Scene and Heard – CCCLV : Otherside – The Olsten Brothers Band (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

15027604_1334401366570030_6836583186537314742_nRegular perusers of this site will know that we are not so hot on covers of songs. They rarely bring anything new to the table and if they try to there is a certain arrogance in thinking that you can take established songs and make them better. Apart from Kirsty McColl’s majestic reworking of Billy Bragg’s iconic A New England, and only then in the extended 12” format ….remember them kids…and the breath of new life that Jeff Buckley gave to Hallelujah, few covers have come close to justifying their existence. The Olsten Brothers Band may just have snuck onto that shortlist.

If the RHCP original was uncharacteristically brooding and intense in place of their usual hi-jinx, art-punk for high school jocks, TOBB takes things even further. Coming at things from a bleak, washed out country vibe this rendering is a blasted, dystopian version of the genre, a gothic cowboy anthem for an apocalyptic America. 

Remember when Johnny Cash released his American Recordings and album that took on not only expected outlaw country selections but the likes of Nick Lowe and Glen Danzig too…this version of Otherside fits right into that mentality. Dark, spacious, majestic and ultimately eerily terrifying. How great is that?

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