Review: Tia Carrera – You Are the War 7″

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Label: Arclight Records

Released: 2007

Over the course of rock history, “Louie Louie” has been covered countless times. Its simplicity and infectious hook make it an easy task for even the most pedestrian bands. On the other hand, to my knowledge, only one band has covered Lungfish’s “You Are the War.” There’s a few reasons: Lungfish is fairly far outside of the mainstream, “You Are the War” is far from a pop song, and most importantly, how would one go about it? The song is a great example of Lungfish’s seething, yet oddly subdued psychedelic art punk. Where to go with a song that already pushes the edges of sanity?

Enter Tia Carrera, a band who’s captured the trippy energy of Hendrix and the musical insanity of instrumental Black Flag on other outings. Even for them, “You Are the War” had to be such a challenge. Where could they take it? Well, first, they take the three minute original and expand it to a twelve minute epic (splitting the song over both sides of the 7 inch). Then they take the psychedelic power that churns under the surface to the forefront, rounding off its angular punk edges with waves of fuzzed out guitar and organ. The extended interplay between these two over the thunder of the rhythm section is one of the best excuses not to do drugs. Who needs anything else with a freak-out like this? This is what true psychedelic music should be. This is the trip. And it just keeps going…and going…and going. Even having to flip the record won’t break the spell they cast.

If I had any doubts remaining after hearing November Sessions and Heaven/Hell that Tia Carrera was the best heavy psyche act going, this EP, this one song, a cover even, dispels them. Tia Carrera take an almost uncoverable song, shake it free of its moorings and fly off on a new trip.

Rating: 10/10

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About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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