It’s difficult to make a cover sound like a unique production that does justice to its origins, but Moore Ave have done just that with “Santeria.”
The 1997 Sublime hit has transcended generations and continued as a valuable tune in the cultural zeitgeist. Aylmer, Ontario’s Moore Ave put their own indie punk spin on the track as part of its upcoming debut album, “Turn Around.”
Bringing another level of energy and intensity to a track that’s traditionally performed in a more laid back, campfire-y sort of tone adds another layer to the lyrics of the song, which center around a man’s feelings toward his lover and the man she’s cheating on him with.
The idea to put this cover on the album came while Moore Ave were sitting around a fire, a very appropriate setting to discuss “Santeria.” The success of the band’s singles “Beanies And Plaid Jackets” and “6 Feet” had its members – brothers Josh, Joe, and Jack Gaudette and brother-in-punk Shawn MacDonald – excited to take the next step. But what should it be?
“At that time, all the songs we were playing together were released, and Josh had a solid collection of partially written tunes just waiting around for us to tackle,” the band said. “As the night went on and Josh was showing everyone demos of some new tunes, Shawn stopped the conversation and suggested we write and release our first full-length album.
“This was never something we would have ever entertained before for whatever reason,” the band continued. “We thought the single game was what we were playing now just being an indie punk band from a small farm town in Ontario.”
That night, the band decided an album was in its future. The musicians elected to include one cover on the project, and “Santeria” was the quick favorite.
Moore Ave’s cover of the Sublime creation kicks off the countdown for the release of the band’s debut album and provides a taste of what’s to come from its original music. In this take on “Santeria,” Moore Ave pushes the tempo and blends the words of the legendary band with the aura of an early-2000s pop punk aesthetic. Considering the band’s named influences of NOFX, Alexisonfire, Rancid, Sum 41, and Blink-182, plus their reputation for high-octane live performances, it only makes sense. In fact, Alexisonfire has had a direct impact on the production of this project.
During the pandemic, Josh Gaudette took the liberty of sending some demos to Wade McNeil of Alexisonfire on a whim, taking a shot in the dark at his favorite band might find his work to be interesting. Shortly after, McNeil got back to him with positive comments, and the relationship began.
Over the summer of 2021, McNeil set Moore Ave up with a studio and an engineer, and now more than two years and plenty of mixing and mastering later, it’s nearly time for the album’s release.
Keep an eye out for Moore Ave.’s album “Turn Around” in the spring of 2023 and enjoy the band’s cover of Sublime’s “Santeria” – available now.