Wednesday pays tribute to the country and 90s alt rock legends that inspired their own work on their fierce new covers album, Mowing the Leaves Instead of Piling ’em Up.
Wednesday, a countrified shoegaze group out of Asheville, NC, grew out of a mutual love for artists like Medicine, Drive-By Truckers and Vic Chesnutt. So it’s no surprise that when they adapted some of their favorite songs by these groups, they completely owned them. The group totally transformed tracks as disparate like Roger Miller’s “Lock, Stock and Teardrops” and Smashing Pumpkins’ “Perfect” into buzzy, overdriven noise-rockers that only Wednesday could have created.
Each song on this record features baying distorted guitars, hauntingly aloof vocals and the occasional lap steel and flute. The music here fits in very well within the Pavement/Sonic Youth/Antietam school of (accessibly) dissonant rock.
In some ways, Wednesday actually improves upon their source material. For example, their reimagining of Gary Stewart’s “She’s Acting Single (I’m Drinking Doubles)” is a heartbreaking power ballad. Your heart feels positively stabbed every time the band reaches the chorus, which features crashing waves of shrieking feedback and Karly Hartzman’s tearfully pleading vocals.
This is one of those rare cover albums that could easily be a major highlight within a band’s discography. All of the songs here land perfectly, and you feel just how important each and every one is to Wednesday’s DNA. This is way more than a covers record, it’s more like a concept album about the band’s relationship with their heroes and inspirations. How many tribute LPs can you say that about?
Click here to get your copy of Mowing the Leaves Instead of Piling ’em Up on cassette and digital today.