Dundee alt-rock trio offers more than just a mirthsome moniker.
Ben Myers 2013
The cover shows a rudimentary cartoon of the type of lascivious, drunken creep in a stained suit, the kind you might find in any provincial nightclub. It’s cheap, dumb and borderline disturbing. And then there’s the band name. Obviously it’s great. Obviously. It’s up there with Gay Dad, Crispy Ambulance, Dead Kennedys, Test Icicles and – but oh yes – Guantanamo Baywatch.
It’s only a name but it suggests a band whose main aim is to entertain – and entertain Dundee three-piece Fat Goth certainly can. And scare, thrill and utterly energise too, because for anyone tired of careerist rock poseurs with hair just that little too clean and harmonies way too wimpy, anyone pining for the hard-edged, stripped-down end of the 90s American alt-rock wedge, Fat Goth may be the band for you.
Reminiscent of the muscular riffing of Melvins, Girls Against Boys and Rollins Band and underpinned by the taut, rockabilly rumble of The Jesus Lizard, Fat Goth play with murderous intent. And that’s just on first song Surf’s Down. Beneath the bluster though is a real ability to play, the interwoven intricacies of Debbie’s Dirty Harry dispelling the possibility that Fat Goth might be rock Cro-Magnons retreading old territory. They’re not.
There’s real sass, diversity and vitality on display as they play with archetypes and mould them into new shapes. You'll Find Me in da Club (And to Be Perfectly Frank, I'm Having a Cracking Time!) sits somewhere between technically precise math-rock and the juddering, eyeball-rolling choruses of late lamented UK underground heroes mclusky and Groop Dogdrill.
Fat Goth do have a tendency to massively over-egg the pudding, clearly reckoning that if a three-minute song is great then a six-minute song can only be twice as great. Bang Tidy clocks in at 11 minutes of epic metal that strays into Iron Maiden/Black Sabbath territory. It’s a patience tester, but in an age where rock can seem to have been taken over by good-looking jocks and their cheerleader girlfriends, it’s heartening to unearth some true underdog oddballs from a dark corner of Britain.
Fat Goth, we salute you.