Pin It
Favorite

CD Review - Rebuild The Wall 

by Ted S. McGregor, Jr.


I'm a sucker for a well-chosen cover song. When a favorite band reinterprets a classic from another group -- or, better yet, a forgotten gem -- I'm all ears. So when I heard there was a band coming through town that was known for covering not just a song, but an entire record, I took notice. When I found out the record is The Wall by Pink Floyd and the band is from Canada and supposedly plays bluegrass... well, it just doesn't get any weirder than that.


Apparently Luther Wright and his Wrongs started playing "Another Brick in the Wall" for laughs at concerts -- you know, "We don't need no education/We don't need no thought control." Out on the road, the gang would try to recall other songs from The Wall to pass the miles. Now it's a CD.


Pink Floyd's use of synthesizers for maximum tweakage has forever put it at the top of the list of bands that are cool to listen to with a laser light show. That's what places them as far away from bluegrass as they are from any other musical style.


It's worth taking a moment to discuss The Wall. For a band that made its fortune on lots of instruments and few lyrics, The Wall was a surprisingly coherent concept album. Roger Waters' primal scream at our cold, cruel world follows Pink, a rocker whose teachers, wife and mother all turned him into a suicidal mess by record's end. Like most concept albums, it's pretentious as hell. But it's also Waters' best work -- and the band's finest hour. With songs like "Mother," "Young Lust," "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell," it's practically a greatest hits package.


So it's somehow nostalgic to hear a plucky banjo part and a farmer barking out the title at the beginning of "Is There Anybody Out There?" Luther and Co. (really more of a crossover act than pure bluegrass) have made a lot of Floyd's dirge-like originals upbeat. Just try to keep your toe from tappin' along with the chorus to "Goodbye Blue Sky." And in "In the Flesh," when Pink turns fascist, "queers" are turned into "deer" by Wright and the Wrongs. Perhaps it's more bluegrass orthodoxy than political correctness, as later in the song, "Who let all of this riff-raff into the room?" becomes "Who let all of this wildlife into the room?" Nice touch.


Except for a couple tracks, Rebuild the Wall gets old after a few listens. Hey, it is a novelty item. Still, a well-chosen track -- say "Comfortably Numb" or "Another Brick in the Wall" -- would make a great addition to any mixed CD you plan to give to friends.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Children Will Listen
  • Children Will Listen

    How art speaks to life in this particular moment
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • So Here We Are
  • So Here We Are

    Here's hoping the new president fills the office with the grace and sense of tradition it requires
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Get Big Money Out
  • Get Big Money Out

    Letters to the Editor
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Spokane Contra Dance

Spokane Contra Dance @ Woman's Club of Spokane

Wed., Jan. 25, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • The Watch List
  • The Watch List

    You'll learn a lot by watching some key people who could make or break Trump's presidency
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Fake-News Nightmare
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From Twin Peaks to the darkest reaches of our galaxy, there's a new book for everyone on your list
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • The Landed and the White

    How Americans followed tradition when they voted for Trump
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


marijuana


green zone


Politics


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Do The Right Thing
  • Do The Right Thing

    Washington state needs to ban the damaging, destructive pseudoscience of gay conversion therapy
    • Jun 3, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation