Covers Revue – Blink 182 cover “Dead Man’s Curve” :: Originally by Jan and Dean

In a cover that you never thought you’d hear Blink-182 touch, the band actually handles it quite well. You may think I’m biased since I have a tendency to berate bands who don’t change anything from the original, but for some reason, Blink gets away with it.

With classic surf rock fashion, Jan and Dean prove that The Beach Boys, though they were fiercely popular, weren’t the only artists who can perfect the genre that defined the 60’s. In their song, “Dead Man’s Curve,” horns introduce the surf rock guitars and the snare leads the lyrics through the windy roads of this song. The harmonizing vocals are the perfect addition and characterization of this genre of rock. The monologue in the bridge is pretty creepy, even though it seems emotionless. Also, the car screeches and crashes throughout the song are a nice concept, but really, they just take away and distract from the song.

Known for their potty-mouthed antics and fun, childish songwriting, Blink 182 built a name for themselves as one of the bands of the generation of kids that crossed over to the 21st Century. Blink adopts the surf rock style for their cover of “Dead Man’s Curve,” not really straying from the original style. If they had pop-punked it up with their own style, this song would have been completely different but Blink opted to stick with it. It’s an interesting way to see the band. Just before the song (when vocalists Tom and Mark have a little moment of disagreement) and the ending of the song (where you can hear them screeching and screaming the final notes) are the only times you remember it’s Blink-182. Their version of the monologue, which sees the two vocalists alternating lines, is more favorable for me because they put a little bit of emotion into it.

Blink-182 spice up the song with a slight increase in tempo speed and by substituting howling vocals for the horns of Jan and Dean’s piece, but otherwise the songs are very similar. This is one of the few times that I can go against my normal issue of band’s not making a song their own.

The reason they did this song in the first place was for a CBS mini-series called “Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story,” where Mark and Tom actually played Jan and Dean and performed the song. I guess that explains why they didn’t really stray! Here is the scene.

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