Album Review: The Venetia Fair - 'Basically Just Does Karaoke'

3 January 2014 | 5:47 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

An incredibly fun collection of covers.

The Venetia Fair finished off 2013 by quietly releasing a covers EP titled 'Basically Just Does Karaoke.' So here's the deal in a neat nutshell: the EP features six songs, chosen by fans who purchased a kickstarter perk allowing them to choose a song for the band to cover. This has resulted in a mix of classic hits, one-hit wonders, and a couple of lesser known tracks, all of which, while remaining faithful to the original track, take on their own identity here.

Kicking off with a cover of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' (a tough ask!) which starts off big and loud, with the type of force that almost seems to dare you to challenge the band for even touching such an iconic song, the group proves they can do a damn good job of re-working it as well. The Venetia Fair flick through some crazy tempo changes that make this song a lot of fun to listen to. Whether you prefer it to the original is up to you, but it's impossible to deny that this is a very strong attempt.

One-hit wonders Dexy's Midnight Runners and their 1982 single, 'Come On Eileen' gets its own treatment. The same energy is still present, with a bridge that sounds like it could have been taken straight out of a circus tent that just makes you want to dance. 'Rock Lobster' is the song proclaimed by the band as the “dumbest” on the EP, and frankly, that's more or less what you can expect with a B-52's cover. It may be the dumbest, but at the same time, it's definitely the most fun.

The band takes on Green Day's fan favourite rock-opera, 'Jesus of Suburbia,' and on a musical level, it's certainly a lot better, and much more interesting than the original. Interestingly enough, the five movements of the song are a lot less separate, making the cover seem like one big long song, rather than five different sections. It's an eclectic journey.

Tail-end covers, Blood Brothers 'Camouflage, Camouflage,' and Coheed and Cambria's 'Wishing Well III: Apollo II (The Telling Truth)' seem to fall between the cracks a bit though. Not that they're any less interesting, or in any way not as polished as any of the other tracks, they just seem to suffer from being covers of songs that aren't as well known as the others. Special mention has to be made to Benny Santoro in the latter though, because anyone that can take on Claudio Sanchez's vocal range and do so effectively has done an impressive job.

The Venetia Fair finished off 2013 with a bang on their latest EP 'Bascally Just Does Karaoke.' Taking a perfect mixture of familiarity for someone who's never listened to the band before, and The Venetia Fair's own signature style of eclectic rock music, the band has created an EP that can be adored by fans and newcomers alike.

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody
  2. Come On Eileen
  3. Rock Lobster
  4. Jesus Of Suburbia
  5. Camouflage, Camouflage
  6. Wishing Well III: Apollo II (The Telling Truth)