Artist/ Band: Various Artists
Title: Undercover (!OT Records)
Label: 10T Records
Year of Release: 2009
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

10T Records compilation “Undercover” is simple concept. They asked its current artists to record a song by a band/artist that influenced them. By the time the submissions were completed, it resulted as more of an homage than a traditional covers album. I was happy to hear that the songs chosen weren’t typical ones usually covered by modern bands.

The bands on the compilation are From.Uz, The Vital Might, Little Atlas, Man On Fire, Frogg Café, Bolt, The Fluttr Effect, Everything In Seven, Elf Project, The Rebel Wheel and Steve Katsikas . I’ve reviewed several cds over the years by all but one of the bands.

  • First up is “Starless And Bible Black” by From.Uz. This is far from a faithful cover, in fact it’s the band’s homage to King Crimson. There’s snippets of “Red”, “Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With” and ends with ‘I Like It’ from “Indiscipline”.
  • Sleeping Beauty by The Vital Might - fairly close to the original yet different.
  • Battle Of Evermore by Little Atlas - Oh the band took this song apart and rebuilt it as if it was their own much in the way Kevin Gilbert did “Kasmir”. One of the highlights of this compilation.
  • Visions Of China by Man On Fire - This was originally done by Japan. I never heard the original so I can’t compare. It was the perfect choice for the band.
  • The Dance Of Maya by Frogg Café - Originally done by Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frogg Café added their jam band nuances to the track. Another highlight of the compilation.
  • Das Model by Bolt - Originally done by Kraftwerk. I haven’t heard the original so I’m not going to say much other than it’s a catchy odd song.
  • The Chauffer by The Fluttr Effect - Originally by Duran Duran but on this version it adds more of a prog element not found on the original.
  • Man On The Corner by Everything In Seven - Originally done by Genesis. This was probably the only submission that was true to the original.
  • Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun by Elf Project - Originally done by Pink Floyd. A perfect choice for the band.. It was faithful up until the last minute the song gets a rocking groove to it. Another of the highlights of this compilation.
  • Cross-eyed Mary by The Rebel Wheel - Originally done by Jethro Tull. Here it gets a make-over that doesn’t try to emulate the vocals. Also the band does a looser interpretation than the original.
  • The Best Laid Plans by Steve Katsikas (Little Atlas vocalist/keyboardist). Originally done by the late Kevin Gilbert. Steve does the song justice. I felt goose bumps each time I heard it. Another highlight of this compilation.

As stated above, this is not the typical covers compilation that requires the bands to be faithful. It’s more of an homage to their heroes. It’s by far one of the better compilation I’ve had the pleasure of hearing. If you like any of the bands on this then I would highly recommend you getting this ASAP!

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on December 9th, 2009


01. Starless And Bible Black - From.Uz (King Crimson)
02. Sleeping Beauty - The Vital Might (A Perfect Circle)
03. Battle Of Evermore - Little Atlas (Led Zeppelin)
04. Visions Of China - Man On Fire (Japan)
05. The Dance Of Maya - Frogg Cafe (Mahavishnu Orchestra)
06. Das Model - Bolt (Kraftwerk)
07. The Chauffer - Fluttr Effect (Duran Duran)
08. Man On The Corner - Everything In Seven (Genesis)
09. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun - Elf Project (Pink Floyd)
10. Cross-eyed Mary - The Rebel Wheel (Jethro Tull)
11. The Best Laid Plans - Steve Katsikias (Kevin Gilbert)

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