Braid / Burning Airlines

Back of Love/Always Something There to Remind Me

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A dichotomous, predictably lopsided exercise in which two post-punk indie bands take on '80s pop, this single is pretty well summed up before the needle ever hits the vinyl by a quick comparison of the participants and their chosen tunes. First up are D.C.'s great Burning Airlines, who offer a pretty faithful but rocking rendition of Echo & the Bunnymen's seminal classic "Back of Love." No surprise given Burning Airlines' new wave pop inclinations, but their punked up performance is completely energizing -- just as good as 7 Seconds' "99 Luftbaloons." Next is a summarily disappointing performance by Wisconsin band Braid. The novelty of lousy emo or So-Cal punk bands tearing off thoughtless covers of soulless, old Top 40 hits has long since worn off, and Braid's sludgy cover of Naked Eyes' cover of "Always Something There to Remind Me" can unfortunately be counted among the unremarkable, played-out ranks. It's not quite as awful as Cap'n Jazz' s deplorable "Take on Me" or Skankin' Pickle's ridiculous "Turning Japanese," but you'll still wish Braid had just left the Bacharach covers to Patti LaBelle.

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