Another Brick in The Wall – Ashes to Omens (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

I suppose the question isn’t so much why chose to cover such an iconic song but what do you do with it to make the whole process justifiable. Three approaches spring to mind. There is the faithful rendition, which sort of suggests that you feel that original needs someone to take a new, pretty pointless run at it but essentially you will leave it the same. There is the re-engineering approach, where you completely restructure the song and which again implies that you know better than the original artist what was in their mind at the time of writing and are trying to show them where they got things wrong. There is the rebranding, which essentially keeps the song structurally sound but which allows the band in question to put their personality into the mix. If you are going to cover a song at all, then it is probably the latter approach which is the only one here you don’t come off seeming a touch arrogant. It is the latter approach which Ashes to Omens opt for.

Essentially the song retains all of the hallmarks which made it great in the first place but they do get to inject their own darker vibes into a song which was pretty dam dark and wonderfully subversive to begin with. The children’s choral parts are replaced with soaring alt-rock bombast, the guitars move between the original funky, breezy buzz and full on salvos of incendiary riffing, bass lines that once pulsed now growl and drum beats rain down like mini tsunamis.

The art is to push things only so far, to acknowledge that the real work has been done for you and that you are merely presenting a tribute to the original via a heightening of the shared aspects, so that the song is both bigger, deeper, darker and yet somehow the same. It’s a trick which Ashes to Omens pull off eloquently.

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