Zeus' covers a hit with Nelson music guru
One of the best concert t-shirts I own is from a Zeus show. I inadvertently purchased a small, so it fits pretty snug and shows off my pectoral muscles. One could argue those pecs resemble “man-boobs,” but I think they’re a great asset because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that a girl loves a man who knows his way around a bra — section.
Now, I only leave a concert with a band shirt if they blow me away. So when I watched Zeus play and figuratively set the stage on fire, I had to snag the tee. Maybe it was how every member switched instruments and vocal duties to keep things fresh, or maybe it’s because I appreciate a band with well-trimmed facial hair, whatever the case, I walked away with that tiny shirt.
Zeus is band that’s all about originality, so I was skeptical when I found out about their upcoming Cover Me EP of their favourite songs and influences. But just like how I came to own that t-shirt, it blew me away.
There’s only seven songs on this one, but they’re all pure gold. Here we go:
“Who Is It?” (Michael Jackson) – It’s almost impossible to do a Michael Jackson song justice. Who else can hit those high notes like MJ? Zeus can. They even add a piano and a heavy bass line to make the song that much more sexy.
“Vasoline” (Stone Temple Pilots) – To this day, I have no idea what this song means. Other than that flies get stuck in the Vasoline (science), and that STP spelled the word wrong. Here, the band trades the crunchiness for a more vocal driven tune all while keeping the edge to it.
“The Ballad of El Goodo” (Big Star) – I’ve often said that Big Star is one of the most underrated bands ever, so it’s comforting to hear Zeus pay homage to them. They don’t change much of this classic, and in no way is that a bad thing.
“Ignition (Remix)” (R. Kelly) –This is by far, the best song on the EP. It’s covered so well that sometimes you’ll be thinking yourself “there’s no way that’s NOT R. Kelly!” Definitely in the top ten greatest covers of all time, without a doubt. However, the song still begs the question, would an outrageous line like: “must have been a football coach, the way you got me playin’ the field” ever work on a girl? I’ll be sure to let you know.
“That’s All” (Genesis) – I always thought the only thing this song had going for it was the catchy piano. Zeus proved me wrong. They ditch the piano in favour of some distorted guitars, which makes it sound fresh, and injects it with some new life.
“Without A Map” (Sam Roberts) – This is an interesting song to cover, as it’s only been out for a couple years. That being said, it’s my favourite Sam Robert song, so I like to think they picked it just for me. They speed it up a fraction of a second, which makes it their own. I wish I was more musically trained to list all of the different instruments they use on this one, but I can’t. All I can say is that your ear-holes will thank you.
“Flight Test” (The Flaming Lips) – As genius as The Flaming Lips are, let’s all just admit that they’re kind of weird. Zeus takes out the weirdness of this one, by turning the synthesizers into pianos, and cleaning up the vocals for some solid harmonization.
You can only pick this one up digitally if you buy their Busting Visions deluxe package, or off stage when they hit up The Royal on April 9. Be sure to pick up a t-shirt while you're at it but if you're a small, you might be out of luck because after all, I have to show off my assets.