Various Artists – [Album]

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Remember back about ten years ago when on didn't have to look very hard to find a really good punk rock compilation? It was actually a really cool phenomenon; for the price of just one CD, listeners got the opportunity to sample a bunch of different bands – some big, established names, some that didn't last and some bands who got their first shot with that comp but would later be a big deal – and that quick start on that comp generated a lot of the interest that got them started. Things have changed since then though. Now, with iTunes offering consumers the ability to part any record out song-by-song, compilation records have been forced to get more narrow and focused in what they're offering; they're more topical and novel. Cool comps like Give 'Em The Boot, Fat Music For Fat People and Short Music For Short People have fallen by the wayside and more two-dimensional compilations like Punk Goes Pop, Punk Goes Hair Metal, Punk Goes Acoustic and Punks Sing Showtunes are the novel norm on the marketplace. Many of those albums (okay, I made up a couple for effect – to the best of my knowledge, there isn't a Punks Sing Showtunes album, but there may be – soon) are boring or mawkish (or both), and the interest in sampling a bunch of bands to see what you as a listener might like has definitely waned. Happily though, at least on label seems to remember how and why good punk rock compilation albums work, and has dutifully resuscitated the tradition. On Fat Music Volume 7: Harder, Fatter + Louder, what listeners get is the exact same kind of vintage teaser/interest tweaker that the label's compilations released a decade ago provide; there's a bit of old (“Holy Shit” from Former Clarity-era Against Me!), some rare (who knew No Use For A Name covered Cheap Trick?), some hits (“The Calming Collection” by The Flatliners, “Greenwood” by Banner Pilot and “Skate Or Die” by Teenage Bottlerocket should all be essential listening for any young punk) and a whole lot of brand new (in some cases, the albums won't be released until 2011) punk rock here for fans to sample and decide if they want to further pursue. This is a punk rock comp the way they should be done; thanks to Fat Mike (who personally compiled the songs) for taking the time to remind us.


Fat Music Vol. 7 – Harder, Fatter + Louder is out now. Buy it here on Amazon, or directly from the label here .

Comments are closed.