VARIOUS ARTISTS: Mild in the Streets: Fat Music Unplugged: LP

Fat Wreck Chords has given us over twenty-five years of great punk rock bands and albums. This release is a collection of acoustic songs from some of the label’s contributors through the years—Tony Sly (RIP) from No Use For A Name, Joey Cape from Lagwagon, Stacey Dee from Bad Cop/Bad Cop, and thirteen other artists who have, at one time or another, recorded acoustic tracks for the label. First off, there are songs here that I love, like “Fruitless Fortunes” by Swingin’ Utters and “Joy” by Against Me! But I have those tracks on other releases. I do not know who this compilation is for. It just feels awkward and unnecessary, almost forced upon the listener. I’m not sure who wants to hear an orchestral version of NOFX’s 1999 release, The Decline. And I don’t for the life of me know why Spike Slawson (Swingin’ Utters, Me First And The Gimme Gimmes) has a uke-fucking-lele-themed band called Uke-Hunt that covers Olivia Newton John and Electric Light Orchestra’s Xanadu. Fuck me, it is so bad. I hope that Fat Wreck Chords continues to push new bands like Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Night Birds, and Western Addiction. I am thankful that Fat has given me so many good times over the years. This is just not one of them. –Jon Mule (Fat Wreck Chords, fatwreck.com)