It seems like every time a record compilation comes out featuring so-called modern punk bands covering the great songs of years past the end result is, at best, a dreadful interpretation.
The newest bevy from Fearless Records, entitled Punk Goes 90s, is no exception. Although only four songs are available for sample at this time, the whiny voices and chipmunk chords provide enough material for anyone who appreciates 90s grunge and jangle to easily dismiss the album's songs as cheap parodies of their original, better selves.
Punk Goes 90s isn't the first such production by Fearless. In 2005 they released Punk Goes 80s (available for sample here), and it was equally awful. Using the same prescriptive formula of combining sub-par, unheard-of punk bands with killah hits of yesteryear, Fearless implemented, once again, a sales strategy that siphoned a few bucks from the naive music fan while tainting classic rock in the process.
I'm not anti-punk---just anti-unoriginality. If bands like Hit The Lights and Emery want to gain some legitimacy in the music world all I suggest is that they compose something new, rather than punishing the rest of us with butchered karaoke versions of previously great tracks.
The cover-game to gain exposure has already been overdone. Remember Orgy and Limp Bizkit with 'Blue Monday' and 'Faith,' respectively? It gained them radio play for a brief moment in the late-90s, but where have those bands been lately? The same goes for The Ataris and 'Boys of Summer.' Even when Vanilla Ice tried to reinvent himself and came out with a weak rap-rock version of his own 'Ice Ice Baby' several years after its orginal release nobody wanted to listen to it.
It is one thing to cover a song after establishing oneself in the music world for awhile, but to ride the coattails of successful predecessors to gain personal exposure seems sacrilege.
Imitation may be the best form of flattery, but in the case of punk band cover albums its torturous.