“Oops! I Did It Again” could have posed a strange dilemma for Children Of Bodom. If the Finnish extreme-metal act failed to include perhaps their best-known cover on their first covers compilation, people would inevitably ask where it was. However, the group’s goofy, funky Britney Spears rendition belongs inescapably to another time; in fact, it’s hard to imagine anyone clamoring to hear any version of the tune at this point.
The rest of Skeletons In The Closet continues to straddle the line between amusing and dauntingly inessential. The album’s longest track is its most worthwhile: “No Commands,” by Stone, the seminal thrash act COB guitarist Roope Latvala co-founded 24 years ago. A country-rock romp through Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” complete with banjo picking, proves Between the Buried and Me doesn’t hold a monopoly on bizarre genre hopping.
Most of the makeovers are relatively faithful, injecting two uniquely Bodom elements: a frenzied keyboard solo, and a “yowww” from croaky singer Alexi Laiho. A howling version of W.A.S.P.’s “Hellion” does the best job of transferring the obvious fun the band had recording these tunes to the listener, while the glammed-out strut through the Ramones’ “Somebody Put Something In My Drink” raises the question: If imitation is the sincerest flattery, then what would you call a great original song paying tribute to an artist, like Motörhead’s “R.A.M.O.N.E.S”?
Cover albums are usually somewhat disposable, but this one borders on superfluous for the group’s long-time fans, given that all but four of the 17 songs were previously released. Of the new tracks, two are rote thrash rehashes (Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies), one is a King Diamond number rendered comical by a silly approximation of his famous falsetto, and one is a gloomy, chugging treatment of “Hell Is For Children,” featuring group vocals on the “hell.” It’s impressive, but would anyone these days buy a metal album for a Pat Benatar cover, no matter how well it’s done? (SPINEFARM) – Andrew Miller
Direct link is: altpress.com/COB
Children Of Bodom, Skeletons in the Closet: (FONINT1764 / 602527131764 / C14) Available Now!
* Alternative Press (or commonly referred to as ‘AP’) is a music magazine which primarily focuses on punk, emo, metal, indie rock, ska, hardcore and rock music and their attendant subgenres, providing readers with band interviews and photos, information on upcoming releases, and music charts. Founded in 1985, the long-running publication has over 235,000 monthly readers.