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DS News: Red Scare reissuing “Losers of the Year” LP from Dan Vapid’s Sludgeworth

Our pals at Red Scare Industries have announced they will be reissuing Chicago punk band Sludgeworth‘s long out of print Losers of the Year LP. For the uninitiated, this short-lived project was fronted by Screeching Weasel‘s Dan Vapid and also featured SW bandmate Brian Vermin on drums. Losers of the Year was originally released on […]

Our pals at Red Scare Industries have announced they will be reissuing Chicago punk band Sludgeworth‘s long out of print Losers of the Year LP. For the uninitiated, this short-lived project was fronted by Screeching Weasel‘s Dan Vapid and also featured SW bandmate Brian Vermin on drums.

Losers of the Year was originally released on CD in 1995 through Lookout! Records. This is the career-spanning compilation album’s first-ever pressing on vinyl. It will also be getting a CD/digital release with two previously unreleased bonus tracks.

This is a highly sought after record among pop-punk collectors, and it’s going fast. Head over to Red Scare’s webstore to grab your copy (and be sure to snag SACK‘s new record while you’re there, that beast is finally available on vinyl, too!).

For a weekly rundown of all things punk rock vinyl, check out the Dying Scene Record Radar every Friday!

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DS Record Radar: This Week in Punk Vinyl (The Real McKenzies, Cock Sparrer, SACK… PLUS Black Friday Vinyl Deals)

Greetings, fellow degenerates! Welcome to the latest installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is a weekly column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl. In addition to new releases and reissues, this week we’ll also be highlighting some Black Friday sales […]

Greetings, fellow degenerates! Welcome to the latest installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar. If it’s your first time here, thank you for joining us! This is a weekly column where we cover all things punk rock vinyl. In addition to new releases and reissues, this week we’ll also be highlighting some Black Friday sales on vinyl records that may interest you. So kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, crack open a cold one, and break out those wallets, because it’s go time. Let’s get into it!

British punks Grade 2 have a new self-titled album on the way. The record produced by Rancid‘s Tim Amstrong is due out in February 2023 on Hellcat Records. Check out their new single “Under the Streetlight” below, and go here for links to where all the different color variants of the LP can be purchased.

If you read our latest Ten Underrated Punk Bands That Should Be On Your Radar column, you know who SACK is. If you didn’t read it (fuck you, why didn’t you read it? I worked really hard on that!) SACK is fronted by Kody Templeman (Teenage Bottlerocket, Lillingtons, etc.). Their new record Ripper! was released on CD earlier this year, and is now finally available on vinyl thanks to the friendly people at Red Scare. Pre-order this beast here.

Also from Red Scare (in case you missed our story about it earlier this week): A first-time vinyl release of Sludgeworth‘s Losers of the Year. For those who aren’t in the know, this was a short lived project of Screeching Weasel‘s Dan Vapid that also featured his SW bandmate Brian Vermin on drums. This album was originally released on CD in 1995 through Lookout! Records, and old school pop-punk aficionados have been clamoring for a vinyl reissue for a long time. The wait is over! Head over to Red Scare’s webstore to grab your copy.

Punk supergroup Fake Names (ft. members of Bad Religion, Refused, Fugazi, etc.) have announced their new album Expendables will be released on March 3rd, 2023 through Epitaph Records. Check out the first single “Delete Myself” below, and pre-order the record here (yellow vinyl, US) or here (“black & white galaxy” vinyl, EU).

Today marks the release of Celtic punk veterans The Real McKenzies new covers album Songs of the Highlands, Songs of the Sea. Fat Wreck Chords is sold out of colored vinyl, but you can still get it on black wax from their webstore. For those outside of the states, the record is available here (CA), here (EU), and here (AUS).

And because you can never have enough Fat Wreck Chords in your life, here’s another new release from Fat! NOFX frontman Fat Mike has teamed up with Get Dead‘s Sam King on a new project called Codefendants. Check out the band’s new single below and order their 10″ split with Get Dead from Fat Wreck’s webstore.

