"Soul Kitchen"

"Soul Kitchen"

Covered By X

X was one of the more well-behaved of the early Los Angeles punk bands. On the documentary “Decline of Western Civilization,” you can even see them talking about how clubs like to book them because they don't cause trouble, unlike the other LA punk bands. They were also a little bit more musically polished, with the ability to produce a scorching guitar solo that most punk bands simply didn't have (or even approve of, for that matter).

Their album “Los Angeles” was produced by former Doors member Ray Manzarek, and it includes this cover of the Doors' “Soul Kitchen.” Like a lot of punk-rock covers, you could argue that it gets a little too fast in some parts for the feeling of the original song. When doing a punk-rock interpretation of a song in another style, it's hard to capture the emotion implicit in the lyrics instead of just giving it a generic punk sound.


On the other hand, X's version of “Soul Kitchen” is fast, furious and fun, and I've enjoyed it every time I've heard it. That's a lot more than I can say for a lot of cover songs. Marilyn Manson, for example, seems to have the mystical ability to flatten out any song ever written into his cramped little range of emotional expression, so that Pink Floyd and the Eurythmics come out of the meat-grinder sounding exactly the same. Even though I wouldn't call this X cover of “Soul Kitchen” perfect, it does manage to take the original, twist it a little, and come out with something interesting in its own right.