The Punk Vault

Punk Goes Classic Rock

Various Artists – Punk Goes Classic Rock CD
Fearless Records

Anyone who has followed this site for any length of time will tell you how much I despise the practice of new punk bands covering old punk songs. What they may not know is that I’m a huge fan of punk bands covering old rock songs. The punk rock I grew up with was full of great bands covering old rock songs. I personally believe Husker Du’s cover of “Eight Miles High” (a cover of an old Byrds song) is the single greatest cover song ever recorded. The Avengers, Minutemen, Butthole Surfers and countless others have all recorded some great old rock covers.

Punk Goes Classic rock is collection of modern bands covering 15 classic rock staples from bands like the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Queen, Kiss, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, and others that most people grew up listening to on the radio. The bands doing the covers are all of the pop punk variety and include Forever the Sickest Kids, Mayday Parade, The Maine, Every Avenue, We the Kings, Blessthefall, and a few others that you may or may not have seen appearing at Warped Tour the past few years.

Where this compilation succeeds is in its selection of classic rock staples that nearly everyone will be familiar with including “Paint it Black,” “We are the Champions,” “Dream On,” “Crazy Train,” and “Rock and Roll All Night”. On paper it’s a pretty cool track list including stuff I would have picked myself had I been given the task of choosing the songs for this. Where the comp falls short though is that all of these bands which are loosely being labeled punk are in reality more like modern pop bands and as a result they have very similar sounds, which means that the album as a whole sounds too similar from track to track.

What made the old punk bands’ covers so great was how they would put their own spin on the old songs when they covered them, really making the song their own. The performances on this comp are mostly straight up faithful renditions of the originals which in the end don’t differ enough from the originals to make them feel very special or unique. Nearly the first half of the album almost sounds like it was done by the same band because of the similar styles of the bands playing. It wasn’t until A Skylit Drve’s cover of “Separate Ways,” did it feel like a band started to put their own spin on things and that was in the parts where the singer was yelling. Blessthefall’s cover of “Dream On” also really stood out and was my favorite track on this CD.

Ultimately there will be a split opinion on this record. Younger kids who follow these bands will likely love this entire compilation and have either never heard the original songs or will prefer these to them since it is their generation’s bands. Older folks, especially those who have a much different description of what constitutes a punk band, will likely not find much here to their satisfaction.

Fearless records website

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Punk Goes Classic Rock CD

Great one for the younger generation who follow these bands, not so great if you are over 30 and prefer your punk to be harder edged or were hopefully for a fresh take on these classic songs.

My rating: 2.5 stars


  • I agree pretty much with your review. What I found most disheartening is that there is no punk on this disk. I was jaw dropped at how they worked hard to sound EXACTLY like the old records.

  • Seriously…this site has become a real farce. This comp, that “punk” match ad, all commercial pseudo-punk record and show reviews…totally pathetic.

  • I’m not sure what is so commercial about the last few show reviews posted here which include MDC and Mouth of the Architect but OK I guess they are “sellouts”. And as for the ads – it costs money to maintain this site and it has to come from somewhere. If you’d like to sponsor the site instead I’ll be happy to remove the offensive ads. This site has never followed MRR’s ultra-strict guidelines of what is considered acceptable in order to be called punk and also this site covers a lot more than punk rock in case you haven’t noticed.

    You’ll be happy to know that there’s a Peace Corpse reissue LP on its way here to be reviewed soon, unless you think a reissue of an obscure old punk band from the early 1980s is somehow now commercial.


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