The “Punk Goes…” series has helped pay tribute to many great bands over the years, by re-imagining songs by new artists in the “scene”. The latest edition to the “Punk Goes…” roster is Punk Goes Pop Vol. 2, a release comprising of some of todays biggest hits, interpreted by other great bands.
The album kicks right off into full gear with Alesana’s cover of “What Goes Around Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake. To say that this track took the original song to a heavier level would be an understatement. As strong guitar riffs and screams tear through the track, turning this from sad breakup song to headbanger’s delight.
The next couples tracks power through all different kinds of pop. From Silverstein’s rendition of the “Apologize” turning it into a powerful ballad with a climactic finish. August Burns Red’s cover of “…Baby One More Time”, which transforms Britney Spear’s hit into a thrash-fest of epic proportions.
Some of the strongest tracks on Punk Goes Pop 2 are ones that endure the most drastic changes. “When I Grow Up” by Mayday Parade changes the up-beat track into one that emphasizes the catchiness of the Pussycat Dolls original while lacing it with dark undertones that make it much easier to relate to. Also the strength in Bayside’s “Beautiful Girls” changes the Sean Kingston reggae influenced pop jam into an instrumentally strong and incredibly charming Bayside version. “Disturbia” by The Cab also possess a certain charm, that with The Cab’s strong instrumentation and vocal ability makes this track undeniable and one of the album’s strongest tracks, this rendition could even serve as an official single for The Cab.
As strong as these tracks are, there are some misses to be found on Punk Goes Pop 2. When it comes to some of the more obscure tracks, it truly becomes hit or miss with songs. Breathe Carolina’s version of “See You Again” unfortunately comes off as a bit forced and lacks adrenaline, making the Miley Cyrus version more fast-paced and exciting. Attack Attack’s version of “I Kissed A Girl” has a lackluster techno beat followed by a hardcore breakdown, that just lacks that extra oomph the other tracks possess that could take it from alright cover, to awesome dance jam.
In conclusion, like most cover-based albums with many different artists some tracks will falter (see: Chiodos’ “Flagpole Sitta”), while other tracks will rise above the rest and sometimes will be better then the original (see: A Static Lullaby’s “Toxic”). Overall Punk Goes Pop 2 is a fun, solid offering that will keep the franchise alive for years to come. Here’s to another round of tributes to some of the artists that have and will continue to shape our music scene.