Release Date: Aug 5, 2008
Label: Adrenaline Records
Number Of Tracks: 17
While the album is not perfect, Cover Your Heart by Black Light Burns does deliver some unique takes on classic songs.
Cover Your Heart
PaperStSoapCo, on august 15, 2008 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: I've been a fan of Wes Borland since the Limp Bizkit days. I know, some dirty words there, but even though the rest of the band was just 'good' and Fred Durst was awful, Wes always stood out as a creative and talented guitarist. After he left the band, they fell apart and he fell off the face of the Earth for a few years (working on a few things here and there, nothing too high profile). Then I heard about Black Light Burns, heard a few tracks from Cruel Melody (later bought the album) and I fell in love with BLB and now I follow them very closely. Now, we have a new release from Black Light Burns, Cover Your Heart and The Anvil Pants Odyssey, a CD/DVD combo. Cover Your Heart includes 10 covers and 7 instrumentals. Anvil Pants includes an hour and forty minute tour documentary, making of the "Lie" music video as well as the music videos for "Mesopotamia," "4 Walls," and of course "Lie." Cover Your Heart's first 10 tracks are covers of artists that vary across the board much like the quality of the songs themselves. Most are just random noise and screaming and some are some pretty cool and interesting interpretations. However, I did enjoy the instrumental tracks that round up the last 7 tracks on the CD. But, hearing them all in a row can be a little tiring because them are pretty mellow for the most part.
The real heart of this release lies within the DVD. I loved every second of the documentary. It was utterly hilarious from start to finish and I didn't mind the length at all. The Jackass-like antics of the band combined with the real life trails of touring with a new band overshadows CYH, in my opinion. The only thing it was lacking was actually performances. They showed the band playing on stage while playing the track from the album at certain points, which was a little disappointing, but still very entertaining to see the bands energy on stage. I think "energy" is a good word for all of CYH and Anvil Pants. // 8
Lyrics: Being the lyrics of someone else, I can't really judge them. Nor do I feel like interpreting the reasons why the band chose these songs. I can, however, judge Wes Borland's singing ability. He seems to have taken a different turn after Cruel Melody. Maybe just for the covers, or maybe he found his voice. Personally, I think he can do alot better then distorted wailing in half the songs. Combined with the fact that we really don't get much of much of Borland's guitar playing style this time, his aggressive, crunchy, rhythmic riffs nor his trance educing melodies drenched with delay. I suppose that's because of working within the confines of someone else's song, but seeing as most of them were dismantled versions of the original, I would think he could find room to fit more of his style. Or it might the other band members style coming out, which isn't a bad thing, but I'd rather have Wes' style be at the forefront. Mostly seems like banging on powerchords in lieu of actual "energy." They can do better.
Well, I'll break it down by song just to keep it simple. Forkboy By Lard, A little annoying but tolerable. Alot of distorted wailing. So Alive By Love And Rockets, very similar to Forkboy, but I like this one better because I heard it before the CD came out, so this was before half the CD was comprised of wailing. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran, a little too bright sounding. Wes' voice stands out more, but this song is a little too uplifting. Feels like they got their ideas crossed here. Lucretia My Reflection by Sisters Of Mercy, best cover on the album. I love this track. Very close to the original, but defiantly a great song. Rid Of Me by PJ Harvey, decent song. Very catchy. The Art Of Self Defense by The Jesus Lizard, I found this song to be a little annoying. It's the shortest cover, and that's for a good reason. Can't take too much of this one. On The Bound by Fiona Apple, about the same as Rid Of Me. Not as catchy. I Am The Sun by Swans, kinda boring. Droney quiet vocals, nothing interesting going on instrumentally. Blood Red Head On Fire by Big Dumb Face, same distorted wailing, but alot cooler. I like this song beyond logic for it's catchy chorus. Search And Destroy by Iggy & The Stooges, very fast punk song that Borland's voice works well for. Still, not one of my favs. Instrumentals have no vocals, obviously, but more of Borland's guitar style. Mostly the delay melodies. None of the crunchy rhythm work. // 8
Overall Impression: If you are a BLB fan looking for more Cruel Melody, then CYH may not be what you're looking for. Anvil Pants is. But, keep in mind, this is NOT a second album. This isn't even meant to be taken seriously. It's just here for fun. The band had fun making it so we should have fun listening to it. Anvil Pants is pure entertainment as well as an enlightening look into life on the road. Mostly humor sprinkled with little bits of sincerity, the only thing missing is actual audio from live performances. Altogether, it's worth the money. I paid $25 plus shipping for the CD/DVD and a BLB t-shirt but you can find this at Best Buy for $12 minus the shirt. Or, if you are as hardcore a Black Light Burns / Wes Borland fan as some crazy bastards, go all out for the $100 limited edition loaded with all sorts of goodies. See the bands site for details. I would have bought the limited edition, but I don't have the money at the moment. I say if you are a fan of the band and you have the money, you won't be disappointed. // 9
