The New York pop outfit Lavalette has among its members New York hardcore stalwart Mike Dijan, so perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that its first single is a cover of the 1986 track “Malfunction” by scene titans the Cro-Mags. Although don’t expect the remake to be all snarling and angry; Lavalette calls itself a “journey into the world of pop with a punk/hc attitude,” and indeed, this take on the track seems to be more inspired by the goings-on in Dr. Luke’s mansion than it does the happenings at CBGB back in the day. Lead singer Rebecca Haviland’s a bit overwrought on the verses, and the “no, really, it’s a malfunction effects” on the breakdown are a bit obvious, but the way the chorus blooms is absolutely satisfying. The original’s below, in case you need a reference point.
According to Iann Robinson (yes, that one!) at Crave, former members of the band are split: “Ex-Cro-Mags leader John Joseph has no problem with the cover, while Ex-Cro-Mags bassist Harley Flanagan hates the song. Wow, those two disagree on something, shocker there.” Meanwhile, the YouTube comments (yes, I know I should never read the YouTube comments, but come on) are in a wholly expected uproar, although a user by the name of “smokeweedhailsatan,” perhaps unsurprisingly, has the best take on the whole thing:
best cover in a long time. people should get over it already, it’s a (very) good popsong. yes, it is a classic by one of the most influental hc-bands but who gives a shit? i don’t and you shouldn’t either.