unpredictable, unfamiliar and fun

Acid Eaters (Radioactive)
The Ramones

By Kevin Gibson

I was never big on cover albums a song or two is fine, but an entire disc?

I have to hand it to the Ramones, though. The punk icons' new release Acid Eaters, a 12-song tribute to the psychedelic '60s, is true to both the era it salutes and the music on which the Ramones have built their reputation.

The first single, the Who's "Substitute," is a capable, enthusiastic cover, and has a seal of approval of sorts in the form of Pete Townshend's guest appearance as backing vocalist.

The album is consistently appealing, especially with covers of The Rolling Stones' "Out of Time," Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages" (especially C.J.'s lead vocal), and CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?"

The punk rockers were careful to create a nice mix of the obvious and the obscure; let's face it, covering "Twist and Shout" would be pushing it.

The single, the CCR cover, and tasteful renditions of "Surf City" and "Somebody to Love" (Jefferson Airplane) are as far as it goes. The rest of the tracks are less recognizable and therefore more cover-accessible.

On the downside, this might be a tough sell. Fans of this particular music might not be inclined to appreciate a punk rock tribute. At the same time, punk fans might not be interested in hearing 30-year-old tunes.

I must admit that I missed the trademark Ramones humor and hooks. Hey ho, let's shake it up.