August 8th, 2012 7:25am
Like A Heartbeat Drives You Mad
Jamie Hince doesn’t get a lot of credit for being one of the most inventive and distinct guitarists of the past decade, which is sort of aggravating because I get the sense that he’s often underrated and overlooked primarily for his close proximity to the fashion world. But while most every other notable act through the majority of the 00s did their best to either obscure or eliminate the guitar, he obsessed over tone and attack, and tinkered endlessly with digital effects.
This cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” is, sort of unexpectedly, a fine showcase for his style as he basically eliminates every trace of Lindsey Buckingham’s aesthetic in favor of exaggerating his own, emphasizing blunt physical force on the instrument and highly abstracted distortions. Sometimes it just barely sounds musical, but as much as he goes in for this industrial clanging, he never loses the structure of the song itself, so the noise has a loose, gestural quality that suggests the shapes that Buckingham articulated very, very clearly.
Alison Mosshart’s vocals are just as important here: Unlike a lot of singers on this new Fleetwood Mac tribute album, she is actually up to the task of inhabiting a Stevie Nicks song, and can do it without doing an impression. Mosshart comes off a lot tougher than Nicks, who exposed more vulnerability in her earth mother persona, but the moments where she cracks that facade a bit convey so much emotional nuance. There’s a lot of ache just under the surface of her performance.
Buy it from Amazon.