Artist: Various Artists
Album: Punk Goes 90’s, Volume 2
Fearless Records is back with another installment of their infamous Punk Goes series. For me, these releases have always been hit or miss. There hasn’t been but maybe one or two that I’ve enjoyed thoroughly from, from front to back. One thing is for sure, though. The original Punk Goes 90’s was one of those rare few. The covers were well-executed and I honestly think that (if the original artists haven’t already heard them) they would be proud of them for the most part. 8 years after that phenomenal release, Punk Goes 90’s, Volume 2 is just on the horizon. While not as good as the original, most of the artists on Volume 2 did a fairly solid job on their respective covers. So, which of these were hits and which were misses? Let’s jump into that a bit, shall we?
I’ll start with the bad. My least favorite track on the entire compilation is Falling in Reverse’s cover of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”. It didn’t feel nearly as epic, as gripping or as serious as the original. The original song is about coming to an epitome while living the life of a gangster. It’s about repenting and realizing that your life is wrong, but accepting what you’ve already done in this lifestyle. In that respect, FIR certainly fell short of keeping it true to the cinematic and serious nature of the original. Ronnie Radke is a decent rapper when he tries, but it didn’t feel as though he was really trying on this one. Another one that, although I did enjoy it, didn’t really stack up was Asking Alexandria’s cover of “Closer”, the industrial mammoth single of the 90’s. The screaming was a decent touch, but I felt as though it could have definitely been utilized a bit less, rather than keeping almost half of the cover unclean. Danny Worsnop is a phenomenal singer, there’s no doubt about that.. but the band should definitely have kept a bit more clean vocals in this one. Those are really the only ones I didn’t enjoy as much as I was hoping I would.
To start off the good, we’ll talk about my favorite cover on the album, “Torn” by Hands Like Houses. “Torn” is embedded into the heart for those who have heard the original. It’s both beautiful and uplifting, yet sad and heartbreaking in parts. It really instills itself and, if you’re like me, you have sung along every time it comes on. The twist that Hands Like Houses put on this track amplifies your feelings ten-fold and really throws a curve ball at you. I have never heard a re-imagined cover done the way that these guys did it. From the instrumentals and vocals to the production and deliverance… it’s all beyond perfect to me. Another one I find myself really enjoying is Motionless in White’s cover of “Du Hast”, originally by German industrial legends Rammstein. This is another cover where they added in a bit of screaming, but this time it worked a lot better for them. They managed to stay true to the original, throw their own flavor in and bring a whole new light to a classic industrial track.
Aside from those two tracks I mentioned earlier, every other track is very well-executed. Each band has dug up the classic of their choice, kept true to the original version that we’ve come to know and love and added a new spin on it. Most notably, “Interstate Love Song” by Memphis May Fire and “Comedown” by Mayday Parade. The one twist that I found extremely interesting was “Southtown” by The Ghost Inside. This song was originally performed by P.O.D, who are Christian Rap/Rock idols, but there is no clean singing in the cover whatsoever. So, how is it that the cover could turn out so well? Easy, deliverance! Everything was arranged in such a manner that a heavier sound would be fitting to the cover, which isn’t always the easiest task to accomplish.
Whether you’ve been a fan of the Punk Goes series from the beginning or you’re just now finding out about it, one thing is for sure: There is something for everyone on Punk Goes 90’s, Volume 2. Be sure to pre-order your copy using the links below or pick it up at your favorite retailer when it’s released on Fearless Records, April 1st! Discover what it felt like to be a 90’s kid, only in a new light!
Get Scared – “My Own Worst Enemy”
Asking Alexandria – “Closer”
Mayday Parade – “Comedown”