Before I go any further, let me say this; I don't know if this could be considered a "punk" record; the closest thing to punk on here, is the fact that a band on Kung Fu lent a singer to one of the tracks. It's mostly indie rock stuff. So, please, if you are virulent about punk-only, just stop reading now, and go read one of fathead's reviews instead. They're pretty good, especially that Jet's to Brazil one.
Anyway, back to business...
Tribute albums are a funny thing, but a great way to sell records. See, it works double. If you like the band being covered, you'll probably buy it; if you like the bands doing the covers, you'll probably buy it.
But getting people to buy it is only half way there.
The last tribute record I bought was the Where Is My Mind? Pixies tribute. The reason it was good enough to buy, was because the artists involved were confident enough to do something fresh with some timeless Pixies tracks. I generally fear Tribute records though, because in most cases, the people involved feel that re-recording an inferior version of a good song is all the effort they need to put it. It's not like they have to write a song or anything.
Anyway, this is the first of two planned Weezer tributes out this year, the other one is being released by Dead Droid and features covers by bands like Further Seems Forever and Elliott.
This one is about 50 percent original, and clever interpretations, and 50 percent boring - and inferior - rehashes of the original songs.
The good stuff includes a laid back, swingy rock version of "Getchoo" by Banner Day, and a soft acoustic version of "Say It Ain't So" by the Love Commanches. One of the standouts is a punked up version of "The Good Life" by Mi6. The highlight is almost definitely Contraband (featuring the vocalist from Ozma) covering "Devotion", a popular B-Side.
A few of the tracks are worth hearing for their re-imagination, like the Cake-styled version of "Pink Triangle" of Awkward.
That said, tracks like Acme Pop's Butterfly butcher otherwise beautiful songs with tone deaf vocals and identical song structures. It's painful to listen to, whether or not you like the original song. Velcro's version of "I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams" is similarly off key, and also adds nothing new to the original.
All in all, I wouldn't recommend this, there are two many weak interpretations, with few highlights intermingled among them. Unless you're a diehard Weezer completist, I'd recommend waiting for the dead droid compilation, which sounds great with bands like The Ataris, Grade, The Stereo, Dashboard Confessional and Midtown.
- As an aside, the new Further Seems Forever LP includes "Say It Ain't So" as performed by Chris Carraba of FSF and Dashboard Confessional fame. It's a good track, and bodes well for the Dead Droid comp.