Lemonheads Varshons

If there's one thing that Evan Dando has never lost it is his ability to play another artist's song and own it. Making a name for himself as an early '90s alt-rock poster boy, Dando has always embraced playing covers, from NKOTB to the Misfits and of course, Simon & Garfunkel. Now, after reviving the Lemonheads in 2006, he has returned with an album of just covers. Varshons was inspired by mixtapes made for Dando by his Butthole Surfing friend Gibby Haynes, who also acts as the album's producer. It's surprising that he waited this long to do this album. Aside from Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," which his aged golden voice can still nail without irony, the track listing is mostly obscure favourites. As expected, there is his idol Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen, artists Evan could cover the entire catalogue of. G.G. Allin, Wire and the Green Fuz seem like odd choices, but Evan's a lifelong punk and he tackles them effortlessly. Fuckemos, Sam Gopal and Arling & Cameron are all peculiar choices, especially the latter, a wasteful duet with Kate Moss that severely disturbs the album's harmony. But with that one exception, Varshons is a savoury yet subtle collection by a man who can do this as a career. (The End)