Various Artists: Fat Music Vol. 7: Harder, Fatter & Louder
A comprehensive update on the predictable punk antics of NOFX's epochal Fat Wreck Chords label.
Fat Wreck Chords is one of the most recognizable brands in music. Whether or not you know the label itself, you're bound to recognize its fundamental sound, which is a distillation of every bratty punk archetype under the sun. Fat Music vol. 7: Harder, Fatter & Louder flaunts the label's deceptive range with tracks from punks all over the spectrum, such as folk-punks Old Man Markley, ska-punks Mad Caddies, Irish-punks the Real McKenzies and, of course, pop-punk veterans and label patriarchs NOFX. The collection is a convincing portrait of a label that's kept its roster of acts dynamic without sacrificing its core principles. It's also the first installation in the series in almost a decade, a welcome event for fans looking to get caught up with the label's myriad punk-themed projects. Of course, whatever your particular punk niche, most of these tracks are made of the same slipshod elements as typical nth-wave punk: obtuse, pounding rhythms, conventionally rebellious lyrics and a tempo just fast enough to conceal the lack of musical complexity.