For Fans Of
Rock Sound are arguably the best music magazine in the whole goddamn business. They follow all styles of heavy/alternative music, they convey it all in a mature, engaging context, and they have the guts to put small local bands that barely anyone outside of England has heard of on their cover. They were even one of the first magazines to put Skrillex on their front cover back in the day. Why do all that? Because they fucking love music, and they like to do what others will not, or what they are hesitant to do. So of course they got some of the U.K.’s biggest acts and the best up and coming bands (plus Stray From The Path) for their 200th edition – congrats guys!
So how do these covers stack up? Well, much like auditions on The Voice and X-Factor, some are good, some are bad, some are cringeworthy and some are just plain weird.
You Me At Six’s cover of 30 Seconds To Mars ‘Kings & Queens’ kicks off the compilation and it is quite similar, except instead of starting with a chorus, it just builds and builds until the glorious climax is reached. Bury Tomorrow’s metalcore approach of Evanescence’s ‘Bring Me To Life’ is passable, but will have Amy Lee rolling in her grave (please note that she’s not actually dead). Twin Atlantic bring some actual life and character to Weezer’s rock hit, ‘Beverly Hills’, complete with heaps of fuzzy distortion, but perhaps another older Weezer track would have worked better here. ROAM’s cover of Nickleback’s ‘Someday’ is well, it’s okay, but that’s not really a compliment considering the original…
Thankfully, We Are The Ocean (who are still going) do a solid play through of Foo Fighter’s ‘The Pretender‘, however it is very similar to the original and that may lead to a lot of harsh comparisons, as fans of the Foo Fighter’s lap at Dave Grohl like small puppies and reject any covers. Architects’ cover of Slipknot’s ‘Wait And Bleed’ is good, but there is something lacking. Despite Sam Carter’s powerhouse screams and the band’s impeccable instrumentation, the cover falls so very flat that it makes actual paper blush. Perhaps it’s the double tracked chorus of both Carter’s singing and screaming, or the different intro used, but it just doesn’t work at times.
Sometimes taking a heavy, rock song and turning it into something more relaxing, more dynamic, and more chilled out can work. Well, the opposite is also true. See, As It Is do a somewhat decent pop-punk styling of Paramore’s acoustic single, ‘The Only Exception’, and while the original may not have been that shit hot, it could have been a lot worse.
Easily the best cover of the release is Stray From The Path’s slick and bouncy ode to Deftones with their rendition of ‘Back To School’. This is basically the same as the original is terms of tone, tempo, feeling etc. but that’s not a bad thing. Most, not all, but most of these covers are all new reimagining’s, and that’s fine, but they sometimes miss the mark. Yet Stray kept it similar and have paid great homage to a great fucking band with an equally great groovy cover. Great!
Speaking of groove, Hacktivist cover ‘(Rock) Superstar’ by Cypress Hill, because of course they fucking would. Much like their insanely good cover of Jay-Z’s and Kanye West’s ‘Niggas In Paris’, this track is a real jam, a banger, a solid tune, or whatever other douchebag/hipster term you can think of to describe it. Neck Deep do a damn fine job of honoring Funeral For A Friend with a cover of their seminal track, ‘Juneau‘, and the Welsh boys would be very proud indeed. In fact, those five Welsh boys also feature on the release, covering Hell Is For Heroes mid 2000’s banger ‘I Can Climb Mountains‘. Now, at the risk of individualizing, when this reviewer heard that FFAF would be covering that song, he may have peed himself a little bit, and this incontinence was repaid with what is a damn fine rendition of a classic song.
Enter Shikari do an impressive, if odd, mash-up/rave-like remix of System Of A Down’s seminal ‘Chop Suey!’ which is very typical of their actual music, but it does the original a lot of justice. And we do mean a lot. Finally, what is easily the strangest cover here is The Defiled’s version of Bring Me The Horizon’s hit, ‘It Never Ends‘, and it’s a mash up of all kinds of styles and sounds, all to do a great result.
While the release was off to a great start with a title that references Glassjaw’s phenomenal second album, (seriously, that album is better than anything you’ll ever hear, ever), it does drop its bearings at times with the covers from ROAM, As It Is, Architects. However, the covers from Hacktivist and Stray From The Path for example, really shine through as the best. A good point of reference is to obviously check out the original songs and then look up these new renditions. If you don’t care for the originals, then you may either hate or loathe these covers. If you’re keen for the album, you can find it in a newsagents near you, and yes, we do get Rock Sound out here. You’re welcome.
1. Kings And Queens – You Me At Six
2. Chop Suey! – Enter Shikari
3. Wait And Bleed – Architects
4. Beverly Hills – Twin Atlantic
5. Juneau – Neck Deep
6. Bring Me To Life – Bury Tomorrow
7. Everything Is Alright – Lower Than Atlantis
8. I Can Climb Mountains – Funeral For A Friend
9. The Pretender – We Are The Ocean
10. The Only Exception – As It Is
11. It Never Ends – The Defiled
12. Back To School – Stray From the Path
13. (Rock) Superstar – Hactivist
14. Someday – ROAM