Sludge-punk experimentalists Thou are masters of the cover song. Across their prolific career, they've covered Nirvana (many, many times), Nine Inch Nails, Neil Young and Alice in Chains, among others. The Louisiana outfit previously took on that last band's classic "No Excuses." Now, they've revisited the Seattle grunge stars' oeuvre with a nasty, sinister rendition of Dirt opener "Them Bones." Today (September 15th), they've teamed with Revolver to premiere this latest cover — blast it above. The punishing cut appears on Dirt [Redux], the newest volume in Magnetic Eye's Redux Series, which reimagines Alice in Chains' seminal 1992 album through covers of each track by modern-day doom and stoner-metal outfits such as Khemmis, 16 and Howling Giant. Dirt [Redux] is available for pre-order now across an array of collectible formats including limited-edition vinyl.
"It seemed inevitable that we'd do another AIC song since their music was such a big part of Matthew's and my formative years," Thou's Bryan Funck says of the cover, referencing his bandmate, co-founding guitarist Matthew Thudium. "We had covered 'No Excuses' some years ago, but it never quite got the reaction I thought it deserved, and our arrangement was a slowed-down and kind of left-field take on the song. With 'Them Bones,' we had a chance to tackle a song that more directly translated to our style. The song had been on my mind anyway — I had recently listened to a podcast that dissected all the tracks on Dirt and it really dawned on me that opening the album with 'Them Bones' was such a bold and cool move. No count off, no intro, just straight into the insanity."
Speaking to Alice in Chains' influence in general, Funck adds, "I first heard AIC when 'Rooster' came on the radio, probably not long after its release, maybe late '92 or early '93 — I was 10 years old. I was just a kid listening to the local rock radio station and taping the songs I liked, making these poor quality mixtapes. I taped 'Rooster' and the following weekend brought it over to Matthew's house so he could hear it. I remember going into his room and he was listening to the song 'Connected' by Stereo MC's, who were a one-hit-wonder Madchester/Happy Mondays-type band. I put my 'Rooster' cassette in and his mind was completely blown. Neither of us had heard anything that heavy or dark yet — our favorite band at that point was probably Pearl Jam. Maybe I'm giving myself too much credit here, but I think that's what set him on a path of listening to heavier stuff, as it was for me."