Two teenage Brits cover well-worn blues classics with a mix of earnest reverence and a slightly post-mod irreverence? A recipe for disaster you say? We hardly need another version of ?A Taste of Honey? or ?House of the Rising Sun?? Oddly, despite the rather obvious song choices, or maybe because of them, ?To Kill A Mockingbird? is a fresh and sharp take on the blues, a raw celebration of music that seems will always have life.
The cover depicts a hanging, with a mule wandering away absent-mindedly, unaware of the tragedy it had helped create. Was it people hung? Voters? Liberty? Who knows. It was drawn by Scarlett Wrench, singing half of the duo that is Malchicks. Barely seventeen, her aged and smoky voice is both innocent and weary, infusing yet new colors to these warhorses. Guitarist Geroge Perez, roughly the same age, plays a mean slide and keeps the tunes anchored in their traditional modes, allowing Wrench to expand them.
Also here you?ll find ?Boom Boom? ?Got My Mojo Workin? a haunting ?I Put A Spell on You? and for cheeky measure, Danzig?s ?Thirteen,? which of course transformed into a modern blues classic by Johnny Cash.
Young, brave and na?ve have always been the prime movers behindthe best music. That passion evokes eternally, what passion came before them. On ?To Kill A mockingbird,? The Malchicks have that youthful passion, but eerily and wisely channel the past deliberately, paying respect to older seers yet updating what we thought had been played out. We owe them, and wait for more. 8/10 -- Mike Wood (18 June, 2008)