From the song’s first dissonant bars it’s obvious that the Japandroids cover of “Jack the Ripper” is a departure from the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds original. The deep, brooding acoustic guitar is replaced with a cavernous, acerbic electric that lends a greater feeling of nervousness and disjointedness at the expense of much of the parent track’s underlying malevolence. Cave’s pained, scratchy wail is replaced with the flatter scream typical of early-90s indie bands like Fugazi. The resulting song is one that is less frightening than the original and less gut-wrenching, but that is also disturbing and disorienting in its own right. Instead of a million sharp stabs of wickedness the feeling in this Japandroids version collapses on the listener with the unyielding weight of a dischordant tidal wave. It’s indiscriminate and unyielding; frantic eddies of noise pulling and swirling, erasing sense of space and being.
The track will appear on the band’s The House That Heaven Built 7″ out May 15, and the new full length album, Celebration Rock, will drop June 5 via Polyvinyl.
STREAM: Japandroids – “Jack The Ripper”