Cover Your Heart
UG Team, on august 15, 2008 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Wes Borland continues to musically go in quite a distinct direction from his days as the guitarist in Limp Bizkit. His current endeavor, Black Light Burns, takes it core sound from industrial rock, so I eagerly anticipated hearing his takes on such classics as Hungry Like The Wolf, Search And Destroy, and So Alive on the new album Cover Your Heart. It's a hit and miss album, but you'd be hard pressed to find a song that doesn't capture your attention in some way.
The 17-track CD is comprised primarily of covers (9 to be exact), with the remaining 8 tracks being leftover B-sides, rarities, and remixes from Black Light Burns. There are plenty of bands out there that stay true to an original song, with only a few tweaks here and there. Pretty much every track on Cover Your Heart takes a completely different approach to what we've heard before. Love And Rockets' So Alive is a laid-back, sultry alternative tune, while Borland injects industrial attitude into every measure. It's quite a noisy take in comparison with the original, and it's jolting at the very least. It's likely that Cover Your Heart will evoke quite a few different opinions because there were some bold moves made.
A song like Forkboy (Lard) actually feels somewhat similar to the skater energy of the original, but Borland takes everything up a notch. The vocals are downright spastic, and as crazy as they do get, they certainly get your attention. At the other side of the spectrum is Hungry Like The Wolf (Duran Duran), which is one of the most sedate covers on the album. The emphasis is on the synthesizer and cleaner vocals, and in the end it does come up a bit short.
Borland took the opportunity to cover a song that he already has recorded in the side project Big Dumb Face. The introduction of Blood Red Head On Fire features the use of a theremin, which makes the song sound like it's coming straight from a 1950s horror flick. That first minute or so does keep things fresh, although the vocal section does feel somewhat similar to Big Dumb Face's original. It's still a pretty spastically cool song in the vein of Fantomas.
The entire last half of the playlist is a very different album. Rather than making everything sound as clangy, hard, and industrial as possible, Black Light Burns go for a mellower, atmospheric vibe. With pretty much all of them being instrumentals (and synth is the guiding force), it creates a very different experience. At times they have a tendency to go on a bit long (the closer Giving In Again, is one example), it's obvious these songs are here to set a mood and create a cinematic feel. // 7
Lyrics: Basically all of the lyrics on Cover Your Heart are the product of other artists, so it's a bit unfair to even grade this category. Black Light Burns does deserve credit for taking on so many different subject matters in the course of one album, however. There are a few tracks devoted to love, some about aggression, and everything in between. // 9
Overall Impression: While it's always great to hear an artist's take on the classics, Cover Your Heart doesn't always succeed in its ventures. It is cool to hear Borland's take on PJ Harvey or Fiona Apple in any case, and there are some great tracks throughout like Forkboy, Lucretia My Reflection, and I am The Sun. There are a few times when things just seem more chaotic than musically cohesive, and those are the moments that things go downhill a bit. It is cool that Borland added in so many original instrumentals in the last half, and those actually show Black Light Burns' diversity more than any of the covers. // 7
Cover Your Heart
X11holdon11X, on august 18, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: First off, Black Light Burns is one of the few truly impressive bands out there today. Wes Borland, the former guitar geinous of Limp Bizkit, is the main creative force behind this band, and his multi-instrumentalist flare comes through in a very coheisive way in this band. He is such a brilliantly dominating force that he can completely change lineups between this cover song album and their first Album, Cruel Melody, and still have it work and make sense. Anywho, this album protrays a more aggressive/rock experimental punk side of BLB instead of the raging, dense, experimental alternative goth side of them that their debut album Cruel Melody was. Wes was in a very dark headspace on the first album due to things that were going on with him behind the scenes, that according to things he has said in interviews since, have since nearly resolved themselves. So, as a result, this album is a LOT more lively and upbeat, and most if not all these covers are absolutely rip roaring renditions of the orignals. The best example of this is the cover of So Alive by Love and Rockets, the second track on here. The original is a very laid back, mellow but still dancey song. Black Light Burns took it, and made it more like if The Aphex Twin's music was played on instruments instead of programming and keyboards, ending with a gigantic furious riff. This cover also keeps nothing except the lyrics of the original, so in essence, it is a brand new song from Black Light Burns. This, for me, is the highlight of the CD.
