If you don't recall, the Onion A.V. Club's Undercover series is basically a bunch of bands choosing a song from a predertimined list and then covering it in the venerable A.V. Club offices. The cover is an odd art for a band—do you reinterpret, or do you retain a sense of reverence about the whole thing? The best Undercovers are the ones where the band stretches themselves, not just playing to their influences. You can find the list of songs for the 2013 Undercover season here, and here are the best Undercovers so far:
YOUNG THE GIANT DOING "IGNITION (REMIX)" BY R. KELLY
It's pretty easy to fuck up one of the greatest songs of all time, so it's damn impressive that the band didn't. Young the Giant lead singer Sameer Gadhia gets extra-soulful at the end.
REGGIE WATTS DOING "PANAMA" BY VAN HALEN
Reggie Watts is a one-man comedian band, so it makes zero sense that he chose to cover a really famous guitar song. Shouts out to the air-guitar solo.
GROUPLOVE DOING "PARTY HARD" BY ANDREW W.K.
Points off for turning Andrew Wilkes-Krier's auditory eager into a sticky-sweet acoustic joint, but those points get replaced because they did it in costume.
GWAR DOING "CARRY ON WAYWARD SON" BY KANSAS
"Kansas was a big part of a big part of music where bands were named after geographical locations, so let's hope that that never happens again." No telling whether or not they have Kansas in space, but GWAR positively fucking slays this Guitar Hero staple.
COHEED AND CAMBRIA DOING "A RUSH AND A PUSH AND THE LAND IS HOURS" BY THE SMITHS
Prog-emo goofballs Coheed and Cambria did hella right by this deep cut from Moz and the gang, completely reversing Noisey's editorial stance on the band in the process.
LOW DOING "AFRICA" BY TOTO
Just your usual PSA that lots of kiknda-schloky songs from the '80s also work great as indie rock dirges!
TITUS ANDRONICUS DOING "BLUEBIRD IN MY HEART" BY THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
The Titus Andronicus drummer works the door at Shea Stadium and is the nicest dude of all ever. Oh, and this song is good too.
LITURGY DOING "PRAYER TO GOD" BY SHELLAC
Hunter Hunt-Hendrix. Steve Albini. Loop pedals. WHO WILL WIN?
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS DOING "BOXCAR" BY JAWBREAKER
John Darnielle is perhaps the single-most interesting human currently residing in the state of North Carolina. He and his Goats brethren deliver Jawbreaker's "Boxcar" with the joy of dudes who have had a few years to digest that the righteous and ultimately kinda-silly fury of the song's lyrics.
BOB MOULD DOING "IF I CAN'T CHANGE YOUR MIND" BY SUGAR (WHICH IS BOB MOULD'S OLD BAND)
We're Premiering Big K.R.I.T.'s "Steps" Documentary & a New Song Feat. Big SANT & Smoke DZA
#weekofKRIT Is Almost Over.
Kanye West and Crustpunk: Together at Last
It's the Leftöver Crack/Kanye mashup you've been waiting for.
Welcome to Koch Boyz, Where We Document What French Montana and the Koch Brothers Are Up To
Welcome to Koch Boyz, a column dedicated to any time the Koch Brothers and French Montana do anything within a few days of each other.
Watch Mark McGuire's Pretty Personal Video for "The Human Condition"
Former Emeralds guitarist incorporates footage from his Dad's "celebrity roast" back in 89...
Listen to a Preview of Julian Casablancas' New Solo LP
The Strokes frontman teases us with what's to come under his new guise Julian Casablancas + The Voidz.
Dum Dum Girls - "Are You Okay" (By Bret Easton Ellis, Official Short Film)
The Dum Dum Girls team up with Bret Easton Ellis in this anxious tale of chilling neurosis. Plus a very personal interview with Dee Dee.
Inside Icona Pop's Wardrobe on Miley's Bangerz Tour
How can you compete with Miley's tongue? By dressing like a cyber warrior from future planet called Awesome.
Listen to an Unreleased Unwound Track, and Read Our In-Depth Interview
Numero Group has taken it upon themselves to give the cult band the historical treatment they deserve.
Real Estate: The Atlas of New Jersey
The band opens up about being called a beach band and how the internet is ruining our lives.
Babymetal Is Your New Favorite Japanese Nü-Metal Girl Group
Meet the teens who have been sent to destroy you.