The great Philly punk band Dark Thoughts have been tearing up the DIY circuit in recent years, playing their fast and melodic pogo music with a verve and energy that we rarely see from anyone. They released their most recent album Must Be Nice in December, and it rules. Dark Thoughts have never been shy about admitting that they are Ramones disciples, pure and simple. (Frontman Jim Shomo has gone so far as to call Dark Thoughts a “Ramones band.”) So maybe it’s a little obvious and on-the-nose for Dark Thoughts to drop a Ramones cover. It’s still awesome, though.
Recording during quarantine, in two different Philadelphia basements, Dark Thoughts have knocked out a cover of the Ramones classic “What’s Your Game.” The original, from the Ramones’ classic 1977 sophomore album Leave Home, is one of the classic starry-eyed Ramones power-pop jams. It’s not a ballad, exactly, but it’s in that “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” vein — sweeter and slower than most Ramones songs but still very recognizably in the band’s wheelhouse.
Dark Thoughts don’t really change much about “What’s Your Game,” but would you really want them to? You can hear both their cover and the Ramones’ original below.
You can buy the Dark Thoughts cover at Bandcamp.