Metal Elvis is not alone: a trip down live-metal-mashup memory lane

Tonight, something called Metal Elvis makes its Boston debut at the Hard Rock Cafe -- and if you couldn't already tell from the high-concept title, they're a tribute act that Frankensteins together Elvis tunes and '80s metal. To read the press release, these guys sound like the product of a cover-band-generating algorithm having an aneurysm.

The set list is a conveyor belt of Elvis classics mashed with familiar metal anthems played at level 11: "Blue Suede Shoes" with Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher," "Burning Love" with Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," "Hound Dog" with the Poison cover of "Your Mama Don't Dance," and "Don't Be Cruel" with Ratt's "You're In Love."

The band is comprised of Chance Tinder as Elvis, Lou Beadle as "Slush" (as in, "Slash") on lead guitar, Mikey Bones as "Stikki Lixx" on bass, and Pete Kelly as "Katman Kelly" (Peter Criss of KISS is his stage tribute) on drums. Think Spinal Tap with a healthy dose of surf rock...

The promotional blurbage also champions Metal Elvis as "whacky" and "cheesy." And we're not going to argue with that. But if you're tempted to classify this novelty act as an actual novelty, you may want to think twice.

First of all, metal already has an Elvis impersonator. You’ve perhaps heard of Danzig? Been covering Elvis since ’87. (In a similar vein, Type O Negative always did have a thing for the Beatles.)

Second, the sad thing is that there seems to be a rash of heavy metal cover/party bands who all stumbled onto a similar idea, more or less simultaneously, definitely while stoned: “Um, you know what would be even more awesome than covering one metal song? Covering TWO metal songs -- at the same time!”

Of course, the godfathers of that idea were Beatallica, one of the first live mashup bands.

On the flip side of that is Hayseed Dixie, who formed right around the same time -- only their specialty is bluegrass covers of AC/DC. (Although they seem to have branched out to Queen.)

Then there was that time Danzig teamed up with Shakira ...

Not too long ago, we started seeing Rock Sugar making their way around the tubes. (This Madonna+AC/DC cut is a bit more legitimately mashuppy, while Journey+Metallica one below seems content to be just plain schizophrenic.)

And now there's this Metal Elvis thing:

... How far we've come.
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