Party punk purveyors Patent Pending have never been a band to take themselves seriously, nor one averse to performing covers. Recent releases have included an EP themed around Super Mario, while live sets often feature versions of Barenaked Ladies’ theme song for ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and Cascada’s ‘Every Time We Touch.’ ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’ sees the New Yorkers take things several steps further, however, and release a full-length album of – you guessed it – other artists’ hits.
The shameful recreation of the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sleeve is thankfully the only cover of the Fab Four in sight, but some of the chosen tracks may raise eyebrows nonetheless. Not only is Spice Girls’ ‘Spice Up Your Life’ present, but it is chosen as the lead single, while the tackling of seemingly eternal chart-topper ‘Shape Of You’ by Ed Sheeran is bold in other ways – and that audacity in itself demands that ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’ be given a chance.
For better and for worse, this sounds exactly how you would expect a Patent Pending covers album to sound. ‘Mr. Brightside’ is essentially unchanged, the retention of dominant keyboards resulting in a missed opportunity for a sharp-edged pop-punk take on a classic, and ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ induces yawns reserved for songs that have been done one too many times by one too many artists.
The one real glimpse of inventiveness comes courtesy of the Tiësto and Avicii mash-up ‘Wasted / Wake Me Up’, which is enjoyable on account of its party-fodder silliness. It’s also difficult not to crack a smile at ‘Shout Out To My Ex’, the swagger of which comes courtesy of the original, but the non-reversal of gender is a good joke.
Taken at face value and in the spirit of its grinning, mischievous creators, ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’ is perfectly good fun, but that’s about it. This is for party playlists and rock club nights only – but let’s face it, that was almost certainly what Patent Pending had in mind.
‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’ by Patent Pending is released on 26th May on Rude Records.
Words by Peter Stewart (@PeteStew_)