Album Review: Various – A Psych Tribute to The Doors

Tribute albums can go any number of ways: they can showcase new takes on old music, they can provide a way for young or relatively unknown bands to use classic tunes to jump-start their own careers, or they can be pretty much a waste of everyone’s time. Cleopatra Records specializes in tribute albums, and while some of their releases headed straight into the ditch of that third category (see Who Are You and a pointless Supertramp tribute collection), this one is pretty strong.

There are two reasons for this: one, the Doors’ music is often an ideal canvas upon which to project one’s own musical identity. Two, several of the bands involved in this collection rank among the most interesting psych-revival acts at work today. Elephant Stone‘s “L.A. Woman” happily takes the tune in the same direction you might expect Brian Jonestown Massacre to go. The Black Angels make “Soul Kitchen” their own, with some wonderfully fuzzed-out guitar and trademark detached Nico-esque vocals. Psychic Ills gamely tackle “Love Me Two Times,” and while they don’t offer much of a new angle on the song (what, honestly, could one do?), they serve up a tasty head-nodding version. Worthwhile.

Note: Due to an unusually full schedule this week and next – you wouldn’t believe me if I told you – my posts will be a bit shorter than typical. Once the dust settles, my normal wordy posting will recommence.

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