I’m a great believer in the approach that if you are going to cover another artist’s work then in doing so you should at least bring something new to the table. When Minneapolis noise manipulators Emerald Suspension decided to take on Sonic Youth’s instrumental alt-rock blast Mildred Pierce they seemed also to have a similar mindset.
The original is already a leftfield slice of underground intensity yet the band manages to push it into new territory by rendering it into a heavy, industrial piece of subversive dance fuelled rock. But only once that is well underway do they throw in the curve ball. The Millard Filmore part of the song is a new interpretation of the original based on a rearrangement of the notes and exploring the same crescendos of noise and madness that was the eventual destination first time around.
It is, therefore, part familiar, part new ground, part homage part deconstruction, part a journey through hallowed alt-rock ground and part a striding out into new sonic territory. Dance-punk perhaps? It also seems logical that the video resets Alice in a whole new wonderland, one just as mad and mercurial, confusing and euphoric.
Sometimes music doesn’t have to fit into neat boxes, in fact the best music never does. The fact that this new take on what was already a seditious rock beast seems to ask more questions than it answers is totally fine by me. Would life be boring if we knew exactly what was going on?