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Fearless Records’ Punk Goes Pop got its start in 2002 and, in 2017, is still kicking ass and taking names. Volume 7 is set to release July 14th. This volume features a range of familiar bands, as well as some newer ones and it’s definitely worth adding to your collection.
Pop Punk New Yorkers, State Champs, kick off the album with a dynamic cover of Shawn Mendes’ Stitches. Vocalist Derek Discanio delivers smooth vocals while guitarists Tyler Szalkowski and Tony Diaz add choppy riffs and give new life to the song. The group vocals introduce a foreign intensity to the hook and their style of Pop Punk instrumentals is a perfect fit. State Champs brings dynamism and a completely different level of emotion, and is much more exciting than the original.
Dance Gavin Dance is completely surprising in their rendition of Bruno Mars’ That’s What I Like. Vocalists Tillian Pearson and Jon Mess deliver a stunning combination of harsh vocals and slow, sexy cleans. DGD curates an alluring balance of vocal variation and instrumentals. Easy cleans and raspy screams intertwine, creating a new and unexpected side to this single.
New Year’s Day tackled Kehlani’s Gangsta. Front woman Ash Costello dominates the track with powerful vocals and adds excitement to a mediocre track.
Brisbane natives The Amity Affliction perform an intricate version of The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face. Arhren Stringer’s distinguished clean vocals fuse with Joel Birch’s raw growls, adding compelling new layers and depth to the song. Gradually, the rhythm section becomes more prominent with strong bass lines and crashing cymbals.
Black Veil Brides’ Andy Black pairs with Juliet Simms and offers an absolutely beautiful rendition of Adele’s When We Were Young. Both Black and Simms are vocal powerhouses in this duet. They are truly an electric duo – her voice is dainty and angelic, while Black’s is deep and smooth as Tennessee whiskey.
Grayscale provides a lively cover of Bieber’s Love Yourself. The guitar riffs are simply groove-worthy and enthralling. They took a somber ballad and transformed it into a spirited Pop Punk anthem. Grayscale’s intense vocals are polished, while the wide range adds much more auditory interest than the original. The faint melody surfacing towards the tail of the track was unanticipated and added a ton of personality.
Boston Manor takes on twenty one pilots’ Heathens. Hypnotic guitars replace the electronic lead in. They reworked the instrumentation and create a steadier, less segmented flow. It leads into the hook, where the instrumentals pick up and add more dynamic layers. Undeniably, Boston Manor deliver a rock solid cover.
Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You is covered by Eat Your Heart out. Shocked at first to hear a female singing an Ed Sheeran song, EYH quickly demolished those thoughts within the first few seconds of the track. Replacing the pop instrumentals with choppy guitar, female vocals, and heavy hitting drums build an energy that’s lacking in the original.
The Plot In You tones things down with a sultry cover of James Bay’s Let It Go. Tewers’ voice is beautifully raw and seductive. The original will never be the same. If TPIY ever gets tired of punk – they undoubtedly have Pop potential. Tewers’ vocal range is impressive – his rough emotion is captivating and the instrumentals are simple and subtle and perfectly mixed.
Seaway’s take on Chainsmokers’ Closer is chock full of segmented guitars and equal parts cleans and harsh backup vocals. The compilation works nicely. Gradually building percussion adds auditory peaks that aren’t present in the original. The band offered their unique spin, but still maintained the simplistic, raw vibe of the original.
Too Close To Touch absolutely kills In The Name Of Love, originally by Marin Garrix and Bebe Rexha. Keaton Pearce nails the vocals and the band adds a unique twist – yet vibing the emotion of the original. Pearce’s wavering vocals over heavy instrumentation is raw and passionate. Let’s be honest – anything TCTT touches is gold. Pun intended.
Every Punk Goes is complied of perfectly dissected and revamped hits. It seems that these tracks couldn’t possibly get better than they already are – but Punk Goes proves otherwise. The quality of the Punk Goes collection suggests that each song is selected specifically for each band. Their choices compliment their musical styles perfectly, and pay homage to the original artists. Do yourself a favor and get this album in your life. Physical copy or Spotify – whatever – just listen. PopD gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.
Songs to listen to: In the Name of Love, Let It Go, Stitches