I don’t like theme parks. Still, as someone who played simulation games like Theme Park and Rollercoaster Tycoon, I’m no stranger to the unadulterated fun of building your own theme park. Here is Chadd Derkins though, taking the concept to a whole other level by imagineering a concept album about the fictional Whimsyland. Derkins uses a simple and slightly outrageous formula: Theme Park + pop punk + Summer which he multiplies by getting a lot of his musician friends involved. The bottom line? Max fun. Whimsyland is a celebration of the inner kid in all of us and reignites that spark of discovering pop punk for the first time.
Envisioning this concept is one, but making it into something great is something else. You’ve got to appreciate Derkins for that alone. But I think I appreciate Derkins’ generosity the most. Whimsyland could have been a maniacal solo ego document. Instead, Derkins involved close to 50 of his musician friends to make the record happen. Whimsyland is very much a pop punk (dirt pop!) fest, and that wide cast of characters gives each and every song a distinct sound or vibe. Simmering underneath these songs are bonds of friendship and a shared love for pop punk.
Send this record to all of your pop punk friends and challenge them to discover the most musicians involved in the project. To get you started, here are some bands that are involved: The Ergs, Copyrights, Science Police, Dear Landlord, Big Eyes, The Steinways, House Boat, Short Attention, For Science, Full Of Fancy, Dirt Bike Annie, Triple Bypass!, J. Prozac, Weird Skin, The Soviettes, Sea Lilies, Lipstick Homicide, Jabber, The Kung Fu Monkeys, and The Young Rochelles. Find the complete list of contributing artists by clicking on the individual tracks on Bloated Kat’s Bandcamp page.
True story, I hate Theme Parks, but I can’t wait to visit Whimsyland again.