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Fat brings out benefit album

Mike Thomas

Various Artists”Protect: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children”Fat Wreck ChordsWith 26 tracks from different artists and 15 of those songs previously unreleased, this compilation is anything but what so many suffer from – re-released songs disguised as something new. Nobody can accuse Fat of not spreading around the genres, either. Protect – which will donate all proceeds to the National Association to Protect Children – summons work from the likes of new Against Me! material, MXPX and Coalesce, whose cover of The Jesus Lizard’s “Mouth Breather” is reason enough to pick this up. New songs from Matt Skiba, Anti-Flag and a previously unreleased live Jawbreaker track are just some more of the varied hardcore, punk and metal terrain covered throughout Protect. While there is some recycled material here from NOFX and Darkest Hour, among others, with as much new stuff as there is here, the previously released material on this comp doesn’t detract from it. Protect is chock full of diverse offerings and, most importantly, for a great cause – kids who need help.Zilla”Egg”ZillamusicRecorded live in Colorado and 100 percent improvisational, “Egg” is a unique musical exploration into genres unknown, fueled by Jamie Janover’s mastery of the hammered dulcimer, an instrument that sounds something like a tuned-down mandolin. The music takes on a life of its own as one song transitions into the next with the kind of effortless flow that could only come out of the kind of organic process this trio uses in making music. The grooves on “Egg” reverberate like dance beats but are driven with a melodic sensibility that makes the music addictive at the very first listen. The String Cheese Incident’s Michael Travis’ innovative drumming and Aaron Holstein’s bass, guitar and keyboard work coalesce subtle, melodic touches to the percussive-laden Zilla sound. No reference can help you understand what Zilla actually sounds like, and trying to compare it to SCI because of Travis’ presence in the band would be futile. “Egg” showcases Zilla as not only totally unique and fresh but already leaps and bounds ahead of most full-time bands, let alone any “side project.”Mike Thomas is a freelance writer based in the Vail Valley.Vail, Colorado


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