Why does the phrase "The Best Tribute Album of the Decade" sound like an insult? Better scribes then I have limned The Tribute Album Paradox (i.e. the better the artists involved in the tribute album the more disappointing the results) but suffice it to say this one succeeds where others have failed painfully.
First off the compilers, Spin Magazine, MySpace Music and the band, found a few artists willing to fuck with the originals. While such irreverent reverence itself does NOT guarantee a great tribute it is a must. As well a tribute needs to bring out something different about the band. Germs of Perfection does this by paying tribute to both the band's folkish song-writing and its' punk performance. We begin with the folkiness; Iowan William Elliot Whitmore doing an an country-blues version of "Don't Pray On Me", Englishman Frank Turner doing his folksinger take on "My Poor Friend Me", Christian-popsters Switchfoot going soft on "Sorrow", Winnipeg's The Weakerthans drawing out the melancholy in "Sanity"and even indie-punker Ted Leo's doing a slow if threatening take on "Against the Grain". The speed and distortion then roars back with bands like NYC's Polar Bear Club, Denmark's New Politics and Reno boys The Cobra Skulls (ft. Fat Mike) giving their own spin to BR's loud n' fastisms:
Tribute albums are a difficult beast but this one deserves shelter.
01. William Elliott Whitmore, “Don’t Pray on Me”
02. Frank Turner, “My Poor Friend Me”
03. The Weakerthans, “Sanity”
04. Switchfoot, “Sorrow”
05. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, “Against the Grain”
06.Cheap Girls, “Kerosene”
07. New Politics, “Generator”
08. Cobra Skulls ft. Fat Mike, “Give You Nothing”
09. Polar Bear Club, “Better Off Dead”
10. Guttermouth, “Pity”
11. Riverboat Gamblers, “Heaven Is Falling”
12. Tegan and Sara, “Suffer”
And since MRML is being kinda gender-biased these days here's Anathema (proponents of some sorta over-hyphenated Euro-metal sub-genre) who, while not appearing on this compilation, do offer up a prettified version of "Better Off Dead"
Download Germs of Perfection: A Tribute to Bad Religion right here.