DS Editorial

Fat Wreck Chords hints at next signing, can you guess who it is?

Posted by Jeff Right Up on Friday, May 23, 2014 at 10:16 AM (PST)

So Western Addiction is making their Punk Rock Bowling debut tonight at the Beauty Bar in Las Vegas where they’ll apparently be premiering a new song during their set.  To get you fired up, singer/guitarist Jason Hall put together a PRB Spotify playlist and this is where things get interesting.  According to Fat Wreck Chords, one of the bands on the playlist has been signed to the label but Fat has yet to announce it.

Naturally, being the journalistic super sleuths we are, we’d be remiss if we were to leave this mystery unsolved.  So, we’re donning our thinking caps, firing up Spotify, plugging in our headphones and hitting the web to tackle this quandary one possibility at a time.

Check out our analysis and see if you agree with our conclusion below.

To begin our analysis we’re first going to throw out all the bands on the playlist that have already been signed to Fat at one point or another.  That eliminates Descendents, NOFX, Against Me!, Good Riddance, Face To Face, Masked Intruder, Night Birds, Leftover Crack, and Western Addiction.  Now, let’s get down to business…

Possibility 1:  Cock Sparrer

Analysis:  Cock Sparrer is a staple in the punk and oi! scene and we love em, we really do.  We just can’t see them being Fat’s newest signing. Fat has never been big on streetpunk or Oi! and we don’t see them changing their tune now.

Prognosis: Not bloody likely!

Possibility 2: Anti-Nowhere League

Analysis: Anti-Nowhere League is another classic streetpunk band along the lines of Cock Sparrer and if Fat didn’t get into the sound of the streets and hooliganism with Cock Sparrer, they’re sure as fuck not getting into it with Anti-Nowhere League.

Prognosis: Not bloody likely x2!

Possibility 3: Angelic Upstarts

Analysis: Another classic Oi/Streetpunk band. These guys’ve gotta be pushing 70 by now and when was the last time you saw Fat sign a bunch of old farts.  Not to mention the whole “Fat’s not into Oi” thing.

Prognosis: Not bloody likely x3!

Possibility 4: Off!

Analysis: Off!, for those that don’t know, is the lovechild of Keith Morris and several other musicians from famous hardcore bands such as Red Kross and Burning Brides. It’d be really cool if they’d make their way over to Fat, and Fat Mike is known to like old school sounding hardcore, but considering Off! just released an album on Vice last month it’s not likely they’ll be releasing a new record with anybody anytime soon. Maybe some day, Fat.

Prognosis: Maybe some day, just not today.

Possibility 5: The Slackers

Analysis: Well, initially it seems awfully doubtful that Manhattan’s favorite lazy boys will be making the jump to Fat any time soon since one doesn’t typically equate Fat Wreck Chords with the rocksteady/reggae/ska sound.  But then again, Mad Caddies’ last two releases were pretty much straight up reggae.  If The Slackers weren’t such a shoe in for their current label Hellcat Records we might say that stranger things have happened.

Prognosis: Fuck you, Rudey!

Possibility 6: toyGuitar

Analysis: toyGuitar, is a well respected punk band featuring members of Swingin’ Utters and One Man Army.  The Fat Wreck connection through Swingin Utters piques our interest, and although the band put out out their last release on Billie Joe Armstrong’s Adeline Records, it was 8 months ago and it was only an EP.  These guys do seem ripe for a full-length and things have been awfully quiet from Adeline lately…

Prognosis: These guys are contenders!

Possibility 7: Poison Idea

Analysis:  Poison Idea is a highly influential hardcore band that had their hayday in the 80s, but as unlikely as this may sound, they’ve been recruiting new members for what seems to be a more stable touring roster so a new record and a new label doesn’t sound so far-fetched. They don’t exactly fit Fat’s typical demographics though.

Prognosis:  Possible, but not likely.

Possibility 8: The Dwarves

Analysis: Legendary shock-punk act The Dwarves certainly seem to have an ethos that jives with Fat Wreck founder Fat Mike’s devil may care party attitude and they do put on a hell of a great live show.  Problem is, The Dwarves have been sitting pretty on Epitaph for a while now so jumping on down to Fat seems pretty unlikely, even for a self-depreciating act like this (edit: The Dwarves haven’t been on Epitaph in quite some time, ya dummy!).

Prognosis: Would be cool, but realistically probably not gonna happen.

