Written by GE 138.
I've been waiting a long time to get my hands on this release, especially after hearing William Shatner's gloriously campy take on The Cramps classic tune Garbageman, and I gotta say, this Dr. Demento Covered In Punk compilation lives up to the hype, no doubt about it! The premise is simple - classic and modern day "Punk" bands covering some of the most popular songs to ever air on the superlative radio program, and it's simply genius. Put together by John Cafiero, in a painfully obvious exploitative manner, this release is aurally captivating, playing out like a classic episode of the time-honored Dr. Demento radio show of yore... I think. Is it still being broadcast? Is radio still a thing? Do people still listen to that corporate dreck? Meh. Whatever. This CD, and the Dr. Demento show in general, harken back to a time when radio was interesting and full of characters like the aforementioned Dr., who were willing to break the broadcast rules in order to expose people to good, but not necessarily popular, music. The tunes on here, when they work, are amazing. Besides the aforementioned William Shatner song, the Osaka Popstar's Demented Punk Orchestra With The Roto Rooter Goodtime Christmas Band cover of the Dr. Demento radio show theme song Pico & Sepulveda is nothing short of heavenly brilliance. Colleen Green's dreamy take on I Like is fantastic - same with The Kipper Kids doing Mah Na Mah Na, the song from The Muppet Show that gets stuck in your head for days after hearing it. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts doing Science Fiction / Double Feature from The Rocky Horror Picture Show is pure Pop sweetness, and the same can be said of James Kochalka Superstar doing Dead Puppies. Adam West doing The Thing is mind blowing, and Fred Schneider doing Fluffy will bring tears to your eyes - good or bad depends on your musical taste! 😉Sooo much good stuff on here. The Meatmen doing I Love Beans, Telephone Man by Quintron & Miss Pussycat, It's A Gas (originally credited to one Alfred E. Neuman) by Los Straitjackets, Hell, even The Vandals doing National Brotherhood Week is noteworthy... there's so many great songs on here - no wonder this is a 2 CD collection!
The more "mainstream" Dr. Demento songs are on here too, songs like "Weird Al" Yankovic's Eat It, done by Shonen Knife over the riff to Smoke On The Water, which is a bit disconcerting to hear at first, and the theme to the 60's Batman TV show sung by The Hamburglars is a bit weird as well, but good - really good!! The Dead Milkmen's Punk Rock Girl is given an excellent going over by Philly Boy Roy, and The Dead Milkmen add their unique twist to Groucho Marx's classic tune Lydia The Tattooed Lady, and Brak's version of ST Institutionalized has to be heard to be believed. Yeah, it's exactly what you think it sounds like... hahaha There's a few painful misses on here - Osaka Popstar's version of Fish Heads is complete dog shit, and so is their version of Pico & Sepulveda, and so is the theme song Dr. Demento Covered In Punk that they do. That band is just mediocrity en mass. Surfin' Bird by Nobunny is a dud, same with The Misfits version of The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati... ugh! "Weird Al" Yankovic delivers a kind of disappointing note for note version of the Ramones classic Beat On The Brat, and Balzac covered Rat Fink - why I don't know. Sounds terrible. Whatever. The booklet that came with this thing is unbelievable. It's a great read and packed with crazy artwork from all sorts of different and varied artists. It states in the liner notes and at the beginning of the first CD that all this music was recorded exclusively for this release, although a few songs are obviously not, but despite everything, warts and all, this is an amazing release, chock full of demented music and archival information that could only come from the mind of someone as deranged and well versed as Dr. Demento is, and Dr. Demento Covered In Punk is truly one of the best Punk, if not just best compilations period, ever put out. It's entertaining, with a musical variety that could of only come together under the guise of celebrating the genius of Dr. Demento, and it's a great, well put together, comp. Highly recommended.
Brought forth into this world by the geniuses at Demented Punk Records, and you can click here to go to their website and check out all the great merch they have there. That Shatner shirt... 🤣🤣🤣 You could also go to the official Dr. Demento Covered In Punk website by clicking here. The comp is available in CD and beautiful colored vinyl format, as well as digitally. "Like" the Dr. Demento Covered In Punk compilation on Facebook by clicking here.