Ether Net

The Great Dominions/Lips Like Sugar

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I get a good laugh from tribute records that re-create the sleeves of the original versions with members of the modern bands. The best was Big Black's 1987 7" -- in full costume as both Kraftwerk and Cheap Trick, or in 1992 when the members of various Seattle groups dressed as the Zombies and re-shot the photos from the Zombies' first LP in 1964. These two Cleveland bands pull off a similar trick by impersonating Echo & the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes, the two leading lights of the exceptional 1978-1982 "Liverpool Explosion." As for the music, it does justice to two very difficult selections. Give Cobra Verde a hand for recording an obscure track off the Teardrop Explodes' usually overlooked second LP, 1981's Wilder. Their "The Great Dominions" is much icier than Julian Cope and Co.'s pent-up, boisterous original. And on the other side, Ether Net may have picked the Bunnymen's biggest U.S. underground hit, "Lips Like Sugar," but with the intent to make something equally new: They replace the puffy-fluffy bop of the 1987 original with a near-Eastern drone and primal rhythm underneath the detached vocal. More 1983's Porcupine -- think "Ripeness" or "Higher Hell" -- than that lesser, eponymous, fifth LP. And the woman giving the "sugar kisses" sounds like someone to be quite wary of! A great little 7" in all respects.