There are plenty of other awesome moments too. The '70s psychadelic meets bizzare death punk rendition of Blood Red Head on Fire by Big Dumb Face is so adrenalizing you can't sit still for even a second listening to it. The cover of Lucretia My Reflection by Sisters of Mercy is very layered, making use of several guitars, lots of keyboards, and even Borland doing multiple vocal overdubs to add layers with his voice too. BLB's cover of On the Bound by Fiano Apple is very very twisted and bizzare. I've never done drugs or drank or any of that, but I would imagine that the cover of On The Bound is equal to doing acid and going to a circus. Also, the insturmentals at the end showcase a completely different side to BLB that the covers show. They are very, very realxed and mellow, and Borland wrote them during his "dark ages" of Cruel Melody, so they have a very sad feel about them. This is best exemplified on Drowning Together and Dying Alone. It uses the final riff from "Animal" on Cruel Melody and creates a very sad feeling of slow descent. Giving In Again maintains that feel, but is all keyboards, as opposed to DTaDA which has full band insturmentation along with the dominating keyboards and guitars.
Wes as a vocalist started out great, but has also grown by leaps and bounds after the year or so of touring he put into the Cruel Melody tours. I saw them live on one of their headlining dates and remember thinking "he sounds great on the CD but he sounds absolutely fanastic live", and he put those vocal skill to great use on this CD. He has a very fresh and exciting loose cannon thing to him that I don't see in any other band today. The guitar playing is SO diverse and lush, I just melt hearing some of the guitar sounds on this CD. The bass playing is really cool and sometimes it can drive the song (like on the drum n bass metal version of So Alive) or it can just pound out a nice groove like on the cover of PJ Harvey's Rid of Me. The drums are SO ridiculously good, Marshall Kilpatric just blows everyone away. His approach to drums are very tasteful, and reminds me of a LOT of awesome drummers, especially Zach Hill from Hella with is lo fi but ridiculously high energy approach. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics were all done by different artistist, seeing as this is a covers album! Borland takes his own vocal skills and twists the songs to his benefit. I know someone is going to say "hey, isn't he rapping on the second verse to the cover of On the Bound"?, but if you listen to the original, he has to sing it that way in order to keep up with the quickened tempo of BLB's cover. And no, it isn't rapped, it's still sung. Wes is a very awesome vocalist, both on record and live. Not much else to it. // 9
Overall Impression: This is such an awesome and enjoyable CD. I hate how people are calling this "industrial", this is such a guitar-ed out CD, with only little touches of keyboards on a handful of songs (and the insturmentals at the end). When times are tough, I hit these instrmentals up in order to go to the very bottom of the "end of the world" rabbit hole, cause sometimes you need to make yourself morbidly sad, and these songs will do the trick. They're absolutely brillaint. but long story short, BLB is defintiely a one of a kind band. They've already established themsvels as one of the three bands within rock you need to keep an eye on, and this covers album furthers them in that field. Such a unique sound. Wes is the most criminally underrated artist in music, because people are all "Oh he palyed in limp bizkit I'm stupid and I'm not gonna give him a chance", but seriously, if you are one of those, you are probably an emo/metalcore fool! Wes is one of those guys who where you can tell if someone's really into music or not based on what they say about him, and I am proud to call myself a fan of such an amazing, amazing artist. // 9