It takes more than chops and imagination to cover a song by Lana Del Rey. It requires guts, too. Lana Del Rey has made inimitability part of her mission from the beginning of her career. But Colin Peterik has never shied away from a musical challenge. The Chicago rocker hasn’t picked something from the periphery of the Lana Del Rey catalog to reinterpret. He jumped right in with one of her essential tracks: “West Coast,” the brooding centerpiece of Ultraviolence, and a song that draws connections between show business, sexuality, freedom and addictive behavior, and American iconography.
That’s a lot to handle — but Peterik is the right man for the task. He was practically born into the music industry: he’s the son of the legendary Jim Peterik, writer of “Eye Of The Tiger,” “Hold On Loosely,” and dozens of other era-defining songs. Colin Peterik knows all about the magic of rock and its promise of freedom, and he’s seen the dangerous underside of the dream-making machine, too. Like Lana Del Rey, he’s thought long and hard about American myths and how they’re often represented (and distorted) on pop records. Everything And Nothing, his upcoming full-length, is a culmination of a life spent grappling with the legacy of pop and rock traditions: a modern-sounding album with roots deep in American cultural history. The set, which was mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Craig Bauer (Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, Justin Timberlake), foregrounds Peterik’s expressive, soulful vocals and the earthy sensuality of his band.
Notably, Ultraviolence was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys; Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast” is a pop recording with powerful classic rock underpinnings. Peterik’s arrangement brings those elements to the forefront, drenching the mix in overdriven six-string and augmenting the song’s rhythmic pulse. Yet he’s preserved the vulnerability of the Ultraviolence original and enhanced its immersive quality, menace, and sense of Southern California as a surreal, dream-drunk place where anything might happen. The “West Coast” clip catches Colin Peterik and his group in the studio, and while nothing hallucinatory happens, the washes of red light and strange reflections in the control-room glass suggest an altered state. These musicians are giving themselves over to the song — a modern classic that has bewitched listeners ever since its release.