A few Record Radars ago, we let you that the Transplants‘ self-titled debut album was getting a 20th Anniversary reissue. Well, those sold out really fucking quick so Hellcat Records has announced some additional, retailer-exclusive color variants. 1-2-3-4! Go Records and Smartpunk each have their own unique variants here in the US, and Banquet Records has an EU exclusive “cool blue” color variant.

Pirates Press Records is reissuing all seven Cock Sparrer LPs in honor of the band’s 50th Anniversary. You can get them individually for 20 bucks each, or as a set for $125 (that’s a savings of 15 dollars, folks!). No pretty colors here, just good ol’ black wax.

Just in time for the holiday season, Chris Farren‘s Like a Gift from God or Whatever is back in print on neon green colored vinyl. Head over to Asian Man Recordswebstore and get a piece of this yuletide wax 🎄

Fraser from the Murderburgers is a busy guy! In addition to his current band Wrong Life (featured in Dying Scene’s Ten Underrated Punk Bands You Need To Check Out Right Now column) he has now announced another project called Absolute Melt. Check out the single “2am (The Face Changes Shape)” below, and go here to pre-order their upcoming 10″ EP. All profits from physical and digital sales will go to Scottish Women’s Aid, who help women, children and young people in Scotland affected by domestic abuse.

Black Friday Sales

The first Black Friday sale we’ll be highlighting comes to us from the purveyors of pop-punk at Mom’s Basement Records. For one day only, everything on their webstore (including that awesome distro section with The Windowsill‘s album that I just gave a 5-Star review 😉) will be 30% off! Stay tuned to the label’s social profiles for more info. This is the sale of the year as far as I’m concerned.

Merchbar’s entire store is perpetually “on sale”, but their Black Friday Preview sale sees stuff marked down a bit more than usual. The sale has already started, and considering it ends in three days, I assume they’ll be having a proper BF sale later in the week. If you’re just looking for punk records and don’t want to waste precious time searching, you can find most of them here. Some highlights include the RamonesRocket to Russia ($17.99), NOFX‘s Pump Up the Valuum ($15.99), and Operation Ivy‘s Energy ($15.99).

If you’re looking for some gifts for the rude boy (or girl) in your life, Jump Up Records has you covered. They’re not having a sale per se, but they do have some awesome new shit on their webstore for Black Friday, including brand new reissues of some 90’s Moon Ska LPs, alongside a bunch of 7″s, CDs, and cassettes. Happy skalidays! 🎅

Everyone’s favorite indie record store Walmart is having a sale of their own. All vinyl records are $15 in-store at all Walmart locations (exclusives are discounted on their website as well). I’ve seen plenty of pearl-clutching going on about this sale, but I don’t give a fuck 😊 There are some good deals to be had here. I got The Clash‘s 3xLP Combat Rock + The People’s Hall for $15. There were a ton of WM’s new exclusive pressings of Green Day‘s American Idiot and International Superhits at my local store as well. There’s an ample supply of soundtracks and Luke Combs records, too, if you’re into that kinda thing. Sale ends Sunday, November 20th.

And of course, Wally World’s red competitor Tarshay has a sale, too. Starting Sunday, November 20th, all records (and movies, CDs, misc. other media) will be Buy 2, Get 1 Free. Is that cheaper than Walmart? I don’t know, I’m too lazy to do that math (probably not though). This sale will be online and in store, and there’s no limit on how many records you can buy. So if you really want all 375 copies of the new Adele album your local Target has in stock, load up that god damn cart!

Last but not least, we have Record Store Day Black Friday. Again, not much in the way of deals here, but there are some exclusive releases that may interest you. In addition to the 10th Anniversary reissue of Masked Intruder‘s debut LP we highlighted last week, you may also be interested in Goldfinger‘s Hello Destiny (reissued in honor of its 15th Anniversary), and a new Joe Strummer live acoustic album Live at Music Millennium. The only place you can (potentially) get these and all the other RSBF releases is your local record store on Black Friday (November 25th).

