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by Doug Moore
Portishead at Hammerstein Ballroom, 2011 (more by Dana [Distortion] Yavin)
Both Portishead and their vocalist Beth Gibbons tend to work slowly; the former theoretically have an album in the works, though it could take "ten fucking years" to be completed. (We're down to seven, now; the band have reportedly cleared their schedules.) Gibbons, likewise, announced plans last year to release a solo album via Domino Records, but details are still in the offing 10 months after the initial announcement.
In the meantime, Gibbons teamed up with the unheralded UK doom band Gonga for an intriguing Record Store Day release: a basically note-for-note cover of Black Sabbath's classic, eponymous song. If you didn't get a copy last weekend (and don't want to spend a bundle on Ebay) you can stream the recording below. Gonga pretty much just play it the way Sabbath did, and even Gibbons' vocal performance is fairly conservative and buttoned up. Still, it's good to hear her voice on a new recording.
Check out the "Black Sabbath" cover (with footage from Mario Bava's titular 1963 horror film) below...