Sirens Of Light – Revolver

Posted: 16 June 2022 in Singles and EPs
Tags: , , , , , ,

Christopher Nosnibor

I feel like I should keep a tally of the number of cover of Mission of Burma’s 1981 song ‘That’s When I Reach for My Revolver’. For an obscure band whose back catalogue is impossible to find, this song seems to exist in the ether, performed live on recent tours by The Sisters of Mercy, as well as Graham Coxon, as well as being subject to a truly blistering rendition courtesy of Moby during his 90s grunge phase on Animal Rights – and I have to say, that version is hard to beat. And no, not like Hard-Fi, who blow. Funnily enough, pretty much all of the covers have been better than the original, which is something of an inversion of the norm. I’m of the opinion that when it comes to a great tune you a) can’t beat the original b) can’t go wrong with a cover. So what is it with this track? Unfulfilled potential in the execution of the original? Perhaps.

Sirens Of Light slow it down and goth it up, hard – to the point that the verses are barely recognisable and the choruses are dark and grinding. It’s once of those covers where you don’t even recognise the song until it reaches the chorus. What have they done?  They’ve certainly taken ownership (note the title change, too), stamped their mark, and all that cal. In terms of execution, it’s taut, dense, bleak, brooding. It sneers and it’s imbued with a lip-curling sneer.

While it works presentationally and sonically, it feels like they’ve stripped the guts and angst out of the song. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, and it’s all a question of intent. The chorus is well-executed, and hits hard… but seems a shade lacking somehow.  Blown away? Maybe not, but it’s still got a fair bite.

AA

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