Review Summary: A very enjoyable and slightly diverse cover album.
The Descendents are the most revered 80’s pop punk band to have ever existed. They have been the foundational influence for most of the world’s greatest punk bands. Almost 25 years later, since the band’s most career-defining decade, there are still young and upcoming punk artists paying tribute to them. Even artists outside of the punk genre are still covering their songs, like Atreyu’s version of Clean Sheets
. Now in 2012, Either/Or Records have released a promotional encomium with fifteen tracks of angsty, energetic, melodic covers of classic Descendents tracks.
The album features some very prominent underground bands that range from subgenres such as pop punk, hardcore punk, and even ska punk! But the diverse flavours serve merely as additives; the real life of the album is in the passion of each cover. Granted, there are a few really unsettling tracks, such as the cover of the song We
by Frank and Earnest, but aside from those few the album as a whole is beautiful. The version of We
not only lacks the aforementioned passion that was described but also, the vocals on the track are dead. The same can be said for the attempt at Rotting Out
by Hard Daze and I’m Not A Punk
by Hospital Garden. Hospital Garden’s version is in the vein of, what sounds to this listener like, downplayed gothic rock and completely takes away from the diegetics of the original song.
It sure is lucky that the rest of the featured tracks on the album absolutely rule! I’m The One
by We Are The Union, Another Grill
by Caleb Lionheart, and When I Get Old
by Bike Tuff are just some of the songs off of the compilation that really capture the true essence of the Descendents style. While a taste of some experimentation is brought by bands like Weak Teeth, Fisherking, and Call It Quits as they added the hardcore flavour mentioned before and We Are The Union brought the ska. The rest of the tracks vary between really energetic pop punk, skater, and street punk. What really makes this a great cover album is the wide array of hooks that each individual band added to their own irrespective tracks.
It feels great to say in absolute confidence that this is one of those few cover albums done right. Each featured artist really gave it their all (except maybe Frank and Earnest, Hospital Garden, and Hard Daze) and really showed in their own way why the Descendents rocked so hard, and continue to rock hard as their legacy is perpetuated through the newer generations of musicians. The timeless classics played on the album Either/Or Sucks: A Tribute To Descendents
will surely bring the nostalgia and respect of every avid Descendents fan, young or old. Thank you members of the label for doing such a great job!
We Are The Union - Thank You
Call It Quits - Bikeage
HisDayHasCome - I Won't Let Me