Take Warning: The Songs of Operation Ivy

by aron

I guess that an Operation Ivy tribute is long overdue, seeing that bands have been covering their songs for years. However, of the OI covers I have seen, most have remained pretty loyal to the originals. Even though it’s been a few years since I’ve heard Green Day’s cover of "Knowledge," I seem to remember it being very similar to the Op Ivy version. And when Buck-O-Nine played "Sound System" at Edgefest last year...if you were there, you remember what I’m talking about. With the exception of lead singer Jon’s voice, the song sounded practically identical.

You won’t find any of that here. Not much, anyway. With the exception of one or two tracks, each song on this album has been reworked into a completely new and unique cover, as much of a contradiction as that sounds. Just listen to the Blue Meanies doing "Yellin’ In My Ear" or the Aquabats’ cover of "Knowledge" and you’ll hear what I mean.

One of the great things that this tribute album demonstrates is the wide range of musical genres which were influenced by Operation Ivy. Cherry Poppin’ Daddies offer a swingin’ version of "Sound System" right next to an extremely poppy take on "Smiling" by Teen Heroes. One of the most surprising tracks on the album is a hip-hop cover of "Bad Town" by Marshall Arts, which comes off surprisingly well.

Fortunately for me, my two favorite Op Ivy songs, namely, "Take Warning" and "The Crowd," are done excellently on "Take Warning," by the Long Beach Dub All-Stars and Longfellow, respectively. Between these two songs, most of the wide range of the album is shown. Longfellow’s cover of "The Crowd" is fast and punkish, not straying far from the original, while the LBDAS add horns and keyboards to "Take Warning."

While the album runs a bit short (only a little over 35 minutes, I wouldn’t have minded a cover of "I Got No" or "Hoboken"), it is definitely worth the money. There’s not a bad song on the album, so go out and buy it. Now.

This is the part where I would do a rating for the album, but since my rating system of Ike from South Park didn’t come out on my first two reviews, I’ll just tell you again to go out and buy the record.

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