Review Summary: And, alas, Beethoven continues to roll in his grave.
I think everyone here, regardless of race, colour or creed, can enjoy a good joke every now and then. And with musical comedy existing for ages, I’m sure you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a favourite comedic musical group in their collection. But nothing makes me scratch my head in such utter confusion than Punk Goes Crunk
, the unanimous low point of the “Punk Goes…” series, which features “punk” bands covering “crunk” songs. And while this is a sure-fire recipe for sheer disaster, I can’t really tell if Punk Goes Crunk
is serious attempt at covering rap and R&B songs, or some peddling attempt for a couple of weary laughs.
To be blunt, the quality of covers found on Punk Goes Crunk
range from simply average to absolutely catastrophic, and given the premise of the album, that’s hardly a surprise. Obviously, the gigantic, glaring problem of this album is when bands pass over the attempt to be funny and quirky and instead halfass an attempt to make a serious cover. Genuine, authentic renditions like My American Heart’s cover of “California Love”, Emanuel’s “Kryptonite” and Scary Kids Scaring Kids take of “Notorious Thugs” are so painstaking terrible that it’s hard to get through them. And it’s not like the music doesn’t translate, it’s mostly because the rapping is bloodcurdlingly bad. Is it on purpose? I honestly can’t tell, but the songs are still appalling regardless.
For the most part, a lot of the problems here on Punk Goes Crunk
are due to a general lack of creativity. The Escape Frame sleepwalk through “Nothing But A G’ Thang”, while Hot Rob Circuit unceremoniously add to the numerous “Gin And Juice” covers that already exist. The Secret Handshake offer a bland, almost identical version of “I Wish”, and it makes you wonder why they would even waste their time recording it. And song selection is also a gigantic problem: I would have like to have seen Set Your Goals or Forever the Sickest Kids actually cover good
rap songs, while Person L is in a dream world if they think they can top the Roots with their rendition of “Seed 2.0”.
But amidst all the crap, the feather in the cap of Punk Goes Crunk
(if you can call it that) belongs to Say Anything’s “I Got Your Money”, simply because they actually have some fun with it. Channeling the sarcastic tone of Richard Cheese, Say Anything half-mock the ridiculous lyrics and actually succeed in getting a few laughs while the bass and drums groove along. And believe it or not, there’s actually some alright genuine attempts on here: All Time Low and Devil Wears Prada, although generic pop-punk and metalcore respectively, actually make decent covers of Rihanna and Big Tymers. New Found Glory (they do covers??!!) offer a great acoustic rendition of “Tennessee”, and Lorene Drive’s “Hey Ya” is not half-bad. In the end, these aren’t songs I would ever want to come back to, but I will recognize that they are the choice cuts of this atrocious album.
Overall, The lack of effort and creativity on Punk Goes Crunk
is the strong flaw that makes the album largely unlistenable, and the bands fumble the chance to create something unique, or at the very least, something funny and amusing. I realize that the theme of the album ultimately doomed everyone from the get go, but the album is not only a damned collection of terrible songs, but a real missed opportunity to make something very creative, fun and quirky. Shame on you, guys, shame on you.