Friday, October 13, 2006

You're Back Into The Bog

A recent Tremble Clef post asked if there are any successful Madonna covers and the one that immediately sprang to my mind was BiGod 20's take on "Like A Prayer". Originally appearing on the EBM band's third single "On The Run" it ultimately received more attention from college radio than the a-side or it's remixes in no small part because it transcends it's jokey premise which trades the relative polish of the original for a "scary" industrial sound complete with growling vocals. Do a technorati search and you'll find that it's still getting club play at gothic/industrial nights to this day.

There is more to BiGod 20 than a fun cover but their story is a perfect example of how to remain fairly obscure. Talla 2XLC (who had previously been involved with in even more obscure projects Moskwa TV and The Microchip League) met up with Jallokin in the late 80s and after a couple of primarily instrumental 12" singles they teamed up with Front 242's Jean Luc-DeMeyer to record their industrial classic "The Bog". The song was an international success and got them signed to Reprise who released the single stateside in 1990. The following year saw the release of the Dead Poets Society-sampling "Carpe Diem" but it wouldn't be until 1992 that they finally found permanent vocalist Zip Campisi and released their debut album Steel Works!. Obviously the two year gap between the "teaser" single and the album didn't help sales. Steel Works! also had some strange decisions like including the originally released in 1988 and very much sounding like it "America" while dropping "Carpe Diem" making it less of a great album and more of just a good one. The band's 1994 follow-up Supercute didn't really get much attention, in part because of changing trends in the industrial scene that found guitar-led material more in the mainstream and because the album's only single "One" just wasn't as catchy as their earlier material.

The band drifted apart but they remain active producing music. Jallokin has released material as recently as last year and Talla 2XLC is a working dj and produces more techno and trance flavored material like this 2002 Depeche Mode cover. Here's the video for "The Bog" which is fantastic simply because it helps us remember a time when black rain ponchos were a fashion statement:

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