Review: Kevin Devine and Tigers Jaw, ‘Devinyl Split Number 3′

by Joel Funk • 2 years ago
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Written by Joel Funk Edited by Caitlin Kohn

The Cure is a band that I’ve always wanted to be into. I love a great, bitter sounding pop song and that is one area in which The Cure excel. The problem is, I’m too spoiled of a millennial that is so used to production sounding clean and crisp, it’s very hard for me to get into something that doesn’t fit that criteria. With this in mind, I need you to imagine just how excited I was to hear that Kevin Devine and Tigers Jaw would be teaming up for a new Devinyl Split, and that each of them would be covering a song from The Cure.

I was so fucking elated. This was the chance for me to find a song or two that I could cling to and maybe find enough of a spark in that I could somehow trudge through the dated production and find the true beauty of these songs. The end result is above and beyond anything that I could have expected. Since receiving the split, I’ve gone back and listened to the original songs for the sake of comparison. They remain true to the original, and just feel refreshed. Like the breath of life has blown back into these songs and they’re ready for their second coming.

Let’s start with Tigers Jaw’s cover of “In Between Days.” I swear to God, Robert Smith wrote that song for Tigers Jaw and he just didn’t know it. The vocals on this cover are less shouty than the original, instead, they opt for the signature slow croon we’ve all come to love and expect. This feels like a tease for the direction that Tigers Jaw needs to head towards. It’s not a huge departure from past material, but damn, does that pop structure do these guys some serious justice. They’re a big name in the scene now, but I could see them becoming something bigger if they continue down this path.

I don’t know that Kevin Devine can release a bad song. Even when it’s not something he wrote, he knows how to pick the songs that suit his style best. His cover of “Lovesong” slows things down and drives home the kind of melancholy pop that The Cure is known for. If it wasn’t very explicit that these are cover songs, I could easily see this as something in his collection of original works. It’s incredible how well each of these artists did when picking the songs they were going to cover.

For fans of Tigers Jaw and Kevin Devine, this split will only further prove that both acts are a seemingly never ending pool of talent. An introduction to The Cure may not have been something you were expecting, but this is a damn fine place to start. For fans of The Cure, seeing these songs have life breathed back into them should make you ecstatic, if not for the simple nostalgia, then for the fact that these artists just seemingly created a new fanbase for The Cure. This is a solid, dramatic release from Kevin Devine & Tigers Jaw. Now please excuse me while I listen to it until I’m sick of it. 4.5/5