The second installment of Fat City Magazine’s Bands We Like series is chock full of rousing punk rock tracks from such strongholds as Swingin’ Utters, Face to Face, and Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros.
Nineteen tracks, fifty minutes, and all previously unreleased and rare tracks, it’s plenty of time for both established acts and some solid ‘up and comers’ to show just what they’ve got hiding in the vault. The output from veteran acts seems to fare a little better than those who are less than household names, but there are some diamonds in the rough to be found there as well. Fat puts their best foot forward right off the bat, however, with an out-of-print track from the Swingin’ Utters, a cover of Cocksparrer's “Where Are They Now?” The spirit of the Utters is strongly implemented in this track, and it does well to put this comp in the right direction almost immediately. The following track, “Examine,” courtesy of the Methadones, is definitely one of the top tracks to be found with its solid vocals and wicked guitar solos. The momentum is already lost, however, by the time that the third track rolls around.
Sabrina Stewart’s “Fatal Hand” is one of the most boring songs I’ve heard in quite some time, and I regret to say that the live track from Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, “Trash City,” doesn’t help matters any. It could very well be attributed to the poor production, but it’s just nothing that people would expect from the act.
That seems to be the thought that resounds the most with me for this compilation, it’s very back and forth. There will be 2 or three good tracks, then a pretty poor one that messes up the flow of things. And after Face to Face’s “Blind,” there’s really no tracks that stick out above the rest. There’s some good cuts from Street Dogs, These Lies, and Zambonis, but on the same token there’s some bands who contribute virtually nothing. Gnarkill, a project featuring Bam and Jess Margera falls flat on its face, and the rest of things are just too forgettable to mention. Not bad, just forgettable.
A good, definitively ambitious -- and free -- compilation, but one that’s absolutely not without its share of problems. The dumping of a track here and there would do wonders, but in the meantime, it’s still worth checking out as long as you keep your finger near the skip button.