Various - Punk Goes Pop Vol. 4 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Punk Goes Pop Vol. 4 (2011)

Fearless Records

Punk Goes Pop didn't hit the spot for me over the course of the last few releases, but come volume 4 maybe things got better? While enjoying the Punk Goes Metal, '80s and '90s titles, it's hard to stomach a lot of the uber pop that's glorified on the radio these days, but maybe the Punk Goes… series could take some sheen and wasted glamor off these radio-friendly tunes and break it down just right for us. Then again, hearing bands we like covering these songs could well help butcher what we think of them. Take it in with a pinch of salt.

The album opens nicely with Pierce the Veil's cover of Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" and Vic Fuentes is spot on as usual with his clean notes and accompanying gritty bandmates. It's a decent segue into the Mumford and Sons cover of "Little Lion Man" by Aussie outfit Tonight Alive, with some dashing guitar work and impressive vocals by young Jenna Mcdougall as they seem to be progressing to something interesting and more than initially envisioned. Come 2012, I'd like hearing more from them.

Woe is Me offers their two cents with a Katy Perry cover that is more style than substance but doesn't ring too shabby. While the vocal arrangements and style throughout the album lack in-depth intricacy, the instrumentals from the majority of the bands are hardcore and worthy of some praise. Still, that doesn't cook up winners on all the tracks.

The Ready Set "Roll Up" cover of Wiz Khalifa and a precarious Taylor Swift cover from For All Those Sleeping leave way too much to be desired and prove detrimental to the album's quality. I sugarcoated it. They really mucked up. The rest of the album doesn't offer anything too fancy as the bands stick to the formulaic vow of decent (sometimes whiny, high-pitched) vocals, clean and smooth; with a dash of fast paced guitars, double kick here and there…and thrash 'n' screamo. That recipe doesn't mean a big seller or a listenable album. It isn't hard to digest but absorbing punk covers of Ke$ha, Britney Spears and, jeez, that entity known as Kanye West, may be asking a bit too much for hardcore punk fans.

Go Radio's "Rolling in the Deep" is the talisman on the album as it isn't as much punk but more alternative rock, yet does the original justice. It by far takes the cake in an impressive cover to say the least. A Skylit Drive's "Love the way you lie" also focuses on their strengths and churns out a raw yet fine performance from the gents.

For a lot of punk fans, it isn't in between, it's either a hit or miss. Luckily for me, I scraped a few bands I liked off this album and their songs proved decent. The others…well, let's just say that the bands have talent and should be doing some Punk Goes '80s, '90s or, here's a bright idea, how about Punk Goes '60s and '70s? It's punk right? Why not Punk Goes Punk Classics C'mon…it doesn't take a genius to see that.