Mark: Although many of last week’s “Nothing Else Matters” covers were pretty entertaining, there were far too many songs to cover all at once. Luckily, we’re correcting course this time, big time. There’s only one cover for this song. Thank fucking god.
That’s it. That’s my preamble. Jay?
Jay: Only one? I’ve come to enjoy this weekly excursion into cover territory both for its highs and lows. If there’s only one song, it can’t be both high and low, can it? I don’t know this Goodnight, Texas band, so I’m curious to find out what’s on offer. I honestly don’t even really remember this song very well. Let’s see what they’ve got!
Goodnight, Texas – “Of Wolf and Man”
Mark: I’m at odds with myself over this one! I think that this might be very lame, but I think that it might also be kind of good? I actually really like the arrangement, and this sounds nothing like any Metallica song I’ve ever heard. I’m not stuck on most of the vocal performance, although things ramp up into some pretty nice harmonies. There’s a nice dynamic flow to this throughout. None of the performances are showy, but the parts all sound very solidly performed
Okay, I feel like this is where I’m at: This cover is for dorks, but I like it. So I’m a dork. Which isn’t news, but it hurts to say.
Jay? Are you a dork?
Jay: Looks like I am! I think it’s a great arrangement with a good sense of dynamics and some very pretty harmonies starting in that second verse. I think this cover goes places and really leverages the source material’s strengths.
As Mark and I regularly discuss, I’m not huge on the country trappings (because I don’t buy that these gents grew up on mandolin and slide guitar), but the overall arrangement far outweighs any individual gripes I may have about instrumentation. If this is music for dorks, then I’m breaking out my pocket protector.
Grade: B (Mark), B+ (Jay)
Metallica – “Of Wolf And Man” (Remastered)
Mark: Hearing the original version of “Of Wolf And Man” makes me more impressed by what Goodnight, Texas pulled out of this song for their cover. Wow, totally different tune.
This is a deep-album cut if I’ve ever heard one. A tuneless grind that kinda rocks, but there are so many bangers on this album with better hooks and better… everything.
The “Back to the meaning” backup scary-man vocal is extremely hilarious to me. Is that Freddy Krueger?
There’s a spoken-word segment, too. For some reason I’m able to forgive the one in “Enter Sandman”, but the one here is pretty bad. This might be my pick for worst Black Album track.
Jay: I love the duelling guitar intro of this song. This was probably the first time I’d ever heard it as a kid, and it’s funny how it perpetuated into both my own music and also my friends’ music (including Mark’s).
The song is fun but very sparse. I’m pretty sure there’s only one guitarist playing on the majority of this; maybe Het did everything but the solo and clean guitar at the ends of the choruses? It’s a ripping solo and a cool clean part, at least.
Mark’s right that the spoken-word parts and the scary-man vocal are pretty rough. And overall there’s something tossed-off about the mix of this song, like they spent an extremely small amount of time on it versus the colossal mixes of some of the previous tracks. I actually like the lyrics (I’m a sucker for werewolves, I guess), but this recording could have used some more of Bob Rock’s TLC.
Next installment: “The God That Failed” – performed by IDLES, and Imelda May.