By Nate Billy of Indie Band Guru
It’s been a long time since I was that lonely, impressionable High School Freshmen settled in front of my family’s tube TV baring witness for the first time to The Strokes, a band which would ultimately change my life for the better — excluding influencing a nasty smoking habit (I blame you too, Jack White!).
I’m a massive fan to this day and, I’m not ashamed to admit, I still become giddy at the sheer mention of anything remotely related to The Strokes.
So, when I was sent a link to 7fields’ brand new cover of “Heart in a Cage,” my excitement took over, and I ignored all my journalistic and critical principles by doing absolutely no research on the band — I just dove straight into listening.
My initial reaction: A very nice idea, yet executed with the gusto of an overzealous amateur; like a pretentious, recent college graduate with a Music Production degree who’s lack of experience shines through as a consequence of overproduction.
When finally doing research I was quite surprised to find 7fields has only one member, Wolfgang Schrödl, and he’s certainly no pretentious, recently graduated Music Production major with a lack of experience. Schrödl’s been knocking about the music biz since 1996 as the front man of Liquido, a German Alternative rock group. Armed with this new information, I listened again.
7fields Paving New Ground
Schrödl’s version is a complete departure from The Strokes. Right from the start, he beautifully reshapes the angsty tone of the original, turning the feel into a dreary, mournful ballad by slowing the tempo and stripping the instrumentation down to a single guitar played by finger picking each note of each chord; eventually joined by piano and droning background noise.
The issue is Schrödl attempts to sound epic and, in the course, makes “Heart in a Cage” sound overcooked. The song’s lack of a chorus doesn’t help his cause either, forcing him shift the groove, end everything abruptly, and then start up again, as if encountering a stop sign.
I’m positive many will find 7fields’ “Heart in a Cage” a refreshing take on an underwhelming Strokes single, but I was personally left with a bad taste in my mouth. When it comes to stripping down a Strokes song, I think I’ll stick to the early demo of “You Only Live Once” and keep holding out hope for Ryan Adams releasing his version of Is This It.
Find more 7fields here.