Monday, November 19, 2012

"Punk Goes Pop 5" Review by Dom

Hey guys, trying out a different format for the reviews, lemme know what you think!

Summary: They should start calling this "Standard Metalcore and Pop Bands Go Popular Songs".

The Punk Goes series has become a staple in Fearless Records' catalog spanning 12 years and 13 installments. There have been various styles that the punk goes, including metal, pop, acoustic, crunk, etc. Some of the compilations flat out suck, some are great(Punk Goes Pop 2). This volume is the first where we say some bands do some older songs, going back to the 80s on some tracks. Unfortunately those tracks suck. The Maine covered "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" which in every world would be one of the most fun-sounding covers ever, but no, The Maine thought they'd slow it down and make it sound serious and actually ruin the song. Breathe Carolina covered "Billie Jean", I'm not a big Michael Jackson fan but he's one of those artists you just don't cover, unless you're Alien Ant Farm(see their "Smooth Criminal" cover). Might as well continue to talk about the god awful tracks on here while we're at it. I have a question for The Word Alive, and I like the band and excuse my French but, what the fuck were you thinking? You covered "Mercy" a trap rap song with 4 rappers on it and absolutely no singing, you did "Heartless" on Volume 3 and that worked but this one is just terrible.

There are a few middle of the road covers, Secrets covered "Payphone" and that wasn't bad, not too great either. Forever the Sickest Kids covered "We Found Love" for what reason I will never know, the band is pretty damn poppy as it is already. That's my issue with Breathe Carolina, they're on Top 40 radio stations, that's Pop Goes Pop not "punk"

Is the compilation all bad? Don't be silly of course not. Out of the 13 tracks, I enjoy 6. Those come from Memphis May Fire("Grenade"), Upon This Dawning("Call Me Maybe"), Issues("Boyfriend"), Mayday Parade("Somebody That I Used to Know"), Like Moths to Flames("Some Nights") and We Came As Romans("Glad You Came"). Issues cover of Justin Biebers "Boyfriend" is easily the best song on this album, by far. It has something that no other track on here has: it's fun. That's why the Punk Goes series has always been good, the bands always sounded like they were having the greatest time of their lives recording the covers and Volume 5 seems like it's the serious cd.

While you can argue that I like half of the album the other half is just so bad, it's hard to explain. Think of the songs mentioned, such as "Mercy" and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and now think of them being performed purposefully bad and here you have the covers given to us. The Punk Goes series has been in a downfall since Pop Volume 2, Volume 3 had some good ones but not as many as I'd hope for and Volume 4 had even less. It's not bad but it's not getting my money for a physical copy.

Overall: 4/10

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Few Hip-Hop Reviews by Dom

So it's been quite a while since I've reviewed an album and a slew of hip-hop albums have come out and it's time to do this.

Kendrick Lamar's major label debut dropped finally after being one of the most anticipated albums of 2012 and it lived up to and exceeded expectations. This is a modern classic, I truly have no words to explain how great this album is. There are two very minor gripes though, one the album is almost impossible to listen to without listening to the whole album, which isn't always bad. 2, there are little skits at the end of almost every track which tie the story together but some last a minute after the music has stopped which can get kind of annoying if you're just trying to listen to a track or two. Between "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe", "Backseat Freestyle", the 12-minute "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst", and pretty much every other song GKMC is fantastic. The beats, production, vocals, the features, the story, this album really is a modern day Illmatic.

Meek Mill's debut album was also highly anticipated and for good reason, his mixtapes have gotten a lot of buzz and acclaim. I've never really loved him, he's got some good tracks between his tapes, his flow is rather basic and his lyrics aren't too great. This album is to me, a downgrade from the Dreamchasers series, those I could handle and usually enjoy, this album I have a very rough time getting through. Shockingly it's the tracks that are only rapped by Meek except the track "Maybach Curtains" which has Rick Ross and Nas rapping with John Legend singing the hook. That track is the biggest and best this album has to offer. "Traumatized", "Tony Story Pt. 2" and "Polo & Shell Tops" are really the only other tracks i can enjoy, not an impressive debut at all.

Machine Gun Kelly's debut was also anticipated, except unlike Meek Mill's this one is good. MGK is billed as being a very technical yet commercial sounding rapper and if you've been following his mixtapes you see that that's true. On his debut, it's not so much true, on Lace Up MGK shines on the slower, more personal tracks, he has emotion in his voice that just translates his pain. There are some cheesy hooks and lackluster songs and the high energy songs are good but it seems like he's trying to get away from that, between "Wild Boy", "Lace Up" "D3mons" and "Warning Shot" there really aren't any. The features on this album really shine, especially the surprising ones from M. Shadows and Synyster Gates from Avenged Sevenfold on the opening track. Tech N9ne and Twista show up on a track together which is an obvious stand out. It's not perfect, but it's a pretty good debut album, definitely worth the wait, I think to really make the experience fantastic you should download the Lace Up mixtape, it's higher energy and also has some fantastic heartfelt songs on it. Looking very forward to MGK's next project, whatever it is.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our Top 10 Favorite Covers of All Time by Dom and Jon

In light of the 5th installment of the Punk Goes Pop series from the Fearless Records label, Jon and I thought we'd give you all a run down of our top 10 favorite covers of all time. Spanning all genres there were no holds barred on the selections, signed and unsigned are here, popular and unpopular are here.

Dom's List:

10.) Message in a Bottle by Machine Head (Originally by The Police)

9) Such Great Heights by Confide (Originally by The Postal Service)

8.) Got the Time by Anthrax (Originally by Joe Jackson)

7.) You Really Got Me by Van Halen (Originally by The Kinks)

6.) 6 Foot 7 Foot by The Paramedic (Originally by Lil Wayne)

5.) Painkiller by Death (Originally by Judas Priest)

4.) Die, Die My Darling by Metallica (Originally by The Misfits)

3.) Simple Man by Deftones (Originally by Lynyrd Skynyrd)

2.) Emerald by Mastodon (Originally by Thin Lizzy)

1.) Hurt by Johnny Cash (Originally by Nine Inch Nails)

Jon's List:

10.) Replay by Batten Down Your Heart (Originally by Iyaz featuring Sean Kingston)

9.) Grenade by Forever Sets the Sun (Originally by Bruno Mars)

8.) I Just Had Sex by Stand for the Fallen (Originally by The Lonely Island featuring Akon)

7.) In My Head by Capture the Crown (Originally by Jason Derulo)

6.) Such Great Heights by Confide (Originally by The Postal Service)

5.) She's So High by Four Year Strong (Originally by Tal Bachman)

4.) Rolling in the Deep by Amyst (Originally by Adele)

3.) Any Way You Want it by Rise Against (Originally by Journey)

2.) Beautiful Girls by Bayside (Originally by Sean Kingston)

1.) Still Fly by The Devil Wears Prada (Originally by Big Tymers)