Lydia Lunch is a name that should be familiar to anyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s punk scene. She's been involved with several 'well known' (at least, in the aformentioned punk rock circles) artists and acts, but at the same time, her music refuses to be pigeonholed. She's done punk, rap(ish), techno, avante-garde, rock, spoken word; the list goes on. She's never let anyone define her or hold her back, forging ahead with what interests here, not what is commericially viable.
Covers of other songs are part and parcel of virtually every band that has "made it big" and Lydia is no different. What we have here is a collection of tunes that interest her, done her way, which in my opinion is the only way to make a cover. Take a song and make it your own, add great big fuzzy guitars, take a balad make it a speedster, go slow and oozy with a rocker, do anything you want with it but make it memorable.
Eleven tracks made her own way, with her own ideas. Whisky soaked voice purring or growling as need be, over each carefully picked song. Or picked randomly with a dart and a copy of Billboard Top 100. With Lydia one never knows. Regardless of how they were chosen, they are firmly stamped with her brand of style and aplomb and when it all comes crashing to the end, you'd be hard pressed to remember these songs weren't hers to begin with.
Some of the tracks, "Breakdown" and "Low" in particular are infused with such dirty guitars, blown waaaaay past 11 on the fuzz-o-meter, that I swear they came straight from Motorhead themselves; but I'd be wrong of course, they are the result of a guitarist named Cypress Grove. His ability to take the instrument side of covers and completely make them his home is nothing short of amazing. He can turn the songs on their ear, distort and twist, then spin round to clean again in the blink of an eye. How this guy isn't a national sensation proves only how difficult it is to make it big in the world of rock. I know for Lydia, 40 plus years of going her own way, shows she's moved well beyond the need for fortune or fame, and I suspect Cypress is gone the same way by working with her; they have become the ultimate expression of music, true musicians making music for the sheer love of the art and for no other reason.
Under the Covers may be eleven tracks of music, but it is so much more than that, it is pure unadulterated Art.
- Erik Svensson