Jason Molina - The Black Sabbath Covers (7" Single)
When Jason Molina took on another artist's song, he willed his own universe into it, his own personal and artistic mythology. Be it Conway Twitty or Townes Van Zandt, their blues were infused with Molina's own entrancing blues. This pair of newly discovered, home-recorded Black Sabbath covers is no different. Molina, a through-and-through fan of metal (seek out his high school metal band the Spineriders' album if you havenâ€™t yet) peels back the sinister and stoned elements of Sabbath, zeroing in on the loneliness and brooding. He takes "Solitude," from 1971's unfuckwithable "Master of Reality" and one of Sabbath's more mystical, near-proggy songs - and doubles down on the title. Molina extracts Ozzy Osbourne's gorgeously cooed vocal performance and transforms it into a high and lonesome sound, a desert campfire howler. And on his cover of "Snowblind," from 1972's Vol. 4, it becomes obvious what a guitar hero Sabbath's Tony Iommi was for Molina. Molina seemed to pull from Iommi's odd, simple fingerings and tunings throughout his catalogue: from his first album (known informally as "the black album") to Magnolia Electric Co.'s Josephine. Molina's brief acoustic cover dials back the bombast, but you can surely connect "Snowblind"'s chord progressions with Molina's own on the black albumÂ andÂ Axxess & Ace. Recorded in the midwest in the late '90s, during Molina's multi-season run of batting 1.000, these two intimate songs are a bittersweet artifact of one of the rustbelt's titan songwriters. Note to buyer: Do not attempt to play Side B of this 7" release. Side B is a gorgeous etching of a black ram by artist Will Schaff. If you do attempt to play the etching on Side B it will sound absolutely awful.