Mxpx

On The Cover II

Written by: PP on 02/04/2009 16:31:20

There's something special about translating known pop/rock songs into punk rock versions. It's a no-brainer that faster rhythm and execution gives much more energy to a song that's originally slow: we've seen it before with songs like "Take On Me" becoming infinitely more awesome in punk and ska formats. The success-formula seems to be repeated on regular intervals; not only do we have Me First & The Gimme Gimmes, a punk 'supergroup' dedicated exclusively to cover songs, but bands like New Found Glory, Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish among others have previously put out fantastic cover material often bettering the original songs at least in the ears of the undersigned. Granted, it can occasionally fail miserably, but Mxpx belong to that exclusive club of bands who are able to do it almost flawlessly, as seen with their previous cover album "On The Cover" back in 1995. It's been almost 14 years since then, but the band are finally ready with a sequel to the record, simply titled "On The Cover II".

In order to execute the album well, or perhaps just to show off their circle of friends, Mxpx have enlisted a star-struck guest personnel to help them out doing the covers: Matt Hensley of Flogging Molley plays the accordion solo on the Dead Milkmen song "Punk Rock Girl" (best on album by the way), Agent M of Tsunami Bomb brings female vocals to Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" (which sounds way too much like the original), Craig Owens (Chiodos) lends his high-pitch emo-vocals to the end of Poison classic "Fallen Angel", with Stephen Egerton of Descendents performing the guitar solo at the end of the track, and Bryce Avary (The Rocket Summer) and Ethan Luck (Relient K) sing/play keyboard and guitar (solo) respectively on Queen's "Somebody To Love". Quite a list, huh?

Other bands getting the Mxpx melodic punk/pop punk treatment include U2, Descendents, Ramones, The Clash, The Go-Go's and a few others that don't really ring a bell on me, but essentially all songs sound more or less like the latest Mxpx album. Some covers are brilliant (perhaps because the original songs are rather good as well), with "Punk Rock Girl", "Vacation", "Suburban Home", "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" being good examples, while other's are just ok. Here I'm thinking the Queen cover, which is interesting because I've never heard Queen sound so punk rock before, or the "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" cover, which suffers from the simple notion that it's just been covered way too many times to come across as something special in 2009. Didn't Me First & The Gimme Gimmes do that track about a decade ago already? But for what it's worth, "On The Cover II" is a good collection of pop/oldschool punk songs transformed into a modern pop punk format, meaning there's great stuff here to fill your party-playlist with.

7

Download: Punk Rock Girl, Vacation, Should I Stay Or Should I Go
For the fans of: Mxpx, pop punk covers, Punk Goes... series
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.03.2009
Tooth & Nail

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