Tag Archives: Fat Wreck Chords

25 Years of Fat: My Favorite 15 Fat Wreck Chords Releases

It really freaks me out that 20 years ago, I graduated high school.  For the most part, I hated  that school I attended and can not say many nice things about it to this day.  Let me rephrase, the school itself was not the issue, it was the experience I went through growing up there.

I will tell you though that I had a solid core of friends there who all helped me through the bad times and ensured the good times were plentiful.  Lucky for me, one of my good friends introduced me to Fat Wreck Chords.  I am forever grateful for that.

Fat Wreck Chords has been around for 25 years now.  They remain an independent label and continue to pump out amazing releases.

Fat Wreck Chords

I can not imagine Fat not being in my teenage years.  They supplied the soundtrack of my life and have continued to do so.

In an attempt to look like all of the other sites out there posting random things, I thought I would post 15 of my favorite Fat Wreck releases.  Here we go…

Survival Of The Fattest
Fat Music Vol. II: Survival of the Fattest

-This is the one release that I will always hold near and dear to me.  I fairly certain I snagged the cassette version of this back in 1996 at the Warped Tour and was immediately introduced to some of my favorite bands (well, technically it was after the show was rained out and my pals and I were driving home listening to it).  To this day, I will throw this album on the turntable and relive some of my teenage days.  Best comp ever.  That Diesel Boy song still rules…

Useless ID
Useless ID – 

-Hands down, this is my favorite Fat release.  I am still amazed at how good this album is.  To this day, I listen to it quite regularly.  It’s catchy, it’s powerful, it’s just good.  I can not wait for their follow-up.  If you are not familiar with Useless ID, you need to change that.

NOFX – I Heard They Sucked Live

-When I think of this live album, I think of when I would listen to it front to back and recite not only the lyrics of the songs, but also the drunken commentary by the band.  I think the best part about this album is that I acquired the original pressing that I used to listen to from my friend a couple of years ago.  Talk about a keepsake.

The Loved Ones
The Loved Ones – Build & Burn
Dave Hause and crew rule on so many levels.  Out of all of their albums, this is the one that I hold dearest to me.  “I Swear” gets me every time.  You swooner Dave…

Flatliners – 
-This is the perfect Fat release.  Everything about this album is incredible.  If you disagree with me, I could care less.  This is my blog, not yours.

Descendants – Cool To Be You

-Sure, their SST Records releases are far superior than this one, but still, this is a great album by one of the best bands out there and I think it is bad ass that Fat was able to release it.

Rise Against
Rise Against – Revolutions Per Minute

-Who’d a thought some little band from Chicago would blow up and turn into rock stars?  Spite how their music has matured into more of a rock sound, this album slays.

No Use For A Name
No Use For A Name – Leche Con Carne

-RIP SLY (I can not believe it’s going on 3 years…).  Thank you for putting together one of the best albums ever.  This one album holds some of my favorite songs ever.  If any of you punkers out there have not listened to this album 400 or more times in your life, you need to reevaluate your status.  This album paved so many paths for future bands.  Respect.

Swingin' Utters
Swingin’ Utters – Here, Under Protest
-This album may hold a different style of what the Utters used to possess in their earlier years, but I love everything about it.  I remember the first time I heard it and how I questioned how it was possible for them to drop such a quality album after 8 years of nothing.

Old Man Markley
Old Man Markley
-Old Man Markley was so different from the rest of the Fat roster and I immediately fell in love with the album the moment I heard it.  The folk-rock-bluegrass sounds are unique and fun, not to mention the band puts on a hell of a performance.  You haven’t lived until you’ve seen someone shred a washboard.  Trust me on this.

Face To Face
Face To Face – Don’t Turn Away
Two staple songs of my life exists on this album, “Disconnected” & “You’ve Done Nothing”.  I someone decided they needed to create a documentary about my pathetic existence, these two songs would need to be on the soundtrack.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Have a Ball

-I remember the first time young punk rock me heard this album in its entirety.  I thought it was the greatest thing in the world.  Who’d a thought taking lame music my parents listened to and putting a punk rock spin on it would be so amazing?

