Various - Punk Goes 90's (Cover Artwork)


Punk Goes 90's (2006)


The hardest part of writing this review was actually listening to this album. Fearless must have paid a heapload of money to get the rights to most of these songs. Perhaps this would have been an interesting compilation if they had paid some actual punk bands -- or, if not even punk bands, any sort of original or talented act -- to cover this array of radio rock hits from the decade.

Instead, we get B-list pseudo-rock acts who have very little, if anything, to do with the "Punk" moniker the album subscribes to covering songs that, well, they don't really deserve to. I'm sure there's a wide array of feelings about the 1990s, but I was a big fan of the alternative, grunge, and college rock genres...and this is just an absolute insult to anyone that really enjoyed that music.

I know Trent Reznor is usually fairly guarded about letting acts cover Nine Inch Nails' material, and this time around he should have kept his guard up. Mae dillutes and disgraces what Reznor revolutionized. It isn't hard to cover "Song 2" by Blur, as it's really a good song for bands just starting out to cover. I've never heard Plain White T's before, but any band that manages to botch this song and lose the energy of the original is not going to be on my playlist anytime soon. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have a fairly unique sound that isn't well replicated by bands that aren't them, so Gym Class Heroes had their work cut out for them...and didn't succeed. "Black Hole Sun" was one of my favorite songs of the mid-`90s and Copeland does an interesting rendition, but it lacks any of the rock that the original mustered.

I could go on and on, track for track, about how adding screaming to "Losing My Religion" actually destroys the emotive qualities of the song, or how the horn breakdown in the Killing Moon's rendition of "You Oughta Know" makes it laughably bad, and Alanis Morisette sounds like she's got more balls than the lead singer of that band. As far as I'm concerned, none of these bands should be allowed to cover Nirvana, and the version of "In Bloom" by So They Say makes me want to vomit. I think for that song alone, those guys should never be allowed to play their instruments ever again; it's the type of rendition I'd imagine used as a method of sensory torture against grunge fans being interrogated for a crime. Even one of the poppiest songs on the list, "Jumper," is botched by some band that doesn't know how to properly capitalize words.

Plain and simple, this album sets the lowest bar for the worst of the horrible for 2006. Albums like this make me want to push the "Submit A Bug" button up on the navigation bar and say, "Guys, there isn't a 'no stars' option in your scoring for album reviews."