Covers: better, worse, or equal?

If you are well versed in the music industry, then you should know what a cover is, and how they are a big part of the culture. For those who truly don’t know (but how could you not…) a cover is when a band does a song by another band, usually throwing their own spin on it. I do many covers all the time; they are a very enjoyable experience and help me get better at my own work. One thing I always find surprising is when I go on YouTube to watch a video of a cover and I find the comments file with bitter arguments, all around the same question: who did it better?

This is always puzzling, and I come across it all the time, the world seems to split into the “it’s better than the original” group or “this is terrible” group. You have the occasional people who like both versions, and if you’re one of those people more than half the time, good on you, you’ve got common sense. What people never realize is that a cover is usually just for the bands pleasure; something they wanted to do. Sometimes a record company tells a band to make a cover for a compilation cd (punk goes pop by fearless records is a great example) and that’s where lines blur for me; I love some of those covers but others I can’t stand.

And so today, I’m going to list some covers that are worth listening to; prepare yourselves.

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Are my followers tired of me talking about We Are The In Crowd? If you answered yes, we’ll tough. They’ve technically done two covers over the past few months to hold people over until their second full album drops. The first was a cover with artist Alex Goot, where they covered Pink’s song (with the singer of Fun.,) “Just Give Me a Reason.” The cover stands fairly true I the original, with Alex singing Pinks part and Tay singing Nathan’s part. I really like the cover, there’s a good connection between the two vocalists and the music stays the same as the original, maybe just a little more “rockier.”

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Second song they’ve covered is of Brand New’s “Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades.” The song surprised me at first, with Brand New being a rather unknown band to cover, but I can see the influence BN had on WATIC, and so the cover makes sense. The song is very good, the bassline is kicking just like in the original, and the addition of a female to the trade off vocals is astounding. The only real difference between the two songs is a lack of screaming (though Jordan’s yelling of the last line “die young and save yourself” gives me more chills than BN’s) and the female vocal addition; overall it’s a great cover.

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The last mention I will give is an older cover by Green Day. On the deluxe edition of their 2009 effort “21st Century Breakdown,” is the second cover of The Who that the band has done in their career. The cover is of The Who’s first rock opera, “A Quick One While He’s Away,” which clocks in at over 8 minutes long.

A quick one? I think not.

Although, the song is almost a perfect replica of the original, only sounding more produced than the other. I say almost because they add their own little lines here and there that were not in the original. I may like the cover cause of the fact that the School of Rock I’m enrolled in did the song this past weekend, but it’s still a good cover.

Any covers you like? Feel free to leave a comment below, but take away this from what I write: a cover is usually done cause the band wants to, so the changes are not for you, there’s no need to argue how good or bad a cover is.

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Foreign Bands Surprise Me

If you haven’t figured it out yet, my favorite genre of music is pop punk, with a little bit of hardcore mixed in. Most of these bands hail from the west and Californian coastlines, with the occasional one originating from New York or Brooklyn. But what I’ve been finding lately is that the pop punk/hardcore scene reaches not just on the coastlines, but out past the borders of the country and in stranger places.

I know foreign bands are not some new thing, I know music spreads all throughout the world. I just always have a predisposition that most famous bands I listen to either come from here, Britain or Canada. But recently I found bands in my genre that have surprised me.

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First one is a new band I have been obsessing over, and that’s the quintet Tonight Alive. This group is lead by vocalist Jenna Mcdougall, and with her voice,the crew makes some very great music. I like their new song entitled “breakdown” and as I explored the videos of the song being played acoustically, I found a video where Jenna speaks, and the accent through me off. I did some research to find that the group is from Australia. Australia isn’t unusual to find musicians in, but to find a pop punk band hailing from there is surprising.

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What’s even more surprising then that is finding a hardcore outfit that comes from a country not well known for “heavy” music. I am referring to a French band that not only has an unusual country of origin, but quite possibly the weirdest band name I have ever found. What is this name you may ask? Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! It’s hard sometimes to find a name that unusual. But the band isn’t all that bad for those into the genre. If I could describe their sound, it’d be a mix of A Day To Remember, Four Year Strong, and The Wonder Years. If those bands interest you give the band a listen.

Bands come from all over the world, and it’s always nice and surprising to find a band that comes from outside your own country. For anyone out there reading this, what’s a band you found that originates from a different country that you found surprising?