As a young punk, one of my first resources for finding out about new bands was the Fat Wreck Chords website. I would literally download every MP3 that they gave away for free. It was my first taste of bands like Screeching Weasel, The Soviettes, Dead To Me, and None More Black. Fat was my favorite record label for a long, long time. Now, I still compulsively check out all the bands they sign just in case they find someone amazing who had slipped past my radar, and that has definitely happened a few times. This disc is pretty much nostalgia to me. Even if I’m not so into their music anymore, it still makes me happy to see bands like Real McKenzies, Lagwagon, and Less Than Jake putting out new music on the label. Standouts from this volume of Fat Music include an unreleased track by new signees Pears, who released the excellent Go to Prison in 2014, a new track from my favorite guilty pleasure band Leftover Crack, and a preview track from the new Night Birds record. The label’s sound has changed slightly since their heyday in the late ‘90s. There’s definitely more than just skate punk beats and the saccharine-sweet production of Ryan Greene, though both are definitely there in spades. Some bands’ tracks serve only to show how uninterestingly they have evolved. (I’m sorry, Mad Caddies, but I liked you when you were trying to be more than just a ska band.) I can’t necessarily recommend buying this, but it’s definitely not a waste of money if you are inclined to do so. Grade: B.
–Bryan Static (Fat, fatwreck.com)