The year was 2013. A revitalized Milwaukee music scene was abuzz with activity, and a young synth-pop sextuplet called The Fatty Acids was helping to lead the charge with a steady diet of lively local shows, goofy and inventive music videos, tours that spread our city’s reputation far beyond state lines, and a highly anticipated third full-length on the cusp of release. Once that record, the excellent Boléro, finally saw the light of day by way of an unforgettable Pabst Theater release show—complete with green body suits, video projections, Super Balls, and a gigantic inflatable Aaron Rodgers—it seemed as if The Fatties could do anything they wanted. And they did just that: separately.
In the close-to four years since Boléro, two members departed, and others either joined up with existing outfits, started new bands, took on solo projects, traveled the world, founded large-scale local festivals, started businesses, got married, and advanced in their careers. Amid the cacophony of change that so often accompanies one’s transition from early- to late-twenties, The Fatties remained a part of each member’s life. Though the project spent much of the last four years on the back burner, the soon-to-be-released Dogs Of Entertainment doesn’t show it in the slightest.
Recorded over parts of the past three-plus years in the band’s former “Kribber’s Tiny Kingdom” residence in Riverwest, the effort effectively traces the group’s collective maturity and documents the individual growth of its parts. Upbeat and island-adjacent opener “Digested” and rambunctious chaser “Try Not To Freak Out About It” seem to pick up right where their predecessors left off. However, the pace slows and the depleted foursome leaves enough open space for an underlying darkness—expressed both lyrically and musically—to creep in, as best illustrated on “WG EX BF” and the dissonant and dour singalong “Sequins,” among others. Over the course of 10 songs, this grown-up iteration of The Fatties briefly glances back at the energy of Berries and Boléro, slogs through the downtrodden elements of Leftover Monsterface, and confidently strikes out into new territory with an air of experience, wisdom, and quality that can only come with a few years away.