Various Under The Influence

Every band must have some sort of inspiration. This compilation released by the folks at Too Damn Hype is interesting and humorous, but just not as good as one would wish. Composed of songs originally written by the Cure, the Smiths and the Clash, the choice to include all three bands seems a little pointless, seeing as they were quite unrelated to one another, especially the latter. Individual albums devoted to each band would make a lot more sense (which did happen on this label, with a full tribute to the Clash), but regardless, there are a few key tracks that make it worth listening to. Converge's rendition of the Cure's "Disintegration" is frighteningly deep and complex, making it as haunting as the original. While Cave In's "Plainsong" wanders through Disintegration's best track, grinding the guitars and, surprisingly, keeping the keyboards, making it out to be a positively charming approach to a classic. The Business also shines with the right amount of attitude poured into the Smiths' "Panic," a song that always did sound rather cheeky. Disappointments come from an early cover of "City Rockers" by a not quite yet developed Saves The Day and an embarrassing take on "How Soon Is Now" by The Meatmen. Completely unessential in every imaginable way. (Too Damn Hype)