanian’. They’ve changed the name and lyrics to Dayglo’s ‘Proud to be Canadian’ and it’s kinda hilarious.
The EP is a measly $3 from Tankcrimes digitally so if you like old school hardcore played by dudes wearing masks, head over and pick it up. Fans of Ghoul can get a taste of the bands covered and fans of the bands covered can get a taste of Ghoul. Everybody wins!