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Various Artists

TV Sucks: a Punk and Ska Look on Famous TV-Themes


How cool is this? Punk and ska covers of TV themes—in German! Actually, it’s not. Cool punks and small labels have a thing for covers. There are punk cartoon theme albums (obviously) and punk Christmas albums (um…yeah), so punk TV themes don’t really seem that odd. Or innovative.

There’s nothing on this disc that you couldn’t live without ever hearing. There’s nothing on this disc that ultimately justifies its existence. Or, maybe if you’re into esoteric knowledge, you could value it for the German translation of TV names and themes. Kinda like learning “99 Red Balloons” in German just for the hell of it.

Okay, it’s not that bad, actually. The album contains a so-so cover of “Laverne and Shirley” by bona fide punk stars No Use For a Name (which is about as obvious a punk cover as could be—“We’re gonna do it our way!”), so kudos to Wolverine for pulling a stateside name act onto their little compilation. Ex-Maquina’s auf Deutsch rendition of “Miss Marple” is fun, as is Crisis What Crisis’s take on “Eine schrecklich nette Familie” (“Married, with Children” for all us English speakers). But for the most part, this album is just punk filler. Twopointeight’s version of the *M*A*S*H* theme was the most disappointing to me, since it’s possible to do a great punk, and an even better ska, read on the classic “Suicide Is Painless”, but limp and weak are the only adjectives that fit.

Dig this one out of the record bins only if you’re looking to impress some punk coutre friends with your eclectic tastes. Good for a laugh, and a meager one at that, and then sell it back to buy an album of original music.

I hear someone is releasing a disc of punk covers of classic commercial jingles.

Patrick Schabe is an editor, writer, graphic designer, freelance copyeditor, and digital content manager, depending on the time of day. He has also worked in a gas station, at a smoothie bar, as a low-level accountant, taught college courses online, and cleaned offices, so he considers his current employment a success. Under his unassumed identity, Patrick holds a BA in English -- Creative Writing from Metropolitan State College of Denver and a Master of Social Science with an emphasis in Popular Culture Studies from the University of Colorado. He's currently at work on a first novel and a non-fiction piece on cultural theory. Patrick lives in Littleton, Colorado, with his wife, Jessica, who makes everything worthwhile.

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