Release DetailsLABEL Indianola
RELEASED ON 5/24/2005
Oingo Boingo, A Tribute
Dead Band's Party
posted on 5/2005 By:
Between the mid-80’s and early 90’s, new wave and modern rock were the sounds that you would usually hear spilling from my stereo speakers. During this period, albums by The Cure, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, and Oingo Boingo made my regular playlists without fail. Being that the first two played such an immeasurable role in my musical evolution, they have remained pillars in my collection and still see relentless rotation in my CD player. The other two I have not kept current with and am only aware of their works to follow, but not familiar with them. By now I am sure that many of you are asking yourselves how any of this is related to MetalReview (or even metal in general). If these major influences had never existed to inspire, then acts like Dark Tranquillity and Katatonia (among countless others) would suddenly have significant gaps in their catalogs where Projector and Tonight’s Decision now reside. If you feel inclined, argue this fact all you want, but there really is no questioning it. If you were to present this theory to the bands themselves, I am certain that they would concur.
Today’s discussion will revolve around the quirky synth-pop outfit Oingo Boingo, famous for their popular singles “Weird Science”, “Flesh ‘N Blood”, “Just Another Day”, and “Dead Man’s Party” just to name a few. The band, led by mastermind Danny Elfman, burned a seemingly endless trail of radio hits and will forever go down in history as one of the biggest groups of the 80’s. Elfman has since been occupied with composing various film scores for numerous blockbusters, including and most notably the mass of Tim Burton’s genius creations. Dead Band’s Party: A Tribute To Oingo Boingo is a 14 track compilation of bands that you have probably never heard of, performing their own renditions of classic Oingo Boingo favorites. Some versions are better than others, but none of them are anything special in comparison to the originals. In most cases, very little has been altered to make each song that group’s own. Since I don’t really feel like giving detailed descriptions of every single cut, I will just pick a handful that I enjoyed most and go from there.
Clear Static – While I’ve never listened to this particular band prior to this disc, they end up delivering one of the better showings. Their take on “Dead Man’s Party” is very close to the original, only laid back a bit. The vocals are not too far off from Elfman’s own either. Oingo Boingo incorporated a lot of Asian style melodies into their music and Clear Static nails it here.
Reel Big Fish – Cover songs are what made this band a success in the late 90’s. Notorious for their own adaptations of A-Ha’s “Take On Me” and “Hungry Like The Wolf” by Duran Duran, their play on “We Close Our Eyes” is likely my choice for second best on this tribute. It is less ska than what they are usually known for.
Let Go – Another group I am not familiar with, they perform “Only A Lad” in a way that you could imagine Sum 41 or Green Day playing it. Again, this is a fairly good version for a pop punk adaptation.
While it is indeed a nice gesture to perform the works of your influences, rarely do the remakes leave any sort of lasting impression, and are soon forgotten. The same applies to Dead Band’s Party: A Tribute To Oingo Boingo. I must admit that this was quite a pleasant stroll down memory lane; however I would have rather spent the hour invested (several times over) in this disc with the actual Oingo Boingo albums. If you are interested in this compilation, do yourself a favor and pick up Best O’ Boingo, as it contains the bulk of the songs on this CD and spans their entire career. It could serve as a decent companion to this disc and vise versa.
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