Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cover: KoRn, "Another Brick in the Wall" & "Word Up"

Far be it from me to defend anything KoRn ever did. It certainly wouldn't be controversial to slam this cover. It goes about as well as you'd expect Korn covering Pink Floyd to. The angsty metal rasp of Jonathan Davis, the phat bass and churning guitars, the... surprisingly effective rhythm, and a faithful, if by-the-book, reproduction of David Gilmour's solo. Hm, maybe my expectations had better be altered. This wasn't going to convert anyone into a KoRn fan, especially if they were a Pink Floyd fan, but after all, it was a bonus track for their Greatest Hits album so if you heard this you already liked them. And surprisingly, what KoRn does bring to the song services it well. They play all three parts together - music geeks know only the middle part was released as a single, so parts 1 and 3 are often forgotten (and separated by the other material that comprised the Wall concept album.) They play pretty well here, fairly cohesive without the conceptual business (ie the famous "If you don't eat your meat" dialogue) without losing the song's meaning of all the anxieties of a singer's upbringing into an isolated rock star (eg: the bricks in the wall.) And the band shows its usually-forgotten skill with funk (they did do the whole "rap metal" thing) as this song was modeled after then-current disco hits.

Surprisingly more effective is their take on the late-80's hip hop number "Word Up." Again, they bring the metal but show great skill with the funk. Davis sounds like he's having more fun with this one, but it retains a sort of ominous flavour. I like songs that are ostensibly "good time" music but with weight and melodrama pumped up. While I could take or leave the Pink Floyd, I genuinely think this song is one of the best things KoRn recorded... which is a fair statement, again, depending what you think of KoRn.

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