It almost sounds like some kind of twisted dare: What would Black Sabbath sound like with Morrissey rocking the mic instead of that batty Ozzy Osbourne? Curious? So were a crew of Denver musicians, who — operating pseudonymously as the Blacksmiths — have gone ahead and answered that burning question, setting the Smiths' fey, girl-afraid lyrics to Sabbath's sludgy proto-metal.
Like most mash-ups, the 11 cuts on the Blacksmiths' lo-fi debut are a mixed bag and, for the most part, pure novelty. But some of the pairings work brilliantly, such as Ozzisey's sinister snarl of "Do you really think she'll pull through?" on a hybrid of "Planet Caravan" and "Girlfriend in a Coma." Similarly, the self-loathing of "How Soon is Now?" becomes a kick to the gut when howled over the swirling guitar psychedelia of "Sweet Leaf."
The Blacksmiths' CD is available for free via the band's Web site, www.blacksmiths.ws. The group performs a free CD-release show with Most Extreme Idols and Frontside Five at 9 tonight at Denver's Cherry Pit, 60 S. Broadway. Call (303) 777-4200 for details.