Saudade Find Fun in Joy Division

Don’t Call It A Supergroup

A Shot From The Saudade Video
Credit: From The Video By Rizz

I’ve always wanted to cover ‘Day Of The Lords.’ In my opinion it is the heaviest of Joy Division’s songs. – Randy Blythe, Lamb Of God.

What’s The Deal?

Saudade are an odd supergroup. Are they a supergroup? Gill Sharone from Dillinger Escape Plan, Randy, Dr Know from Bad Brains, Mickie Jayson of Cro-Mags fame, the Madeski from Madeski, Martin & Wood and Robert Thomas Jr of Weather Report. Phew!

Actually, it’s a Super Supergroup. But not one we might expect.

All looked over by the loving care of Chuck Doom from Crosses, Team Sleep and Palms.

Saudade ain The Studio
Credit: Mike Kato

What Have They Done With The Song They Chose?

And the track they have chosen to introduce this project is an unexpected one too, Joy Division‘s ‘Day Of The Lords.’

The original, from the Unknown Pleasures album, has a bass which slithers along, a guitar that jabs you constantly and dances around you like a pest taking shots and a beat which is the clang of mechanisation.

Lay on top of that Ian Curtis’ sonorous delivery and the whole thing sounds so important.

It actually picks up some denser guitars later on and almost saunters down Rock Road, then realises and adds a roughed tone to make them undeniably New Wave.

The whole thing is slow, portentous and thick with frustration.

This one? Rather faithful but with a very different feel. The original feels thin and nervy.

This is rounder, with majestic but still mournful guitars with a shimmering and slight groove, D. Randall Blythe (as he’s called here) keeps it very low key, with a Lou Reed feel.

But what’s this? Harmonies? Only at the back of the music briefly but letting a little light in. Really though, this is a roiling, churning thing which has a the look of a behemoth.

And then a little REM Indie ringing guitaring to keep you guessing.

You can call it Goth too, but that would be perhaps to miss the mournful narrative touch, the almost triumphant moments destroyed by reality.

That builds to add the trouble of modern life, the things, which makes it all so difficult.

What They Say About This Version

Gil Sharone, the drummer who’s had the stool with Dillinger Escape Plan, can detect Metal, Dub and Jazz and although I can hear mainly the first, my ears are battered and the palate here is wide enough for many people to hear so much.

And Chuck Doom stresses the fun in making the track, with friends. Randy came to Chuck with the idea and they quickly acted on it.

Gil’s view that, ‘The track feels like a journey. Every section has its own dynamic and keeps growing until the final climax,’ seems right.

Where that journey ends is a personal feeling.

There’s A Video Too

The info with the track praises its ‘Deserted and desolate architecture…’ and that may be right, but there’s lots to keep you guessing in this black and white work.

Fire features heavily, as does sea; it’s element-heavy, there’s a lot of air in the sparse landscapes and spray flying as waves smack against rocks.

We’d expect a deserted church, but maybe not a superimposed christ-pose figure seeming to want a dive into the briney.

There’s a real feel of things continuing, going on, as a hand tries to grab what is in the movie frame.

The band play in the studio and a plaque is flashed up for Ian Curtis, the feeling that fire will burn, tides will wax and wane and life will continue is clear and crushing.

The video is created by Rizz who also plays with Death Pop band Vowws and he is part of the collective.

So What Are Saudade And What’s Next?

Saudade are not a group, this is more than that, Chuck tells us; ‘Day of the Lords’ begins a release cycle of singles, EPs, LPs and short films that will define Saudade as an independent musical and artistic entity, not to be confused with any so-called supergroup or side project’.

This is full of possibility, a multi media group who take their favourite songs and reinterpret them.

Expect EPs, albums and short films—their first choice is a lovely surprise; their version is faithful but entirely their own.

Can’t wait for the next missive from ever-evolving Saudade.

They’ve named themselves after a feeling of melancholy but also nostalgia; expect shocks (don’t expect a version of ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep’) and challenges.

After all, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be…

Written by Steve Swift

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