I was recently exposed to the band Fame on Fire and I am not happy about it. The band’s debut album LEVELS was mediocre in its own right (keep your eyes peeled for that review), but outside the album, the band’s 35+ pop covers got my gitch in a seemingly never-ending twist. Fame on Fire are far from the first heavy band to travel down the dark road of pop covers and, in the week or so since my unfortunate introduction to the group, I’ve been reminded of the cringe-worthy series of Punk Goes… cover albums.
I know, I know, the Punk Goes Acoustic set of albums are originals, but I’m talking specifically about the Punk Goes Pop series. If you’re unfamiliar, Punk Goes Pop typically features run-of-the-mill post-hardcore and metalcore bands covering top 40 pop songs. More often than not, that just means whinier vocals than the original and a breakdown or two thrown in for good measure. It was a lucrative schtick for a while, I remember bands garnering decent followings from an appearance on one of these compilations. But, given Fame on Fire’s love for the gimmick, it still seems to be raking in a notable amount of listeners.
Now, where does Kidz Bop come into play? I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED. Kidz Bop has a purpose. Oh, you’re a parent and you want to jam “Truth Hurts” without your kid getting too hip to Lizzo’s profanity? Kidz Bop has you covered, dawg. As corny as Kidz Bop is, they’re trying to make sure children, and their parents, have a fighting chance at staying hip to the newest tunes without being exposed to adult content. Punk Goes Pop, on the other hand, has no reasonable purpose. Oh, you’re a judgemental teen (or adult with a teen mindset) and you won’t admit to liking a Carly Rae Jepsen song because she’s not br00tal enough? Kick rocks, bud. It’s the new millennium and, believe it or not, you’re allowed to be a fan of metal and pop.
Written by Justin Bruce
*Edited by Dominic Abate