It takes serious guts for an indie band to cover an absolute classic Neil Young tune and attempt to make it their own. And then to lead off their new album with said tune puts that band into a whole new category of gutsy.
But Johnny Jewel and company pull it off beautifully. The re-imagined “Into the Black,” otherwise and better known as “Hey Hey My My (Into the Black),” starts off the wonderful new Chromatics album Kill For Love on Jewel’s own Italians Do It Better label. Their last album (2007’s Night Drive) was said to be an inspiration for Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 thriller Drive, and it would seem that Chromatics have returned the favor. Sporting the coolest guitar cover photo since My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Kill For Love is perfect late-night cinematic pop music, sexy and atmospheric, dubby and dark.
On “Into the Black,” classic and perfectly reverbed guitar is picked and strummed with economy behind Ruth Radelet’s affecting lead vocal while a synth crescendo builds ever so slowly in the background. [In a brilliant display of album sequencing, the incredible “Kill For Love” single follows.]
The full-length album is in stores on June 5th, but you can stream the entire album on Soundcloud right now.