Chairman Of The Board Part 2: Sinatra’s Revenge

And now for not long awaited/demanded second half of my Frank Sinatra covers album post. You can find part one here.

Mind Over Matter – New York, New York
Mind Over Matter was an NYC hardcore punk band that, if their Last.FM bio is anything to be believed, played a major factor in the development of screamo. If I was Mind Over Matter, that’s not something I would be bragging about. I like this cover a lot, especially how it injects NYC crime statistics into the end. One of the best tracks on the album.

Swell – I’ve Got The World On a String
Swell are a lo-fi band that’s still going strong after over 20 years. You can find more info on their current releases here. I really dig this cover, and since lo-fi is the shit right now with all the kids today, I bet it’s probably the least dated track on their entire album.

Crust – All or Nothing at All
Another band with a Butthole Surfers connection (they were on the Surfers’ label for a short time). As you would expect from a band with a Butthole Surfers connection, they’re kind of weird. Info on them is nigh-impossible to find thanks to the fact that if you type in “crust band” on Google you get information on about 60 million shit crust punk bands instead.

Down By Law – That’s Life
I have four Down By Law tracks on my hard drive, and all of them are covers. I got their takes on The Proclaimers’ “500 Miles” and Big Country’s “In A Big Country,” and their version of “Peace, Love And Understanding,” taken from the Before You Were Punk covers compilation. They’re a great covers band,  one day I’m going to have to find out how their own songs are.

Treepeople – It Was A Very Good Year
The second version of “It Was A Very Good Year,” this one is vastly inferior to the version by The Flaming Lips. It’s not necessarily bad, and the crass lyric changes are kind of fun. It’s just really hard to top The Flaming Lips. I know very little about Treepeople, but I did learn from their Wiki page that one of members was Dough Martsch, the vocalist/guitarist of Built To Spill. Another member of the group was in The Hand, whose “Wouldn’t It Be Beautiful” is one of my favorite songs of all time. At least, if that’s the same The Hand that I’m thinking of. Seriously. Find “Wouldn’t It Be Beautiful.” You can get it on MP3 for a buck at Amazon. It’s a beautiful song.

Samian – Come Fly With Me
There is another musician named Samian, so I can’t find much of any information this group. Anyone want to fill me in? A fun cover, although the “let’s act drunk and play” shtick wears out fast.

Small – Something Stupid
Okay, you know what? Too many bands from the 90s had generic names that are impossible to search for online. The perils of band name creation in a pre-Internet world I suppose. From what I could scour up on Discogs, these guys used to go by Small 23, and released three full-lengths and one mini-album in the mid-90s before calling it quits.

Jawbow – I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Jawbox was a punk rock group out of DC. I know nothing about them other than that. I do love the short-but-sweet-and-obviously-written-by-a-fan bio for them that’s on Discogs:

“This band is unfortunately no longer making music, here was their lineup:”

This is a shockingly beautiful take on the song, and another standout track on the record. Sorry for the scratching songs during the intro, couldn’t do much to fix that.

Ritual Device – Young  At Heart
My favorite track on the album next to Toadies’ version of “Luck Be A Lady Tonight.” I really love the way that the upbeat vocals are delivered in such a dark and menacing way. I don’t know much about Ritual Device, aside from what tells me. Apparently they’re a punk rock band from Omaha. If I had to live in Omaha I’d form a punk rock group too.

Mousetrap – I Wish I Were In Love Again
Another punk rock group from Omaha. Shit be crazy in Nebraska. They should all get together and do a covers album of that Springsteen record.

Severin – Mack The Knife
I’m calling bullshit on this one. The cover of Chairman of the Board says that the album features “interpretations of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra.” However, Frank didn’t cover this classic until the mid-80s. The version that made the song obnoxiously well-known is by Bobby Darin, not Frank Sinatra! I don’t like that version of the song and I don’t like this one by this DC punk band.

Gnome -This Town
I got nothing.

John’s Black Dirt – Bim Bam Baby
And ditto. This is the most obscure band on this album, and that’s really saying something.

2 Responses to “Chairman Of The Board Part 2: Sinatra’s Revenge”

  1. Stephen says:

    Thanks for posting this. What an odd bunch of songs!

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