Old Music For Old People bassplayer and master of ceremonies Joel Attenbrough, has a long history in the punk and hardcore scene, remember Jungle Fever and Taking Sides anyone? This also makes him the perfect candidate to do a Fat Wreck Chords hardcore orientated crucial five releases.
CRUCIAL FIVE Fat Wreck albums for Hardcore kids with Joel Attenborough
Fat Wreck Chords - synonymous with 90's punk rock, with bands like NOFX, Strung Out, No Use For A Name and Lagwagon, as well as dozens of 'one great album, but where are they now' bands and even a few 'signed them before they went a major label' bands.
When I was asked to do the list, I was stumped for about 2 months... I've done a top ten list of Fat releases, and even that was a major effort, and had to cut 5 of them, that on any other given day would have made it on the list. So, I decided to do a different style of list... Because of the preconceptions of Fat Wreck being a 'so-cal punk rock' label, I thought it could be good to make a list of five releases from the last few years, that maybe show that the average hardcore kid shouldn't automatically dismiss Fat Wreck Chords bands, and also show that some Fat Wreck releases are a lot closer to the roots of hardcore than you'd think.
This list isn't in any order, because I'm not stating that one release is better than another. so, here it is:
NOFX - Hardcore EP
So, in 2009, Fat Mike joked that he was going to release an EP of covers from bands that he grew up listening too.
"We're putting out a ten-song ten-inch of ten cover songs of old hardcore bands. They're all from the US and that's all kind of what we grew up on. That's already recorded and mostly they're bands that no one ever heard of and most of their records never made it to CD. It's pretty obscure – a couple of the bigger bands would be The Necros and Social Unrest and Stretch Marks. We're just going to put it out and we're not going to put any information on it; no credits, no song titles, no nothing – just a blank disc – so if you don't know who it is, you won't know who it is."
It took him two years to get it all released and recorded, and as promised - no cover, minimal artwork, no track listings... but for some reason, it was released as 7", 10" and 12" (the 12" has one track, so you have to listen to the whole thing, or guess where the track is you were looking for - an idea Fat Mike was originally going to on the Short Music for Short People - 101 band - 30 second song compilation)
So the track list looks like this:
01.Friend Or Foe (Agnostic Front Cover) – IQ32 – (Necros Cover)
02.Police Brutality (Urban Waste Cover)
03.Mental Breakdown (Social Unrest Cover)
04.No More Lies (Battalion Of Saints Cover)
05.Race Riot (D.O.A. Cover)
06.Say We Suck – (Sin 34 Cover)
07.Child Hosts The Parasite (Rebel Truth Cover)
08.Professional Punk Intro (Stretch Marks Cover)
09.Professional Punk (Stretch Marks Cover)
Which really shows where they have come from, back almost 30 years ago as a band.
PAINT IT BLACK - Surrender
The band Dan Yemin (Ressurection, Kid Dynamite, Lifetime, Armalite) fronts, and probably writes all the music too as well (cos its just that fucking good). They have released three full lengths on Jade Tree (CVA + Paradise + New Lexicon) and in 2009 they released 2 7"s, one on Bridge 9 and one on Fat Wreck Chords. They have been pretty quiet of late, although Fat Wreck announced that for 'The Fest 10' 10 bands were going on a Fat Comp called 'Fat Music for Fest People' which has ten 'Fat bands' on a comp, and each band had 100 of their own versions to sell... and Paint it Black was one of them. No matter who they release something through, here's hoping they release something soon.
ONLY CRIME - Virulence
Anything that has Russ Rankin on vocals, is always going to get the 'just sounds like Good Riddance' dismissal, but that's not really a bad thing. This was a Hardcore 'supergroup' that gets kinda over looked, probably because it was released on Fat, or maybe because again, people just assume its just like Good Riddance. Featuring members from Black Flag and the Descendents (Bill Stevenson), Bane and Converge (Aaron Dalbec), and Modern Life is War (Matt Hoffman). There's some melodic choruses, which has the signature vocal's of Russ Rankin, but there are equally as many weird timing, disjointed guitar riffs, which Bill Stevenson perfected in Black Flag (as well as in ALL and the Descendents).
PROPAGHANDI - Potemkin City Limits
I could have easily picked any of the four albums they have released on Fat, but this was their last on the label, so I picked it. When you've heard enough of lyrics about 'brotherhood' and 'hardcore for hardcore' or what ever, and you require a bit more substance then you just should listen to them. I'm not really going to explain why... you just should. Pick an album, any album, they're all great.
FRENZAL RHOMB - Smoko at the Pet Food Factory
This album was my fave release of 2011. Full stop. Tops the list. This band pull out riffs heavier than a lot of 'heavy bands' around at the moment, and with this album maintain the speed and intensity that seems to drop off with bands who decide its time to expand their musical horizons (and get a keyboard player or some shit). You know when ever Mindsnare get mentioned on your mate's facebook, and within 3 posts someone writes 'KSSH KSSH KSSH'... That's in reference to Gordy... Tub Thumber in Mindsnare and Frenzal Rhomb (but you already knew that...) And, not that this release needs any more 'cred', but this was recorded in the Blasting Room, with Bill Stevenson.
And for the record, my top 10 Fat Wreck List was:
Strung Out - Twisted By Design FAT570
The Loved Ones - Keep Your Heart FAT705
Propagandhi - Potemkin City Limits FAT683
Lagwagon - Trashed FAT513
Against Me! - As The Eternal Cowboy FAT667
Rise Against - Revolutions Per Minute FAT653
Rise Against - The Unraveling FAT628
Propagandhi - How To Clean Everything FAT506
Propagandhi - Less Talk, More Rock FAT666
Strung Out - Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues FAT537
fuck that was hard...