Banner Pilot
Banner Pilot – Collapser
I could have easily just listed all of Banner Pilot’s albums on this post as I adore them all, but for the sake of variety I chose one.  This album contains so much energy it’s ridiculous.

Strung Out
Strung Out – Exile In Oblivion
This band has definitely matured over the years.  I am sure a lot of you can agree they are almost metal now these days.  The technical punk rockers completely won me over on this album.

Against Me
Against Me! – Searching for a Former Clarity
I always like to remind myself how much I thought I hated this band.  Sad thing is, I never gave them a chance.  Once this album came out, I realized what I was missing out on.  I love seeing how far this band has gone and can not wait to see what they have in store for us fans in the future.

Given the history of Fat Wreck, I think it is safe to say we can expect plenty of releases coming at us moving forward.  As of late, they have been building up their roster.

What are some of your favorite releases?  Comment below if you want.  Someone’s bound to read them.  Enjoy.

Album Review: Chris Cresswell – One Week

Chris CresswellFor those of you who checked out the interview I did with Joey Cape months back, you may have learned about One Week Records.  For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, I suggest you take a moment and read that awesome interview.

Chris Cresswell of The Flatliners was one of the first artists to hole up in Cape’s abode and record an album.  In one week, the two recorded 10 amazing songs and skipped out on any type of over-producing.  The result was just an amazing release that I was not expecting.

Cresswell is typically known for his gruff vocals in The Flatliners but he’s completely cleared his throat for his One Week Record.  In fact, I was set back for a moment on how different and appealing his singing style was.  Having known he’s stripped down his style before, I suppose I just did not know what to expect prior to checking out this release.

Listening to “Meet Me in the Shade” was just so heavy on the heart.  I could almost relate in my past to the feelings Cresswell transformed into song.  Full of lyrics of dismay and solitude, Cresswell seemingly dumped heavy emotion into this track.  I really fond myself enjoying the song even more so when the piano playing snuck in.

Picking things up was “Little Bones”, a track what sounds like some serious swooning until the moment you realize that the lyrics on this track were pretty much Cresswell tearing a certain someone apart for being a cold, heartless human being.  The lyrics were amazing on this album.

“Stitches” really collaborated Cresswell and Cape’s talent in a great way in a song about healing and moving on.  Perhaps the best part of this track is when Cresswell belted out “I fall in love again with the silence in this song” over and over at the end.  Hands down, this was best track on this album.

Hearing the cover of Dead To Me’s “Arrhythmic Palpitations” was a nice bonus on this album.  Cresswell recorded a damn fine version that I may seriously now prefer over the original.  Everyone needs to hear this track.

“On the Day That You Died” was beyond somber and yet so beautiful.  This is the kind of song that brings tears to eyes while saying goodbye to a loved one.  Seriously, this track should be in the next Zach Braff movie he releases.  So sad…

Overall, this album far exceeded my expectations and I am going to be pre-ordering the vinyl release soon as I know this will be an album I will listen to quite frequently.

I think the thing I like best about this album is knowing that Cresswell and Cape recorded all of the songs in 7 days in Cape’s home.  I also love knowing that at the end, Cape handed Cresswell a Sharpie marker and told him to draw up the album cover.

The album is available digitally now on One Week Records for just 5 bucks.  The album is also going to be pressed on vinyl (as previously mentioned) thanks to Fat Wreck Chords and will be dropping soon.

Chris Cresswell

Album Review: Masked Intruder – M.I.

Masked Intruder - M.I.Pop punk’s hooligan heroes, Masked Intruder, are back on the prowl with their all new sophomore release M.I.  The ski-masked foursome clearly have no problem dodging the law while stealing hearts and throwing together one of the catchiest releases you will probably hear all year.

