"I want to play it cool / but I'm losing you," are lyrics straight from 'Baby,' one of Justin Beiber's biggest hits, but these days, those words might echo desperate pleas from the pop superstar's concerned fans. Bieber's current European tour has been chock full of controversy and drama, and things reached a fever pitch this week when police in Sweden discovered pot on his tour bus. It's pretty clear that the Biebs is going through some serious growing pains, and as he does the whole bad-boy thing, one might argue he's in his "punk rock phase." He's even been getting a bunch of new tats.
Speaking of punk rock, Justin Bieber and 'Baby,' have you ever noticed how many self-described punk bands have posted punked-up covers of the song on YouTube? Most of them lean closer to Fall Out Boy-influenced emo than to CBGB-style first-wave punk, but either way, the renditions on the following list -- 5 Punk Rock Covers of 'Baby' -- hit harder than JB's original pop pap.
My Name Is Karma have been out of the emo-screamo game for awhile now, judging from their MySpace page, which hasn't been accessed since 2010. But we'll always have this cover of 'Baby' to remember them by, with its lo-fi Garage Band production values, crunching guitar licks and growling vocals. Oh, baby!
kLutch PaGe like seemingly random capitalization of letters, synchronized jumping and mediocre skateboard tricks, judging from this video of their 'Baby' cover. It's hard to tell if they actually like Bieber -- their bubblegum-punk take on the tune could either be tongue-in-cheek or heart-on-sleeve -- but one thing is certain: Their electronic violinist rocks it like it's hot.
This band actually kinda shreds, dudes. Buoyed by some seriously tight double-kick drumming, the Vegas Wake Up bust out an aggro take on 'Baby' -- you know, the kind that could really freak out some of Bieber's fans if they heard it. But "punk phase" Bieber probably digs it.
From the super detuned guitars in the intro to the unsettling, robotic tone of the auto-tuned vocals, this stab at 'Baby' is all about opposites. On one hand, it has nothing in common with the traditional flourishes of a pop song, and on the other, it employs many of the trappings of a 21st century pop hit.
For a good laugh, fast forward this video to 2:12, when this jam takes a sudden jump off a cliff, going from standard-issue pop-punk fare to all chugging guitars and growling Pit Bull vocals. Punk rock Bieber must love this stuff!