The Dead Heart review:
There is a shitload of nostalgia for the ’80s lately. Every major city around the world has a club night dedicated to this atrocious decade. But it seems it’s cool to be ’80s retro these days. The resurgence of Michael Jackson tunes on the fucking radio (due more to his death than anything else, but who cares). Hot Tub Time Machine hit theaters last March and was recently issued on DVD for god’s sakes.
But what might be the worse affront of all is the cover. Did we really need Alien Ant Farm to do a cover of “Smooth Criminal” back in ’01? Or how about, The Boy Least Likely To covering George Michael’s “Faith” back in ’07? Or most recently, Seether’s version Wham’s “Careless Whisper” just last year? And these are only the three that quickly spring to mind.
Being that we are no fan of pop, we could just ignore these transgressions if it weren’t for those fucking public gathering places where music selection is out of our control. Which leads me to the point of this article.
Post-Hardcore band Alexisonfire happened to be in Australia this year and to spice up their tour a bit with some local favorites (at least that’s a good guess for the reason why) they decided to cover a Midnight Oil song and record it on a 7″ that they sold to fans after the concerts. The song in question is of course “The Dead Heart,” one of the Oil’s greatest hits.
Now here is a song that in a cover version might somewhat be tolerable. And since we have been fans of Alexisonfire since ’04 when Watch Out! blew our ears away, we decided to see what the fuss from down under was all about.
The song itself is a lament, from the aboriginal point of view, concerning the loss of land and autonomy due to white colonization.
Now, if you know the music of Alexisonfire, “The Dead Heart” comes off very tame. Not that the band had too much leeway in the first place to let themselves go, since the song doesn’t lend itself to that style of music. Within the parameters they were given by the song structure, they did a decent, if not spectacular, job.
There is so much better than this in the Canadian band’s catalog that frequent listens to this song by fans will probably not occur, but no matter, since it was meant as a filler while in Australia originally anyway.