And that’s all, folks! Another Record Radar in the books. As always, thank you for tuning in. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, leave us a comment below (or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram), and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t blow too much money on spinny discs. Please note: the Record Radar will be closed next week in observance of Thanksgiving. Have a safe and happy holiday, friends!

*Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Type “Record Radar” in the search bar at the top of the page!

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Dying Scene Album Review: Screeching Weasel – “The Awful Disclosures of Screeching Weasel”

There’s no denying Benjamin Foster, otherwise known as Ben Weasel, is a controversial figure in the world of punk rock. But whether or not you like the guy, there’s also no denying he is one of the genre’s most prolific songwriters of all time. This is evidenced by the sheer number of classic songs spread […]

There’s no denying Benjamin Foster, otherwise known as Ben Weasel, is a controversial figure in the world of punk rock. But whether or not you like the guy, there’s also no denying he is one of the genre’s most prolific songwriters of all time. This is evidenced by the sheer number of classic songs spread across Screeching Weasel‘s entire catalog; “Don’t Turn out the Lights”, “Peter Brady”, “Second Floor East”, “Cool Kids”… the list goes on and on. With The Awful Disclosures of Screeching Weasel, the band’s fourteenth studio album, Mr. Weasel has proven once again why he’s still standing after 36 years in the music business.

Since 2011’s First World Manifesto, Mike Kennerty of the All-American Rejects has handled production duties on every Screeching Weasel recording. Everything between that record and The Awful Disclosures… has had a very similar, polished sound, almost like they were all recorded during the same studio session. However, the songwriting and instrumentation on the latest LP is varied enough to set it apart from the band’s recent output. Of course, the signature “nursery rhyme” style guitar leads are as present as ever (and I hope they never go anywhere), but there are a few curve balls thrown in the mix to spice things up. Most notably, there is an abundance of keys on this album. “Hey Diana” is a really fun song with a melody driven by a Renaissance style organ, while “In the Castle” employs a more traditional sounding keyboard as a subtle accent piece. I also enjoyed the spacey synthesizer used on “Just Another Fool”, which reminded me of one of my favorite newer bands Giant Eagles; perhaps Benjamin shares my appreciation of synthy Dutch pop-punk bands.

Now, with all that said, this record still boasts plenty of songs with a more traditional “Classic Weasel” sound. The lead single “Any Minute Now” fits this description, and when I first heard it, I knew I was probably gonna like the album. Other notable tracks in this category include “All Stitched Up”, “My Favorite Nightmare”, “Pandora’s Eyes” (on which the organ makes its first appearance), and “Dead Alive”. All of these songs would have slotted in nicely on the tracklists of First World Manifesto or Some Freaks of Atavism, which for me is a good thing, because I love those records. “Just Another Fool”, “Gates Lift High Your Heads”, and “Tell Me Your Lies” have a slightly darker, more sinister tone that kinda reminds me of The Lillingtons‘ last album. These tracks offer a nice change of pace while not straying too far from the formula Screeching Weasel has continued to perfect since they ruled the roost of 90’s pop-punk.

Listening to the album on Spotify on its release day, it didn’t completely grab me. But when I got the record in the mail and dropped the needle for the first time, I was hooked. With that said, is this going to dethrone Anthem for a New Tomorrow as my favorite Screeching Weasel album? Probably not, but that’s okay! The Awful Disclosures… is a fantastic LP that will make a worthy addition to any Screeching Weasel fan’s record collection. Creeping up on four decades in the game, Ben Weasel just keeps pulling rabbits out of his hat. Love him or hate him, you have to admit, the man’s staying power as a songwriter is quite impressive.

