When I love a song, I am hesitant to listen to covers of it, especially if it’s an iconic song. So basically, I’m like every listener ever. Seeing The Venetia Fair had decided to do an EP of covers, I will own up to feeling a creeping fear of them destroying a beloved song (e.g., most of the songs covered). The task of reviewing this EP was even more daunting as a fan of The Venetia Fair. However, I found myself thoroughly amused from the get-go.
Anyone who tells you they don’t try and do all of the operatic voices on “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a total liar. Listening to Benny Santoro go for it on Freddie Mercury’s iconic vocal number was a pleasure. The whole band did incredibly well and would have made the legend very proud. To cover Queen is such a huge undertaking, and most bands probably shouldn’t do it (as at least seven out of every ten that try do not have the capabilities to do so), but The Venetia Fair make it sound easy.
“Come On Eileen” may be one of my favorite songs of all time. I distinctly remember it coming on the radio when I was a kid in the car with my grandparents, and it was the only song I appreciated at the time. I clicked the ‘play’ button with eyes tightly shut, not knowing what to expect. The Venetia Fair did the song proud, providing a perfect pop-punk, modernized version all their own, while still keeping all of the raunchy fun and spectacular melodies. The only request a listener could possibly have would that this be played at every live show.
“Rock Lobster” has never really been a song I’ve been too crazy about, but the insanely well-played piano in conjunction with the guitars, drums, and eat-your-heart-out vocals may have turned me into a fan. Every note is perfection, and the raw talent and emotion showcased throughout the track are amazing.
“Jesus Of Suburbia” is a track of legend. Edgy as hell, adored by millions, and standing like Mount Kilimanjaro above many a songwriter’s head, the idea of covering this Green Day favorite is enough to induce a lot of head scratching and lip biting. The Venetia Fair seem to jump straight into it, and not only do the song justice, but add an element of almost happy-go-lucky melodies that provide their signature flare and style.
The Venetia Fair are incredibly high-energy, and each cover seems to be of a track that they could have fun with and just attack head-on. “Camouflage, Camouflage” is a perfect demonstration of the confident, almost-care free approach the band has taken. Completely rebuilt, had you never known the original, it could easily be mistaken as a The Venetia Fair song. It’s that well-done.
“The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth,” originally by Coheed & Cambria is a rock song to its core, with an edge to it that could cut like a knife. The Venetia Fair seem to take that bitter, in-your-face anthem and bring it to a whole new level.
Cover EPs are normally fun, but are often taken too seriously. While listening to The Venetia Fair’s …Basically Just Does Karaoke, the enjoyment is contagious, and impossible to ignore.
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