A month or two ago, we saw Me First and the Gimme Gimmes live. At one point, Spike Slawson pulled out a ukulele and declared he was playing songs from his side project – of ukulele cover versions – called Uke-Hunt. I thought he was joking.
Soon after, Fat Wreck announced the upcoming release of this; the début release from Uke-Hunt. Spike wasn’t joking. What we have here are two cover versions – obviously – predominately played by Spike on the uke, joined by Joe Raposo (Lagwagon/RKL) on upright bass and Randy Burk (Filthy Thieving Bastards) on percussion. Side A is David Bowie’s “The Prettiest Star” – to be featured on the upcoming full length – whilst the flip side, exclusive to this single, is Michael Jackson’s “Ben”.
Both songs are brilliant, in the same way that Me First’s cover versions are. It’s tongue-in-cheek but clearly played with love and reverence to the originals with, if I had to choose, the better of the two being the B side. Whilst I am excited for the full length I must admit that I’m not entirely convinced the idea will hold up to an entire album’s worth of tracks. The stripped back nature of these interpretations might mean that the joke wears thin long before the record has finished.
Still, I’m looking forward to hearing it.
– Ian Perry