Kristine Flaherty, an American artist known as K. Flay shared an EP of cover tunes called Don’t Judge A Song By It’s Cover. She shared three covers including Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff,” Green Day’s “Brain Stew” and Offspring’s “Self Esteem.” Flay said in a press release “Each song is a reimagining of a 90’s rock hit that was heavy aggressive and male-fronted. But when you break them down they are super emotional. So this is me celebrating an era that’s had a huge influence on my career, and kind of excavating the emotionality I found in these iconic songs.”
Flay’s cover of “Break Stuff” sounds significantly different than the original track. The cover includes an effects heavy guitar melody, a hip hop drum kit, acoustic guitar heard in the background and bass. It is a slow mid-tempo song with the lyrics either sung or half sung and half spoken. The original is much heavier, darker and faster track. It features a prominent distorted guitar riff, a continuous drum loop and a bass guitar. The lyrics are screamed and spoken at the same time during the verses but in the chorus the vocals are half sung and half spoken.
The “Self Esteem” cover is also significantly different. Flay’s cover is a slow piano ballad with an extremely dark piano. The song is played in Bb Major versus the original which is played in C Major. The original is faster heavier and opens with the band saying “la la la la la” and then the guitar plays the same melody. Electric guitars, bass and drums complete the instrumentation and the vocals are half sung half yelled.
“Brain Stew” starts only with Flay’s vocals and a bass drum. When the chorus starts the entire instrumentation including a synthesized guitar, a synthesized bass and pad enter the song as well as vocal harmonies. The original opens with a heavy guitar riff prominent throughout the entire song and has loud drums and bass with no vocal harmonies and a faster tempo. The cover is played in A while the original is in Ab.
Flay found an awareness of an audience with her song “Not In California.” She also released a video for her song “Bad Vibes” where she escapes from a scenic penitentiary.