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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Toke Along with Scala & Kolacny Brothers, Then See Them at the Independent Tonight

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 12:50 PM

This week: Toke along with Scala & Kolacny Brothers.


Behind the buzz: Anyone claiming mystification at this Coachella-bound rock choir needs a sharp rap across the skull with one of those dildos left over from a Die Antwoord video. You'd think cultural memory of a lopsided pair of South African rappers would grease anybody's conceptual skids for a Belgian girls' choir bobbing to the surface of the international pop scene with churchy-sounding covers of indie-rock classics. But then there's no grappling with the higher functions of the pop-crit mind save with blunt instruments. Speaking of the latter, I advise you to twist one off and fire up this Atco CD now making the rounds.

Today's weed: Strawberry Cough, an indica of pungent repute.

Ark the angels come: I dislike Metallica anyway, so anything done to

"Nothing Else Matters" would leave me flinchless at best. The

Herculean dollop of powdered sugar Scala and the brothers dump over

the tune strikes me as an improvement, getting us to the truth of its

overwrought sentiment at once. Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" really

doesn't need this kind of cookie-sprinkle treatment, so the results

induce more giggles than awe. "Champagne Supernova" is little without

the Gallaghers' teeth in each other's necks, and "Ironic" even less sans

Alanis and her stripped-raw nerves, so efforts to reimagine these come

heavily freighted with WTF?

U2's "With You or Without You," on the

other ear, is ennobled by the S & KB makeover, which replaces Bono's

familiar hambone vocals with equally impassioned restraint. Lyrics to

Depeche Mode's "I Feel You" and "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon are

just precious and pompous enough to fit in this sanctified context.

If there's modern rock in heaven, there must be a helluva choir: The

original numbers are more interesting than the novelty-rock

surrounding it, with "Masquerade of Fools" a pop baroque standout in

the manner of David Axlerod's doomier orchestral meditations of the

late '60s. The live version of Radiohead's "Creep" loses a lot of

its punch when bulked against my memory of Prince's cover at

Coachella 2008, and the whack taken at Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen

Spirit" is, by the time they take it, nothing you haven't imagined


Psychoactive verdict:
If your idea of happy buzztime listening is

Enoch Light & the Light Brigade's The Best of the Movie Themes 1970,

your Album of the Year dropped early and S & KB's lengthy back catalog

will make you consider installing stained-glass windows in your skull.

Also: Scala & Kolacny Brothers play the Independent tonight.

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Ron Garmon @RockyRedGlare, and like us at

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