19 October 2018 (released)
16 November 2018
We all know a good cover can change the fortunes of a band, lifting them from obscurity into the public eye. Countless acts can attribute a large portion of their notoriety to that one cover that broke them to a larger audience. We love the familiar and whether the cover is a drastic reimagining or simply a faithful redux it re-contextualizes the band in our eyes by showing us that they are within our wheelhouse. Some may consider it a cheap ploy at this point but revival will always be a cornerstone of music. At this point in time, it's the mid to late nineties cover that's “au courant”. Recently LA's Mini Mansions pulled off an exceptionally noisy rendition of the Edwynn Collins classic 'A Girl Like You'. In a similar vein, Montreal's Psychocide have included a version of The Cardigans irresistibly catchy 'My Favourite Game' on their latest EP, Hungover, which grabs your attention and makes you reassess their collection of chugging heavy rock.
'Confined' kicks the record off in fairly standard fashion with riffy guitars following the vocal lines and a half-time chorus. 'Kinaesthesia' plays off a jumpy disco beat but ultimately delivers ordinary rock n roll fare. 'Unattainable' sinks down into a lighter style of alternative however it is punched up by some jazzy, Rush-ified breakdowns by the nimble rhythm section.
Track four introduces a spacier mood than the previous numbers. The chords sound oddly familiar but you can't quite place them. Then it hits, that iconic snare fill full of pep and punch and that unforgettable blase-sassy string-bend guitar riff. You remember, “Goddamn, I love that song”. 'My Favourite Game' may not have been The Cardigans biggest song by the numbers but you can make a very compelling argument that it was their best. Psychocide singer Goldwyn Thandrayen slips in effortlessly to the tracks vocal lines as if he'd written them. The bones of the track remain the same as the original but once again the rhythm section of Li and McFarlane show off their prowess in the bridge adding flourishing embellishments to the half-time, spaced-out breakdown.
After that sonic touchstone, your ear's interest is peaked once again and the closer 'Crash' exhibits some of their best work with a darker vibe. There's a driving G n R feel to the proceedings with guitar squeals and thunder toms. In the end, the cover ends up being the standout track on the record. The perfection of its pop composition eclipses the work on the other tracks. However, it does showcase the best of the band and if they can write songs to compete with 'My Favourite Game' in the future, they will be a group to watch out for.