According to label cofounder Marc Ruvolo | By Tim Anderl

Austin, Texas’ The Fur Coats released a brand-new EP titled MILKDROMEDA on April 17 via Johann’s Face Records. For those not yet indoctrinated, The Fur Coats are fronted by Johann’s Face figurehead Marc Ruvolo. The label is perhaps best known for releasing seminal punk records by the likes of Alkaline Trio, The Smoking Popes, Apocalypse Hoboken, and more. In The Fur Coats, Ruvolo is joined by drummer Craig Nichols—whose previous efforts include stints with Guided By Voices, Rob The Bank, Shesus, Bellringer, and others—and bassist Johnny Incaini, who played for Critical Dad. The EP is the band’s sixth release.

To celebrate MILKDROMEDA, Ruvolo runs down what he believes are the 10 most crucial Johann’s Face Records releases.

10. Various Artists: Marc’s a Dick and Gar’s a Drunk: The Johann’s Face Story: 1995

“A perfect snapshot of mid ’90s Chicago punk and emo from the era of the legendary Fireside Bowl. German punk magazine OX parodied the cover art for their wildly successful line of vegan cookbooks.”

9. Traitors: Everything Went Shit: 2001

“A swan song compilation of 7”s, comps, and odds and ends, including ‘Rammit Janet,’ their rejected entry to a ‘Rocky Horror’ tribute comp in which they just play and talk and make fart noises over the original. Chicago’s Traitors—more drunken performance art than band—were eventually banned from nearly every venue in the city. A pre-Trio Matt Skiba plays drums on half of these tracks, a handful of which were recorded by Steve Albini.”

8. Sass Dragons: Bonkaroo!: 2008

“Not well-known outside of Chicago, Sass Dragons are a middle finger to punk, indie, and even classic rock. The best bands always turn out to be those that really don’t give fuck about anything—they burn hard and fast and do whatever the hell they want, laughing all the way.”

7. Apocalypse Hoboken: Easy Instructions for Complex Machinery: 1996

“A Chicago favorite—who are reuniting again soon and approaching 30 years as a band!—this record grinds and blasts all the way through. Todd Pot’s vocals are the snottiest and most nihilistic you’ll ever hear. Cover art is a rip on the Stones’ Exile on Main St.”

6. No Empathy: “Ben Weasel Don’t Like It” b/w “Chasing the Wild Goose” 7”: 1993

“Before Ben Weasel was a douche—well, he still was a douche. No Empathy pokes gentle fun at him, and he makes a cameo spoken-word appearance. The cover art is Boogada Boogada Boogada with a brick flying at the weasel’s head. The B-side is a cover version—with the cover art cribbed as well—of Bad Religion’s ‘Chasing the Wild Goose’ from their embarrassing—but awesome—second record, Into the Unknown.”

5. The Strike: A Conscience Left to Struggle With Pockets Full of Rust: 1996

“A bunch of Minneapolis socialists make a record that harkens back to the best of Stiff Little Fingers and even throws in some dub songs. A scorching debut LP. Recorded by Chuck Uchida, guitarist of No Empathy, with cover art courtesy of Dan Sinker, editor of Punk Planet.”

4. Sludgeworth: What’s This?: 1991

“Huge in Chicago—and nowhere else—this record brims with amazing singalong anthems. Members of the band were also in Screeching Weasel, and Dan Vapid is still making music. Rereleased on Asian Man Records with some added singles, but they took the funkier songs out, which was a real shame. ‘Tomato Paste’ forever!”

3. The Smoking Popes: Born To Quit: 1994

“Our fastest seller, considering the short amount of time we had it. First pressing sold out, and then, Capitol Records bought it from us, but not before we put songs on both the ‘Tommy Boy’ and ‘Angus’ soundtracks. ‘Rubella’ is probably my favorite Popes song of all time.”

2. Alkaline Trio: SunDials 7”: 1997

“The 7” that launched a thousand tattoos and resurrected blink-182. Marc got a ‘production’ credit for hanging around and buying lunch. The covers were misprinted—no band name on them—so we had to put a sticker on the bag. Perennial ALK3 favorite ‘’97’—first heard on Marc’s and Dick and Gar’s a Drunk—was also recorded in this session.”

1. The Smoking Popes: Get Fired: 1993

“The Popes’ first full-length and my favorite of their many records. It was a toss-up between Underdog Records and us as to who was going to put it out. The Popes wanted jewel cases for the CDs, but Underdog didn’t use jewel cases, only cardboard covers in little plastic slipcases—so, the band went with us. The rest is, as they say, history.”

Follow The Fur Coats on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and contact Johann’s Face Records at!


Tim Anderl is an American journalist from Dayton, Ohio, whose work has been published in Alternative Press, Strength Skateboarding Magazine, and Substream Music Press. He was previously the web editor of and is currently the editor of, a host of Sound Check Chat Podcast, and a contributing writer for New Noise Magazine, Ghettoblaster Magazine and Dayton City Paper.

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