Titled Dirt Redux, the tribute LP is the latest in a series by Magnetic Eye Records that recreates classic albums with covers by modern heavy bands. It arrives September 18th and features other notable contributions from Thou (“Them Bones”), Low Flying Hawks (“Dam That River”), Forming the Void (“Junkhead”), and more.
Khemmis certainly fit the bill for an Alice in Chains cover. The former’s take on “Down in a Hole” is lovingly rendered with deference toward the original material, but doomed-up just enough — in proper Khemmis fashion.
“I’ve loved this band since I discovered grunge and hard rock in my early teens,” says Khemmis guitarist/vocalist Ben Hutcherson. “When we were presented with the opportunity to cover my favorite song from one of my favorite bands, I checked a pretty big item off of my bucket list. It’s an honor to take such a powerful piece of music and reimagine it through the creative lens of this band. We knew we wanted to stay true to parts of the song, particularly the chorus, but that we also needed to make it our own.”
As influential as Alice in Chains were to modern doom and stoner metal, Khemmis’ cover and the Magnetic Eye tribute album are a befitting gesture of acknowledgement to the grunge masters. For Hutcherson, Alice in Chains have been vital to his own musical journey.
“Alice in Chains has long been one of the most important bands in my life,” Hutcherson explains. “Though they’re (understandably) associated with the Seattle grunge scene, their music carries a visceral heft that, for me, wasn’t present for the other bands of that music world. Dirt was, and remains, a landmark album of bleakness paired with incredible songwriting, and “Down in a Hole” was one of the first songs I learned to play on my dad’s old Takamine acoustic guitar back in ’98 or ’99. The fact that a song like that works as well, if not better, on an acoustic guitar as on a distorted electric guitar is a testament to the power of what those four guys created together.”
“Down in a Hole (Khemmis)” Artwork:
Dirt Redux Artwork:
Dirt Redux Tracklist:
01. Thou – Them Bones
02. Low Flying Hawks – Dam That River
03. High Priest – Rain When I Die
04. Khemmis – Down in a Hole
05. These Beasts – Sickman
06. Howling Giant – Rooster
07. Forming the Void – Junkhead
08. Somnuri – Dirt
09. Backwoods Payback – God Smack
10. Black Electric – Iron Gland
11. – (16) – – Hate to Feel
12. Vokonis – Angry Chair
13. The Otolith – Would?