By Alex Johnson
What happens when you combine punk rock and Disney? Well, the cover band Punk Rock Factory decided to do just that. And it’s amazing.
Punk Rock Factory (PRF) is a U.K. based punk band that exclusively plays covers. They don’t do covers of punk songs though; they do punk covers of non-punk songs (similar to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes). PRF consists of Peej (guitar/vocal), Benj (bass/vocal), Ryan (guitar) and Kob (drums/vocals), and they’ve been punkafying every genre you can think of since 2014. Punk rock Taylor Swift? Check. Punk TV theme songs? Check. Punk Hanson? Why not?
Late last year, Punk Rock Factory decided to tackle Disney with “A Whole New Wurst”, an album consisting of 13 Disney covers. Songs from “Frozen,” “Moana,” “The Lion King” and more are featured.
“Our vision for this was always to stay true to the songs and their structures,” PRF wrote in a Dec. 2020 Facebook post, “so, when you sing along in the car or shower […] you’re not put off by us changing the very core structures of them.”
Punk Rock Factory’s cover of “A Whole New World” featuring Liv Haynes of NOT UR GIRLFRENZ.
The covers are arranged very well, with much of the melody – which is often done on piano for Disney songs – being handled by the extremely talented lead guitarist, Ryan, in an often hair-metal-esque style. Peej’s voice is deep and scratchy, but he can push a lot of range out of it; he doesn’t scream, he “belts it”. Despite the fast, driving riffs and more aggressive vocals, I found most of the songs kept their Disney majesty and splendor.
Punk Rock Factory’s cover of “Let It Go” featuring Jaret Reddick of Bowling for Soup.
Also present on the album are several well-known guest vocalists. Jaret Reddick of Bowling for Soup, Liv Haynes of NOT UR GIRLFRENZ and Tony Lovato of Mest are just a few of the artists featured on “A Whole New Wurst”. The guest vocalists fill out the sound and help give that big, ensemble feel that Disney is known for.
You can listen to “A Whole New Wurst” on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube. Physical copies (CD and vinyl) of “A Whole New Wurst” can be purchased on Punk Rock Factory’s official website, though it’ll be coming from the U.K. so it could take a few weeks to get.
I would also recommend you check out the rest of Punk Rock Factory’s music (especially if you’re not that into Disney). Their covers are all done very well and the range of songs they do ensures everyone will find at least one they know and love.
Correction: The cover from The Lion King is actually not part of A Whole New Wurst.