Escape -- A Tribute to Journey
4-song EP of Journey covers by a handful of Midwestern indie artists
works best when it doesn't even try to sound like the originals.
Let's face it, you're not doing yourself any favors by trying to
sing like Steve Perry -- and that's no insult to Perry. If anything,
when you hear these versions, you'll long to hear the originals
again, only because Perry's voice embodied everything Journey was
about. Ever heard the new version of Journey without Perry? I rest
That said, why even bother
with this tribute? It's unlikely that any indie rock band is going
to improve on the originals or even adequately complement them with
a weird, minor-key rendition of a song we all grew up loving. The
Wafflehouse* (I have no idea why there's an asterisk in their name)
version of "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" epitomizes this
idea. Does anyone really want to hear bad metal built around this
melody, or some poor metal guy trying to sing Perry lyrics? I sure
don't. It's followed by an agonizingly bad version of "Only
the Young," done by Traindodge. The vocals are almost painful
to listen to. I've heard Traindodge before, and they're not a bad
band when they do their thing, not this thing. It's not ironic,
it's just plain ugly.
The best moment is Ohms'
striking rendition of "Anytime." It doesn't really sound
like the original. Instead, Ohms uses the song's basic framework
and lyrics to build a new, almost stalker-esque version that's downright
haunting. Houston's version of "Send Her My Love" tries
to accentuate the song's darker tone by adding heavy metal plod.
The vocals are closest to the original, though a full octave lower
So far, Urinine has tried
this grand experiment with Supertramp (a complete and utter, dismal
failure), Bob Seger (not bad, not great) and CCR. Now with Journey,
they've taken the experiment as far as it needs to go. Really. We
don't need to hear indie covers of REO Speedwagon, Fleetwood Mac,
Foreigner or Boston. We get the joke, Sid, and it's just not that
Posted April 29, 2003.
Copyright © 2003 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
unlikely that any indie rock band is going to improve on the
originals or even adequately complement them with a weird, minor-key
rendition of a song we all grew up loving."