Welcome back to Answer That and Stay Fashionable, where every week various members of the Dying Scene team will take a question posed by you, the readers, and pour their hearts out in regards to all things punk rock: from favorite records and show experiences to embarrassing purchases and fashion styles. If it’s punk, it’s fair game. This week’s question:
“I’ve been a fan of the Fat catalog since I was 13. What is/are your favorite release(s) from Fat Wreck Chords?”
Read our responses below.
I’d use that cliché “picking a favorite ______ is like picking a favorite child” metaphor (hopefully that’s actually a metaphor and not a simile or something) but it’s, well… cliché. Anyway, a lot of my favorite albums have been put out on Fat. The new Less Than Jake album See The Light is pretty high on my list, along with Strung Out’s Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues and Twisted By Design, and The War on Errorism by NOFX. There’s no way I could pick a #1 favorite album that Fat’s put out, though. They just release way too much bad ass stuff.
I’ve been a huge fan of Fat Wreck Chords ever since I started listening to punk, about 16 or 17 years ago. As an active member of the Fat Wreck Wiki (come join us!), it’s hard to not just say they’re all my favorite releases! The first 6 volumes of the Fat Music compilations really stick with me. I listened to most of those on an almost-daily basis for years, and I still listen to them on a regular basis now.
As for releases by specific bands, two of my top ones for sure have to be Revolutions Per Minute by Rise Against, and As The Eternal Cowboy by Against Me!
Pretty much all of the Lagwagon releases are also among my favorites. Other releases that really stick out are Propagandhi‘s How To Clean Everything, Less Than Jake‘s Borders And Boundaries, and Western Addiction‘s Cognicide. Like I said, it’s hard to not say they’re all my favorites. (oh, don’t forget Cavalcade by The Flatliners, They Came From the Shadows by Teenage Bottlerocket, ‘Til It Kills, With A Lifetime To Pay, More Betterness, Today’s Empires Tomorrow’s Ashes, Just One More, Ruin Jonny’s Bar Mitzvah… we could be here all night, so I’ll just stop now)
I didn’t really start listening to punk rock until 2003, and a lot of my favorite Fat Wreck releases kind of reflect that. Against Me!’s As the Eternal Cowboy might be my all-time favorite though, I still consider it to be my absolute favorite Against Me! album and always think it’s the perfect mix of their raw punk sound and their later, more slick sounding material while still containing some great acoustic tracks. Whenever I’m recommending Against Me! to someone who hasn’t listened to them before, I tell them to just check out this entire album and a select few other songs. It’s weird to think that I didn’t like it all that much when I first heard it (I was a diehard Acoustic EP / Crime fanboy at the time).
As for other Fat Wreck releases… The Lawrence Arms’ Oh! Calcutta!, The Loved Ones’ Keep Your Heart, Rise Against’s Revolutions Per Minute, and Dead to Me’s Cuban Ballerina would round out the rest of my top five. Three of those five came out the year I graduated from high school, so you can kind of tell where my head was at when that happened.
I think it’s nearly impossible to narrow this down – so I’ll just go with my most recent favorite release. I still can not get enough of Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s most recent EP, Boss Lady. If this question was next week, I might say the new Gimmes record – I can’t WAIT to have that in my hands!
There are a lot of close contenders for this prestigious honor but I’d have to say that my favorite Fat release of all time is “Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues” by Strung Out. The crazy thing is that when I first heard it, I was soooo disappointed by it. I loved their previous release and STWB was such a departure (advancement, really) from the sound of its predecessor that I was initially really bummed out that I wasn’t just getting “Another Day In Paradise” part II. After a few listens to STWB, however, a couple of the songs started standing out as not bad. After a few more listens those songs became really good and a few more additions became not bad. Another few listens and I had some epic tunes, a few really good ones and the rest were not bad. You see where I’m going here. Eventually I came to love absolutely every single track on the album. It was a slow grower for me but maybe that’s why after all these years it still stands out as such a phenomenal album. I’ve grown with it, and its grown with me.
I’m going to actually follow this question to the letter of the law and pick one release, and I’m going with my gut. Propagandhi’s “How To Clean Everything” might have been my first Fat Wreck Chords release, and Face To Face remains my favorite band that’s ever had a release on Fat, but the coveted “favorite Fat release of all time” has got to go to No Use For A Name‘s “Leche Con Carne.” That album hit at exactly the right time in my formative punk rock listening years. I’ve listened to it infinitely more times than any other album on the Fat roster, and I’ve had to buy multiple copies over the years because of older CDs getting so beat up. It’s the album that spawned my love for No Use in general and Tony Sly’s songwriting specifically. Absolutely a ‘desert island’ pick.
This is definitely a difficult question for me to answer. Fat Wreck is my favorite record and responsible for getting me into punk rock in the first place. I can’t pick just one release so I’ll mention several. I am a huge Lagwagon fan. “Resolve” by Lagwagon is my favorite album of theirs. It’s so moving. I love Good Riddance’s catalog. They have some of the best lyrics. Although “Requiem” is my favorite album by Bracket, their releases on Fat also rule. Bracket is a hugely underrated band in my opinion. Speaking of underrated, Guns N’ Wankers’ album “For Dancing and Listening” is another great album. It’s also worth mentioning Limp’s playful pop-punk album “Guitarded” on “Honest Don’s.” Before they became a more mainstream band, Rise Against’s albums had a more melodic hardcore sound. I love their first two records.
Propagandhi’s “How to Clean Everything,” No Use For Name’s “Keep Them Confused” and Strung Out’s “Exile in Oblivion” are great skate punk albums. None More Black’s catalog is wonderful. I am so stoked they’re putting out a new album soon. Last but not least, there is my favorite new school Fat band, The Flatliners. They kill it live and “Cavalcade” is an album that I listen to from front to back frequently. I’m little obsessed.