Wall’s ‘Charmed Life’ Is How to Do Covers Right
For the most part, covers are worthless. For example, consider Hurray for the Riff Raff's version of "Be My Baby," which takes an utterly legendary song (maybe one of the most iconic Phil Spector songs of his career) and remakes it in much the same way that it originally appeared, but to a much lesser degree. Alynda Segarra and co.'s version adds nothing unique to the record whatsoever, and the result is shoulder shrug emoji to a song that probably sparked heated makeout sessions for an entire generation of teens in the '60s. If you aren't going to make a track your own or do something interesting with it, then it is a utter and complete waste of time, and your attempt will be forgotten.
Wall may have called the whole thing off, but they still have a new and very listenable LP coming out on Wharf Cat that takes on Half Japanese's "Charmed Life." Wall's focus has always been post-punk, and the new version of the track sounds positively in their canon; the colder, disaffected, slacker-y delivery seems to only give the song an ironic spin. Much of the elements of the original are in place, to a degree — riffs vary and the saxophone takes a bigger focus here (courtesy of Ben Jaffe from Pill) — but Wall have effectively made this track their own by making it more snarky and, thereby, more fun. Check out the track below for the first time, and compare and contrast to the original.
Wall's untitled LP is due via Wharf Cat on April 28. Order yours via the label.