ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists – Songs That Saved My Life, Vol. 2

Release Date: November 8th 2019
Label: Hopeless Records
Website: www.songsthatsavedmylife.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stsmlife
Twitter: www.twitter.com/stsmlife

Rating:

A year on from the first volume of ‘Songs That Saved My Life’, the series returns for its second dose of cover songs.

Again, they’ve partnered up with a host of popular alternative bands alongside mental health and suicide prevention organisations and charities, such as Crisis Text Line, Hope For The Day, The Trevor Project, and To Write Love On Her Arms.

Once more, the briefing for bands to pick a track that means a great deal to them and put their own spin on is both an intriguing and enjoyable listen, while the variation of tracks on offer is admirably widespread and varied.

‘Real World’ by State Champs (originally performed by Matchbox Twenty) is the Neck Deep‘Torn’ of this edition, as another of pop-punk’s biggest acts dives head first into a blast from the past with a cover that’s bursting with life and electric energy.

For the most part, the best of the record comes in the shape of pop-punk and heavier numbers – probably thanks to Hopeless Records‘ abundance of acts that fits that specific criteria. With Confidence‘s ‘Drops Of Jupiter’ is a somewhat gentle take on the song, but is none the less a refreshing one, as Jayden Seeley glides effortlessly across one of the noughties most devilishly catchy choruses.

Doll Skin‘s almighty take on Florence + The Machine‘s ‘Shake It Out’ is a standout moment – Sydney Dozenal‘s powerful delivery doing wonders to replicate Florence Welsh‘s screeching highs, but with a punchy, added ounce of grit.

Sharptooth‘s cover of Anti-Flag‘s ‘Die For Your Government’ is rasping and vicious, and just the pick me up that’s needed after a trademark Mayday Parade slow number.

On that, Mayday‘s ‘New Year’s Project’ is a lovely version of the track, as are This Wild Life‘s ‘Wicked Game’ and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus‘Trust’. The softer numbers are still of a high quality, but it’s the busier, more energetic covers that capture the attention more in this case.

Then, to top it all off, you’ve got possibly the best cover of the lot in Trash Boat‘s oh so fitting rendition of Linkin Park‘s ‘Given Up’, that show just how absolutely colossal Tobi Duncan‘s vocals really are. And, yes, he does Chester Bennington‘s 17-second long lung-bursting yell, AND comes back in with a deathcore finale for the hell of it.

‘Songs That Saved My Life, Vol. 2’ is another chance for some excellent bands to dip their toes into new waters, and when it works, it really works.