Having  kept their identities safe so far, probably due to the band threatening anyone with blunt force to those who may know who all is actually under those masks, Masked Intruder remain an enigma of sorts in the punk rock world playing some of the greatest stalker-love jams ever recorded.  Think Ramones and Chixdiggit!, but with plenty of obsession and missing valuables.

The album started out with a revamped recording of “I Fought The Law”, a track that originally appeared on Masked Intruder’s 2011 demo.  This version clearly trumped the original and sounds even catchier than the demo version.

“The Most Beautiful Girl” is flawless when talking about a pop punk love song.  In less than 2 minutes, the band manages to pack together harmonies within sing-alongable lyrics (is that even a word?) all while swooning someone special.

“Saturday Night Alone” pretty much sums up some of my weekend nights  sans spending it in the slammer like these masked heartthrobs do.  Hard-driven guitar playing (that easily could have been stolen from label mates Teenage Bottlerocket) played throughout making for a fun track.  I loved when the band just stopped playing and just sang and crooned for just a couple of seconds only to start jamming out again.

I loved the track “When I Get Out”, especially on how the band sang about what they were going to do when they were released from the slammer.  From getting revenge to slamming ice cream and pizza, it is clear that Masked Intruder had a lot of time to plan out their freedom while locked away and incorporate it all into a fun song.

I really was hoping the band would go all a cappella again on this release, and they did in “Almost Like We’re Already In Love”.  It’s like a barbershop quartet song, but different.  I’m sure if the band sang this song to me in person, I would be batting my lashes and blowing kisses their way.

“Hey Girl”, was a quick, catchy jam aimed at breaking the ice with the ladies.  “Don’t Run Away” followed perhaps on purpose to assure all the beautiful ladies by singing “don’t run away, I think this is it.”

“Say that I’m a freak, a geek, a weirdo” started off “Wierdo”, a track that may have been written by actual events that happened in my life.  Seriously, I think these guys plagiarized my lady luck in my early 20s and threw it into a song.  What the hell guys?

Another great track was “I Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye To You Tonight”.  It was a pop punk love track that may or may not require a restraining order.

Ending the album was “Locked Up And Lonely”, a song that did not really sound like the others as it was a little slow starting at the beginning, but only for a moment.  I could not but help think 90s punk rock on this song.  On another note, can someone please tell me why I thought of Charles Manson in this song (in a comical way of course).   Seriously, as this song played, I thought of an emo’d out Manson sitting in a cell looking out his cell window and writing about how lonely he is.

After listening to this album at least 37 times in a row, it is safe to say that Masked Intruder has once again dropped a solid release.  I was so addicted to their debut release so much that I failed to review it, but this time I decided I had to at least say a couple nice things about their latest effort.

M.I. has the potential to make Masked Intruder appear on many Most Wanted lists.   With their quest to avoid Miranda Rights as well as continue to hide their identity, this band has surpassed the gimmick stage and is going toward full-blown rockstar.

So who are Masked Intruder?  Who cares.  Just keep them away from my record collection and wallet.  Beyond that, I hope they keep doing their thing.  Those guys rule hard.

Masked Intruder is seemingly always on tour.  Personally, I think it is because they are running away from the law.  Regardless, they are playing Cleveland on June 20th at Now That’s Class.

7″ Review (of sorts): Teenage Bottlerocket – American Deutsch Bag

Teenage Bottlerocket - American Deutsch BagJust in time for the holidays, your favorite pop-punk band Teenage Bottlerocket has announced an upcoming 7″ titled American Deutsch Bag”.  

Featuring tracks like “Ich bin Auslander und Spreche Nicht Gut Deutsch” and “I’m the One Smoking Marijuana Motherfucker”, this album is sure to be a family favorite.  At just under 4 minutes long, I think it is safe to say that TBR have put together a masterpiece.

Actually, the songs have nothing to do with the holidays, but everything to do with Germany.  Well, sort of.  The band, after falling in love with Germany, decided to pay their own homage in a humorous way.   I know I enjoyed their new tracks.

