Album Review: Various - 'Punk Goes Pop Vol. 4'

8 December 2011 | 3:13 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Enough really is enough.

After the woeful collection of crap that made up the third instalment of the ‘Punk Goes Pop series, I’m surprised that a fourth one was even given the green light. Nevertheless this exists and now we all need to deal with it as the quality is still seriously lacking, even though there are a few more standouts this time around as opposed to volume three.

The lines between the punk and the pop are blurred for a couple of reasons, the first being that most of the bands on the playlist are already far more pop than they are punk. The second is that most of the versions of the songs sound as pop as the originals do, seeming like the artists missed the point of the title. For example The Ready Set's cover of Wiz Khalfa's Roll Up, which features Mod Sun, is far more sugary sweet than the original, making Khalifa's version look like 'hip-hop goes pop.'

The highlight is Go Radio’s rocking version of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep, in which the brilliant melodies of the original song are the only thing maintained while the music itself has been replaced by a guitar driven, fast paced, heavily dynamic new rendition. Good covers combine the artists own unique style with elements of the original song to create something new, just as Tonight Alive have done with their energetic cover of Mumford & Son’s Little Lion Man.

Bad covers are the ones in which little effort has obviously gone into the remake, like the Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! version of Ke$ha’s terrible We R Who We R, which sounds like exactly what would happen if a hardcore band played a Ke$ha song straight off the sheet music.

Granted it is hard to shine shit which is why band’s like Allstar Weekend and I See Stars clearly had trouble making something worthwhile out of their Chris Brown and Britney Spears covers. With the exception of the poorly re-written rap verse from Down With Webster, that sounds exactly like a Childish Gambino imitation, Silverstein’s cover of the Kanye West's Runaway is a good solid rock version with the necessary sounds replicated in a clever way.

The issue of attracting bigger name bands still seems to be a problem for ‘Punk Goes Pop,’ which when coupled with the fact that pop music these days sucks, it is hard to see this series ever climbing out of the hole. It seems as though they are now flogging the dust that used to be the bones of a very dead horse.

1. Pierce The Veil – Just The Way You Are (Bruno Mars)
2. Tonight Alive – Little Lion Man (Mumford & Sons)
3. Woe, Is Me – Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F) (Katy Perry)
4. The Ready Set feat. Mod Sun – Roll Up (Wiz Khalifa)
5. Sleeping With Sirens – Fuck You (Cee Lo Green)
6. Go Radio – Rolling In The Deep (Adele)
7. For All Those Sleeping – You Belong With Me (Taylor Swift)
8. Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! – We R Who We R (Ke$ha)
9. A Skylit Drive – Love The Way You Lie (Eminem)
10. Allstar Weekend – Yeah 3X (Chris Brown)
11. I See Stars – Till The World Ends (Britney Spears)
12. Silverstein feat. Down With Webster – Runaway (Kanye West)
13. The Downtown Fiction – Super Bass (Nicki Minaj)