Editor’s Pick: defspiral – Reply (hide Cover CD)
defspiral's Reply makes for a proud hide tribute!
A successful cover must be inoffensive to the original while retaining a strong sense of the cover artist, and that’s exactly what defspiral achieve in their four-song tribute CD, a Reply to the composer, hide.
The “ROCKET DIVE” cover eases the listener into defspiral’s world of hide and is the least tampered-with of all the tracks, maintaining that trademark hide twang but with a touch of TAKA grit. Evident in the instrumentals and particularly in MASATO’s frisky guitar solo, the playfulness of the number is tempered by the inevitable grounding force of TAKA’s solid baritone.
“DOUBT” is an intoxicating piece which TAKA take over instantly, his half-crazed, heated mutterings interspersed with clashing industrial drums and broken guitar. Inherently deeper in tone than the original, the vocals seem to hint less at targeted anger and more at anger turned inwards. A word of appreciation must be spared for TAKA’s take on the line, “Fuck off!” which is spat with impeccable inflection. The fullness of the guitar-line is a necessary improvement to match the fuller sound of TAKA’s tone and brings the number home.
The first wave of the “Pink Spider” intro utilizes the rhythm of hide’s famous riff on a monotone. The second wave warps the original notes of that riff, turning it to a major inclination which continues under the vocal line, first muted then uninhibited. It’s a refreshing take on a song many are too intimidated to re-arrange. Preventing the cover from simply crashing along with that angrier defspiral temper, the most notable difference comes when lone piano chords and synthesizer soften the mood considerably and TAKA’s voice floats in on the verse as if from far away. The song seems set to end on that gentle note, slowed with finality until TAKA’s supposed final note rises into one last deciding riff.
The arrangement of “FLAME” is simply breathtaking. Beginning with simple piano to accompany TAKA, the ballad is gentled even further when violin sings in like a high harmony, the three elements blending to perfection. Emotional in its simplicity and vocal expression, the beautiful lyrics truly shine even after guitar and drums lend strength to the song halfway through. Instrumentally, the number makes a brilliantly original cover that does justice to the original yet TAKA’s strong, poignant vocals are the final touch.
Having composed two songs of the same basic melody and lyrics, hide was a model of adventurous composition and defspiral take that attitude of “Why not?” to heart in this cover release. Many elements found particularly in “Pink Spider” and “FLAME” can be traced back to the run of Rock Musical Pink Spider, where defspiral had many opportunities to experiment with hide’s music. The release has evolved much beyond the arrangements of that show, however. A proud tribute, Reply is also a showcase of defspiral’s delicacy, ingenuity, and the rock at the heart of it all.
- ROCKET DIVE
- Pink Spider