Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of January 2023

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

In January we heard new cover albums from Ryan Adams (Springsteen’s Nebraska), Kepi Ghoulie (new wave on Full Moon Fever), Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps (Beatles classics with soul: With a Little Help from Her Friends), but also many more successful reinterpretations. The next ones enchanted us the most.

Baby Please Don’t Go || Cover: Lola Lola || Original: Traditional
The theme is probably several hundred years old, but Big Joe Williams (1935), Muddy Waters (1953) and Them (1964) popularized it, and still Baby, Please Don’t Go is widely covered in all possible genres. This month a nice cowpunk version of Dash Rip Rock came out, but this exotic popcorn banger from Portuguese R&B outfit Lola Lola is even more exciting – they ensure that the classic remains a hit on the dance floor in 2023. Out now digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Chaputa! Records.

New album: Las Yhadys || Hom​ó​nimo

Las Yhadys are a trio from Santander (Spain) who started late 2020. Their new (sophomore) album is called Hom​ó​nimo. It’s a record that displays the two sides of Las Yhadys. About half of Hom​ó​nimo is moody indie pop balladry. I’d call this the Alvvays side of the band – referring to the more subdued material of that band. The other prominent side of the record is more upbeat, with fuzzy guitars and infectious melodies. It is this catchy noise pop side, the Best Coast side of Las Yhadys, which I like most.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Heihaizi || Heihaizi

Straight out of Zagreb (Croatia) comes Heihaizi, a band that I saw someone refer to as “early Beastie Boys on speed.” The thirteen songs on their self-titled Tape indeed move at race car speed, but the band seems to be in full control of the wheel. Heihaizi are a tight band on the record, and their music is confident and full of conviction.

Looking for some inspired’80s hardcorepunk that sounds uncomplicated, bouncy, contagious and a lot of fun? Heihaizi are ready to throw some one minute bursts of energy at you! What a great find by German label Turbo Discos.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Ming City Rockers || Lime

If you are desperate for new indiepunk, look no further than Ming City Rockers’ new album Lime. Ming City Rockers are a trio from Immingham (UK). They made their debut in 2014, but until now they weren’t even a blip on my radar. That all changes with Lime, an infectious record that at time reminds me of the Dirtnap (Nancy, I’m Bitter) and Lookout! Records rosters (Desperate), but at other times of late ’70s UK punk (Jill Was An Anarchist), and even of the Beastie Boys (Lollipopper, Another Head). With their ramshackle approach and unfiltered and unadulterated playing and songwriting, Ming City Rockers make it all to easy to fall for this record. The band open all of your windows and direct a tornado of fresh air through your place. It’s 2023 and Ming City Rockers are here to make sure it’s off to a good start.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Dross || Nightmare World

Okay, so how does this sound? “Low attention span punk from London, featuring members of Lizard Brain, The Cavemen, The Speedways, Dead Meat, Trash Culture, & Virvon Varvon.” What about a vinyl release on the infamous No Front Teeth Records? Are you siked yet? Intrigued? Sceptical? Press play below to find out. This Nightmare World record is pretty loud isn’t it? Even at a low volume, this is powerful and edgy stuff. In fact, Dross sound so punk that you’ll probably lose some teeth, your wallet or break some bones at their shows. Best stay at home. Then again, how can you resist the pull of this collection of hits? Before you know it, despite promising to your spouse to keep a safe distance, you find yourself bouncing up to strangers at the front of the stage. Exciting stuff, indeed. Wrap yourself in bubble wrap. Go, you’ll be fine.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Wet Future || Under the Weather

No idea how I got home yesterday, because I listened to Under the Weather, the full-length debut album by Canadian four-piece Wet Future. Apparently I was so immersed in the nine alternative rock songs with driving melodies, fascinating lyrics (“I was trying to get inside ya”, did I hear that right?) and intense vocals, that I didn’t consciously notice what was going on around me.

Sean Lyons (vocals, rhythm guitar), Lucas Bosma (lead guitar), Miles Mclaren (bass) and Brett Attig (drums) formed Wet Future during the covid pandemic, recorded their first single Toughen Up in November of 2020 and built steadily thereafter to the rest of this quite convincing LP. They created a big sound that – let’s predict success – will appeal to a large audience.

Under the Weather is streaming only for now (self-released).

New album: The Tubs || Dead Meat

When London-based Welsh band The Tubs released their single I Don’t Know How It Works in early 2020, I couldn’t help but order the 7″ right away. It was one of my favorite songs of that year, leaving me wanting more. Finally here’s the full-length debut album, entitled Dead Meat, from the musicians who earned their sores in Joanna Gruesome, Ex-Vöid and Sniffany & The Nits. You’ll hear nine strum & thrum jangle pop songs with somewhat bitter or miserable lyrics, lavishly laced with dynamic post-punk and traditional folk-rock elements (Felt, The Jam and Richard & Linda Thompson are mentioned as influences, in addition to Cleaners From Venus and the Flying Nun catalog). They sound like the record is spinning just a tad too slow, maybe that’s what makes this music so intriguing. Previously released tracks I Don’t Know How It Works, Two Person Love and Illusion (re-presented here as Illusion Pt. II) are included, but re-recorded in a slightly different version. Lead single Sniveller and closing track Wretched Lie are the new highlights of this great LP, with  respectively a melody and a chorus that keeps haunting your head. Just saying: I already ordered it.

Dead Meat is out now digitally, on cassette, CD and vinyl LP through Trouble In Mind Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New single: Rotary Club || American Tower

Rotary Club are a new act from Reno (Nevada) who make an impacful debut on Iron Lung Records. The two song American Tower 7″ is slightly old school – the press release references the Killed By Death style punk, and offers an exciting blend of agression and melody similar to Neighborhood Brats.

Part 4 of Iron Lungs’ Systemic Surgery series is a powerful one. Now available (or sold out already), limited to 200 hand-numbered copies.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: John McCabe || Somehow Or Another (2017​-​2022 EPs and singles compilation)

Californian musician/artist John McCabe made it to my year-end list with his 3-track EP No One Ever Says, but it turns out there’s a lot more where that came from. Subjangle, the ever-reliable label (and source) for the best jangle pop sounds, has taken on the honorable task of bringing together a selection of favorite singles and all five of his EPs released since 2017 on a double CD. Somehow Or Another is a strong compilation on which jangly alternative rock and heartfelt alt.country and Americana melt together in 26 powerful 3-minute songs, always with those unmistakable vocals that demand your attention. Beautiful, melancholy and vigorous.

Somehow Or Another (2017​-​2022 EPs and singles compilation) is out now digitally and on 2CD through Subjangle. RIYL: R.E.M., The Rain Parade, Miracle Legion.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Televisionaries || Lorraine

Just shy of sweeping our AOTY lists with their debut LP, our favorite band of brothers (Austin, Brendan & Trevor Lake and their brother from a different mother Aaron Mika) return with a brand new EP. The title track alone makes this new Televisionaries EP worth the purchase. I came across a live version of the song from 6 years ago which is pretty good already, but the new recording is pop perfect. Simply 3 minutes of surfpopr’n’r romanticism, old timey and with bite.

The song is complemented with two songs that may very well be outtakes of their Mad About You studio time – two songs that are simply too good to remain shelved.

The Lorraine EP is out now through Sleazy Records. If there is any knock on this release, it’s its brevity. Can’t wait to hear more new Televisionaries music than these three songs.

Add to wantlist: Sleazy Records

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