Stampin' Ground/North Side Kings - Allied Forces (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Stampin' Ground / North Side Kings

Allied Forces (2003)


A while back I was praising Ensign for making a covers album truly worthy of the great songs and bands they were covering. If you're looking to make a good cover album, follow the blueprint Ensign laid out, or for a different route, just do the exact opposite of what these bands did.

This split had tons of potential; it really could have been great. Just look at the bands these guys were covering: DRI, Judge, Cro-Mags, Inside Out, Agnostic Front, and SOD. The problem is, all they really did with these songs was made them heavier. This reminds me of those pop punk covers of popular songs, where the bands strive so hard to make the songs punk, leaving them as a mere novelty. When I hear these songs, I think "oh...they made SOD moshcore, how cute." But they have no replay value. Cover songs should have be able to stand along, while also making you appreciate the original song a little more. These songs just don't accomplish this. Not that they ruin the songs or anything like that, it just seems like they could have saved this stuff for their live show. Recording this serves no real purpose. I'm not going to fault these bands for covering songs of their favorite bands, hey, it's their record, but they could have done so much more here. The one saving grace, the light at the end of the tunnel if you will, is that the North Side Kings did a cover of the A-Team theme song.

This split is for fans of North Side Kings and Stampin' Ground, and really no one else. This split isn't really interesting enough to bring new fans. So in summary, the idea was good, the execution was simply flawed. These two bands probably had a ball recording this, but I can't say that I'll listen to it over and over again.