The voices of those who stand looking resonate with an alternative outlook of the mighty dirigible’s flight.
For all their hippy disposition, LED ZEP never embraced psychedelic culture, but the band’s mix of styles could open endless possibilities in the covers area. Yet, as this collection shows, while there’s no deficiency in the ensemble’s followers, only a few of them demonstrate an adequate level of imagination – or bravery to tackle a classic piece without being sacrilegious. Such a fear can get in the way of musical progress, and it’s much easier to latch onto the “Led” part of it, the group’s heaviness, than tap into the spirit of “Zeppelin”: their adventurousness.
So if some renditions here don’t veer away too much from the originals, a couple of participants filtered their versions through the methods of ZEP’s contemporaries, what with MOTHERSHIP adding a chthonic heft of SABBATH to “Heartbreaker” and SIENA ROOT pitching the playful sharpness of PURPLE into “Whole Lotta Love” – up to the spaced-out chaos in its organ-oiled middle. That’s why ELECTRIC EYE’s take on “Immigrant Song” feels so precious – slowed down, coated in lysergic vibrations, echoing around the Valhalla hall – whereas THE CULT OF DOM KELLER’s vision of “Dazed And Confused” is dipped in synthesizer’s haze, its bluesy bubbling harking back to Jake Holmes’ lyrics.
There’s a weighty wigout on “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” courtesy of THE MACHINE, yet the troip doesn’t take digging for deeper cuts, such as the fuzz-drenched “We’re Gonna Groove” by JOY. Obvious choices like “Stairway To Heaven” are open for interpretation, too, and THE TULIPS masterfully wrap the epic into a sweet acid-folk smoke, but if stripping “Kashmir” of its Eastern buzz in favor of different kind of drone may not seem a good idea, INDIAN JEWELRY found a great way off the beaten path.
This is a highly enjoyable collection, a mixed bag sort thereof, yet that should be the gist of it all.