How’d ya fancy a collection of monolithic doom? A collection of titanic doom covers? And how about a collection of colossal doom covers of awesome rock tunes? How about a collection of enormous doom covers that sound nothing like the original tracks?! You, like me, fancy that idea a tonne. So imagine my shock, excitement and bewilderment when I was sent the new Blackwitch Pudding covers EP, Covered In Pudding Vol. 1, to write some (barely) lucid thoughts about…
The opening track, Night Of The Blackwitch, is a cover of a track by one of my favourite artists of all time, the criminally-underappreciated Roky Erickson. If you’re familiar with him, or the story of the band he fronted in the 60s (The 13th Floor Elevators), you’ll know that he’s been entrancing listeners and collection followers for nearly fifty years. He’s rightly becoming regarded as a genius and afforded a measure of cult stardom and intellectual criticism usually afforded folks like Gene Vincent and Little Richard. If you haven’t directly heard any of his iconoclastic psychedelia, there’s a chance you’ll have heard at least one of his later, horror-rock rippers – just for example Ghost covered If You Have Ghosts on their inventively-titled cover EP, If You Have Ghost (naturally). Blackwitch Pudding’s interpretation of Roky’s horror-rocker Night Of The Vampire is an unbearably slow, achingly heavy (what else would you expect?) grinding slice of doom. Obviously.
Over the course of the EP, they cover some interesting choices – the second of witch being Rush’s classic Working Man, here renamed Toke’n Man. If you dig the original, then you’ll totally be into this: Rush’s original is one of the all-time classic rock, late-night-radio-rock highlights that usually comes on between something by Krokus, Supertramp and/or Dokken. It’s one of those. It’s from their harebrained, mad debut album – Rush – and it’s probably the cover that deserves the biggest praise on Covered In Pudding purely because the transformation is most severe. The heaviosity that the Pudsters imbue into the track is primarily attributable to the enormity of the riffs they include. And boy, are they huge.
Kiss’ evil masterpiece God Of Thunder is next up – and if any track were made for a collection like this, it’s God Of Thunder. We’ve all, at one point or another and whether we choose to admit it or not, bellowed along with Gene Simmons. We’ve all been Gene in our dreams, playing air bass and slopping our freakish tongues out to swathes of adoring customers… ahem, fans. Blackwitch Pudding slay their way through the track with evil aplomb, and with heaps of fertile riffage. Blackwitch Pudding’s title: God Of Grungus.
The final track is a rather obtuse selection – Diamonds And Rust by Joan Baez has been covered a bunch of ways. It’s had the true intention and intonation of the lyrics drawn out; the true melodic power of the music reinterpreted and reimagined in seemingly random fashions… but the most iconic – and relevant – interpretation would have to be the classic 1975 Judas Priest single. Blackwitch Pudding’s version – Bong Hits And Lust – is as tokingly monstrous as the recording of the record, a pure slab of red-eyed, dry-mouthed tokeocity. As a covers EP; a stop-gap between album-length recordings; an interesting side-note or just a fucking great little platter of bitesize Pudding, this record rules.
Last I heard, they were giving it away on the house via Bandcamp, so if you’re into awesome tunes from awesome bands being played in an awesome way by some awesome wizards… You know what to do. Hails!
Scribed by: Ross Horton