Fat Mike NOFX. Yeah, right now you sit up and pay attention well come a little closer because this is not NOFX it doesn’t sound like NOFX even if Fat Mike is Cokie The Clown. This is dark in a very late night and I shouldn’t drink whiskey and do blow kinda way’ oh, and listen to Tom Waits. More like E from Eels than NOFX and that’s a good thing. Sure he could have clowned around and down a dumb punk record and made a mint off the back of it but he hasn’t he’s gone for the piano and miserable vocal angle.
‘Bathtub’ is almost three minutes of one sad voice and a sparse piano and to be fair ‘Fair Leather Friends’ is more of the same if not a little more uptempo (steady on punk rocker not that uptempo) and it has a cello and some hi-hat and snare and if you must know its endearing and really fuckin’ good. Why wouldn’t it be?
If you think E and Tom Waits you won’t be far off the mood of the record it has been said it’s not a happy record (they got that right) but it is a very good record. It shows Fat Mike has hidden depths and can indeed turn his hand to writing some great dark melancholy music there are some great arrangments like ‘Swing And A Miss’ and he looks inside the dark corners of his mind to dig up songs like ‘Down With The Ship’ and the grande Harpsichord led ‘Negative Reel’ the album has ten tracks, the album also features a who’s who of A-list talent that assisted him throughout the recording sessions. Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails) produced ‘You’re Welcome’; Travis Barker played drums and Dizzy Reed of Guns N’ Roses contributed keyboards! Baz (a French musician), who Fat Mike collaborated heavily with on the album has to take some credit for what is a really impressive record but for being so different from what I was expecting. The pop melodies that make up ‘That Time I Killed My Mom’ well I did say it was dark!. its all wrapped up in a really fine piece of Cover art painted by the talented Natalia Fabia.
‘Fuck You All’ is like Fat Mike doing his best Cranford Nix and it builds to the most upbeat song on the record (musically that is I can’t mislead you into thinking ‘Fuck You All’ is upbeat).
So Fat Mike exposes his soul and releases an absolute winner. Ten tracks, dark, simple (ish), excellent! My final words have to be – buy it, just for the autobiographical ‘Punk Rock Saved My Life’ epic! If you want to hear NOFX then go do so this most certainly isn’t and I’m good with that because this is the business.
Buy You’re Welcome Here
Author: Dom Daley