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From the ashes of the Fatty Acids, Dinner Set Gang rises with new album

If you’ve paid attention to the Milwaukee music scene over the years, the name “The Fatty Acids” likely rings a bell. The “weirdcore” synth-pop band played countless energetic shows and churned out videos left and right, until a slow and quiet wind-down a few years back.

But the hole they left in the scene definitely didn’t go unnoticed. Members of the group industriously went on to form other projects like Platinum Boys, tour with Sub Pop-signee Jaill and work on personal projects like films and recording studios. But there was always a wild hope the Fatties would reunite.

So it was welcome news when Fatty Acids founders Josh Evert and Derek De Vinney shaped Dinner Set Gang from those ashes. With the help of notable Milwaukee-based guest musicians (including members of Platinum Boys, Mortgage Freeman, Sat. Nite Duets, Warhola Cats and more), Dinner Set Gang rekindled the weirdcore pop flame. 

“I originally started this project as a solo endeavor while the Fatties were winding down to retain a creative outlet,” De Vinney recalled. “Around this time, Josh co-founded Silver City Studios, and I asked if he'd be willing to record some of the songs. That quickly evolved into him fulfilling more of a producer role and then a full-on creative partnership. This was similar to the Fatties, but different in our approach with enlisting tons of local musicians to contribute to the songs however they saw fit.”

Before long, with the help of Panamanian indie label editoris, they brought to life an EP and — as of today — a full-length album titled Are You Someplace Else?

“While shopping the album out, Poti — who runs editoris — took interest and released a song,” De Vinney said. “It was really exciting to see it have listeners throughout Central and South America. He agreed to do a few more single releases, an EP and now this LP. What we love most about working with Poti is that he is an artist himself and is truly invested in this project at that level.” 

Of the album’s title track, De Vinney credited a friend for its genesis: Savannah Camplin, whose song they sampled in the opening moments. “I wrote the song around her lyrics as sort of a prompt,” he said. “It explores the universal feelings of anxiety that come with aging while sonically celebrating them as evidence of being alive.” 

The song indeed seems bent on creating an atmosphere of euphoric confusion and hopeful dread. Its accompanying video, directed by Milwaukee’s Kurt Ravenwood (also a former Fatty Acids member) is pitch-perfect at capturing that vibe.

To put the vibe they envisioned into motion, the band and Ravenwood enlisted local dance choreographer Becky Cofta to direct the creepy-meets-zany moves of the video’s subjects:  three seemingly oblivious young vacationers moving and grooving, bound for the pool clad in swimsuits in a dimly lit, maze-like motel hallway. 

De Vinney said they told the dancers to “channel their inner kid” as they made their way through a pair of locations in Wisconsin Dells. In that vein, he said there’s room to attach even more fun things to the new album since it’s still super new. “We have some ideas for music videos circulating,” he said, adding that shows only might be possible at this point.

So, if you’re jonesing for another dose of Fatty Acids-esque music, you’ll have to get an infusion through the new album, Are You Someplace Else?, which is available now on Bandcamp, and the video below. Then cross your fingers and check back with us for any performances in the works.