metal + hardcore
pop punk + alt-rock
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Britney Spears, Pink, 'NSYNC Songs Get Punk Makeovers

The thin line between pop and punk just got thinner. Green Day, Blink-182 and Sum41 have long charmed the “TRL” audience with their pop hooks and eye candy videos, but now there’s a new crop of punk bands going after pop fans a little more directly. OK, a lot more.

On Punk Goes Pop, released last month on Fearless Records, several up-and-coming punk bands cover hits from the cream of the pop star crop.

Further Seems Forever speeds up ‘NSYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye,” Stretch Arm Strong gives Pink’s “Get the Party Started” a hardcore makeover, and the Starting Line turn Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule’s “I’m Real” into a mosh pit anthem.

Britney Spears and Mandy Moore each have two hits remade, including a rollicking “… Baby One More Time,” as does Madonna, whose “Borderline” and “Like a Prayer” join covers of “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” and “Send Me an Angel” as the album’s retro pop salutes.

Few of the “TRL” usuals are spared, as Punk Goes Pop also features remakes of tracks by the Backstreet Boys, Destiny’s Child, Nelly Furtado, Michelle Branch, O-Town and even Faith Hill.

In just a month, Punk Goes Pop has eclipsed the sales of the album’s predecessor, 2000’s Punk Goes Metal, which features more widely known punk bands, such as AFI, A New Found Glory, Guttermouth and the Aquabats.

“Some of the kids just getting into Saves the Day and Dashboard Confessional now were listening to Britney Spears last year,” Fearless’ Wyatt Miller, who organized the album, said. “We wanted to continue the Punk Goes series and Punk Goes Pop was a way to hit that audience and expose the punk bands we like to them.”

Miller said not one of the bands he approached for Punk Goes Pop thought the concept was stupid. “Some bands even heard about it and asked us if they could be on it,” he said.

Some of the groups, like Noise Ratchet and Yellowcard, have found their pop covers to be the crowd favorites in their live performances.

Fearless did not have to get permission from the artists because the lyrics are not altered, but Miller said he has heard that some of the artists are excited about the compilation. “I guess O-Town have told people to check it out,” he said.

Next up for Fearless is Punk Goes Acoustic, which will feature punk and hardcore bands performing their own material unplugged. Miller expects it to be released by November.

Punk Goes Pop Track List, According To Fearless Records:

  • Dynamite Boy – “I Want It That Way”
  • Slick Shoes – “Candy”
  • Yellowcard – “Everywhere”
  • Stretch Arm Strong – “Get This Party Started”
  • Rufio – “Like a Prayer”
  • Further Seems Forever – “Bye, Bye, Bye”
  • Noise Ratchet – “Crush”
  • Element 101 – “I’m Like a Bird”
  • Knockout – “Survivor”
  • The Starting Line – “I’m Real”
  • Keepsake – “The Way You Love Me”
  • Reach the Sky – “Sometimes”
  • Fake ID – “All or Nothing”
  • Showoff – “Borderline”
  • Thrice – “Send Me an Angel”
  • Nicotine – “… Baby One More Time”
  • Student Rick – “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”
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