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Top 10 best “Punk Goes Pop” songs

Recording, performing or practicing covers of songs is an integral part of starting and growing as a musical artist. In fact, many artists, like Alien Ant Farm or Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, are known for their covers of other songs. Some may argue that their covers are better than the original, but that debate can be explored in another article.

In this article, we will be looking at specific covers done for the multi-album series known as "Punk Goes…," released through Fearless Records. In this series of albums, various punk rock bands perform covers from different genres or eras of music like metal, the '80s or Christmas. Fearless Records is most known for its multi-volume series "Punk Goes Pop," which spans seven volumes.

In these seven volumes, punk rock bands like Pierce The Veil and State Champs deliver hard rock covers of mainstream pop songs from artists like Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars. Many consider the metal or punk covers to be better than the originals, but again, that topic can be explored later on. In the meantime, here are the top 10 best songs from all seven volumes of "Punk Goes Pop."

"Toxic" by A Static Lullaby, originally by Britney Spears

First on the list is A Static Lullaby's cover of "Toxic" by Britney Spears. This raunchy, screamo version of "Toxic" was released on the second volume of "Punk Goes Pop," which came out in 2009. While the original is electronically based, this version is a lot heavier with capturing drum fills, rumbling guitar riffs and vocals that switch between clean and rough. Other artists have covered the iconic 2000s pop hit like Mark Ronson and Melanie Martinez, but A Static Lullaby takes this song to a whole new level that makes it unique.

"Bad Romance" by Artist vs. Poet, originally by Lady Gaga

Next on this list is the Artist vs. Poet's version of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." This guitar-heavy version of "Bad Romance" was released on "Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 3" in 2010, a year after the original came out. This version adds heavy guitar and booming drums to the original's electronic-based sound. Many other sonically distinctive aspects, like its breakdown-styled interlude, make this cover stand out from its original.

"F**K You" by Sleeping With Sirens, originally by CeeLo Green

Up next is Sleeping With Sirens' polarizing cover of CeeLo Green's "F**k You." This track was released on the fourth volume of "Punk Goes Pop." While the original is much more groovy with baritone sax and shakers, this version creates a head-banging metalcore track by including drilling drums and rumbling guitars. This cover also includes a jaw-dropping breakdown after its bridge and a chilling key change during the last chorus. Overall, it's a terrific cover that uniquely separates itself from the original.

"Just The Way You Are" by Pierce The Veil, originally by Bruno Mars

The next cover on this list is Pierce The Veil's punk-rock version of "Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars. This track was also released on the fourth volume of "Punk Goes Pop" in 2011, a year after the original came out. This fast version of the track bumps up the drums and adds the band's iconic twangy, bright guitar. Pierce The Veil's lead singer Vic Fuentes' vocals are top-notch here with his different inflections that bring out the themes of the love song. All in all, this cover could easily be an original Pierce The Veil track with how effortlessly the band incorporated its sound into the original.

"Somebody That I Used To Know" by Mayday Parade featuring Vic Fuentes, originally by Gotye featuring Kimbra

Speaking of Fuentes, this next cover features the lead singer in Mayday Parade's version of "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye, featuring Kimbra. This cover was released on the fifth volume of "Punk Goes Pop," released in 2012. Mayday Parade raises the energy of the original's somber tone by increasing the tempo and adding rumbling drum fills as well as bright guitar riffs. Fuentes steps in as Kimbra's feature on the cover, and he takes the song to another level, even if it's for a small portion of the track. This is a tremendous cover that is tastefully distinctive from the original.

"Billie Jean" by Breathe Carolina, originally by Michael Jackson

Seemingly coming out of nowhere is Breathe Carolina's EDM cover of Michael Jackson's iconic track, "Billie Jean." This polarizing track was also released on the fifth volume of "Punk Goes Pop." Although this song is not entirely rock, Breathe Carolina takes this groovy, synth-laded track and turns it into a techno, nearly hyper-pop dance tune. However, the break before the final chorus rips just like a hardcore breakdown, with buzzing guitars, booming drums and rough vocals that scream the final lyrics of the track. Although the cover may have mixed views, Breathe Carolina's version of "Billie Jean" is strange yet extremely unique (the kids these days may call it "camp").

"Animals" by Ice Nine Kills, originally by Maroon 5

Next up is Ice Nine Kills' metalcore cover of "Animals" by Maroon 5. This song was released on the sixth volume of "Punk Goes Pop," which came out in 2014. Any remnant of pop is completely stripped away when it comes to Ice Nine Kills' metal cover of "Animals." With drilling drums, growling guitar and head-banging breakdowns, this cover hypes the original up to another level. Ice Nine Kills' lead singer, Spencer Charnas, does a tremendous job balancing Adam Levine's original vocals between clean and rough. Moreover, this cover of "Animals" by Maroon 5 is a metalcore masterpiece and is one of the best songs from "Punk Goes Pop."

"Blank Space" by I Prevail, originally by Taylor Swift

The next track on this list is I Prevail's heavy version of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space." This cover was also released on "Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 6" in 2014. I Prevail transforms the dreamy, synth-pop "Blank Space" into a heavy metalcore anthem with its growling vocals, drilling drum fills and rumbling guitar riffs. In particular, the bridge ends with a hardcore breakdown that has the listeners banging their heads. Overall, I Prevail's cover of "Blank Space" is a distinctive take on turning the iconic pop track into something much heavier.

"Can't Feel My Face" by The Amity Affliction, originally by The Weeknd

The second to last cover on this list is The Amity Affliction's take on "Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd. This cover was released on the last volume of "Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 7," released in 2017. This cover cuts back on the synths and adds drums and bright guitars to make the song sonically bigger. With clean vocals as the lead, growling vocals make up the backup singing, which adds another layer to the song's heavy sound. All in all, The Amity Affliction's cover of "Can't Feel My Face" is an exciting and new take on the original.

"Stitches" by State Champs, originally by Shawn Mendes

Last but not least on this list is State Champs' pop-punk cover of "Stitches" by Shawn Mendes. This track was also released on the seventh volume of "Punk Goes Pop." Instead of the soft acoustic guitar, State Champs uses a fuzzy electric guitar to amp up the slow track. Along with the electric guitar, the band adds a classic pop-punk drum beat to hype up the song even more. Derek DiScanio, the lead singer of State Champs, offers his signature pop-punk vocals to the track, which adds to the song's punk-rock sound. Altogether, State Champs does a terrific job of turning this soft pop tune into a pop-punk jam.


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