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12 May 2017

Life Is Like A Box Of Records: Fat Goth

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With their explosive fourth albumScottish band Fat Goth deliver 3o minutes of fast-paced, high octane rock. Enorme! is out now via Hefty Dafty Records.

Kev from the band has shared his most influential tracks with us for this week’s Life Is Like A Box Of Records…

For this run down of 10 records that have meant something to me over the course of my life, I have chosen records that have distinctly had an influence on my musical pursuits in both Fat Goth and before. There are a few milestone songs, or albums that really opened my eyes or took me along a different path musically. I’d say these are more interesting and relevant from that perspective.

‘Think About You’ – Guns n’ Roses

This is where my interest in rock music began, in the late ’80s when Guns n’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction album was all the rage and hyped as the next big thing. This is where I became aware of rock music, or “Heavy Metal” if you will. I became very interested in the world of loud guitar driven rock music and buying both AFD and Use Your Illusion at a young age alongside subscribing to Kerrang! was my education in the ways of rock. Bands like Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Megadeth, and Faith No More became the only thing I cared about. ‘Think About You’ is an under-appreciated deep cut off this album, an album that everyone’s heard a million times.

‘Blackened’ – Metallica

The first Metallica record I bought and a proper “Music your parents will hate” moment. I bought the album on cassette and played it in the car on the way home to my unsuspecting family who had no idea that the music contained within was some of the driest and tightest Thrash Metal ever recorded. I have a real soft spot for this album as it’s so uncompromising and so dry. 70 minutes of twisting progressive metal that’s totally under-rated.

‘Milk It’ – Nirvana

I started off as a drummer and I was lucky enough to attend a school with a music room that had a full drum kit to play, and weekly drum lessons for free! So my first “Band” was myself on drums and my friend – Andrew Smith – on guitar, smashing out Nirvana songs. I wanted to be Dave Grohl, and I can’t help but tune into the drumming on this album. Incredible playing with intense power captured perfectly by Steve Albini. The Nirvana albums are basically the best music tuition you could ask for.

‘Smallpox Champion’ – Fugazi

I heard and bought this album aged 14, way back in 1993, off of the Kerrang! post-grunge hype during the mid-nineties. This was my introduction to the world of weird post-punk, a hipster well before my time! So much music that I love stems from Fugazi, Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Jawbox, Shudder to Think, Jesus Lizard. This album was the next “gateway drug” to the weird world of underground punk after the first introduction from Nirvana.

‘Skull’ – Sebadoh

After quite a few years of listening to the heaviest of Heavy Metal, this album came along at a time when I was looking to listen to something a little lighter, leaning towards a taste in indie rock. Sebadoh’s lyrics of constant heartbreak also resonated with the general odd feelings of being a teenager. The weird chords and “lo-fi” recording production also completely opened up the idea that you can just make up your own weird chords on the guitar rather than power chord chugging your way to “victory” and why not just record an album on a 4-track cassette recorder! Sebadoh fast became my favourite band.

‘The Lung’ – Dinosaur Jr.

Where You Been was the first Dinosaur Jr album I heard and I really enjoyed it but to me it kind of faded into the background noise of all the “Grunge” bands that emerged in the ’90s. I was totally taken aback to read that Lou Barlow from Sebadoh was actually the original bass player for Dinosaur Jr! The leader of my favourite band was once the bass player in this other excellent band? I sought out the first three Dinosaur Jr albums and they totally blew me away, an unexpected perfect mix of everything I liked rolled into one band. Fast punk mixed with jangly indie rock and Sonic Youth style noise all with crazy guitar solos over the top of it.

‘Good Morning, Captain’- Slint

Another record I heard due to the influence of Lou Barlow. Lou Barlow and his Folk Implosion were responsible for creating and sequencing the sound-track for the Larry Clark film “Kids”. Seeing as it was essentially a new Folk Implosion album, I went out and got it. It did however feature a few songs by other artists, including ‘Good Morning, Captain’ by Slint as the soundtrack’s final song. This signified the beginning of a love of post-rock that I and my other band mates in my prior band – Laeto – were definitely partial too. A whole new world of epic sounding cinematic rock from Tortoise, Rodan, Godspeed You Black Emperor! Mogwai, Gastr Del Sol…etc. Slint were always my favourite of the bunch and the weirdest of the lot by far.

‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ – AC/DC

There comes a point where you reach a certain age and realise that the music that defined your youth – your “counter-culture” – isn’t quite the be-all-end-all of recorded music and looking backward can yield a treasure trove of interesting stuff. I went through this process with my band mates at the time, and we all essentially really opened up to classic rock. Queen, Thin Lizzy, Van Halen were all big influences on our band’s sound in the early 2000s. For myself, it was AC/DC that really opened my eyes and influenced both my guitar playing and my bass playing. The rhythm section of Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams has to be one of the greatest combos in rock music and it was here where I really learnt the importance of playing with your drummer as a single rhythmically tight unit. I love AC/DC, I love the ratty brashness of it all. I love how stripped down and unpretentious it all it. I love that it’s essentially rock n roll played at an excessive volume with a singer, screaming at the very top of his vocal register at all times.

‘Close to the Edge’ – Yes

Continuing this retrospective look at the music of past years, it wasn’t long before Progressive Rock came to the forefront. This also became a thing that interested all of the members of the band I played in at the time. To once again name check a slew of bands that were brought to attention, I got really into Rush, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant, Magma, Jethro Tull and of course, Yes. Close to the Edge is my favourite record of theirs and truly is a sprawling and cinematic work. This is maybe the most “expensive” album I ever bought as listening to it, and especially the bass playing of the late Chris Squire, made me want to play a Rickenbacker bass guitar. I wanted that sound, so I bought one.

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