Typically, when we sleepy scribes think of doom metal, the hallmarks of the genre's trademark guitar tone--fuzzy, warm, peas-soup thick--is what comes to mind first. When recalling the classics, from Sabbath to Sleep and every legend between, a little riff worship counts for a helluva lot. Imagine our surprise and delight, then, when asked by UK's own bluesy/stoner doomsters Trippy Wicked & the Cosmic Children of the Knight to premiere an acoustic cover of Weedeater's "Time Served."
At the beginning of this year, the band's plans to record a third full length were put on hold due to Covid-19. Thereafter, in their words: "out of work and with a lot of time on their hands, they decided to start remotely recording some of the acoustic material they have worked on over the years. This material includes some cover songs and some acoustic versions of Trippy Wicked songs." Silver linings, folks. As a fan of the track in question, and of acoustic instrumentation in general, I immediately said yes, albeit with a certain trepidation as to how the formula would translate in practice. Said trepidation evaporated in seconds.
The OG "Time Served" is a shining gem in Weedeater's catalog--a brief yet somber stoner ditty constructed around a kind of simple and gargantuan riff that plods with sasquatchian heft around Collin's fuzzy-edged pleas of innocence. It's a great track, and I'm pleased to state that Trippy Wicked have succeeded masterfully at reconceptualizing the track in a significantly more graceful light. Without further ado, give it a listen here:
Here, there's a decidedly twangy and rustic approach, with an emphasis on the bluesy guitar and husky vocals. It's simple and crisp and oh-so effective. The track takes on a new emotive tone--rather than pissed off and fired up, Trippy Wicked have infused their cover with a certain somber melancholy. It feels more reflective than the original, and works extraordinarily well because of it. Those lyrics feel as timely as ever--the cyclical lamentation of "Wanted for something I didn't do/Goddamn you fucking pig" hits pretty hard in the midst of a summer of constant police violence.
Brevity, as with the original, is this cover's friend, as it makes a point and establishes a mood without dwelling in it. And, lest ye, like I, be worried about the lack of doom-like elements, I'm very happy to report that the aura of gloom and the sheer emotion burden is more than enough to retain that special Weedeater spark. Bottom line? This is how one nails a damn cover. While paying homage to Weedeater's original, Trippy Wicked have re-imagined "Time Served" in both a sonic and a general emotional sense. It feels both old-timey and fresh at the same time time, and if that ain't a victory in the face of, well, everything, I dunno what it.
If you enjoy folksy country, Americana, blues, or acoustic music in general, you owe it to yourself to check this track out (and the band's series of acoustic covers in full, frankly.) If you're a little more on the fence about the ability of a band to recast a blatantly doom-laden song by removing the primary doom aesthetic, you can rest easy knowing that Trippy Wicked maintain--an dare I say amplify--the gloomy spirit of the original track. We slumbering scribes highly recommend you give this a moment of your time served gettin' through the day.
If you liked this, check out Trippy Wicked's playlist of equally stellar acoustic cover's here. Included in the works are Sleep's "Dragonaut" and Crowbar's "The Lasting Dose."
Trippy Wicked & the Cosmic Children of the Knight - Time Served is available today, Aug 17th 2020.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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