Back when I was 15, every punk band played an obligatory oldies cover with sped up one-two drums and bass-and-feedback breakdowns – the hilarious, maybe-on-purpose shitty vocals were pretty much a given. Tellingly, when bands did their cover everyone in the audience got excited, jumped in the pit and sang along like it was some kind of retarded bro national anthem where the local culture is shoving and dressing funny.
In fact, ‘90s So-Cal punk bands doing the one awesome cover is pretty much the reason why Fat Mike and his cronies in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes all live in mansions while their buddies in Strung Out still have to tour shitty clubs to scrape by for a living.
While the tradition of punk bands doing oldies songs never really went away, thankfully everyone acknowledges that the cover tune is probably the black hole in the set.
With this in mind, it’s hard to say whether the Calgary-based cassette imprint BART Records is doffing its hat in tribute to nostalgia or attempting to precipitate a new wave of punk covers with its latest compilation release Dad Jamz.
Either way, the hilarity has remained intact – self-deprecation is the single reason I will always love punk rock.
Featuring bands such as Edmonton’s Slates and Calgary’s Stalwart Sons, the cassette is anchored down for us prairie-dwellers by Saskatoon’s Auld Beak, who are reuniting for a quick romp in Alberta with local man-babies Soul Mates (ex-Night Danger).
On Auld Beak’s track “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” originally by Bruce Cockburn, the only thing really dangerous here is covering the song that first put the Barenaked Ladies on the Can-rock map.
However, Auld Beak actually pull it off. Maybe. Rough hewn and hasty, the three-piece pile through the song with enough snot and devil-may-care to make even Cockburn sound interesting again. Even better, the mid-song “woo” is a surefire way to crack a smile to even the dustiest of faces. Here is hoping the rest of the bands follow suit on Dad Jamz.