Music Reviews

By Andrew Berenson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 16, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat


Let's see here. I have sitting in front of me a new Fat Wreck Chords compilation with 15 or so great punk bands on it. To quote Wildcat, features editor Amanda Hunt, I would have to say, "I'm in Heaven."

The second installment of this compilation is amazing and includes many new bands spanning the globe that make for a real exciting punk experience. Fat Wreck Chords, a label that has been accused by critics everywhere of selling out and being a label where all of the bands sound like NOFX (whose Fat Mike owns and operates the label), has proven everyone wrong. All of these bands are original and have their own sounds that make them great.

The compilation kicks in with a great version of "California Dreaming," by Japanese punksters Hi-Standard. These guys are refreshing, and make Shonen Knife seem like yesterday's Meatloaf, for they will have you singing for days and they never get old. Other highlights on this jam-packed album are Wizo, a German punk band, a previously unreleased track by Strung Out, and two pop punk songs from English jokesters Snuff - all classics.

Besides these heavyweights, there are also bands called Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (made up of members of SNFU, Scream, Mudhoney, Stikky and Tragic Mulatto) who do a hilarious cover of the John Denver song "Country Road." This song will also have you singing and laughing for days.

As if these groups weren't enough, the regular Fat Wreck mainstays Tilt, No Use For A Name, Propagandhi, Lagwagon and, of course, NOFX also appear on the album.

All the compilation's songs are catchy as can be, and if you are into punk and don't own this album ... well, then you just ain't punk. As for those of you who think all of the bands on Epitaph and Fat Wreck Chords have sold out, you better look at yourself in the mirror for you won't like what you see. Bands don't make albums just for you to buy - they are for everyone, and you should stop listening to what others say and form your own opinion.

Another reason why you can't afford not to own this album is that at most good record stores, it is priced under $4, making it a mighty cheap purchase. So look for this at your local music store, and remember to live life to the fullest, brush your teeth in between meals, drink many beverages, and listen to punk as much as possible!