Buy The Awful Disclosures of Screeching Weasel:
Vinyl / CD / Digital

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Dying Scene Record Radar: New punk vinyl releases & reissues (Green Day, New Found Glory, OFF! & more)

Welcome to the first installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar! This is a weekly round up of all things punk rock vinyl. We’ll be highlighting new releases to look out for, as well as all those ultra limited reissues that get the collector nerds’ hearts racing. So, let’s get into it… Kicking things off, […]

Welcome to the first installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar! This is a weekly round up of all things punk rock vinyl. We’ll be highlighting new releases to look out for, as well as all those ultra limited reissues that get the collector nerds’ hearts racing. So, let’s get into it…


Kicking things off, New Found Glory! Back in April they released a 20th anniversary reissue of Sticks and Stones. Well, that shit sold out really quick, so they’re doing a second pressing of the reissue, limited to 2,000 copies. Go here this Friday, July 1st at Noon Eastern time to get your hands on it. Or wait ’til they sell out again and pay some clown $100 for it on Discogs.


Bad Religion is also reissuing two of their classic albums. Up first is Generator getting a 30th anniversary reissue. There are different variants for the US, UK, and Australia. Links to order all of those can be found here.


2002’s The Process of Belief is also getting the same reissue treatment for its 20th birthday. This one was announced a few weeks ago but there’s still plenty available. Links to order those are here.


Up next on the reissue train is the best band to name themselves after a Frenzal Rhomb song, Local Resident Failure, with the 10th anniversary reissue of their debut album A Breath of Stale Air. The variants are quite pretty! Americans and Canadians can get it here, Europeans here, and Aussies right here. And you can listen to it, right here! ∨∨∨


Nitro Records participated in Record Store Day 2022 with a reissue of their classic 1996 comp Go Ahead Punk… Make My Day. The compilation features AFI, The Vandals, Guttermouth, The Offspring and Jughead’s Revenge. 5,000 copies were made, and this is its first release on wax. There are still plenty of these out there. You can even get it on Discogs at a very reasonable price.


Now, here’s something that’s sure to ruffle some feathers: Walmart’s Exclusive pressings of Green Day‘s Dookie, American Idiot, and International Superhits. “Green Day? Walmart? That’s not punk!” No fucking shit, but who really cares? Sure the Waltons are one of the most despised families in America and they don’t need any more of your money, but look at the pretty colors! Help fund Billie Joe’s move to the UK, I’m sure he could really use the money.


The Bouncing Souls‘ self-titled record turns 25 this year, so they’re celebrating with four colorful polyvinyl chloride discs. Links to get all the different variants can be found here. East coast! Fuck you!


More reissues! Keith Morris’ OFF! is offering up new pressings of their back catalog, including the stellar First Four EPs, which is now available as a 12″ LP for the first time. These records kick ass. Buy, buy, buy.


Hey, here’s some new music! Screeching Weasel has a new record coming out on July 15th. It’s called The Awful Disclosures of Screeching Weasel. The LP is pricey at $30, but the two songs Mr. Weasel has put up for streaming have been good (stream below), and I enjoyed their last album a lot. Americans can pre-order here, and Europeans can get it here.


Skate punk veterans Cigar have stepped out of a time machine from 1999 to release their sophomore album. The Visitor is due out on September 9th through Fat Wreck Chords. Colored variants are long sold out, but I urge all self respecting skate punk fans to grab it on black wax here in America, here in Europe, and here in Australia. Listen to the debut single while you order!


1-2-3-4 Go! Records has spent the last year reissuing the entire Pinhead Gunpowder discography. The latest installment includes the Shoot the Moon LP (my personal favorite) and 8 Chords, 328 Words 7″. Everything in this series has been Grade A quality, and these reissues are a lot more affordable than original pressings of these records. You can get your hands on these here.


Pop-punk tastemakers Eccentric Pop Records have a bunch of new stuff up on their webstore. For the ridiculously low price of $16 (seriously Travis, how can you sell shit this cheap?!), you can get your hands on Dan Vapid and the Cheats‘ new LP Escape Velocity (listen below), and a new prepress of Horror Section’s long out of print self-titled record. Support a great label and add some awesome records to your collection!


Here’s a highly recommended pickup for those who worship at the altar of Joey Ramone. The Budweisers are a fantastic pop-punk band from Spain, and their new record Look Out Below is great! Plenty of fan service here for everyone who longs for the days when Lookout! Records ruled the pop-punk universe. Monster Zero has it up for pre-order now.


