After nearly 15 years since the release of On The Cover, Christian pop punk rockers MxPx are serving up a second helping of cover songs. On The Cover II features mainly renditions of 80’s cuts such as The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” The Ramones’ “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg),” U2’s “I Will Follow,” The Go-Go’s “Vacation,” and Poison’s “Fallen Angel.”
The album opens with an infectious version of Dead Milkmen’s “Punk Rock Girl” which features Flogging Molly’s Matt Hensley on the accordion. “I Will Follow” contains a delightfully guitar heavy bridge [2:00] and “I’m Gonna Be” briefly transitions to Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” [2:54].
The album’s peak occurs during the post solo bridge in “My Brain Is Hanging Up Side Down” [2:29] which may have the three deceased original Ramones’ members smurking in their graves—or that is just what my sick head pictures.
A sped up version of The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” serves as the least interesting cover on the album because it is far too predictable and it is the type of track that should never be re-recorded—it is one of the unspoken rules of rock.
Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” featuring Agent M of Tsunami Bomb is decent at best but will have you bobbing along during the chorus. “Fallen Angel’s” guitars are an absolute slopfest during the intro however the band pulls it together during the first verse.
MxPx appropriately close the album with Queen’s “Somebody To Love” which is due to the pleasant vocal harmonies [2:25] that carry the song to the end.
On The Cover II will provide the pop punk fan with an undeniably good time. Aside from a few flaws listed above, MxPx delivers a solid collection of covers on this release. I am one of the few metalheads walking the planet that embraced the pop punk era of the mid 90’s so it does make me happy to see that some of those bands are still alive and kicking. B-
MxPx is Mike Herrera (vocals/bass), Tom Wisniewski (guitars/vocals), and Yuri Ruley (drums)
On The Cover II Track Listing:
1. “Punk Rock Girl” [Dead Milkmen]
2. “I Will Follow” [U2]
3. “Suburban Girl” [Descendents]
4. “I’m Gonna Be” (500 Miles) [The Proclaimers]
5. “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down” [The Ramones]
6. “Vacation” [The Go-Go’s]
7. “Heaven Is A Place on Earth” [Belinda Carlisle]
8. “Kids In America” [Kim Wilde]
9. “Fallen Angel” [Poison]
10. “Should I Stay or Should I Go” [The Clash]
11. “Linda Linda” [The Blue Hearts]
12. “Somebody To Love” [Queen]