Saturday, December 10, 2011

Trent Reznor and Karen O - Immigrant Song

If you're like me you probably think covering Led Zeppelin is a really bad idea. This is because the magical elements that Plant/Page/Jones/Bonham harnessed to create their sound seem almost impossible to recreate, even by the surviving members of the band. Couple with that most covers fall so, so flat. If you don't believe me, check out the tribute album from 1995 called Encomium which is outright terrible - not even the combination of Helmet featuring David Yow covering Custard Pie could make it fun (that record also features Hootie and the Blowfish as well Sheryl Crow so I guess it was always going to suck).

So colour me amazed that this cover is actually pretty great. Immigrant Song was always a visceral high in the Zep catalogue - a lurching rock monster with Plant wailing about viking conquest or some such thing. Reznor gets to the heart of the song which is the gnarled riff riding the rolling rhythm and adding some NIN-esque electronic strum and drang pleasantly updates the song without being distracted. Karen O wails appropriately and captures the aura of Plant which is to somehow sound incredibly captivating while singing some pretty stupid lyrics. The cover is for Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack and if they wanted a song that is somehow totally rocking yet evocative of Scandinavian corruption and intrigue, Reznor delivers.


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