Possibility 9: Naked Raygun

Analysis: Melodic hardcore veterans Naked Raygun have been around since the early 80s and have had a series of breakups and temporary reunions, over the years. In their current incarnation they’ve been around since 2006 and in 2009 they announced plans to release a full-length that still hasn’t materialized.  In 2011 a member The Methadones joined the band and for the more astute Fat followers out there you know that Fat Mike always regretted not signing them.

Prognosis:  One former Methadones member probably isn’t going to be enough to get Fat to sign this unstable and over the hill act.  It’s more likely this Raygun is gonna be staying clothed when it comes to jumping in bed with Fat.

Possibility 10: Riverboat Gamblers

Analysis: For anybody that’s seen them live you’ll know punk-rock-n-rollers The Riverboat Gamblers put on one hell of a show.  That’s a huge point in their favor.  The band has been with Volcom Entertainment since 2005 but its been a year since their last release and they’re due for something new.

Prognosis: If Volcom has dropped the band their unique brand of punk rock and superb live energy might just make Riverboat Gamblers a contender.

Possibility 11: The Briefs

Analysis: Seattle punks, The Briefs formed in 2000 putting out 4 or 5 releases in as many years but have been largely inactive since 2012.

Prognosis: The Briefs are a fun band for sure but unless they’ve been secretly planning a comeback from their hiatus a signing to Fat seems unlikely.

Possibility 12: Gang Green

Analysis: Hardcore act Gang Green is another band on the playlist that got their start in the 80s.  While they may be touring still sporadically, they’ve only got one original member on tap and their last recording was in 1997.  If Fat wants to sign them, we suggest they go ahead and hop into a Delorean and hightail it back to ’97.

Chance: We’ll probably see a “Back To The Future IV” before we see Gang Green signing to Fat.

Possibility 13: Devil’s Brigade

Analysis: Matt Freeman of Rancid’s pet project put out its last album in 2010 so they’re definitely due for a new release.  Couple problems though.  One, they’ve been on Tim Armstrong of Rancid’s Hellcat label for sometime and their close personal ties make it seem unlikely they’d jump ship.  Two, they’re psychobilly and when was the last time you saw Fat sign a psychobilly band?

Prognosis: Not a snowball’s chance in hell.

Possibility 14: H20

Analysis: New York City hardcore punks H20 are currently signed to Bridge 9, but they haven’t released anything since 2011 and they are reportedly at work on a new record.  As mentioned earlier, Fat isn’t usually too big on hardcore bands but they did put out a Sick Of It All album once upon a time…

Prognosis: While hardcore signings aren’t completely unheard of for Fat the label definitely seems to be focusing on younger acts when it comes to new signings.  We’ll label this one as improbably but not impossible.

Possibility 15: Reverend Horton Heat

Analysis: These psychobilly cowpunks have been riding along since way back in ’85, and they’ve been on several labels, culminating with January’s REV on Victory Records. They’re not your typical Fat Wreck sounding band but then again neither were Old Man Markley.

Prognosis: Seeing as how the band just released an album 4 months ago we don’t see them hittin’ the dusty trail and grazing over to Fat any time soon.

Possibility 16: SNFU

Analysis: This Canadian hardcore act seems to making a comeback. They’ve set up a new touring lineup featuring members of Strapping Young Lad and The Real Mackenzies, and recently made their first American appearance since 2001. When you go and recruit members from semi-high-profile bands and come back to a country you haven’t been to in over ten years, we’re thinking you’ve got something up your sleeve.

Prognosis: Again, not your typical Fat sounding band, but they’ve already got a connection through the Mackenzies.  Unfortunately, the fact that its only been 7 months since their last release means its not likely they’re be putting something new out soon with Fat, or anybody else.

Possibility 17: Judge

Analysis: Aside from two NYC reunion shows, these militant straight edge hardcore punks don’t seem to be a hotbed of activity. Several members have gone on to become Buddhist monks and professors of religious studies, and their extreme straight-edge-at-all-costs message doesn’t seem like it’d be at home on Fat. Like at all.

Prognosis: A signing to Fat seems about as likely as a junkie having leftover crack.

Possibility 18: Off With Their Heads

Analysis: You all know Off With Their Heads and most of you know they’ve been on Epitaph since 2010.  After Epitaph scooped up Propagandhi and Lawrence Arms from Fat there would be some sweet justice in seeing Fat steal Off With Their Heads from Epitaph but that just doesn’t seem likely.

Prognosis:  Unless Epitaph is willing to drop Off With Their Heads we just don’t see Fat convincing them to switch teams.

Possibility 19: Final Conflict

Analysis: Long Beach hardcore veterans Final Conflict have had recent new releases as well as reissues of old material on Tankcrimes as of late but they haven’t put out new music since 2006.  Even if they had been fairly active in recent years they’d have the whole hardcore and old thing going against them.

