Iron & Wine's Sam Beam may be known as the complete opposite of metal band Gwar, with his soft vocals and tender songwriting. But, those worlds collided thanks to a new Iron & Wine cover of "Sick of You" by none other than, of course, Gwar.
In the original music video for Gwar's single, the band is dressed up in its usual over the top heavy metal imagery: veiny bloodied face masks, spiked shoulder guards, metal chains, demonic medieval armor and horned face piercings. The video has the band performing on stage as they thrash about and the crowd eventually over takes the space.
But none of that was present in Iron & Wine's AV Club Undercover video. The cover is a little surprising. Beam covered the intense, heavy song in his melancholy folk styling and did so in such a nonchalant way that doesn't involve any of the band's theatrics. In some ways, it might have seemed a disservice to the band.
Thankfully, that dichotomy is rectified in the surprise end (spoiler alert) when Gwar makes an appearance in full costume criticizing Beams stripped down performance. Stereogum points out that if you go watch the video on A.V. Club's website and refresh the page multiple times you'll get alternate endings to the clip.
As for Beam's performance itself, he softly finger picks the chords and completely changes the hook of the song to match his typical indie folk manner. There's something jarring about hearing Gwar's lyrics come out of Beam's mouth - "Your socks they smell, your feet they stink, you never take a bath. Your nose it runs, you bust your buns, you always finish last."
Overall, it's a good rendition, even if the cover is missing Gwar's electric bass bridge. It's also a good way to crossover two completely different audiences that very well might have no idea the other existed.