Various Artists - Load Yer Pipes: A Folk-Punk Tribute to Choking Victim (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Various Artists

Load Yer Pipes: A Folk-Punk Tribute to Choking Victim (2015)

No Time Records

There’s no doubt that Choking Victim had a huge influence on contemporary punk rock. The band’s mixture of crust punk, ska, and metal made the band truly unique. It’s arguable that the band’s seminal and only full length, No Gods/No Managers is the best punk rock album of the 90’s and one of the best punk rock albums ever written.

A small, independent punk record label out of Mission Viejo, California called No Time Records got 22 bands to record one folk-punk Choking Victim cover each and created Load Yer Pipes: A Folk-Punk Tribute to Choking Victim. Every band took their designated Choking Victim song and changed it up to make it their own. Some decided to just go with an acoustic guitar and vocals, while others went in a completely different directions.

This comp starts out with what I think is its best track, which is Justice Denied’s cover of “Infested.” Justice Denied went in a radically different direction than the original does. The song actually starts out with the introduction of “Dueling Banjos” (from the movie Deliverance). In this case though, the duel is between an acoustic guitar and a piano. This eventually evolves into “Infested” when the drums, bass, distorted electric guitar, and harsh, crusty screams come in. There are also noticeable rhythm changes during the verses that are nowhere to be found in the original, but the band stays fairly conservative to the original’s instrumentation during the pre-choruses and choruses. You don’t hear the piano again, which is really what makes this cover shine compared to the other 21 songs, until the bridge. The classical piano technique that is being played makes the song sound so enchanting and makes you forget that the lyrics are about lice infestations.

Another really good track on this comp is The Old Fashion Machine’s cover of “Money Changes Everything.” The band took what was a very distorted and octave-heavy song and made it into this crusty, country version. But it’s not the kind of country you’d hear on the radio today, this band changed into an upright bass-heavy hillbilly country song.

The band Anti-Venöm took the task of covering “Hate Yer State,” but instead of going the folk-punk direction like the rest of the songs, they managed to morph the song into this electro-hardcore punk hybrid. I hate EDM music. I avoid it at all costs. But this song gets a pass even for me.

And finally, We The Heathens changed “War Story” into this pretty tradition folk song. A mandolin plays the high-pitch guitar riff that is in the original and a violin plays along with the vocal melody, while an acoustic guitar takes care of the rhythm section.

What makes Load Yer Pipes: A Folk-Punk Tribute to Choking Victim so cool is that it is very dynamic in sound, yet all of the songs were originally written one band. If you love that crack rock steady beat, give this comp a shot because fans of the original tracks will find a lot of these new arrangements pretty fascinating.