Collect ’em All

Fat Wreck Chords

Another short sharp shocker (30 minutes) of fast and tight punk rock from the label where you always know pretty much what to expect, Fat Wreck Chords! Actually, I’ve cracked on Fat for their homogenized roster before, but I dig Tilt – not just because they have a female singer (the scrappy Cinder Block), but because she’s got this Graffin-esque tendency to use five-dollar words and write convoluted lyrics that somehow make sense when she belts ’em out over her band’s high-energy pop-punk. Songs like “Minister Of Culture” are what make Tilt stand out from the herd – serious, pissed off and wordy. When Cinder ends the chorus with “a time honored tradition / to maim and mutilate,” tell me that’s not the way Bad Religion useta make ’em! “Dear Wife” deserves mention, too, as the centerpiece of what seems to be a militarily-themed album – a disturbing tale of a man gone off to war, writing home until he’s too destroyed by brutality to even remember why he ever cared about his wife.

Elsewhere, Tilt opts for a more sing-along approach, like some punk rock Archies, and thus songs like “Molly Coddled” and “Old Skool Pig” tend to be less effective – more like show tunes than punk anthems. All in all, though, I like Tilt, and Cinder’s got my vote for some of the best lyrics around. See? I’m not asking for much from all these new-school punkers, just a little identity of their own. Tilt’s got one, and I love ’em for it. Fat Wreck Chords, P.O. Box 460144, San Francisco, CA 94146

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