Target joins the “big box store reissuing classic punk albums” party with an exclusive 40th anniversary pressing of The Clash‘s Combat Rock on red vinyl. I grabbed this from my local Target a few weeks ago, and it sounds fantastic. I even signed up for the Red Card and saved 5% – what a deal! I love this record. “Rock the Casbah” is one of mankind’s greatest achievements. There’s a UK pressing on green vinyl as well – you can get that one here.


And I think that oughta do it! There’s undoubtedly a lot of stuff I missed, but hey, shit happens. The world keeps spinning, and we live to see another day. Like I said earlier, these recaps of new colorful plastic discs to waste your money on should be a weekly thing, but I could use a little help. Is there a new record you think should be highlighted in next week’s Record Radar? Suggestions are welcome – send us a message on Facebook or Instagram and we’ll look into it!

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Dying Scene Record Radar: New punk vinyl releases & reissues (Mr. T Experience, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtracks & more)

Hello, and welcome to this week’s installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar! This is a weekly round up of all things punk rock vinyl, highlighting new releases and all those ultra limited reissues that get the collector nerds’ hearts racing. So, let’s get into it… Now that all the new and upcoming releases have […]

Hello, and welcome to this week’s installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar! This is a weekly round up of all things punk rock vinyl, highlighting new releases and all those ultra limited reissues that get the collector nerds’ hearts racing. So, let’s get into it…

Wake up, sleepy heads! 1-2-3-4 Go! Records has a new exclusive pressing of an East Bay punk classic going up Friday, July 8th (that’s today!) at 8am PST/11am EST. Limited to 500 hand numbered copies on fiery red vinyl, it’s Jawbreaker‘s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy! Make sure to join their mailing list to be notified when this goes up.

Save the date! The Mr. T Experience is finally reissuing their 1997 LP Revenge Is Sweet, And So Are You. Preorders for this one start Monday, July 11th at Noon Eastern time. To gain access to the preorder, you need to join this mailing list. This pop-punk classic has been out of print since its initial release on Lookout! Records 25 years ago. Don’t miss out!

Speaking of Lookout! Records, Sewer Trout‘s full discography is getting reissued as a compilation LP. This is a collaborative effort between Lavasocks Records and Dead Broke Rekerds. You can preorder it here.

Epitaph Records is reissuing Down By Law‘s 1994 LP Punkrockacademyfightsong on purple vinyl. This is another one that’s limited to 500 copies. US preorders are already sold out, but the label’s European store still has some in stock if you can stomach the extra shipping cost. Or hey, maybe you live in Europe!

Canadian punks Trashed Ambulance just put out a new album called Future Considerations. It’s available to stream right now, but Thousand Islands Records doesn’t expect the LPs to be in hand for a few months. Listen to the album on the below, and preorder it here (North America) or here (UK).

Attention, all skate punk fans! I implore you to check out the new record from Australia’s No Quarter. If you like fast, melodic punk in the vein of Satanic Surfers, you’ll like these guys. You can listen to Fear and Loathing on the Pacific Highway below, and order the LP here.

Feeling nostalgic for the days when you played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater late into the night, chugging Mountain Dew and getting Cheeto dust on your Mad Catz controller? Then maybe these vinyl bootlegs of the THPS 1 and 2 soundtracks will interest you. If so, you’ll wanna hurry up and grab one here, because these have nearly sold out in just two days.

People of Punk Rock Records will be giving two Rufio albums their first-ever vinyl releases. Head to their website Monday, July 11th at 11am Eastern to get your hands on these beautiful new pressings of MCMLXXXV and The Comfort of Home.

Garageland has exclusive reissues of three – count ’em, three! – Agnostic Front records. Something’s Gotta Give, Riot Riot Upstart, and Dead Yuppies are all available on limited splatter colored vinyl. Head over to their store and get ’em while the gettin’s good.

European friends! If you’re looking for a deal on some great punk records, I suggest you head over to SBÄM Records‘ webstore, where you can save 25% on everything through July 29th. Just enter the code “SBAMFEST” at checkout and you’re ready to roll. They have a bunch of good shit from Pulley, Frenzal Rhomb, Chaser, Guttermouth, and many more. You name it, they’ve probably got it!

