(Un)covered is idobi’s exclusive take on the world’s best cover songs.
“How’s It Going To Be”
Songwriters: Stephan Jenkins, Kevin Cadogan
Original Release Date: November 18, 1997
As the weather warms up this spring, I’ve been shuffling through some sunnier pop-punk anthems to go along with the windows rolled down in my car. When I came across the I Call Fives’ cover of “How’s It Going To Be” by Third Eye Blind, I knew it would be the perfect track to uncover this week! If there’s warm weather where you are, give this cover a spin for an upbeat take on the 90s alt-rock gem.
This rock song definitely falls into the poppier side of alternative that Third Eye Blind embraced in the 90s. The band’s most popular hits “Semi-Charmed Life” and “Jumper” join “How’s It Going to Be” on the same self-titled album from 1997, and those songs are still played on rock radio today. Third Eye Blind’s original is a more laid-back song, inspiring the kind of lazy and pensive mood that indulges too much thought on an ended relationship. The soft and inquisitive “I wonders” sprinkled through the song perfectly encapsulate the heart of the song as vocalist Stephan Jenkins questions what happens next. The relaxed melody shatters for one moment at the final bridge when Jenkins practically screams about wanting to return to “the soft dive of oblivion.” In an interview with Billboard, Cadogan explained some meaning behind the words: “I think we all feel violated when we find that a relationship actually has time limits, that it’s not unconditional. That’s the thing that aches in people.” Singer Jenkins conveys that exact ache with lines like “I don’t feel the lightning like last fall/ when it was always about to hit me.” With lyrics like these and the band’s strong but simple hooks, it’s not surprising that Third Eye Blind’s hits are still relevant over a decade later.
I Call Fives quickens the pace and adds a sunny pop-punk flavor to “How’s It Going to Be,” despite the anguish and heartache of the lyrics. Considering the song deals with the same kind of subject matter present in most pop-punk songs, this cover fits in seamlessly with I Call Fives’ original work on the 2012 EP Someone That’s Not You. The band moves fast through the song by comparison, and actually shave off an entire minute from the song by pushing for a more upbeat mood. I think the energy brought to this cover works wonderfully to give the song a slightly more modern rock taste. Plus, it’s just more fun to listen to. The first guitar riffs steals your heart with clear and precise shredding (That’s a good air guitar riff if I ever heard one!). I Call Fives also plays with dynamic on their cover, keeping the verses quiet and smooth before livening up the chorus. Just like Third Eye Blind, they put full intensity in that last bridge, arguably where the song hits the hardest.