There are two genre definitions in question here. First, do the 15 bands contained qualify as "punk"? There's even a local band, Marysville's Every Avenue.
Also, what qualifies as "classic rock" nowadays, when Hendrix sits comfortably alongside Eddie Money, Beck and Blondie? Bullshit aside, there's some fun here: VersaEmerge's version of the Stones' "Paint It Black" makes good use of their girl-boy vocals to reinvent, though certainly not improve, the old standard, while A Skylit Drive's spin on Journey's "Separate Ways (World's Apart)" sounds slightly faster than the original, and the song benefits. Local boys Every Avenue's version of Eddie Money's "Take Me Home Tonight," is certainly no worse than the original.
Elsewhere things vary from forgettable to horrible, such as Never Shout Never's "Bohemian Rhapsody," wherein the singer actually sounds infinitely more effeminate than Freddie Mercury ever did! The disc is worth it for that.
But where's the damn grit? Where's the anger and the youthful energy? A punk rock version of Boston's "More Than A Feeling" or Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" oughtta be fast, powerful and smothered in phlegm. How about a Misfits cover of Styx's "Babe" or the Exploited doing Rush's "Spirit of Radio"? Now that would be something.
Brett Callwood writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.