Teenage kicks don’t get much better than this compilation, which features 17 of the cutest suburban punk bands in the country covering the mushiest teen-pop hits of yesterday and today. Think of it as a cross between Epitaph’s long-running Punk-O-Rama series and the chart-topping Now That’s What I Call Music! franchise, courtesy of the Orange County pop-punk indie label Fearless.
Austin’s Dynamite Boy get top billing, kicking off the collection with a pop-metal version of Backstreet Boys’ "I Want It That Way" that actually bothers to get the vocal harmonies right and also replaces the bridge with some choice guitar wankery. The disc’s other highlights likewise take the power-ballad route: Florida’s Further Seems Forever coo ’N Sync’s "Bye Bye Bye," San Diego’s Noise Ratchet borrow a drum machine for Mandy Moore’s "Crush," and Massachusetts’s Fake ID cry themselves to sleep with O-Town’s "All or Nothing." South Carolina ruffians Stretch Arm Strong are one of the few groups who make a joke of the proceedings, transforming Pink’s "Get This Party Started" into a down-tempo hardcore exorcism.
A couple of the bands need to practice more, and Florida’s Keepsake deliver the album’s one real stinker by turning Faith Hill’s "The Way You Love Me" into a ballad. But that won’t stop junior punks who like a little pop with their mosh from clamoring for PGP Volume Two.