Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Punk Goes Crap!

Recording cover songs has always been a popular and easy choice for artists representing any genre of music, but the current spate of ‘Punk Goes…’ compilations have really started to represent a very annoying trend in today’s hardcore scene. For those unfamiliar with these titles, the ‘Punk Goes…’ compilations feature a number of popular hardcore or punk bands covering songs relating to the theme of the compilation eg. ‘Punk Goes Pop’ or ‘Punk Goes 80’s’.

My main problem with these compilations is that they really are nothing but a cheap money grab, sold to 15 year old scene kids by virtue of the band names emblazoned across the cover sticker. The creators of ‘Punk Goes…’ should actually feel a little guilty about the high sales of their fairly crap products, as market research has conclusively proven that any kid who owns at least one pair of Macbeths, has 14mm+ stretchers and has been to a Taste Of Chaos event find it impossible not to spend their McDonald’s wages on any product with the words ‘August Burns Red’ physically attached to it. This phenomenon can apply to anything, and was even proven successful in getting this demographic to buy soap and wash their hair.

Despite the achievement of being associated with a Gold-selling compilation, I find it quite puzzling as to why the artists themselves would willfully choose to be involved with the ‘Punk Goes…’ titles. It seems to me that the general point of appearing on a compilation would be to get your band’s actual music some exposure, albeit only through one or two songs (depending on the compilation). Besides the benefit of having your band’s name on the back of the case, it seems very unwise to have your presumed artistic proficiency and integrity represented to your target audience via a mildy-amusing and hopefully very self-deprecating cover of Rihanna. Whilst ridiculously heavy bands covering extremely light-weight Top 40 material can be entertaining, it definitely does not do anything to recommend the covering band’s original material. If your most popular song is a cover it does not mean you are a good band/musician, it means you’re Jeff Buckley.

And we all know what happened to Jeff.

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