Mom’s Basement Records just replenished their pop-punk arsenal with some killer records! New additions to their distro include LPs by the Hawaiians, Beatnik Termites, Lillingtons, and Methadones. Lots of good stuff for my fellow pop-punk enjoyers to munch on.

Now that all the new and upcoming releases have been covered, I thought I’d show you the records I picked up this week, because I’m sure you really care! Anywho, I was in Ocala, FL visiting my parents for the 4th of July and I decided to stop by the only local record store in town, which is appropriately named Vinyl Oasis. I was very happy to find the RamonesIt’s Alive II, a 2020 Record Store Day title that I had been in search of for the last two years, and I was even happier it was only $30 (suck it, resellers!). I also snatched up a brand new 3xLP copy of The Clash‘s notoriously bloated Sandinista (I like it!), and a few CDs including the very interesting Misfits / Nutley Brass crossover album Fiend Club Lounge.

Well, it’s getting late, so I’ll wrap things up there. If you’re still reading this for some reason, thank you again for tuning in to this week’s edition of the Dying Scene Record Radar! Is there a new record you think should be highlighted in next week’s column? Suggestions are always welcome – send us a message on Facebook or Instagram and we’ll look into it!

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Dying Scene Record Store Spotlight: Clearwater Record Shop (Tampa Bay, FL)

Hello, and welcome to Record Store Spotlight; a new column here on Dying Scene dedicated to an institution almost as American as apple pie and unfettered capitalism – the record store! Today, I’ll be putting the spotlight on one of my favorite local stores, the Clearwater Record Shop. Nestled in the middle of my hometown […]

Hello, and welcome to Record Store Spotlight; a new column here on Dying Scene dedicated to an institution almost as American as apple pie and unfettered capitalism – the record store!

Today, I’ll be putting the spotlight on one of my favorite local stores, the Clearwater Record Shop. Nestled in the middle of my hometown (a city most well known for being home to the Church of Scientology’s headquarters), the Clearwater Record Shop sets itself apart from other record stores with its heavy focus on used music. Rather than relying on distributors to supply new releases, owner Casey Brown has spent years building his inventory one record collection acquisition at a time. The store which spans two interconnected warehouse spaces boasts one of the most expansive selections of used CDs I’ve ever seen. Every time I visit, I leave with a stack of jewel cases a few feet high. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re met with hundreds of bins overflowing with discs, the majority of which are just $3.75 each (or six for $20!).

Sure, it’s hard to beat the ease and convenience of shopping online. But the Clearwater Record Shop goes toe to toe with Discogs prices, and I find that most of the time, they come out ahead. Also, I’ve yet to find a more enjoyable way to kill a few hours on my day off than thumbing through thousands of records and CDs, searching for worthy additions to my collection. It’s a visceral experience that can’t be matched by browsing an online marketplace. Finding a record like The Clash’s Combat Rock for $15, and not having to wait an eternity for USPS to deliver it is icing on the cake. My only complaint about this store is that the selection is literally overwhelming. If you’re on a budget, you might have to get a little picky as your stack grows taller.

In the cooler months (yes, we sometimes have those here in Florida), the Clearwater Record Shop acts as a host to monthly swap meets. Local record collectors and vendors are invited to set up tables in the parking lot to sell their wares. These events serve as a great meeting place for the community, and are a highlight of winter and spring for me. The first time we attended, I grabbed a few LPs, including the BuzzcocksA Different Kind of Tension ($10) and Billy Joel’s Songs in the Attic ($5), along with a bunch of dollar bin CDs by the likes of the Ramones, Ozzy, and Megadeth.

It’s always a fun time shopping at this store. Casey is very personable and has created something really special here. The store has a unique, inviting old school atmosphere. The selection is great, and the prices are fair. Your dollar goes a lot further here than it does at most record stores.

