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Classic Songs From A Psychedelic Perspective - 90%

Thumbman, December 12th, 2011

After the release of their Kingdom Ep, Naam went on to make one hell of a psychedelic doom record in 2009. Their self titled debut seemed to come out of nowhere. The musicianship that went towards making their authentic brand of psychedelic doom went above and beyond what one would normally expect from a young band's debut record. Their release of two Nirvana songs is a nice thing to tide fans over until new original material is recorded. Just don't expect it to sound like the debut - their take on these classic songs take a different direction than their dark self titled release.

From the start of "Drain You" it becomes evident that Naam will not being showing off their doom side. These covers feature neither the heaviness or the slow riffing of their album. This cover is catchy - at least as, if not more so, than the original. The structure is the same, but the guitar timbre is different and the vocalist's deep (yet not gruff) vocals fit the song perfectly. The one area in which the song really deviates from the original is in the bridge. Nirvana had it so the bridge was abrasive and fucked up, using unorthodox "instruments" such as a rubber duck and an aerosol can. Naam completely rewrites the bridge, turning it into a psychedelic soundscape. All the elements to making great psychedelia is there - tribal drumming, chanting in the background, what sounds like the faint twang of a sitar and weird electronic effects. It really is astonishing how easily they are able to go from a catchy rock song to something that someone would want to trip to and back again.

Pennyroyal Tea is one of my favourite Nirvana songs. Naam's version is even more laid back than the original. It is basically like the original on cough syrup. The song is very trippy, and includes acoustic guitar as backing. The song feels so weightless that it feels like the bass is the only thing stopping it from floating away. Like the other one, this song steers clear from any doom influence. While their "Drain You" features conventional rock drumming for at least most of the song, this song features what I think is a tambourine and more tribal drum sounds. The whole thing makes for one hell of a psychedelic listening experience.

I've always felt that while Nevermind was an album full of superb heavy pop songs, In Utero is Kurt's true masterpiece. In Utero seems more honest; more from the heart. It feels as if he was making a record that he truly would want to hear as a fan. Naam's covers seem to mirror this formula. Their cover off Nevermind is, in general, more conventional as it stays close to the original. However, their cover from In Utero takes on a different sound than the original and stays true to their psychedelic vision. Both cover songs are amazing and definitely do the originals justice.