Cover songs are always a mixed bag. There’s nothing like hearing your favourite band belting out their rendition of a famous song and thinking “wow, they made that their own, good job!” Only to have some die-hard fan of said song come round your house and beat you with a big sign that says “you’re wrong and a total pillock” until you recant the previous statement.
Anyway, here are some covers of well-known(ish) songs that have been reinterpreted by other bands closely linked with the hardcore genre. Think of this as the successor to the ‘Depression’s Got A Hold Of Me’ article that I wrote many moons ago. Enjoy.
Throwdown – Baby Got Back (original by Sir Mix-a-lot)
As covers go, this can go both ways. One opinion is ‘dear god, this is worse than finding out you’re grandfather was Hitler’ or ‘I’m sorry, I can’t form a coherent decision on this track as I’m too busy vomiting my lungs up with laughter.’ Throwdown know the score, keeping the rap element in the track, but fuse it with their own trademark bludgeon-everything-to-death hardcore onslaught and that weird squealing guitar noise at the end of every riff. I’m not sure if it’s vocalist Dave Peters from Throwdown doing the rapping, but it’s definitely him screaming throaty tirades of fury on the track’s title and on ‘LITTLE IN THE MIDDLE, BUT SHE GOT MUCH BACK!’
Yeah baby, when it comes to rapcore, Limp Bizkit has got nothin’ on this.
The Number 12 Looks Like You – My Sharona (original by The Knack)
In many respects, The Number 12 Looks Like You stick rigidly to the formula set out by the original (well, in the first 20 seconds) until the dual-vocal attack of Jesse Korman and Justin Pedrick kick in. What then follows is an attempt to out-shout each other (and add an impressive number of “woos!”) over the tight metal attack and solid sounding drumming. They certainly do the track justice, with the guitar solo at the 2 minute mark practically spot on. Whilst it’s as not as original as Polysics’ robotic-mash up of electro-pop bizarreness, The Number 12 do a good job.
The Blood Brothers – Under Pressure (original by Queen)
Taken from the ‘Dynamite With A Laserbeam‘ Three One G Queen tribute album, Seattle’s Blood Brothers transform Queen’s pop-gem into a raging fireball of aggressive punk rock. Jordan Blilie takes on the lead as Bowie, his trademark drawling scream adding tremendous weight to Johnny Whitney’s child-like shrieks of sassiness. During the “this is our last chance” segment, Blilie shows just how strong his voice can be, keeping the low crooning tone all the way through, whilst Whitney loses complete control in the background, giving the track a distinct hint of unhinged chaos – effectively making the song pure Blood Brothers. Infinitely better than My Chemical Romance’s version, which was just an embarrassment to music. Urgh.
Zombie Apocalypse – Welcome To The Jungle (original by Guns ‘n’ Roses)
Perhaps not the most subtle band in the world, Zombie Apocalypse seem to favour the ‘play fast, loud andÃ‚Â screw what it sounds like’ attitude. Fair play guys. Any tune, dexterity, pure rock ‘n roll spirit that the original had has been destroyed by this rather meathead sounding cover. Whilst the intro sounds vaguely familiar, it’s soon lost under a wave of ridiculous over-zealous riffs and some rather unimpressive thrash metal. I suppose you have to admire their balls for covering this. What they lack in restraint and decency, they more than make up for in speed, rushing through the track in half the time that Guns ‘N’ Roses managed.
By Ross Macdonald