LORD – Undercovers Vol. 1
Released: April 2nd, 2021
Lord Tim | Vocals, Guitar
Mark Furtner | Guitar
Andy Dowling | Bass
It’s no secret LORD love a good cover song. Have a look at their Spotify stats and you’ll discover one of their most played tracks is one they didn’t write themselves, more on that later. For me one of the more interesting things about this release is the way the band has gone about it. In these times of instant streaming, digital downloads and fuck all return-on-investment, artists need to look outside the box when it comes to distribution. So the boys from the ‘Gong have come up with original ways to get this release out there. It will be of course available on the likes of Spotify, but not all songs will be on there. In what is a very clever move the decision was made, if you wanted every one of the twenty three tracks you’re going to have to go a bit old school and cough up some cash. I’ll leave the marketing press release to the band but suffice to say there are a number of music and merch bundles to choose from. But the only way to get every single track is to buy it via Bandcamp and get the digital download.
Aside from a bit of clever marketing this album isn’t just your average bunch of metal covers. Mixed in with the heavy hitters and metal classics are some interesting pop songs. First cab off the rank is a surprise hit and a version that’s been endorsed by the man who penned the song with Savage Garden’s ‘To the Moon and Back’. To quote Darren Hayes via Twitter “OK – this is fucking great haha! There exists a corner of the internet where heavy metal and believe it or not ‘savage garden’ fans intersect, and rock band Lord have nailed it.” High praise indeed, and who am I to disagree. The band gives what has become an Aussie pop classic the respect it deserves while adding an unmistakable metallic edge. They couldn’t have kicked off the album with a better cover, and there’s some very strong contenders.
As mentioned, there’s a mix of genres covered and although some have been reworked to different degrees a few remained untouched. Most of the metal covers are straight as they were intended, let’s be honest they best way to piss off a metal fan is fuck with a classic. So songs like Anthrax ‘Madhouse’ and the Dio classic ‘Night People’ are delivered with a pretty straight bat, interestingly both songs are covered not by LORD but by front-man Lord Tim’s side project Blackened Angel – because otherwise there would have only been 21 tracks on this release…
The boys have also thrown in a fistful of live tracks to really highlight their talents. With Tim taking a back seat and guitarist Mark Furtner stepping up to the microphone to tackle what is an absolute stand out track ‘Creeping Death’. Not only do you get the sense of fun and humour injected into a LORD live show the rendition is brutally heavy. The band delivers this Metallica song with more passion and fury than the Bay Area thrash legends have managed for many years.
The band really comes into its own when they take on non-heavy songs. Although there’s too many to mention before my looming deadline, the up-tempo riff heavy treatment of ‘Message In A Bottle’ should draw nods of approval from even the most loyal fans of The Police. Sliding in at the halfway mark sees Tim giving his vocals another break as bass-player-for-Aussie-metal-band-Lord Andy Dowling expands his repertoire. Pommy one hit wonders Cutting Crew are next in-line with ‘(I Just) Died In Your Arms’ getting a slight makeover. It’s so close to the original 1986 hit song, I had to jump on YouTube for a comparison. Cutting Crew fans will appreciate how faithful the Aussie metalheads stayed to the song.
Rounding out the LORD covers is one song that needs no introduction, not only is it one of the bands most streamed songs on Spotify it also grabbed the third spot on my list of 20 Heavy Covers Of Non-Heavy Songs That Are Better Than The Original. If you haven’t already jump on YouTube and grab an eye and an earful of Kylie’s ‘On A Night Like This’, even up against some stiff competition on this album the song holds up.
LORD have put together all in one neat not-so-little-package an eclectic mix of covers, with many of them starting life as bonus tracks. From A-ha to Queensryche, there’s a little bit of something here for everyone.
LORD – Undercovers Vol .1 tracklisting:
1. To the Moon and Back (Savage Garden cover)
2. Judas be my Guide (Iron Maiden cover)
3. Send Me an Angel (Real Life cover)
4. Of Sins and Shadows (Symphony X cover)
5. Message in a Bottle (The Police cover)
6. Shattered (Pantera cover)
7. Playing to Win (Little River Band, John Farnham cover)
8. Someone’s Crying (Helloween cover)
9. Hard to Live (Harem Scarem cover)
10. Creeping Death (LIVE) (Metallica cover)
11. (I Just) Died in Your Arms (Cutting Crew cover)
12. Reckless (Judas Priest cover)
13. Silent Jealousy (X Japan cover) 14. I Want Out (LIVE) (Helloween cover)
15. The Sun Always Shines on TV (A-ha cover)
16. The Whisper (Queensryche cover)
17. Touch the Fire (Icehouse cover)
18. Wild Child (LIVE) (W.A.S.P. cover)
19. Break the Ice (John Farnham cover)
20. Runaway (Bon Jovi cover)
21. On a Night Like This (Kylie Minogue cover)
22. Madhouse by Blackened Angel (Anthrax cover)
23. Night People by Blackened Angel (Dio cover)