Nearly 40 years in, NOFX are still making records and surprising people with the quality of the music. Behind all the goofin’ around and the white noise that goes on off stage and behind the scenes Fat Mike and his band after all said and done are a bloody good band with a shit load of great tunes. what else is there to say about NOFX? I’ll tell you what else there is to say and that is ‘Single Album’ is right up there with their best work and that’s no mean feat considering they’re fourteen albums in and during a pandemic ‘n’ all they should be able to do this in their sleep right? Right!.
There’s the six-minute post-hardcore opener (‘The Big Drag’). To be fair a lot of the so-Cal scene bands tend to stick with the tried and tested and every couple of years regurgitate their last album which did the same for the previous one but lately, NOFX and Fat Mike, in particular, have really pushed the envelope and with the mightily impressive Cokie The Clown and the split they did with Frank turner and throw into the mix that this was originally planned as a double album with the band having tracked twenty-three songs but for one reason or another it became a single album hence the title. The first single (‘Linewleum’) is a tribute to all the bands who covered ‘Linoleum’ badly. They knock out the reggae-inflected song about a mass shooting (‘Fish in a Gun Barrel’). there’s even time for a piano ballad (‘Your Last Resort’).
To be honest, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the band and gone through fazes where I’ve loved an album and then not played it for years then loved it again but lately, I’ve really enjoyed the albums and Cokie was fantastic, hell, they even made me listen to some Frank Turner I wouldn’t have gone near. From the heaving opener, this is NOFX at the top of their game.
‘Fish In A Barrel’ is a blinding song and I love the sax solo it reminds me of Jaya The Cat. To be fair NOFX has written some great songs here and there is plenty of variety hell there’s even a piano ballad for fucks sake! did I mention that already? ‘Doors And Fours’ is a big heaving metallic riff behind a bluesy guitar intro and a throbbing bass line. Mike says that he got the idea from a Fatty Arbuckle Autobiography which isn’t as off the wall as it might seem hell, the guy likes to drink and do drugs so why not? Drugs are still a great source of inspiration in the process of songwriting and besides it was a big drug in the 80s’ – Dark shit. A theme that crops up throughout the album as ‘Birmingham’ was delivered whilst under the influence it would seem but if it helps deliver records as good as this one then so be it who am I to object?
Probably the oddest song on the record lyrically is ‘My Bro Cancervive Cancer’ which is a true story Fat Mike describes it as the least important song on the record but it’s a snappy piece of punk rock that NOFX can do in their sleep but boy they do it so well. Pretty much the MO for the whole record and damn I wish it had been a twenty-three-track monster like it was originally intended I want to hear it all because NOFX have hit one hell of a rich vein of form hear ‘The Fake a Wish Foundation’ track. but that can wait for another day because I’m going to live in the now and enjoy the hell out of ‘Single Album’ first because it’s one hell of an album one you should at least give your undivided attention to.
Buy ‘Single Album’ Here
Author: Dom Daley