Review Summary: Not very punk. Not very good.
Another year, another entry in the Punk Goes... series. This year they return once more to the most successful variation, Punk Goes Pop, where a series of (supposedly) punk bands cover pop songs of their choosing. The series arguably reached it's peak back with Volume Two, featuring some good covers from the likes of Silverstein, A Day To Remember and Bayside. The last two have had a few songs, but for the most part, quality has been declining rapidly. Now, we have Volume Five.
It starts off promisingly, as Memphis May Fire tackle Grenade by Bruno Mars. It avoids a trap many other tracks fall into, that of becoming a chug-ridden snore, by using mainly clean vocals and steering relatively clear of the metalcore genre. It does it well, showcasing vocalist Matty Mullins impressive capabilities. It's not groundbreaking, but it's a start.
Similarly, We Came As Romans do a good cover of The Wanted's Glad You Came, they use unclean vocals tastefully and the electronics suit their usual style. Craig Owens does a nice piano-led cover of Coldplay, although it drags a little towards the end, while SECRETS do a surprisingly good job of covering Gym Class Heroes' Ass Back Home.
Mayday Parade cover Gotye's Somebody I Used To Know well, with a tongue-in-cheek appearance from Pierce The Veil's Vic Fuentes to sing the female vocals. It works really well, and is one of the better covers on the record by a long way. Similarly, The Maine cover Cyndi Lauper (yes, really) and pull it off. They take a simplistic approach to the first verse and chorus and build the song from there. The appearance of Adam Lazarra from Taking Back Sunday is well implemented and cements it as one of the best songs here.
Sadly, for every good cover, there is one just as bad. Forever The Sickest Kids manage to make Rihanna seem like a musical genius, and in the process make their singer's vocals sound totally androgynous, while The Word Alive have recorded the most annoying chorus in history with their cover of Kanye West's Mercy.
Taking the prize for the worst cover on the CD is Like Moths To Flames. Their attempt at covering Fun.'s Some Nights is so dreadful it's hard to comprehend. The intro is sung incredibly badly, and then the song becomes the usual metalcore breakdown-fest. It is the sound of a group taking this years breakout band, and defecating all over one of their singles, for almost five minutes.
Elsewhere Crown The Empire cover Maroon 5 and could have pulled it off if they just got rid of the repeated vocals on the chorus, and Issues do a bland cover of Justin Beiber. Oh, and Breathe Carolina actually attempt to cover Michael Jackson. Yeah, that happened.