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Survival of the Fatitaphs

1:55 is a weekly newsletter for Patreon Gatekeepers.

We’re in it now. EpiFat month marches on with maybe the best collection of covers yet in this week’s episode, and a very high bar for next week’s possibly-even-bigger tune. Nothing sounds better in the oppressive heat of our new nightmare summers than this shit. Has the UN tried just revisiting the compilations of their youth? Couldn’t hurt.

Let’s go.

28 Days “Kool”

Sam: A major component of this week’s Punk-O-Rama III sclusie with compman of the pod Mark Teo was both of us struggling to remember this Raw Energy compilation from 1998, which combined some soon-to-be-local legends from Toronto (Jersey, Marilyn’s Vitamins) with what I now realize to be… Australians. I’m a bigtime posedog because I never actually owned this compilation myself, but a bunch of the songs from it ended up on a highly formative mixtape made for me in the summer between grade seven and eight by a much cooler (older) girl from band camp whose (older) sister was a true ARA punk. The tape is lost but its impact remains - in checking out the tracklist for Twentybandcomp I immediately remembered this being my favourite song, and was somewhat apprehensive to check it out again in case it didn’t hold up. Well, it fucking rocks. It’s like Samiam but Australian, but it’s better than that. There’s precious few things from my youth I haven’t already spelunked to death, and to discover this beautiful nugget buried in my memory has been the treat of the week.

Josiah: It’s been beaten to death by both Reddit and Tim Robinson at this point, but do you ever actually think about what goes through people’s heads when they put fedora’s on top of them? Like, you just kind of wonder what they had in mind? I have been pondering it ever since attending shows at the Showbox in Seattle in my youth, where husky 40-year-olds (who may have been 20 or 50) donned the cap and paired it with faded Mudhoney ringer Ts. But while watching this video I had a revelation: The singer of this bouncy octave chord alt-rock band might actually be pulling it off? Maybe it’s his sassy vocalizing, his faux hip-hop movements or the fact that his sparse facial hair combines with the rest of his look to emit the feel of a hacky-sack personified. Whatever the case, I spent most of this video thinking he was wearing a flipped-up bucket hat in a cool Mike D kind of way. Maybe this is the start of the fedorassance?

Superheist “Karma”

Sam: Okay this was the other song from that tape / comp that I remembered loving but had totally forgotten about. Being young rules because you see zero distinction between a band who sounds like CIV and a band that sounds like 311 Down Under, and wow is this band that. They even use the 311 rap voice filter, but the chilly-groovy factor is dialed way back and replaced with enough ‘90s agro punk guy energy to feel distinct (and foriegn). “What if ‘Beautiful Disaster’ was a nu metal song that was also kind of hardcore?” is an exciting hypothetical, and the answer is that it’s sick. Australia in 1998 must have been awesome.

Josiah: Holy shit I love this sexy Animorphs album art. I hate the singing on this (although I would like it if it was in a Turnstile song because I’m a hypocrite) but the growling and nu-metal parts are great. Then there’s a straight up Tragically Hip guitar solo? Honestly this could be a Tragically Hip/Serial Joe collab. Australia in 1998 had nothing on Canada in 1998.

Training for Utopia “The Falling Cycle”

Of course, neither of these eras have anything on Christianity in 1997 and if we’re doing comps in the newsletter then my picks are coming from Songs from the Penalty Box. Training for Utopia is the band that came after Focal Point and before Demon Hunter (who may or may not have proudly allowed their music to be used in Gitmo tortures). Training for Utopia is like a Christian Fear Factory, or so I’ve believed since I saw it in HM Magazine. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Fear Factory. But this song is so fucking sick, and honestly every Training for Utopia song is. It’s beefy but emotive metalcore that sounds like a faded black youth large hoodie that has an impossibly large, near-medieval hood. It’s the kinda heavy shit that makes you want to elbow a youth pastor. 

Sam: This does not sound like Fear Factory. It’s much better. Oh wow a monologue. Maybe Fear Factory is better. Oh wow the breakdown. So weird that this is actually about god.

Slick Shoes “Rusty”

Josiah: There are so many other Christ-forward metalcore songs I would like to let loose from the penalty box, but since it’s EpiFat month I gotta hand it to Slick Shoes for “Rusty.” I honestly think this is one of the best skate-punk songs I’ve ever heard. It has all the classic elements: an impossibly smooth Third Eye Blind vocal affectation, an impossibly smooth Third Eye Blind breakdown. And also an unbelievable amount of oompa-oompa drums, vaguely romantic lyrics and, as an added bonus, some serious fuckin’ shredding that even touches on “November Rain.” It’s a squeaky clean anthem, both musically and morally. And it’s so funny that it goes into the Christian Rammstein ripoff on the comp. But Sam’s not ready for Klank. 

Sam: This might be the first time I’ve actually listened to Slick Shoes. I didn’t even know they were Christian, which absolutely would have been my main reason to avoid them in high school, but the real reason I never gave them a chance is because a guy who annoyed me in the Etobicoke Youth Band really liked them, and the name bothers me for some reason. Well, the only person punished by behavior was me. This is fucking sick. When the harms hit I ascended. Maybe I am ready for whatever Klank is???

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