When is a cover song better than the original? Only you can decide. This week Sex Beet takes on Sonic Youth’s “Dirty Boots.” MAGNET’s Ryan Burleson pulls the pin. Take cover!
Say you adore Sonic Youth but nonetheless find yourself thinking the band spends too much time getting to the point sometimes. (Noise-rock tangents aren’t for everyone, I suppose.) If that’s the case, then this cover of “Dirty Boots” by burgeoning U.K. trio Sex Beet should sit well with you. Gone is the beautifully distorted ebb-and-flow that marks the latter half of the original, which lasted 5:29 (and a minute longer on the second disc of Goo‘s deluxe edition). Instead, Sex Beet crams all the song’s (how do I get around this?), um, meat into a blown-out, surf-rock-ish take that lasts less than three, every second of which is mighty.
Thurston Moore and Co. should be proud. More than simply condensing a piece of the legendary band’s work, Sex Beet is highlighting the very abrasive intersection of melody and noise that enhanced Sonic Youth’s stature in the late-’80s among among a growing, increasingly diverse fan base. The cover is an ode not an attack, a reminder that, despite what we’re led to believe by rock radio today, work produced by major-label artists wasn’t always so milquetoast.
Cast your vote wisely.