Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Relient K Is for Karaoke

Relient K is for Karaoke

Cover songs are dangerous territory for bands. Taking songs that, most of the time, people love and giving them a bands revision does not always work. At best, it succeeds and you are known for a song you did not even write (Alien Ant Farm anyone?), and at worst you look like a pompous ass who thinks you can touch a classic but fail miserably (Limp Bizket's cover of Behind Blue Eyes).

Like I said, dangerous territory.

There are two ways to go about cover songs. You can either stay pretty close to the original recordings, and just throw in a bit of your bands sound, while not straying out too far. While this can work and is the safe route, a lot of times songs just come off boring. A band that did it well is House of Heroes, covering the classic "All I Want For Christmas is You" (see below video).

Then there is the path of just going crazy and not following anything near the original. While this can distance you enough from the original to get away from comparison, this can also lead to butchering of songs. A success of this method is The Devil Wears Prada's metal version of Big Tymer's rap hit Still Fly (below). If you doubted the ability to make rap into metal, listen to this. Some bad examples, well check out Brittany Spears. She has done some hideous things to some classic rock songs.

As far as Relient K goes, they stayed somewhere in the middle. The band has been known to burst out in random covers during their shows, some of which are much goofier than others. Regardless, a cover album is a good fit for the band. The best thing I can say about this album is it covers a HUGE variety of tunes. From recent hits like Justin Beiber's "Baby" to the seldom heard They Might Be Giants' "Doctor Worm". The band has all the bases covered. Are all of the songs good? It is pretty close. Most of the songs stick to the vibe of the original enough that they are all immediately recognizable. Some get more modern makeovers, like Toto's Africa, but these are welcome modifications.

The hits include: Justin Beiber's "Baby", just because you cannot listen to this song and not laugh at the fact it somehow became a hit. The words are horrible. The Wallflowers "One Headlight", Toto's 80's hit Africa, and Weezer's "Surf Wax America.

There are a few misses. They are not bad covers, just they do not stick out. Third Eye Blind's "Motorcycle Drive By"and "Crazy" by Gnarles Barkley. Neither of these songs really did anything for me and I would much rather just listen to the originals all the time.

Rating: 4/5 "It's Just Swell"

Definitely worth checking out, if not just for a few songs. There is something here for everyone though. If you played this on a road-trip with a bunch of friends, I can guarantee everyone would say "hey I know this song" at least once. Relient K has managed to make a whole covers album without butchering any songs. Impressive.....

Track List

  1. Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper) (2:48)
  2. Baby (Justin Beiber) (2:49)
  3. One Headlight (The Wallflowers) (4:17)
  4. You're The Inspiration (Chicago) (3:45)
  5. The Distance (Cake) (2:54)
  6. Crazy (Gnarls Barkley) (2:51)
  7. Motorcycle Driveby (Third Eye Blind) (4:14)
  8. Doctor Worm (They Might Be Giants) (3:00)
  9. Interstate Love Song (STP) (3:38)
  10. Here Comes My Girl (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) (4:05)
  11. Africa (Toto) (4:57)
  12. Surf Wax America (Weezer) (3:02)
  13. Inside Of Love (Nada Surf) (4:03)
  14. Everybody Wants To Rule the World (Tears for Fears) (3:55)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Best Burger EVER

This is by far one of the best burgers I have ever had in my life. I can't say where it is from but I can tell you it was custom made and AWESOME.

What is on it: Two 1/2 Patties, Two slices of American cheese, Bleu Cheese, grilled and fried onions, avocado, jalapenos, bacon, and lettuce.

I want one now....

Review: Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack

I am a manly man. I pride myself on being a manly man. I like facial hair, lady's, driving fast, Dr. Pepper Ten, and Steak. I love a good slab of steak.

Note how I said "good" slab of steak.

Taco Bell Steak = Good?


I went into this with very low expectations. The only thing good I have had steak related from Taco Bell is the quesadilla, which is actually more due to the sauce than the meat itself. The steak at the Bell for those who have not had it, is interesting. Imagine a wet, rubbery piece of Jerky that is only half dried out. That is Taco Bell steak to me.

So lets put it into a nine inch flatbread, fill it with cheese and charge $5 for it. Sounds like a good idea right?

Actually, not such a horrible idea. I am glad Taco Bell tried something that is at least entirely new. This is really just cheese, steak, and a flatbread. That is it. So there is not a whole lot to say. It has a lot of steak, that is for sure. It also lacks a lot of flavor and excitement. The steak at Taco Bell gets old pretty fast. Out of the hundreds of sauces they have at Taco Bell I do not understand why they did not put one on this. Thankfully, I had a bunch of the Fire Roasted Salsa I am in love with there and used plenty of it to make things more interesting.

Rating 3/5 "It's Just Meh"

I Can't say I hated it. I actually kinda liked it. I want to try it again but add some volcano sauce to it or something. It's biggest problem is it is $5. I do not go to Taco Bell to get one thing for $5. That does not make any sense to me. Oh well, what can you do.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: Wendy's Honey Chipotle Chicken Sandwich

Now that Wendy's has remodeled it's classic burger and it's fries, it is time for the Chicken. Wendy's is calling this movement "project golden chicken". With that they are targeting better quality and variety of chicken sandwiches. The one you will see on Wendy's website is the Asiago Ranch Chicken Sandwich. I have not been able to find anything on the Honey Chipotle Chicken Sandwich via the interwebs so I guess this is just in testing markets. Is it something that is good enough for nation-wide release?

Meh, not really. The sandwich is just nothing special. It is just a crispy chicken sandwich with a slice of cheddar cheese and a honey chipotle sauce. The cheese adds some nice smoothness to the texture of the sandwich, and the sharp cheddar flavor works well. The disappointment comes in the sauce. The honey-chipotle sauce just is not strong enough. It needs either more of it or a stronger sauce. That being said, it was not much more than the regular chicken sandwich so I did not feel robbed by any stretch. I was encouraged that Wendy's is trying to mix up the Chicken Sandwich part of the menu, it needs it.

Rating 3/5 "It's Just Meh"