Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Various Artists – “Guilt By Association Volume III”

Indie rock/glam
Yes I struggled to type that weird label, but on “Guilt By Association Volume III” you’ll find some of the finest indie rock bands covering favorites from a bygone era best known for hairspray, Spandex, and cheesy lyrics. Say what you want about the glam rock bands of the 80s - they always knew how to write a great sing-a-long melody with fist-pumping choruses. Having their tunes stripped down and reworked by these modern bands is going to ignite some passionate mixed emotions. Fans of indie rock with a soft spot for glam (all 7 of them) are going to love every track on this record. Fans of the glam bands are probably going to think that this amounts to blasphemy. But music lovers who aren’t limited by a love for a single genre are going to find a lot of entertainment on this record.

For this newest installment from Engine Room Recordings, the songs had to be chosen from 80s “hair metal”. You’ll hear theSTART cranking through the Crue, Helmet crushing Loudness, and Elk City covering “Heavy Metal Love”. Some of the experiments don’t work at all – the worst offenders being the electrodance rock of Malibu’s Shark Attack version of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name” or My Cousin, The Emperor struggle to sing Extreme’s “More Than Words”.

Fortunately there are more highlights than duds. Canon Logic starts things off with a speedy piano-driven version of Cinderella’s monster ballad, “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)”. None other than the great Mike Viola covers Ratt’s “Round and Round”, reworking it as a haunting acoustic track. Some of the more intriguing cuts include a sparse reworking of Winger’s pedophile hit, “Seventeen”, which sounds no less creepy when sung by a woman. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Common Rotation’s acoustic rendition of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister and the downshifted version of Europe’s hit “The Final Countdown” by Farrah. Madison Square Gardeners, sounding very much like Gavin DeGraw, do a groovy version of Poison’s “Nothing But A Good Time” that wins the day for me.

Not sure what to think about this concept? Well, we’ve been given permission to share this free mp3 file with you: check out “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)” right here.

More info here.

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