Type: Compilation Album
Released: 17th November 2014
I think it is fair to say that, secretly, all us tough guys and girls with our tattoos and piercings, worthy record collections and disregard for the mainstream want to be able to listen to good pop hooks sometimes. I mean, I like Taylor Swift because she’s written some great pop songs and because fuck you, I’m an adult and I don’t care what you think. Except clearly I do care what you think, and what’s more, I’m not the only one that feels this way. I suppose that that is why the Punk Goes Pop franchise works.
If you haven’t heard of it before, Punk Goes Pop are a series of tongue in cheek compilation albums comprising of various guitar bands reworking famous pop tracks into rock/metal genres. Since its creation by Fearless Records in 2002 the PGP franchise has been pretty successful, probably because it allows us to listen to those guilty pleasers we all have without fear of being caught.
The first five volumes of PGP have resulted in some great stuff and some throwaway garbage. Everyone from Michael Jackson, Coldplay, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have been covered by the likes of Chiodos, A Day To Remember, Tonight Alive and Thrice. Vol. 6 follows exactly the same formula as the last five (which is fair enough really) and whilst that formula is entirely predictable, if you are up for a laugh it delivers just exactly what you are looking for.
For me, there are a couple of standout moments. August Burns Red supply a brutal rendition of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball that is as heavy as it is silly. Crown The Empire turn Ellie Goulding’s Burn into a legitimately decent metalcore track (if such a thing exists) and We Came As Romans offer a chunky melodic cover of I Knew You Were Trouble by the mighty Taylor Swift.
The album’s crowning moment of glory, however, is the joint submission from Upon A Burning Body and Ice T (no, seriously). They cover the trap anthem Turn Down For What, originally by DJ Snake feat. Lil Jon, and you sort of can’t help loving it. Ice T is in full angry rap mode as he helps to deliver a load of specially written lyrics about drinking, partying and generally being awesome. On top of that, Upon A Burning Body transform the song into a punishing metal track (complete with a cheeky musical Metalica reference) that I can quite see becoming a staple of rock club-nights everywhere.
Obviously this isn’t intended to be a cohesive body of music, it is meant to be dipped in and out of. You might find a couple of tracks to add to your party playlist or, better still, something that a fan of the original artist would be satisfyingly horrified by. Ignore the songs you don’t like, don’t take any of it too seriously and recognise that novelty metal albums don’t come around that often.