Five Finger Death Punch provides necessary angst to “Gone Away”

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Las Vegas, Nevada-based heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch covered the Offspring’s “Gone Away” and the result is masterful.

The release is from the band’s 2017 album, “A Decade of Destruction.” It seems to just be making the rounds on radio stations in smaller markets. The song was released in late 2017. The song is a cover version; the original version of “Gone Away” appeared on the Offspring’s 1997 album “Ixnay on the Hombre.”

“Gone Away” by Five Finger Death Punch

With a name like Five Finger Death Punch, the opening lines with its gentle, melancholy piano motif are surprising from this band. The vocals are restrained and clear, which coupled with the piano line makes for a sparse soundscape that does not adequately prepare some listeners for what is to come.

Eventually, the piano gives way to guitar and drums. The song is slower than the original. But the vocals turn gruffer, and nu-metal drumming punctuates in thunderous runs the pain indicated by the lyrics.

At the end, the piano returns, the vocals are a bit softer, and listeners are left with no questions about the song’s interpretation.

Five Finger Death Punch “House of the Rising Sun”

Five Finger Death Punch isn’t just adept at covering late 20th-century punk classics. Like so many other acts, the band has covered the Animals’ classic, “House of the Rising Sun.” The song takes on a new setting (Las Vegas) instead of New Orleans. There is a whistling sound in the beginning that makes the song sound as if it takes places in the middle of nowhere.

The song’s lighter elements give way to true metal riffs. They stop just short of face-melting, but they are heavy and fast. The guitar chords sound layered on top of each other and the drums are equally heavy and fast. The riffs play alone at the end, as the vocalist sings the last line. This arrangement makes the song sound more desolate and enhances the original intent of the track.

“Gone Away” by the Offspring

The California-based punk band made household names of themselves with their anti-violence tune, “Come Out and Play.” That debut album was full of interesting takes on relationships, substance abuse, and road rage. A few years later, with the release of “Ixnay on the Hombre,” the band was taking a slightly more somber turn, at least with the song “Gone Away.”

The song, in both the Offspring and Five Finger Death Punch versions, details the raw pain of losing a loved one. The idea that the loss is unfair, that the bereaved wants to trade places with the deceased, are all part of the verses. The Offspring imbues the song with shouted vocals and a mix of brooding and shredding guitar riffs. All of which work to capture what grief would sound like if it were a song.

Five Finger Death Punch does justice to the Offspring’s rock ‘n’ roll lamentation. The songs are separated by a 20-year gap. While each band performs its own version of grief, both are visceral and work to express the emotions of listeners of different generations.

 

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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