William Elliott Whitmore curiously busts out of the gate in his Bloodshot Records career with a covers album. The 10 songs here are largely familiar to Whitmore and some have been clamored for by fans for years.
Whitmore’s legendary live shows often have featured a few of these tracks thrown in and a couple other songs have appeared on obscure compilations or 7″ singles. Whitmore’s version of Bad Religion’s “Don’t Pray On Me” is a longtime standard at shows and a song that his fans know well. His (obviously) slowed down version hones in on the lyrics and gives the song even more credibility. On “Ain’t No Sunshine” you’ll hear a lonely bellow behind a full band, the best part coming in the succession of “I know”s where you can hear Whitmore turn away from the mic while singing like it was impossible not to do. “Fear of Trains” is a great slow telling that matches the style of the rest of his catalog as well. There are a few loose covers here that make this album feel like more of a B-sides than a more focused effort, like on “One Glass At A Time” and the acapella “Country Blues.” There’s some very experimental music on “Bat Chain Puller” the likes of which fans haven’t heard from the Iowa native.
This is a necessary piece of Whitmore’s catalog because of a few key songs but it’s hard not to yearn for an album of self-penned material instead. Much of “Kilonova” is fun and interesting and is worth seeking out for those tunes alone.
Key Tracks: “Don’t Pray On Me” “Fear of Trains” “Ain’t No Sunshine”