If the recession is keeping you from sitting at a blackjack table in Vegas with a vodka tonic, make do at home with a shot of Everclear. The Nineties alt-rock hitmakers are back with “The Vegas Years.”
This isn’t an album proper from band leader Art Alexakis and company, but a holdover comprised solely of covers. Wanting to take the Frank Sinatra route, Alexakis states he approached much of the material with an ear for a stylistic facelift. In other words, it mostly sounds just like Everclear.
Sometimes, the update works. The band’s remake of Okie folk legend Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” is spry in its bouncy, sing-along fashion, and the version of Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309 (Jenny) is undeniably energetic, likely because it’s live.
But most times, the covers can’t touch the originals. Hall and Oates’ “Rich Girl” is no great song, but Everclear can’t wring any juice out of it. The Go-Go’s “Our Lips Are Sealed” sounds flat, and the two TV show themes’ “Speed Racer” and “Land of the Lost”‘ are rudimentary at best.