Back in July last year we brought King Ropes to the attention of EP readers. The group, who describe themselves as a “psychedelic, hard country garage roots rock band” (what a mouthful!) will be releasing their latest album, ‘Go Back Where They Came From’, on May 22. The album comprises 12 songs, all tracks by legendary artists, some well known, others less so. The first single from the record is the Ray Charles track, ‘The Danger Zone’ – a timely song if ever there was one.
“The world is in an uproar / the danger zone is everywhere” are the pivotal lines from ‘The Danger Zone’, and the drawling vocals of Dave Hollier convey a feeling of utter despair about the state of the world, accompanied by the slow, bluesy instrumentals of the band. The music video for ‘The Danger Zone’ is no more cheery – clips of atomic blasts, floods, civil rights era footage, nuclear fall-out…stuff that helps us to realise that there’s been other times in human history when things were equally dismal – and we survived.
Listen to ‘The Danger Zone’ a few times through. It’s not going to bring a smile to your face, it’s not going to cheer you up; but it will bring into perspective the realisation that no matter how horrible the world is right now, it won’t always be. This too shall pass.
The album ‘Go Back Where They Came From’ takes Hollier’s vision of musical history, and imbues 12 covers with King Ropes’ personalised interpretations. Besides Ray Charles’ ‘The Danger Zone’, there’s also songs by such diverse artists as Roger Miller, Elton John, Al Green, Talking Heads, Willie Nelson, and The Beastie Boys – among others.
Speaking about the album, Hollier said,
“Most of what I know about songwriting I’ve learned by covering other people’s songs. But I’ve never been interested in copying the original version of a song. The covers I love to hear are when someone takes a great song, and makes it into something new.
“On this album, we’ve tried to strip the songs down to the bare bones, and then build them back up again and take them pretty far from their original context,” he continues. “I’ve been thinking about cover songs for a long time, and I thought it would be fun to try a covers album with a bunch of songs from all over the map, and take those songs in a bunch of directions.”
The album sees King Ropes adapting each song and giving it their own style, not necessarily confining themselves to their original genre. Hollier says of the process,
“I hope this genre bending thing isn’t too heavy-handed, but I think that this record is a pretty upfront statement of us having a lot of different music that we love and are influenced by. It was a lot of fun taking a bunch of songs that might seem to have nothing to do with each other and getting them to hold together as a cohesive whole.”
1.Tall Trees – Matt Mays
2.Take Me To The River – Al Green
3.Drugs – Talking Heads
4.Rocket Man – Elton John
5.Eisler On The Go – Billy Bragg / Wilco
6.Girls Like Us – Tandy
7.Transcendental Blues – Steve Earle
8.Bloody Mary Morning – Willie Nelson
9.King Of The Road – Roger Miller
10.Neighbourhood #4 (Seven Kettles) – Arcade Fire
11.Song For The Man – Beastie Boys
12.The Danger Zone – Ray Charles