There’s something quite magical about the recent covers series that Steve Moore, AE Paterra, and Daron Beck have been cooking up in these troubled times. Who are Steve Moore, AE Paterra, and Daron Beck you ask? Well Moore and Paterra are the guys behind the prog/synth duo Zombi. They’ve been making progressive horror/synth music for nearly 20 years now and continue to evolve and expand their sound. Daron Beck is the singer/keyboardist for the experimental Pinkish Black. Beck and drummer Jon Teague travel familiar musical road as Zombi, but there’s is a sound that lays in darker moods. Plus vocals are a big part of Pinkish Black, where Zombi are decidedly mostly instrumental. I’ve often compared both Zombi and Pinkish Black in terms of sound, like each is a side of the same kick ass coin.
But something magical has been happening as of late between the Zombi/Pinkish Black camps. Daron Beck, Steve Moore, and AE Paterra have begun releasing covers of songs and the results have been nothing short of brilliant. Within the world of Pinkish Black, Daron Beck’s baritone rings like a harbinger of doom. Strong, assertive, and with the wavering sense that the world is crumbling under our feet and he’s oddly okay with that. But with these recent covers he shows a soulful, subtle, and dare I say delicate approach that brings out a completely different side to his typical doom-laden vocals. Zombi are no strangers to covers, as they released a cover of Steely Dan’s “Green Earrings” awhile back that absolutely dropped my jaw(please cover “Your Gold Teeth” next.)
So my purpose here is to simply share the covers they’ve released so far. I want to enrich your life with these impeccably done tributes to songs you never knew you wanted to hear covered by two Zombi and a Texan crooner. Enjoy.
Barry Gibb and Barbara Streisand’s “Guilty”
I’ve got to be honest, I do not remember this song at all. I remember a lot of early 80s pop music, but this completely bypassed my 6-year old ears when it was released. But Daron Beck and Steve Moore trading vocals while Moore and AE Paterra recreate that post-Disco soft funk somehow transcends the schmaltzy quality of the original. This was a good beginning to what has become an amazing run of covers.
Eddie Rabbit’s “Suspicions”
Whoa baby, this is where things start to get interesting. Hearing Daron Beck slide right into the funky soul vibe of Rabbit’s slow jam makes me sooo wish I could send a copy of this to Randy Jackson, Gene Simmons, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell(Beck auditioned for American Idol in 2007.) Zombi and Beck make this track their own, and that warm baritone is an absolute powerhouse here.
The Eagles’ “I Can’t Tell You Why”
Much like The Dude, I hate the f***in’ Eagles, man. But this cover from Zombi and Friends, which not only includes Moore, Paterra, and Beck, but also The Sword’s bassist and Galactic Protector’s Bryan Richie. There’s a song here and there from The Eagles I can listen to without instantly switching the radio dial, mainly Joe Walsh songs. But this Timothy B Schmidt track doesn’t feel like the typical Eagles So Cal retread. In the hands of Zombi, Daron Beck, and Bryan Richie it sort of has a new life to it. I still can’t stand the Eagles, but Zombi and Friends gave me reason to question my disdain. At least for the length of this song.
The Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius/Eye In The Sky”
Okay, so “Eye In The Sky” is one of those songs that’s always laid heavy in my head and heart. This is one of those tracks that whenever I hear it I instantly go back to being 7 or 8 and sitting in the backseat of our 1981 Omni Miser as my mom drove us into town. It was one of those radio songs that attached itself to my psyche and never let go. Eric Woolfson’s voice was this soft, gauzy, and maudlin tone that would put me at ease and make me both content and sort of sad. “Time” and “Don’t Answer Me” were two other songs that lulled me into a mild pediatric depression, but “Eye In The Sky” was, and still is, like going through a photo album and looking at polaroids of long dead relatives and feeling very bittersweet about it.
The Zombi and Friends cover, which once again include Bryan Richie on bass, captures all the melancholy mystique of the original while Daron Beck adds a much appreciated depth to the vocals. As usual, Steve Moore and AE Paterra nail the music. I was absolutely floored by this rendition. If these guys want to cover “Time” as well I wouldn’t be opposed. No sir.
Steely Dan’s “Green Earrings”
So this isn’t Zombi and Friends, but it is Zombi and it’s fucking spectacular.