If you ever find yourself in the Tampa Bay area, I highly recommend stopping by the Clearwater Record Shop. With two air conditioned warehouses packed to the rafters with nothing but music, music, and even more music, you’re bound to stumble upon something that suits your fancy. Or, if you lack self control like me, you’ll probably leave with a mountain of stuff that suits your fancy.

For more info, check out the store’s website, and follow them on Instagram.

Do you have a favorite local record store you’d like to let everyone know about? Of course you do! Hit us up on Facebook or Instagram and submit your own Record Store Spotlight. The more the merrier!

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Dying Scene Revisits: Ten of Fat Wreck Chords’ Most Overlooked Releases

Few names loom larger in punk rock lore than Fat Wreck Chords. Started in 1990 by NOFX frontman “Fat” Mike Burkett, the label has stood tall as a bastion of independent punk music for over 30 years. Fat has been home to countless great bands; No Use For A Name, Lagwagon, Strung Out, Good Riddance… […]

Few names loom larger in punk rock lore than Fat Wreck Chords. Started in 1990 by NOFX frontman “Fat” Mike Burkett, the label has stood tall as a bastion of independent punk music for over 30 years. Fat has been home to countless great bands; No Use For A Name, Lagwagon, Strung Out, Good Riddance… the list goes on. If you’re like me, a good chunk of your record collection is stamped with their iconic logo, like a punk rock Nintendo Seal of Quality. Today, we’ll be discussing some of the less heralded entries in the label’s extensive catalog. Come along for a magical journey as we dive into Fat Wreck’s most overlooked releases.

Zero Down – With a Lifetime to Pay

The name Jim Cherry is synonymous with Fat Wreck Chords for me. In addition to being a bass virtuoso, the man was one hell of a songwriter. He played an integral role in Strung Out’s success, with writing credits on classics like “Bring Out Your Dead”, “Firecracker”, and “Mind of My Own”, just to name a few. Then, of course, there’s his contributions to Pulley. Prior to his untimely passing, Cherry started a new band called Zero Down. Their lone album With a Lifetime to Pay is criminally underrated. This is essential listening for all skate punk fans. Zero skippable tracks on this one.

The Loved Ones – Build and Burn

Alright, this one might be a somewhat controversial pick; not because this is a bad album or anything, but I think Keep Your Heart is generally considered The Loved Ones‘ “best” record. But you know what? I don’t give a fuck, I think Build and Burn is better. I couldn’t get enough of this album when it came out. Many regard the mid to late 2000’s as Fat’s “lean years”, but they put out a lot of good shit that didn’t have the typical “Fat sound” during this period. There isn’t a bad song to be found on Build and Burn. The first three tracks alone are worth the price of admission. Everything else is icing on this Philly pop-punk cake.

Limp – Guitarded

Limp was a pretty short lived pop-punk band that released three records through Fat Wreck imprint Honest Don’s Records. Music critic types lazily painted these guys into a corner as a Green Day or Blink-182 imitation. I personally don’t think Limp sounds anything like either of those bands. Their sophomore effort Guitarded is a mostly midtempo pop-punk record with a little ska sprinkled on top. More than anything else, this album is melodic to a fault. “Decision”, “Ten Minutes”, and “Entertainer” are my favorite songs.

Cobra Skulls – Bringing the War Home

Now, I already know what you’re thinking: “Really dude, you’re including a fuckin’ EP in this list?”. Yes, yes I am. Cobra Skulls released two killer albums on Red Scare and were quickly snatched up by Fat Wreck. They made their Fat debut with 2011’s Bringing the War Home and immediately went out on tour with NOFX and the Bouncing Souls (yours truly saw them in Orlando). For many (myself included), this was their introduction to Cobra Skulls, and the band capitalized on that opportunity in a big way. Bringing the War Home provides the perfect bite sized snapshot of a band that was firing on all cylinders. The Bad Religion cover is pretty good, too.

Only Crime – Virulence

Fat Mike and Floyd used to host a podcast where they played songs off the label’s new releases at the time. I was introduced to Only Crime for the first time when they played “Eyes of the World” off their record Virulence. I was blown away, and instantly ordered the CD. Only Crime is one of the greatest punk “super groups” ever as far as I’m concerned. You’ve got Russ Rankin on vocals and Bill Stevenson absolutely killing it on drums, that’s all you need to know. This whole record kicks ass.

