Artist: Punk Rock Karaoke
Title: “Punk Rock Karaoke” (CD/DVD)
Label: MVD Audio
Release Date: 10/28/2008
Genre: Punk Rock
If you have ever suffered through karaoke versions of “Sweet Caroline” or “Build Me Up Buttercup” and longed for such an event to find a little more grit to it then the guys that make up Punk Rock Karaoke have got the perfect cure for your ills. Much like its name, this is a Punk Rock version of the ever popular Karaoke idea, but to go one step further, the project involves a number of musical luminaries from the Punk Rock genre. As a band they perform the songs while some lucky audience member gets to brave the microphone and rock out with their…..well, you get the general idea. Hopefully they will keep the song on track and sound good but even if they don’t it is bound to entertain anyone else who is in the room while it is going on. The band features Eric Melvin (guitarist and emcee), Greg Hetson (guitarist), Derek O’Brien (drummer), and Steve Soto (bassist) who together bring the experience of their work with bands like NOFX, Bad Religion, Circle Jerks, Adolescents, 22 Jacks, Agent Orange and Social Distortion all together with the common goal of having a lot of fun. They released a CD/DVD combo package of recorded music that features a number of well-known Punk singers handling the vocal chores and then provided a DVD that covers the karaoke portion of the project. With two distinct parts to discuss, I have broken them down by piece.
The CD: The music part of the release finds the guys dishing out some really great Punk classics from a wide and interesting variety of bands. They of course handle their parts well and seem to execute the tunes without any difficulty and looking over this “set list” so to speak, have managed to offer up something for every Punk fan across a wide age demographic. To up the ante on this piece of the puzzle they went to a number of the active front men in the Punk scene today and had them handle the vocals on each of the different tracks. I thought this was a great idea because it brought the spirit of the karaoke gigs to the recording and allowed the listeners to hear and hopefully enjoy how someone else would handle a song by Dead Kennedy’s or The Dickies. My favorites from this part of the release was “Manny, Moe, and Jack”, “What Do I Get” and “California Uber Alles” since I felt that they were the absolute closest to the originals and among my own preferred Punk Rock numbers. Sadly, there are only ten tracks to enjoy on this part and I would have liked for a few more to be included.
The DVD: Play All Tracks (Karaoke Versions & Normal Versions), Bonus Features: Welcome to Punk Rock Karaoke, Meet The Band, Nervous Breakdown Live Karaoke, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme Live Karaoke, California Uber Alles Live Karaoke, Suspect Device Live Karaoke.
*** There are a couple of things that one can do with the DVD part of this release and the first is to simply watch the karaoke videos that the band had put together for the songs on the CD. Everyone who has seen a conventional karaoke set up knows that the videos are super cheesy, so the Punk Rock Karaoke guys worked along this premise and kept it cheesy but with more of a Punk Rock state of mind. As result the videos find the people in junkyards, drinking beer, or lazing about in their living quarters and etc. The fun begins when you choose to brave the karaoke stuff yourself and choose the option on the DVD that allows you to sing along with the band while they do the music. The words will flow across the bottom of your screen like a regular karaoke video. Go ahead and give it a whirl, who cares if you mess it up. There are a lot of bonus features on this as well and among them we get to meet the guys who make up the Punk Rock Karaoke band and then see them in action doing this whole thing. It’s a lot of fun and clearly the audience is really getting into it. I have seen bands do live karaoke in the past and believe me, there is nothing like this going on at those shows. Give me an insane fist pumping, crowd surfing karaoke any day of the week.
The release is a lot of fun and can be purchased in two different formats. The first being a DVD/CD combo while the other is a CD/DVD. The buyer should be aware that each one is the exact same thing, yet in the packaging of the main piece so let your own preference be your guide in the purchase. I preferred the CD/DVD one since that takes up much less space than the DVD case does (to each their own of course). I can easily recommend this for those fans of the bands involved in the project and even those who are often setting up “Guitar Hero” or “Rock Band” competitions at their gatherings because this will totally upgrade the nature of the festivities.
1. Manny, Moe and Jack (The Dickies) w/Mike Herrera
2. Back Against The Wall (The Circle Jerks) w/Jim Lindberg
3. Gimme Gimme Gimme (Black Flag) w/Matt Skiba
4. What Do I Get (The Buzzcocks) w/Warren Fitzgerald
5. Fuck Armageddon…This Is Hell (Bad Religion) w/Dave King
6. Suspect Device (Stiff Little Fingers) w/Dicky Barrett
7. Minor Threat (Minor Threat) w/Jordan Pundik
8. Bikeage (The Descendants) w/Joey Cape
9. Amoeba (The Adolescents) w/Spike Slawson
10. California Uber Alles (Dead Kennedy’s) w/Sean Wheeler
Official Website: http://www.punkrockkaraoke.com