Alternative metal trio Black 9 reimagine an iconic rock ballad in “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which arrives at the doorstep of listeners packing a heavy punch and just as much emotion and spirit as the classic did some thirty-eight years ago. Anyone who loves old school rock n’ roll knows this Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks tune, but Black 9 wasn’t content to let the aging tonality of the original go uncelebrated in 2019, and they dish out one heck of a rendition in their own right here. A thrill ride for rock, metal and pop fans alike, this is one cover that outgrew the karaoke bar from the moment of its conception.
The bass here is a bruiser in every sense, entering the song with a staggering limberness that quickly becomes a hostile, threatening force to be reckoned with on its own. Even when the guitars and drums are trying to reign it in, the bassline is always spilling into everything else in this track, demanding our attention and drowning the arrangement in bottom-end bluster. On paper one would think this could be the ultimate disaster for a cover, but in this scenario it works well, mostly because Black 9’s sound is already top-heavy to begin with, making the whole arrangement feel more balanced.
There’s no getting around the fact that the vocals are the star of the show in “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” and even though the stampeding guitars give them a run for their money, it’s the velvety serenade tucked between the righteous riffs that keeps us inching closer to the molten hot nucleus of this song. Anyone who ever said that melody and metal can never unite in the same track without slipping into the pitfalls of excess needs to make a point of hearing this single, as the very notion of their ill-considered concept will be dismissed within the first thirty seconds of play.
As fat and full of vitality as the guitar parts are here, Black 9 seemingly go out of their way to reject virtuosity as a means of expressing their sonic potency, which is less than commonplace in their circles. Most of this band’s contemporaries would have done the opposite with this song and injected its central hook with a flashbang guitar solo and over-exaggerated vocals, therein finding themselves in a dead end (inevitably). Black 9 are too smart for that, and demonstrate as much with their own special delivery of a fluff-free “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”
While this has been covered by hundreds of artists in a litany of genres that go well beyond the flamboyancies of heavy metal and hard rock in general, I must say that Black 9’s “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” is among the best that I have ever heard, if for no other reason than because of the band’s willingness to try something different with the song’s bones. Covers are not easy to pull off no matter how talented the artist is, and this phenomenally popular classic rock song has got to be one of the tougher sells in the spectrum. All the same, Black 9 execute a straight up masterpiece here and make no apologies in doing so.
Sebastian Cole The music of BLACK9 has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik Radio Promotions. Learn more – HTTPS://musikandfilm.com