By Brian Harris
The latest release in Fearless Records’ “Punk Goes _____” series, where a bunch of mostly non-descript and mostly non-punk bands cover popular songs of different genres, is “Punk Goes 90’s Vol. 2”. Being a “90’s kid”, for whatever that’s worth, I was able to spend my childhood watching killer cartoons, wear some questionable clothes (Does anyone remember JNCOs?) but most importantly, some great music across all genres from rock to rap and all others in between.
The track listing for “Punk Goes 90’s Vol. 2” reads off as a who’s who of 90’s musical icons, from Coolio, P.O.D and Smash Mouth to Nine Inch Nails, Natalie Imbrugila and the Smashing Pumpkins. Such a range of artists would mean that there’s some musical variety but when you have mostly crappy metalcore bands doing these covers, all that you’re going to here is a lot of nostalgia mixed with some unnecessary screaming and breakdowns.
With that being said, there are some pretty good covers on “Punk Goes 90’s Vol. 2.” Utah’s Get Scared does a good job with “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit, while goofy French pop-core band Chunk! No Captain Chunk is the perfect band to cover Smash Mouth’s “All Star” and Rammstein’s “Du Hast” is right up the alley for Motionless In White. The best cover on the record is the cover of Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” by Boston post-hardcore band Ice Nine Kills, who adds just the perfect amount of heaviness to further bolster the greatness of that song.
However, the duds on this album are so bad that they just about poison the rest of the record. Asking Alexandria’s cover of NIN’s “Cover”, while sticking close to the original sonically, is simply too angst-ridden, which takes away from the song completely while Memphis May Fire’s sped-up version of “Interstate Love Song” by Stone Temple Pilots is full of breakdown and keyboards that are so unnecessary its not even funny, its just too much.
The worst offender though is Falling In Reverse, also known as the worst fucking band on the planet ever. Their cover of “Gangsta’s Paradise” is SO BAD that it sets music back a few years. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than people doing stuff that they have no right doing and FIR’s lead singer Ronnie Radke’s piss-poor attempt to rap is just pathetic, pathetic to the point of infuriation. I could spend an hour ragging on Falling In Reverse for being so bad but I won’t so I’ll end this paragraph by saying fuck Falling In Reverse.
“Punk Goes 90’s Vol. 2” is ultimately just like every other release in the “Punk Goes _____” series. The album as a whole is worth buying but thanks to iTunes, you can cherry-picked the handful of songs worth having. **3/4
Recommended Songs: “All Star”, “Du Hast”, “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”