Mark Kozelek has delivered a catalog’s worth of unexpected covers — most famously dedicating entire albums to covers of Modest Mouse and Bon Scott-era AC/DC, respectively, but he’s crafted trademark variations of everything from Wings to Genesis to Ace Frehley to Will Oldham to “Send In The Clowns” — so it’s no surprise that his next release, Like Rats, will be a collection of covers of artists including Bad Brains, Sonny & Cher, and the Misfits. The title track is a cover of an amazing Godflesh song, from that band’s 1989 classic Streetcleaner. Caldo Verde, the label run by Kozelek, has released albums by Godflesh head Justin Broadrick’s Jesu, and Koz has long professed his love of Broadrick’s music, so in these regards, it’s a natural pairing. But Kozelek’s covers usually repurpose old lyrics, putting those familiar words into sepia tones, and “Like Rats” barely has any lyrics — it’s just a dank dystopian nightmare. Still, Kozelek manages to evoke that same spirit in his rendition, and the spartan accompanying video amplifies that sense of unease. Check it out.
Like Rats is out 2/19 via Caldo Verde.