The release of 2013’s bombastic, dynamic, shambolic, throw-shit-at-the-walls album Boléro established The Fatty Acids as one of the city’s most exciting bands. Somehow, the group’s shows were even more spirited than their recorded material. There was a time in which ostensibly every summer festival included The Fatty Acids on the bill, and the ones that didn’t seemed suspiciously incomplete. (The opening guitar notes to Boléro track “Worst Part” immediately conjures memories of the summer of 2014 to me). While the enthusiasm from playing local shows often diminishes very rapidly, every performance from The Fatty Acids felt unfalteringly energetic and more compelling than the previous one.
After a while—despite the occasional live appearance, including Summerfest opening slots before The Flaming Lips in 2015 and Weird Al Yankovic in 2016—for which the band zealously pleaded on Twitter in 2015 only to be granted the recognition a year later—the band stopped playing out as frequently. The members found themselves immersed in other projects. Frontman Josh Evert joined Jaill as a drummer, helped organize the massive festival Arte Para Todos and recorded two solo albums during artist in residency programs for ACRE in Steuben, Wisconsin, and Homestead National Monument in Nebraska; Matt Pappas doubles as a guitarist in Platinum Boys; and bassist Derek De Vinney produced an experimental electronic EP under the moniker Lingerer.
Now, three-and-a-half years since the release of Boléro, The Fatty Acids have returned with a new full-length album, Dogs of Entertainment. The 10-track effort is not the big, attention-grabbing opus of its predecessor. Instead the record takes a step back and looks inward, an art-school collage of pop hooks and esoteric diversions. “I feel the tone of the album is a natural reflection of how we have all personally matured and become more introspective with age,” De Vinney says.
“It was okay to lie when we were strangers/But now we share a name and so I need the truth/Will you take the fire escape while I’m running the bath?” Evert sings on the frenetic and bouncy, if bleak, “Strangers in Your House,” which then seamlessly bleeds into the ethereal companion “In Your House.”
Plans for weekend tours throughout the Midwest have not been finalized, but the band sets out to play local performances and has a certain 11-day festival marked on their calendars.
“We look forward to playing shows and summer festivals around town,” De Vinney says. “Speaking of which, we’re pretty much banking on opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but for some unknown reason Summerfest has yet to ask us.”
The Fatty Acids celebrate the release of Dogs of Entertainment on Friday, February 24 at an all-ages show at Anodyne Coffee, 224 W. Bruce St., with openers Zed Kenzo, Aloha Juice and Phat Nerdz. Doors open at 8 p.m. and cover costs $10.
The band plays again Friday, March 3 at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 1001 E. Locust St., with Dogs in Ecstasy, Paper Holland and Rock Birds from Rockford. Doors at 9 p.m. Cover is $7.
Stream of the Week
Midnight Reruns’ sophomore album Force of Nurture was my favorite album of 2015, which I wrote at the time felt “effortless and accessible, but carries so much weight at the same time.” It cemented the group as the best rock band in Milwaukee. Last week, Midnight Reruns unleashed a new single, “Scorpion,” and announced the cassette (March 24 via Forged Artifacts) and vinyl release (April 28 via Dusty Medical) dates of its third full-length, Spectator Sports. All proceeds from the digital sales of the single and album will support the ACLU.