Jared Louche and the Aliens
Covergirl (Invisible Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Former frontman for the groundbreaking "machine rock" band Chemlab, Jared Louche steps back into music, after a two year hiatus (where he was an investment banker on Wall Street), to re-create some of his favorite songs in a whole new light. Iggy Pop, The Stooges, Frank Sinatra, and even Chemlab get a makeover as Louche puts the arrangements he hears in his head to tape. The outcome is a powerful, seductive breath of life that will allow you to never look at the originals in the same light again.
Roxy Music's "In Every Dreamhome a Heartache" starts off the album with Louche near-crooning the seductive trash howl, light industrial that, halfway through the song, morphs into a machine rocker. But, instead of hitting it full on and charging up the song with noise and mayhem, it says light and relaxed, opting to get its power out through the shady grooves of the song rather than sharp guitars and screaming.
"Sister Midnight," originally done by Iggy Pop, gets you dancing with an enticing drum track that trips and spins around while Louche's vocals echo around in your head and cloud up your mind with dark shades of black. Who would have though a classic punk rocker like Iggy Pop could be re-done in a modern, industrial-dance fashion and still have the balls to trash and pounce on anyone that dare question it? Not I for one, but Louche pulls it off without even blinking.
Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat (suture)" revolves around an acoustic guitar, Louche's voice, and the in crowd's background chattering. Taking away the intimacy of the number, the background chattering would, under normal circumstances, destroy the song and its credibility. But, with a 'live' touch, Louche and the Aliens are able to pull it off.
Chemlab's "Suicide Jag" finds Louche going deeper, exploring his musical tastes by re-doing the machine rock number in lounge-jazz fashion. The eerie vocals swim through the song while the silky, gentle touch of the lounge piano and the tick-tock steady beat of the relaxing rhythm section crawl with an easy-going breeze sure to offset the hardened lyrics.
The rock anthem of quite possibly the century, Iggy Pop and the Stooges' "Search and Destroy," one of the best songs ever written, is a necessary classic. And, often when these classics are attempted, they are completely butchered by knock-off acts that cover it to point out how much they sound like the band they're covering. Well, that is not the case here. Louche re-invents the song (though it will never be better than the original, no matter what anyone does to it), giving it a ferocious industrial beat. The wild punk is restored in an industrial casing, allowing you to still feel the power the song encompasses, while dancing to it as well.
The first time I listened to this CD I had a lukewarm reaction to it. Once "Search and Destroy" came around though, I was instantly hooked, if only from my love of Iggy Pop. But, once that song had me, I listened to the rest of the disc with the idea of re-inventing songs in my head, and by that time there was no turning back, I was really into the CD. I'll give it an A.