By: Jeremy Fleischer
In our culture, we tend to value the new over the old. After award seasons pass and end-of-the-year lists are ranked, we move on to new release movies and the next buzz album, sending last year’s hits to the dustbin. If a band is trying to build an audience, it’s an act of generosity to include a cover song in a set of unfamiliar originals.
For its 2016 release, Symbolized, Fort Collins blues-based band The Symbols dusted off a collection of classic songs for a reimagining. The band’s selections cross genres and decades, revealing a primary essence to a great song. Each of these songs, most of which are immediately recognizable, if forgotten today, gets a careful, well-played treatment by The Symbols. In other words, the songs are “symbolized.” “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns ‘n’ Roses becomes a slide blues number. “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones is imagined as rockabilly. And “All Along the Watchtower,” the Bob Dylan song made huge by Hendrix, becomes funktronica.
On paper, this may sound like a gimmick. And in some ways, it is. But it’s mostly a lot of fun, like a costume party for songs. And the band’s performance shows true reverence for the tunes.
Produced, Engineered, Mixed, and Mastered by: Jasco Duende at Recordium, Fort Collins, CO