First of all, the final drop day for Record Store Day is October 24th. So, you still have time to pick up some great vinyl. Record Store Day has always been a wonderful time to dig into crates for rare vinyl. However, you usually had to find a participating record store and pray that you got there before all your favourite wax was sold out. Due to COVID, 2020’s Record Store Day has been broken into three days (August 29th, September 26th and October 24th) and you can buy vinyl online. This is a blessing in disguise, because it means that audiophiles out there can now browse hundreds of record stores in the comfort of their own home in order to get some rare vinyl. This makes Record Store Day far more accessible for people and hopefully will get more people involved. I know I made some purchases I would not normally have made.
Now, Record Store Day is famous for incredible reissues, demos, live records and hard to get 45s. One such 45 is Alex Lahey’s appearance on Australia’s Triple J Like a Version series. In 2019, Alex went into the Triple J (a radio station in Australia) studio and recorded a track of hers and a cover of Welcome to the Black Parade from My Chemical Romance. Even though this cover was recorded in 2019, Triple J has made a limited release of this recording on a 45 for Record Store Day. Not only is this a limited pressing for all you vinyl collectors out there, it is an amazing cover.
First of all, this 45 dropped as part of the September 26th drop day. Most stores sold out of them quite quickly, because her cover is one of the most sought after of this cover series. However, a few stores had some kicking around, so I was able to pick one up…so drop me an email if you want a lead on a copy. In the US, you may not be able to get this, but consider this review a call to arms to go online and buy up on October 24th. Click on this link: Record Store Day to check it out.
Alex strips the song back, while keeping the same big beats. Due to the live recording you lose the over produced vibe from the My Chemical Romance original, which I am not a fan of. Instead, she really lets the lyrics come through, while also giving it a pop punk energy. I never really appreciated the lyrical skill of this track until this cover. I love the story that comes through about the black parade and how it explores death, spirituality and personal demons. Moreover, she brings the track to this anthemic peak during the chorus that is a moving experience. It is like Radiohead’s Paranoid Android in that Black Parade is like three songs in one that intertwine and explore different spaces. Alex does a wonderful job tying these disparate ends together into a one emotional and head banging piece of music.
For many years I cast Welcome to the Black Parade off into the pile of pop punk emo tripe that plagued the early 2000s. However, Alex Lahey showed me the error of my ways and brings out the depth and fun in this enjoyable piece of pop punk magic. It’s a great combination of a talented artist bringing out the best of an original work in a cover. This is also a great example of the gems you can find on Record Store Day. So, on October 24th, get out and buy! You know I will.
Listen to Welcome to the Black Parade