VARIOUS ARTISTS: Wrecktrospective, Twenty Years… and Counting: CD

Congrats on twenty years, Fat. They’ve become one of my favorite labels of the last few years with releases like Until We’re Dead, Oh Calcutta!, Potemkin City Limits, Cuban Ballerina,and the first Fat album I ever bought, SituationistComedy. The first disc is like a chronological greatest hits from a sizeable chunk of Fat’s bands. None of this disc is unreleased material, so it’s very likely that fans of any of these particular bands probably have these tracks already. There are a lot of goodies on here though, and it’s a good primer for people who may not know certain bands on the label. I learned, with the exceptions of Propagandhi and Swingin’ Utters, that I have very little interest in most of Fat’s pre-2000s catalog. Lagwagon and No Use For A Name just never really did it for me. Disc three is a compilation of the Fat Club single’s series. While I don’t own any of the actual singles, I’ve somehow come to own about half of these tracks over time on B-side comps. There were some things I didn’t have which were great to hear, like the Vandals and American Steel songs. Disc two is where the real rarities come to play. This is a compilation of demos from many Fat bands, new and old. While some of these songs are pretty close to what ended up on the final versions (seriously, what’s the difference between the demo and final version of Rise Against’s “Alive and Well”?), some have pretty entertaining quirks in their raw forms. Standouts include the Lagwagon song that has the super loud drum mix, Dead To Me’s “Writing Letters” with different lyrics, and Against Me’s “You Look Like I Need a Drink” rendered in acoustic form. Included with the set is a poster showing every Fat release up to the present. It’s pretty cool to see the label development in picture form. This is a pretty cool comp to pick up for the price.

 –Adrian (Fat)