American Steel – Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts

A cornerstone of the Lookout! Records roster in the late 90’s, American Steel made a strong impression with the chaotic energy of their 1999 LP Rouge’s March. Over time, the East Bay punk band’s sound mellowed out quite a bit, culminating in 2009’s Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts. This record is full of great midtempo punk-ish rock songs with big choruses that invite you to sing along – the album opener “Emergency House Party” being a prime example. Other highlights include “Your Ass Ain’t Laughing Now”, “Bergamot”, and “Meals and Entertainment”. This isn’t the best American Steel’s discography has to offer, but it’s a fun listen nonetheless.

Big in Japan – Destroy the New Rock

Hailing from Reno, Nevada and featuring members of Zoinks! and The Gain, Big in Japan made their debut in 2001 with Destroy the New Rock. This power-pop punk gem is buried deep in the Honest Don’s catalog, which sucks because it is fantastic! The songs are catchy and the production is stellar, but that’s no surprise considering this was recorded with Mass Giorgini at Sonic Iguana. This record sounds like a mix of Squirtgun and Green Day. Highly recommended listening.

Swingin’ Utters – Here, Under Protest

Call it a comeback! After going eight years without releasing a new record, Fat mainstays Swingin’ Utters made their triumphant return in 2011 with Here, Under Protest. They had a new guitarist in Jack Dalrymple (One Man Army, Dead to Me), and a slightly more polished, melodic approach. Singer Johnny Peebucks’ voice lent itself nicely to the band’s renewed sound. Standout tracks include “Brand New Lungs”, “Kick it Over”, “Heavy Head”, and the album closer “Effortless Amnesiac”, on which Dalrymple takes the lead on vocals.

Love Equals Death – Nightmerica

If you’re a fan of anything AFI did before Sing the Sorrow, you will probably like Love Equals Death‘s Nightmerica. I won’t say frontman Chon Travis sounds exactly like Davey Havok, but at certain points on this album the resemblance is almost uncanny. “Bombs over Brooklyn”, “When We Fall”, “Voice of Change”, and “Numb” offer up a high energy blend of AFI and Pennywise. “Pray for Me” is a kinda corny, on-the-nose love song but in a charming way. “The Broadcast” is complete with all the George Dubya soundbites you’d expect from a mid 2000’s punk song. This whole album holds a special place in my heart, but “Sonora” is by far my favorite track on Nightmerica.

Teen Idols – Full Leather Jacket

The undisputed champions of Ramonescore, Teen Idols mastered their formula and stuck to it. Of their three albums on Honest Don’s, Full Leather Jacket is the one I find myself returning to most often. This is a quintessential pop-punk record. Absolutely zero duds to be found here, every song is great. And with Mass Giorgini at the controls you know the production is top notch. Big shoutout to whoever sequenced this album; “The Team” is a perfect closing track.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk! I’m certain I pissed at least a few of you off for one reason or another. But hey, that’s to be expected when treading on sacred ground. If I introduced you to an album you’ve never listened to, or just gave you the little nudge you needed to check out something you passed on when it first came out, then I’d say my mission has been accomplished. Fat Wreck Chords has been a big part of my life for a long time now. They’ve introduced me to some of my favorite bands and records, and I’m sure a lot of you can say the same. Here’s to another 30 years of awesome music!

If you think we’re fucking idiots because your favorite record isn’t on this list, feel free to let us know in the comments. Maybe we’ll include it in Part 2! 😘

  1. Diesel Boy’s Cock Rock. they used to play “Titty Twister” sporadically on an old college Station. Great Album all the way through with “Saving the World” as the other stand out single.

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Enemy You

Enemy You was a punk band from San Francisco. Started in 1997, the band soon received interest from Ben Weasel, who released their debut album Where No One Knows My Name through his Lookout! Records imprint Panic Button.