Album: The Lemonheads, Varshons (Cooking Vinyl)

Andy Gill
Friday 06 December 2013 06:00

Evan Dando continues his career as the slacker's slacker with this collection of cover versions, approached with such lack of interest that he couldn't be bothered to source the songs himself, but instead relied upon mixtapes given him by the Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes, producer for the project.

It's a mostly dispiriting experience, whose prevailing folk-rock style sits less easily over things like Wire's brief, early "Fragile" and self-loathing suicide GG Allin's murder ballad "Layin' Up With Linda" than on more naturally congruent material such as Gram Parsons' "I Just Can't Take it Anymore" and Townes Van Zandt's "Waiting Around to Die", the latter's fatalism starkly conveyed by the bass drum pulse and fiddle drone. Elsewhere, obscure psych-rockers furnish highlights, with early Lemmy outlet Sam Gopal's conga-laced hippie classic "Yesterlove" lent depth by Dando's careworn voice, Green Fuz's eponymous garage-rock anthem transformed into a portentous swirl, and The Only Ones' John Perry enlivening July's "Dandelion Seeds" with snarling wah-wah guitar licks. Sadly, his feedback can't rescue Dando's rote duet with Liv Tyler on Leonard Cohen's "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" – though by comparison with the Kate Moss-fronted electropop number "Dirty Robot", it's a model of tasteful restraint.

Download this: 'Dandelion Seeds', 'Yesterlove', 'Waiting Around To Die'

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