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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Lez Zeppelin

Lez Zeppelin I

Review by Gary Hill

How does one go about reviewing a disc like this? I mean, it’s a faithful copy of an album by another band. And, I’ve already reviewed the original album. I guess the only thing to do is compare it to that version and coming close to the original (come on, this is an all female Zeppelin tribute band) is the true line of success. Tributes aren’t designed to stretch the boundaries of covers, but rather to produce them as the original band did. I should mention, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I’m currently working to put together a tribute band of my own, so it’s a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, and one that I’ve thought about a lot. From my way of looking at it, doing a tribute band for a group that’s still out touring is kind of redundant. But for bands like Led Zeppelin who fans can never see live, a tribute band can give them the opportunity to experience something similar. Of course, there’s a big trend for all female bands covering all male bands. So, this outfit falls into that subset. All in all, musically, and even production-wise, this really does a great job of capturing the sound and magic of the first Led Zeppelin album. The vocals are the real variance, but they are strong and just vary mostly in tone from Robert Plant’s performances. Frankly, I’d sure not want to try to duplicate Robert Plant’s vocals myself. I hope this band continues to work their way through Zeppelin’s catalog. It’s a fun idea. And, I hope they don’t mind if my band runs with that idea. I won’t tell you who we’re covering, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Good Times Bad Times

Musically this is a perfect copy of the Led Zeppelin version. The vocals at times seem closer to The Runaways and at other points closer to Heart. All in all this is great, though. Sure, it’s a tribute, but a darned good one.

Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
This bluesy, haunting ballad has always been one of my favorite songs from Led Zeppelin. So, I really appreciate this rendition. The vocals are, in some ways closer to the original than were the vocals on the original. Musically, though, while it’s quite close, it seems to have a bit of a Spanish guitar element added to the mix. Of course, I think that’s more about the production than about the actual performance.
You Shook Me
Where the first two songs came in a few seconds longer than the Led Zeppelin versions, this one runs about fifteen seconds less. It’s perhaps even closer to the original than the first two cuts. It’s always been a great, hard rocking bluesy number and this rendition is no exception.
Dazed And Confused
For many, this is the biggie off the first Led Zeppelin album. So, it’s going to represent a big piece of the success or failure here. There are some definite differences here from the original, but in terms of overall sound more than any specific details. They still capture the flavor. The mix seems a bit different with the drums more prominent. However, recording technology is certainly different. It’s a great cover, though.
Your Time Is Gonna Come
The keyboard introduction feels a bit different on this piece, and there is definitely some difference in the vocal department, but overall this is one of the closest renditions of the set. It’s also a great tune.
Black Mountain Side
This instrumental is pretty much right on the money. In terms of length it’s one second shorter than the original.
Communication Breakdown
This smoking hot rocker is precisely as long as the Led Zeppelin version and comes across as one of the most faithful cuts here. That’s mostly due to the scorching vocal performance. The instrumental section, though, feels a little different.
I Can't Quit You Baby
This blues rocker is presented in a faithful rendition. Perhaps by this point the vocals are gaining more familiarity or perhaps they are closer to the original. All in all, though, this is a killer performance.
How Many More Times
And, this smoking hot bluesy number feels quite like the original. They do an excellent job of getting the guitar sound perfect and, in fact, it wouldn’t be hard to close your eyes and imagine that it’s Led Zeppelin playing. There’s a cool little detail on the album cover. When originally released by Led Zeppelin, although this song was almost eight and a half minutes in length, the liner notes showed it at three-minutes and thirty seconds, reportedly as an attempt to trick radio into playing it. Well, the song here is listed as that length, also – nice touch.
 
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