Although the idea of bands making a living covering other peoples songs is, sadly, a major part of the music scene, from grassroots bar bands to TV talent shows, people chosing to record covers seems to fall into two distinct categories. Those who think that they can improve on the original and those who wish to reframe the music. There are few covers which out do the original recording, although at this point I do get to mention the Kirsty MacColl’s extended reworking of Billy Bragg’s A New England, so that leaves the only worth pathy being taking a song you love and giving it a new, alternative lease of life through sonic re-imagination. And that is exactly what Temperature Fall’s have done when approaching Deftones Knife Prty.
The original was the perfect blend of rock bombast and emotive break downs and it is to the latter that this new version looks, gently easing it through sonic filters which render it into soft and cinematic tones, dreamy and floating musical hazes, classical beauty and otherworldly pop. Imagine Portishead working with The Cocteau Twins, the former bringing the trippy and laidback, dance vibe, the latter the heavenly ethereality. It also touches on Kate Bush’s later work, where she had nothing to prove anymore and no industry restraints and just made music totally of her own choosing. And as references go those are three pretty cool touchstones to have.
So what you get is a brilliant tribute to The Deftones original but a track which also exists in its own world. A track which eschews the rock and roll structure and tends to drift and morph rather than follow beats and chord progressions too closely, or at least that is the impression that it gives. Where as first time out The Deftones version shows all of its working out, you can see the changes coming, you can anticipate the rise and fall of dynamic, Temperature Falls instead seem to blur the lines brilliantly preferring to slowly shift its kaleidoscope of sounds delicately and deftly.
As I said before, in almost all cases you aren’t going to improve on such iconic songs, better to just take everything into pastures new and let it explore. Not only is that what Temperature Falls does, it does it brilliantly.