It’s May 1st, and unless you’ve been offline for decades, or never heard NSYNC’s It’s Gonna Be Me , well you’ll know that today in some ways is the unofficial holiday for pop music.

Havng been released on April 2nd 2002 (yep that’s right, nearly 18 years of bangers we didn’t realise we needed), the internet sensation of Punk Goes Pop has been filling the playlists of alternative club nights, been thrown in as fun fillers for sets, and the Hopeless Records compilations have even been catalysts for the formation of bands, for years.

But as we begin to look back, and either find ourselves secretly covering our favourite pop tracks on our own accord, bottle of gin in hand, or simply have belted out these covers over the years whilst being overwhelmed with the sense of euphoria that only live shows can bring you, we’ve decided to let Discovered journalist Chris Prennatt list the absolute best, and worst of the covers.

Air guitars and hairbrush microphones at the ready…

THE BEST 5 BANGERS ARE… 

1 – Allstar Weekend – “Yeah 3X”

Originally By: Chris Brown | Volume: Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 4

Yeah yeah, Chris Brown is a TERRIBLE human being, but Allstar Weekend’s pop-rock take on “Yeah 3X” blows Brown’s original out of the water. Who would’ve guessed that Allstar Weekend, a certified Disney Channel band who’ve toured with Cute Is What We Aim For and We Are The In Crowd, could make this song even better? Zachary Porter’s vocals shine bright on this take. And hey, now you don’t have to feel guilty in listening to a Chris Brown song.

2 – A Day To Remember – “Over My Head (Cable Car)”

Originally By: The Fray | Punk Goes Pop, Vol.2

“Over My Head (Cable Car)” is a beautiful song, and when pop-punk/metalcore act A Day To Remember took on this classic by The Fray, the results were stunning. ADTR add in screams, a killer breakdown, and the important part: they kept the piano. You can’t cover The Fray without the piano. 

3 – Keepsake – “The Way You Love Me”

Originally By: Faith Hill | Punk Goes Pop – THE OG

Appearing on the first ever entry in the Pop series, now-defunct emo/screamo troupe Keepsake strip and slow down this Fatih Hill hit to slow drums, soft, strumming acoustics, and an electric guitar riff that’s full of emotion. There’s just something so pure about this cover than the original. Could it be the tempo change? Or Shane Halpern’s smooth voice? Or the fact that it doesn’t sound like a carbon-copy of the original? Who knows, all I know is that this version is gorgeous.

4 – Dance Gavin Dance – “That’s What I Like”

Originally By: Bruno Mars | Punk Goes Pop Vol.7

It took seven volumes for post-hardcore heavyweights Dance Gavin Dance to finally appear, and they picked the best song to cover. Bruno Mars’s “That’s What I Like” feels like the perfect song for DGD to cover. Case in point: the fancy lyrics which sounds like something screaming vocalist Jon Mess’s normal lyrics, the funkiness of the track, and Mars’s voice was just begging to be done by clean vocalist Tilian Pearson. When combined, Mars and DGD are an unstoppable force, making you dance whether you want to or not. And that strawberry swisher reference in the chorus is the pièce de résistance. Overall it’s the finest cover on the album. 

5 –  Chiodos – “Flagpole Sitta”

Originally By: Harvey Danger | Punk Goes Pop Vol.2

Ok, this is a stretch of an entry. Post-hardcore legends Chiodos decided for their only appearance on a Punk Goes record (well, lead vocalist Craig Owens would appear as a solo act for Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 5 covering “Paradise” by Coldplay) to cover a song that isn’t technically a pop song: “Flagpole Sitta” by Seattle based alt-rock band Harvey Danger. Sure it was a popular track when it dropped in 1997 and it was the theme song for the TV series Peep Show, but is it really pop enough to be on this album? Whatever your answer may be, one thing is for sure, and it’s that Chiodos fucking killed it on this track! Everyone has a chance to shine bright, and Craig Owens sounds so mesmerizing (and his screams are all sorts of awesome!) Definitely one of the finest and strangest covers on this CD.

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THE COVERS WE DEFINITELY DID NOT NEED… 

1 –  Family Force 5 – “Bulletproof”

Originally By: La Roux | Punk Goes Pop Vol.3

La Roux’s “Bulletproof” is without a doubt one of the most underrated pop songs of the 2000s. On their rendition, Christian crunk band Family Force 5 make it sound so filthy with dirty synths that, while sounding totally different from the source material, just doesn’t work. Maybe the idea of doing it like this sounded great on paper, but when executed, fails miserably. This could’ve been done better.

2 –  Knockout – “Survivor”

Originally By: Destiny’s Child | From: Punk Goes Pop – OG

What? Appearing on the first entry in the series, punk act Knockout rearrange this pop classic by Destiny’s Child in every way, shape, or form. Speeding up the tempo and adding tons of distortion, the Chicago punk band can’t seem to do the song justice in their own special way. Somehow it comes off sloppy. 

3 –  Forever The Sickest Kids – “We Found Love”

Originally By: Rihanna Ft Calvin Haaris | From: Punk Goes Pop Vol.5

At first, this cover is actually pretty good. Texan power pop act Forever The Sickest Kids do a pretty fantastic job on this cover, keeping the pop elements that made the original great while still injecting enough of their sound to be original. But then, at the 2:48 mark, it all goes to hell. All of a sudden, bassist Austin Bello starts doing some godawful screams that would make any scene kid cringe. The hell was he thinking? Well, in a now deleted interview with KROQ, Bello said, “It’s a time for us to get crazy without being worried about stepping out of our comfort zones, because they aren’t our songs… So we thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit.” Sure, but it sucked. Thank whatever god you believe in that FTSK never did another song with screams. If at first you don’t succeed, never try again. 

4 –  Cute Is What We Aim For – “Dead And Gone”

Originally By: T.I Ft Justin Timberlake | From: Punk Goes Pop Vol.3

At first, this cover is actually pretty good. Texan power pop act Forever The Sickest Kids do a pretty fantastic job on this cover, keeping the pop elements that made the original great while still injecting enough of their sound to be original. But then, at the 2:48 mark, it all goes to hell. All of a sudden, bassist Austin Bello starts doing some godawful screams that would make any scene kid cringe. The hell was he thinking? Well, in a now deleted interview with KROQ, Bello said, “It’s a time for us to get crazy without being worried about stepping out of our comfort zones, because they aren’t our songs… So we thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit.” Sure, but it sucked. Thank whatever god you believe in that FTSK never did another song with screams. If at first you don’t succeed, never try again. 

5 –  Upon A Burning Body feat. Ice-T – “Turn Down For What”

Originally By: DJ Snake and Lil Jon | From: Punk Goes Pop Vol.6

Who allowed this to be heard? Like seriously, who in the world asked for a metalcore remix of “Turn Down For What”? Everything about this is wrong. Ice-T feels out of place, acting as the pseudo hype man for Upon A Burning Body and failing. And the lyrics they wrote for this are just dumb. Pure dumb. Just look at the first verse, “Bartender just hit me with a double / Drink tequila so you know we’re in trouble / Showing up to every party tipsy / Living life like a stunna can you blame me? / Now that’s my kind of party / So light ’em up, up, up / Cause tonight we just don’t give a fuck.” I don’t even think Attila or Emmure could come up with something so stupid. And it seems that Fearless even caught on on how dumb this was, because on the deluxe edition of Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 6, this cover was emitted. At least someone at Fearless cares about our sanity.

 

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