This week, I’m going to share some cover songs that I like.
On Facebook, I am a member of a group called “Dogspotting.” It’s a fantastic group. Members share pictures and videos of dogs they “spot” during their everyday life.
The group has a long set of strict rules about what qualifies as a genuine “dogspot.” One of those rules is: “No low-hanging fruit.” The rule means pictures from places where it’s a little too obvious to see dogs (dog parks, grooming parlors) aren’t permitted.
I thought of this when I decided to select a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes song as my first pick of “Some Covers I Like” week. They are not only the best cover band in the world, but one of my favorite bands, period. It would be like kicking off a grunge-themed eek with “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Low-hanging fruit, indeed.
But I have to follow my heart. And when I think of covers I like, the first band I think of is the Gimmes, and the first song I think of is “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old),” the first track on Love Their Country. I can just imagine a fan spinning this album for the first time and being baffled by the first minute: Why are the Gimmes playing country music? (And how does it possibly sound this good?)
But then at the end of the first chorus, Fat Mike shouts “SO FUCKING OLD!” and the band blitzes Into their trademark punk rock form. This transition not only displays an astonishing versatility. It also provides a fascinating juxtaposition to the song’s lyrics. Punk rock is the genre of disaffected youth, right?
If you’d been clinging to the notion that the Gimmes were a gimmick prior to this album, “Much Too Young” is the moment when you can no longer ignore just how fascinating, even brilliant, they are.