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Usually the release of a ‘Punk Goes Pop‘ record is a good chance to write some comical quips bagging the truly woeful attempts of metalcore band post-hardcore bands covering the latest commercial smash hits. On round number five however, things have stepped up considerably from the low point that was number four.
The latest instalment is about fifty-fifty of quality and crap making it worthy of a spin or two. Let’s get the terrible covers out of the way first starting with Issues version of Justin Bieber‘s ‘Boyfriend.’ The irony of choosing a shit song doesn’t mean that the cover will be miraculously better, the "we’ll just add distortion and scream the lyrics" approach that most of the artists who take part in these compilations use these days lack the clever approach of making a cover something original.
A good example of this is Breathe Carolina‘s version of Michael Jackson‘s ‘Billie Jean,’ this time a truly brilliant song has been chosen however, the cover version offers little to no deviation from the original making the whole process pointless and boring.
Now for the good covers, Mayday Parade, with the help of Vic Fuentes from Pierce The Veil offer a great rocked up version of Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know‘ (with Fuentes singing the female part, clearly). Like Moths To Flames manage to create a hardcore version of fun.’s ‘Some Nights‘ while still maintaining the song’s brilliant melodies, while Craig Owens strips back Coldplay’s ‘Paradise‘ to a near acoustic format with room style recording.
The highlight and clear winner of the entire compilation however is the alternate rock version of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun‘ re-worked by The Maine featuring guest vocals from Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara. Of all the cover versions on this record, this is the one that has been completely moulded into something brand new, rivalling the original with its melody twists and dynamics.
Special mentions are also awarded to Forever The Sickest Kids with their rocked up club banger ‘We Found Love‘ and Upon This Dawning’s fun cover of ‘Call Me Maybe.’
Every now and then the ‘Punk Goes Pop’ series will unveil a gem or two, and that certainly is the case on number five. These tracks make the whole process, which is tired and way past its use-by date, worthwhile in a small way, preventing us from completely writing them off just yet.
1. Memphis May Fire (Bruno Mars) – Grenade
2. Upon This Dawning (Carly Rae Jepsen) – Call Me Maybe
3. Mayday Parade featuring Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil (Gotye featuring Kimbra) Somebody That I Used to Know
4. We Came as Romans (The Wanted) – Glad You Came
5. Like Moths to Flames (fun.) – Some Nights
6. Breathe Carolina (Michael Jackson) – Billie Jean
7. Forever the Sickest Kids (Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris) – We Found Love
8. Issues (Justin Bieber) – Boyfriend
9. The Maine featuring Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday (Cyndi Lauper) – Girls Just Want to Have Fun
10. Crown the Empire (Maroon 5) – Payphone
11. Craig Owens (Coldplay) – Paradise
12. The Word Alive (Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz) – Mercy
13. Secrets (Gym Class Heroes) – Ass Back Home