Prognosis: Don’t hold your breath.

Possibility 20: All

Analysis: Descendents mirror-image All share several members of the aforementioned legendary punk act, and they haven’t seen a release in close to 15 years, so they’re due for some new activity.

Prognosis: Descendents are on Fat, so it’s fairly likely that if All does have a new release, it’ll also be on Fat.  The question is, if Stevenson, Alvarez and Egerton were to record new music, wouldn’t they just do it as Descendents?

Possibility 21: Cerebral Ballzy

Analysis: Brookyln’s 80s throwback hardcore band Cerebral Ballzy have been making waves, lately. Playing with Flag, Fear and several other highly influential hardcore acts has certainly helped garner some attention for the band.  The young upstarts, however, have already announced that they are putting out a new album in June through Cult Records.

Prognosis: Not happening.  Not this time around anyway.

Possibility 22: Peter and the Test Tube Babies

Analysis: Punk veterans Peter and the Test Tube Babies have been around since 1978. If this isn’t your kinda punk rock, it’s probably your dad’s kinda punk rock, and there’s nothing wrong with that; they kick ass and likely always will.

Prognosis: Even though the band is still pretty active decades after their inception, there’s not a high probability of Fat signing such an old punk act.

Possibility 23: The Generators

Analysis: These LA punk rockers have a sound that would have landed them squarely on Epitaph’s roster circa 1993.  They’re good but the sound definitely isn’t a “Fat” sound, and besides, they just put out an album last month.

Prognosis: Definitely not these dudes.

Possibility 24: Cro-Mags

Analysis: New York thrashcore act Cro-Mags haven’t seen a release in fourteen years but they did announce that they were planning a release for 2014.  Somebody’s gotta put that album out.

Prognosis: Like the other hardcore acts on this playlist, Fat just doesn’t generally pick up bands of this style so we’re guessing “no” on Cro-Mags.

Possibility 25: The Adicts

Analysis: Talk about veterans. The original Clockwork punks, The Adicts have been at it since 1975 and they’re still rocking.  They put out their last album in 2012 which would make the timing for a new album and new label seem right.

Prognosis: The Adicts are well respected in the punk community but Fat knows their demographic and young punk fans and 90s skatepunk holdouts probably aren’t going to be digging on the old school post-punk vibes of these blokes.

Possibility 26: The Meatmen

Analysis: Veteran punks The Meatmen have announced a new record coming out on Self-Destructo Records, so unless Fat is undergoing a surprise name change, you can go ahead and cross these greasy men off the list.

Prognosis: 0% chance.

Possibility 27: CJ Ramone

Analysis: Former Ramones bassist CJ Ramone launched a solo career with a release in 2012 and has lately been making it known that he’s working on a follow-up album.  The timing is definitely right for announcing a signing.

Prognosis: Yeah, the Ramones were great once upon a time.  We just can’t picture CJ on a label like Fat and neither can you.

Possibility 28: La Plebe

Analysis: Bilingual punk act La Plebe may be flying under the radar for a lot of you readers but they’ve got a number of factors working for them when it comes to a signing with Fat.  First, they’re from San Francisco, where Fat Wreck Chords is based and where they’re more likely to have caught the attention of Fat Mike.  Second, they have a horn infused traditional punk sound that would be right at home on the Fat roster.   Lastly, and perhaps the most telling, La Plebe’s most recent release was put out on Red Scare which Fat has been known to cherry pick new signings from (Masked Intruder, Cobra Skulls).  Factor in the fact that La Plebe are overdue for a new release and I think you’ve got yourself a serious contender here.

Prognosis: If we’re reading the signs correctly we’d say that these bilingual punkers just might be the latest addition to the Fat Wreck family.

And now we turn it over to you.  Vote for your pick below and tell us who you chose and why in the comments.

Who do you think the new Fat Wreck signing will be?

  • Cock Sparrer
  • Anti-Nowhere League
  • Angelic Upstarts
  • OFF!
  • The Slackers
  • toyGuitar
  • Poison Idea
  • The Dwarves
  • Naked Raygun
  • Riverboat Gamblers
  • The Briefs
  • Gang Green
  • Devil's Brigade
  • H2O
  • The Reverend Horton Heat
  • SNFU
  • Judge
  • Off With Their Heads
  • Final Conflict
  • All
  • Cerebral Ballzy
  • Peter & The Test Tube Babies
  • The Generators
  • Cro-Mags
  • The Adicts
  • The Meatmen
  • CJ Ramone
  • La Plebe

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