Spotty Coverage – Charlie Christmas (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Charlie Christmas has been a gremlin handler, a penguin puppeteer and a blob tentacle. He has played San Quentin Prison three times earning the accolade “better than Metallica.” His signature is on the wall of the CBGB’s green room right next to The Ramones. He’s written for Rolling Stone…and Hustler. Oh yes, and he was a founding member of Urge Overkill. Perhaps I should have led with that.

I would say that with all of those accolades and achievements under your belt, then you deserve to be able to do what ever you want musically, though to be honest, I suspect that he pretty much always did anyway. And what he wants to do right now is cover some of his favourite songs in his signature avant-pop style. 

Kicking off with the Bech Boy’s Wild Honey feels the perfect introduction to this e.p. as the original is fairly “out there” to start with and if anything Charlie, aided and abetted by Young Jimmy Christmas, seems to tighten the song up albeit without loosing any of its strange, wonky charms. Yazoo’s Only You is rendered into a wonderfully jaunty country groover and the infamous Bachman Turner Overdrive’s Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet moves from an acoustic meander into a psychedelic wig-out and to be honest, I think I prefer it that way.

If you are going to cover someone else’s songs then you might as well take them into new sonic territory. Spotty Coverage certainly does that. And then some.

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