Look at this! The cover of Dead South System Of A Down


Bluegrass legends The Dead South are back with a unique brand of cover versions, this time tackling some old heavy hitters and a revealing version of the unforgettable System Of A Down classic Chop Suey. Continue reading…

With their highly anticipated joint cover EPs Easy Listening for Shakes, Part I & II Arriving March 4th, bluegras icons The Dead South now present their next collection with a rousing rendition of System Of A Down’s iconic anthem, Chop Suey.

These new EPs aim to add a more contemporary twist to the band’s own formative influences, and their reworking of Chop Suey into their own distinctive guise makes for compelling listening. Keeping the original’s fast and energetic approach, before being thrown through a mixer of raw, unbridled banjo hooks gives their version a wonderfully enjoyable edge that their devout fan base will love from start to finish.

The source material for the two-pack EP sees The Dead South tracing very different musical lines: one a beloved collection of folk songs and the other a set of modern, volatile foreign anthems. Always playing against type, The Dead South overturns traditional bluegrass and hard rock conventions, bringing out an ominous and hidden unease in the luminous innocence of the Bristol Sessions-era sound, and drawing moments of absurdity and of hilarity to hardcore bluster.

Part I features sunbelt meets darkbelt You Are My Sunshine, in which The Dead South digs beneath the surface layer’s lullaby to levels of deep desperation, a mood well-suited to Nate Hilts’ Prospector baritone. In minor mode, Keep On The Sunny Side goes from mild to sinister. Matterhorn, a gallant adventure tale that sees four friends set off to scale a mountain, also works at The Dead South’s origin story level. “It’s closer to heaven here than it is back on earth,” the song says, also now an apt encapsulation of the band’s feelings of anxiety and elation at returning to life on the road.

Part II, inspired by the band’s own pre-show playlist, includes songs from System of a Down, The Doors, Cold War Kids and The Misfits. The Dead South dusts off People Are Strange, shedding lizard skin in favor of an MTV-Unplugged approach. On Chop Suey, not a given for an acoustic band without a drummer, the band transcends the song’s metal origins and doubles Scott Pringle’s vocals for a sound as big as the first. Part II also sees the vocal debut of banjoist Colton “Crawdaddy” Crawford, who delivers a deadpan rendition of Ween’s Help Me Scrape The Mucus Off My Brain. Easy Listening for Jerks are the first releases that see all four members take lead vocal turns.

This pickle and peanut butter recipe, filtered through The Dead South’s distinctly non-traditional approach, depicts a fascinating study of the band’s influence and inspiration. Easy Listening for Jerks balances two opposing sides of the four-piece string band: the world they came from, Regina, SK’s punk scene, and the world where they found their sound, the source of bluegrass and music. acoustic.

Rich in quality finger picking and filled with harmonies, Easy Listening for Jerks features many new moods of songs we think we know so well. Under a title reminiscent of the humorous songwriting of Roger Miller and the comedy styles of Steve Martin, the EPs deliver a surprising and compelling blend of gravity and levity. From Earl Scruggs to Serj Tankian, the two parts of Easy Listening for Jerks find a surprising middle ground between traditional bluegrass and hard rock in the selection of songs of alienation, misanthropy and adversity. Foggy Mountain Boys, but make it Beetlejuice.


London, UK: Shepherds Bush Empire, March 18

Manchester, UK: Albert Hall, March 19

Tunbridge Wells, UK: Black Deer Festival, June 19

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Junction, June 21

Coventry, UK: Empire Coventry, June 22

Cardiff, UK: Tramshed, June 23

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Foreword by Wayne Carey, editor of Louder Than War. His author profile is here


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