Chicago progressive outfit Umphrey’s McGee have simply been on a roll this week. First they announced their new album, “Zonkey”, which will be a compilation of their best mash-ups created over the past eight years during their traditional Halloween run. Then they announced that they would return to Chicago for New Year’s Eve for the first time in six years for a sure-to-be-awesome three night run. And now, via an exclusive release through Consequence of Sound, they’ve just released the first track from “Zonkey”: a mash-up of Radiohead, Beck, and Phil Collins with “National Loser Anthem”.
The track combines Radiohead’s “National Anthem”, Beck’s “Loser”, and Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” to create a haunting, driving mash-up of epic proportions. The song features guitarist Jake Cinninger taking over Beck’s vocals as the sinister beat from “National Anthem” plays behind him, before the chorus of “Loser” kicks in. Verse two features guitarist Brendan Bayliss on Thom Yorke‘s haunting vocals over the “Loser” beat. The song then breaks down into the intro of “In The Air Tonight”, with drummer Kris Myers providing Collins’ famous focals, before Cinninger returns with more “Loser” vocals over the synth-heavy track as the band plays the track out.
In his interview with CoS, Bayliss had this to say about the fun mash-up track: “Initially, I thought Beck’s ‘Loser’ was a great candidate for a mashup because the chorus is so addictive. “Once I started playing it against other tunes, I knew it would work with several different songs because the structure is pretty much one key the whole time. Everyone knows it, so I think it was easy for the other guys to imagine it played against Radiohead, before even trying it. I remember the first time we played it live. It was a joy to watch the crowd’s reaction as they figured out what was happening.”
The track is awesome, and, with eleven tracks left on the album, we can’t wait to hear the rest of “Zonkey”.
Listen to “National Loser Anthem” below!