The Cog Is Dead – Incognito: Cog Covers, vol. 1 (s/r)

Y’all.

First off, I–

Black Hat. Black suit. My shady clothes.
Mustache twirled tight beneath my nose
Creepin’ I lurk in the shadows
Cause I’m a criminal. Boo! Hiss!
At me when I’m around
that miss I’ll take without a sound
my lair is hidden underground
My scheme? The pinnacle!

–love covers, but only when they diverge significantly from the original enough to be interesting. Let’s face it, two glasses of house red and anyone and their dog can belt out Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” in a manner that perhaps would not do Steve Perry proud, but at least is recognizable and encourages a dive-wide singalong. (No? Just me? Pity.)

I also love filk, which are covers with the words changed, because by definition, they are diverging from the original in a decently interesting way. But therein, so often lies the rub: changed words do not some great filk make. Good filk, most likely.

But great filk?

Well. For that you’ll need a narrative.

I’m that bad type
Tie her to the tracks type
might just use an axe type
keep my mustache waxed type
I’m the bad guy!
BOO!

The narrative here is that these songs are all sung by an arch-villain and, in at least one case, his henchmen. It is very Snidely Whiplash, very Child-Catcher, very Purple Pieman.

And it’s quite good fun. There are dastardly plans and accordions, henchmen and calliope. The cover of Billie Eilish’ “Bad Guy”, quoted earlier in this review, straight-up made me yell happily, which may not be ideal in the radio booth, but in my defense, a) the song involves an actual “Drat! Foiled again!” and b) I record my show from home.

FCC: None, but 4’s a Beatles cover, and you know the rules.

TRY: 1, 6, 7, 11. 

RIYL: Gogol Bordello, Professor Elemental, Voltaire

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