I love it when bands are able to call it quits with a little parting gift, a nice little “thank you” for the support over the years. Who isn’t partial to the leave-no-stone-unturned-and-unload-everything drop rather than some ho-hum greatest hits? One-offs, demos, comp tracks, live renditions, and other “lost” material can be real gold, or at worst an unpretentious peek at what makes an artist tick. Collections like Pearl Jam’s Lost Dogs and Deftones’ B-Sides & Rarities (which coincidentally also includes a cover of The Cure) immediately come to mind as fan-favorite treasures that allowed me to piece together a greater understanding with a focused look, no scattered bonus tracks. If you’re picking up what I’m laying down here, Dirge’s upcoming compendium of rarities, Vanishing Point, looks to be in the same vein.
As such, I’m particularly excited to bring to you this cover from their upcoming farewell collection not because I’m a huge fan of The Cure (I’m peacefully lukewarm), but because interpretations like this cover of “A Short Term Effect” utterly compel me to revisit the source material to further connect the dots between source and interpreter; isn’t that what every cover should aspire to accomplish? Really, it’s a great cover that feels so natural to Dirge’s crushing and atmospheric tendencies, capturing the original’s beauty, intensity, and futility in ways a post-metal reading only could. It just makes sense.
Dirge offered some background on the track:
Early 2008, Denis Boyer, the man behind the art magazine Fear Drop, was working on an in-depth study about The Cure’s Pornography for the 14th issue of his publication. A cover compilation following the original album’s tracklist was planned, we were asked to record our own version of “A Short Term Effect.” Being a mainly bass-driven song haunted by erratic guitar patterns, the work on reshaping the song in a more heavy guitar-oriented configuration without losing the essence of Robert Smith’s song proved to be quite challenging (especially for a band who never had a great liking for covers). At the time we were in a transition between the opaque, labyrinthine, stretched pieces of our previous albums and the clearer structures of the coming decade, so we modelled this reinterpretation by stepping up samples and synths as well as guitar layers.
The track was recorded and mixed in our own studio, finally released in November 2008 on the Lágrimas De Miedo 14 – Pornography: Re-heat compilation, coming with the luxurious autumnal issue of the Fear Drop magazine (including renditions by Savage Republic, Kill The Thrill or Year Of No Light).
Twelve years later, “A Short Term Effect” is remixed and remastered by Raphaël Bovey (Nostromo, Gojira, Impure Wilhelmina…) for the purpose of Vanishing Point, a 3xCD collection gathering 25 years of Dirge’s non-album tracks (unreleased, rare, remixes, live) scattered on deleted compilations, hard-to-find editions or dormant hard drives until now. It’s a posthumous and comprehensive testimony which completes the circle for good.
There’s no better time to revisit their discography if you haven’t yet – from my perspective, Dirge seems to be underappreciated outside of industrial and post-metal circles. They have a lot of great stuff to pore over and their vision has evolved considerably over the years. Vanishing Point releases March 26, pre-order your copy today, physical editions are limited.