TLF Has Bad Taste: Punk Rock Cover Song Edition

by Laura Fletcher

What’s better than a cover song? Okay, assuming you aren’t at a sad, small bar listening to someone croon or whatever, in which case anything is better. The right answer is, POP-PUNK covers of non-punk songs! It’s the first and last line in irony, the ouroborus of outré, and the fluffy pink lining to your heart-shaped box back in the super-serious, proto-indie, alterna-grunge era (‘90s through early oughts).

With those parameters in mind, please to enjoy some of TLF’s favorite cover tunes by punk or punk-esque bands. Most of these are brought to you courtesy of Fat Wreck Chords and Laura’s enduring fancy.

1. “Country Roads,” Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
May as well start with the supergroup that made its moolah recording entire albums of goofy sped-up standards. With members from Lagwagon, NOFX, Foo Fighters, and Swingin’ Utters, they could’ve done anything. Aaaand we’ll leave that thought right there.

2. “Ring of Fire,” Social Distortion
Before Johnny Cash covered metal, punk covered him! This rendition of the song is more badass than wink-nudge and pretty dang enjoyable.

3. “Dancing With Myself,” Blink-182
This song’s lyrics are nasty—although how many millennials only realized that in later years? Just me? I hope not—but Blink goes ahead and makes them way, way worse. It’s so bad it’s good, maybe. You be the judge.

4. “Our Lips Are Sealed,” The Hippos
Couldn’t let this list go without a cover by punk’s sloppy cousin, ska-punk. They were part of Warped Tour back in the late ‘90s, and this track was part of a compilation series of new wave covers by punks.

5. “Flower,” Pansy Division
A Liz Phair cover by a sexually explicit gay punk band. That’s not a sentence, but what verb would I subject (ha ha) to that kind of company? Grammar jokes aside, this is a must-listen, predicated (ha!) on the fact that we say so.

BONUS TRACK: “Godzilla,” Fu Manchu
Stoner rock is the perfect way to close out this list, honestly. Way to take a mid-tempo classic rock tune and sludge it up beyond recognition, guys! Go … go … Godzilla!

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