The band also threw on their appropriate cover of the late Tony Sly’s “Via Munich”.  This is the same track found on the Tony Sly tribute that dropped just last month.

TBR’s very own Ray had this to say about the idea of the German friendly tunes:

On Teenage Bottlerocket’s last tour in Europe, we made friends with a dude in a Lethal Weapon 2 hat. We referred to him as a Deutsch bag. He was a good sport and found the insult endearing. I’ve always loved Germany. I took German in high school and we sang alot of songs. One of the songs was entitled “Ich bin Auslander und Spreche Nicht Gut Deutsch”. This is roughly translated “I’m not from here and my German sucks”. We decided to make it a pop punk song. If I screw up any of the pronunciation it’s because my German sucks, it’s a pretty good excuse to fuck up the words. We also included a new song about smoking reefer and a song by our dear friend Tony Sly called “Via Munich”. We recorded the 7″ at the Blasting Room with Andrew Berlin. Everything seemed to fall into place. The 7″ will be available on our upcoming European tour with VOLBEAT and ICED EARTH. Guten tag.

Wait.  Did Ray just say they were touring with Volbeat and Iced Earth in Europe?  Bad ass.

American Deutsch Bag drops on November 27th, but you can preorder a copy over at Fat Wreck Chords right now.

Album Review: The Flatliners – Dead Language

The Flatliners - Dead LanguageDead Language, as expected, has blown me away and turned me into an even bigger Flatliners fan.

I am not even sure I need to write more than the above sentence when talking about The Flatliners most recent release on Fat Wreck Chords.  It has been three years since the punk rock band have put out new material and the wait was well worth it.

After making music and hitting the road for most of their 10+ year career, Dead Language really showcases the band in a mature, collective way without missing a beat.  Having been on the Fat roster for a good part of their existence (this is their 3rd release on Fat), many music lovers are well aware of  them and cherish everything they do.

Opening with “Resuscitation Of The Year”, the album started off strong with the band taking no time to get down to business.  With heavy drumming, appropriate gang vocals, and fun guitar playing (that at times reminded me of 90s Fat Wreck songs), I couldn’t help but think that this really was one of the best tracks on the album.

Although carrying a slightly slower tempo, “Birds Of England” was just a solid track to listen to.  I really dug the lyrics that hinted about the band’s extensive touring during their  career.  This is one of those songs I feel would be fun to see the band play live.  “Hounds” was another song that I feel the band would really have fun playing live with all the sporadic shouting and crazy guitar playing.

“Drown In Blood” continued with Chris Cresswell just giving it his all vocally.  I was seriously impressed listening to him clear his throat throughout.  Just wait till the gang vocals pop in.  This song was one of my favorites on the album.

“Sew My Mouth Shut” was the track that really had me thinking to myself how much this band has grown together.  Everything just sounded so right on this track and I just loved it when Cresswell crooned “sew my mouth shut so I can’t say a word, just gets me in trouble, trouble I’m not worth.”

The one song on here that I even remotely scratched my head at was “Quitters” and honestly I think it is because it was just a lot to take in.  At just over 2 minutes, I think song could have been stretched out in some parts.  Overall, still a good jam, but there were a couple of drumming moments that seemed overly compressed.

“Brilliant Resilience” closed down the album with as much fury as the opener did.  Once again the gang vocals were fun to listen to.  Non-stop drumming, fun guitar playing, and of course Cresswell doing what he does best.

I will say that Dead Language is no Calvicade, but it is damn close and who knows, maybe after I listen to it about 15 more times, I’ll change my opinion.  Still, I’m pretty sure The Flatliners were not looking to repeat Calvicade, but rather continue forward with it.  For a band that started more of a ska band and then changed their sound because they wanted to, I would have to say they are matured and exactly where they want to be.  Dead Language really proves that.

Check out this video for “Drown In Blood”: