Following their recent cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Avalanche,” Louisville post-punk trio FOTOCRIME presents the next in their ongoing series of cover songs, offering their rendition of Government Issue’s “Jaded Eyes,” which features guest vocals from J. Robbins of Jawbox, Burning Airlines, and of course, Government Issue.
Band founder Ryan Patterson writes, “Last year, soon after hearing that legendary DC recording studio Inner Ear was closing its doors, we contacted longtime friend and collaborator J. Robbins and booked a FOTOCRIME session at Inner Ear with J. at the boards. My previous band Coliseum recorded an EP at Inner Ear with J. over a decade prior and I wanted to return one last time before the studio closed. Nick, Will, and I jumped in the van and traveled to Arlington to record three songs, one of which was this cover of Government Issue’s ‘Jaded Eyes.’
“In a first for FOTOCRIME, we recorded direct to two inch 16-track tape with nearly everything live to tape. For the backbone of this song, we had an Oberheim DX drum machine clocked to a Moog Sub 37 sequence, a few pre-recorded bits of Roland CR-5000 Compurhythm drum machine and an early Casio on a couple of melodic overdubs. Will’s bass, Nick and my guitars, and my vocals were record live with the DX blasting away. J., who was the bass player and backup singer in Government Issue during the ‘Jaded Eyes’ era, sang backing vocals on the chorus.
“I truly love Government Issue’s 86-88 era. It always seemed to me that they were on a similar trajectory to the Damned, with more and more melody coming to the forefront, bits of psychedelia, and moments of baroque Iggy-esque crooning. ‘Jaded Eyes’ has always been my favorite GI song, it’s the perfect melding of John Stabb’s baritone, Tom Lyle’s gorgeous open chords, J.’s bass melodies, and Pete Moffett’s majestic drumming. We injected some Billy Duffy-inspired guitar and minimal punk-disco into our version and I’m really happy with how it came out. While the original GI version wasn’t recorded at Inner Ear, it felt right and beautiful to record our take on the song there with J.”
The new visualizer for “Jaded Eyes” was created by Patterson.
Watch for additional cover tracks to post in the days ahead.
While Ryan Patterson, the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer behind FOTOCRIME, often sings in a rich baritone, he stands in stark contrast to the laconic troubadour persona typically associated with his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Patterson has spent over two-and-a-half decades adding to the town’s legacy with his impassioned and activist-minded approach to music, his distinctive work as a graphic artist, and his contributions to nearly every aspect of creative underground culture. After his time fronting forward-thinking art-inflected punk band Coliseum, Patterson looked to the urban centers of London, New York, and Berlin for new sonic inspiration, drawing from the passion of his roots while tapping into the sounds of classic EBM and post-punk artists for FOTOCRIME.
Patterson is joined in FOTOCRIME by two fellow Louisville underground legends, both longtime friends and collaborators; guitarist Nick Thieneman (Young Widows, Fool’s Ghost) and bass player Will Allard (Aon Brasi, Xerxes). At their live shows, the trio lines the front of the stage for a guitar and synth-fueled attack, backed by the trusty pummeling of their drum machine. When in Patterson’s House of Foto recording studio, all three band members readily share instrumental duties on new recordings. Allard is a well-versed pianist and drummer and Thieneman is well known for his prowess on the bass guitar.
With FOTOCRIME’s organic-meets-electronic cinematic sweep, Patterson charts the topography of concrete-lined city streets, his voice permeating every opening like a heavy morning fog. The songs are intimate and poignant yet immediate and visceral, reminding us of the communal experience of getting lost in a sea of people while the sound of a bass drum beats on our chests.