the project brings together for the first time ever the long-running Los Angeles punks and the London-based singer and ex-Million Dead frontman, for many years now both friends and fans of each other’s music. With supporting live shows also shortly to be announced, the 10 strong track-listing of ‘West Coast vs Wessex’ captures NOFX tackling five selections from Turner’s sizeable solo back catalogue, with Frank reciprocating with recordings of five of his personal favourites picked from NOFX’s 37-years-and-counting career.

Both artists have sizable followings it would be hard to predict who’d still be standing if they were to slug it out.  To be fair maybe Fat Mike wouldn’t get past the drug test but he’d probably hide a horseshoe in his glove anyway but the walk-in music is sorted as they could both play one of these tracks.  Now to be fair I have to say I’ve seen Frank live a few times and although I enjoyed what I heard and I also have some of his records I’ve never been drawn in and become a fully-fledged fanboy but I do love ‘Thatcher Fucked The Kids’ and although NOFX do a sterling job its way below the original even if they’ve taken it somewhere dark and pulled its pants down and spanked it with a ska trombone and I’m good with that. And The same has to be said of NOFX I’ve seen them a few times and own the records but no fanboy and would it rude to say the best or rather my favourite release was the split they did with Rancid!  (Flame me now NOFX fanboys) Not ‘Punked in Drublic’ and I do like Fat Mikes alter ego Cokie The Clown a lot.  Anyway, I digress.

First half lets introduce tracks one to five and in the USA corner its NOFX and five Frank Turner tracks that manage to have their melons twisted (quite considerably at times) yet they still maintain the vital “Frank” ingredient which isn’t easy and they treat the songs rather well before devouring them NOFX style. ‘Substitute’ is skanked and the harmonies are great and when it breaks out it sounds fantastic. Angry love songs always work.

‘Worse Things Happen At Sea’ is no longer the picked melancholy its a slobbering beast that builds really well and Fat Mike and co have really worked on these and I’m impressed, no I’m really impressed. MAn these guys should do a collaboration and be done with it they are in tune – seriously. ‘Thatcher’ gets the ska skank treatment and to be fair it really works I’d never have called it as the keys dance and that horn bows almost as much as Thatcher did.  Let’s not forget either kids, these lyrics are so spot on and what’s more depressing when it was written Frank never could have predicted Cameron and his austerity and then May before Boris well and truly fucked everyone not just the kids. Respect.

‘The Ballad Of Me & My Friends’ isn’t a folky sing-along its a blast through NOFX style.  They get Turner in for a rip through ‘Glory Hallelujah’ like they’re Queen writing a musical for the west end  big bold and quite beautiful.  You have to take your hat off to Fat Mike hes reconstructed five of turners songs and given them a NOFX makeover and most enjoyable they are too.

In The ‘Wessex’ Corner is the very English Frank Turner and his band the Sleeping Souls and to be fair they’ve also entered into the spirit of things and taken five NOFX tunes and given them a “this side of the pond” English make over.

It is indeed the ying to Fat Mikes yang as ‘Scavenger Type’ get the punked-up acoustic style treatment as the ‘Punked In Drublic’ gets a good shoeing.  I guess ‘Bob’ was a free hit for Turner but he takes ownership and if I was to pick a knockout blow on this release then this might well be it.  Sublime, to be fair a great song handled with much love and respect.

‘Eat The Meek’ is taken somewhere totally different and reinvented and to be fair I didn’t see that coming either. That’s the pattern though and like ‘Perfect Government’ is another uppercut from Turner who winning this on points. Finally bowing out with his rendition of ‘Falling In Love’ this caps off a pretty impressive split.  Exactly how it should be done and much respect to Frank Turner and NOFX who manage to knock each other out at the same time Rocky style.  Give it a try then go check out the originals and then give them both a round of applause for their bravery, talent and execution.

 

Let’s hope for a rematch somewhere down the line or how about a full-on collaboration ‘West Coast vs Wessex’ has been an emotional box office success. Get on this pay per view kids its a big hitter for sure.

 

Buy ‘West Coast vs Wessex’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

Here’s a couple of proper rainy days songs taken from a new split we’re reviewing this week on RPM its Frank turner & NOFX.

NOFX and Frank Turner will release a split covers album, ‘West Coast Vs. Wessex’ on July 31, 2020. Due for release via Fat Mike’s own Fat Wreck Chords label, the project brings together for the first time ever the long-running Los Angeles punks and the London-based singer and ex-Million Dead frontman, for many years now both friends and fans of each other’s music. With supporting live shows also shortly to be announced, the 10 strong track-listing of ‘West Coast vs Wessex’ captures NOFX tackling five selections from Turner’s sizeable solo back catalogue, with Frank reciprocating with recordings of five of his personal favourites picked from NOFX’s 37-years-and-counting career.

Just how often does the leader of one of your favourite bands ask you to do a split album? One where his band covers your songs? It’s the situation Frank Turner found himself in last year, when Fat Mike of NOFX asked if he wanted to do a split covers album. “And I shit the bed and said, ‘Fucking of course I do! That sounds incredible,” Turner recalls.
‘West Coast Vs. Wessex’ does sound incredible: NOFX filtering five of Turner’s songs through their singular sensibility, with Turner doing the same on five NOFX songs. But these aren’t simply double-time versions of Turner’s folk-punk tunes or slow, acoustic re-workings of NOFX’s iconic SoCal punk anthems. Both NOFX and Turner took time to play with the possibilities each other’s music presented.

“I listened to all his records, and I picked the ones that I thought I could make more interesting,” notes Fat Mike. “What I did is change a lot of chords. Frank, he beats me in the singing department. So I can’t sing better than he can, but I can maybe throw in a melody here or there or chord that he hadn’t thought of.”

Turner took a similar approach. “I didn’t want to just do straight covers of anything. I wanted to try and pick songs where I felt like me and my band could bring something different to the table,” he says. “But it did strike me that it would be cool to demonstrate to the casual NOFX fan, who doesn’t know who I am, that I am actually a fan. I didn’t just go to Spotify and pick the five most-listened-to songs.” For the record, only one of his choices appears on Spotify’s top five for NOFX: ‘Bob’, which Turner here transforms into a wistful country song. He pulled from deeper album tracks for his other covers: a punk-ed up ‘Scavenger Type’, a barroom singalong ‘Perfect Government’, the post-hardcore ‘Eat the Meek’, and a spare, haunting ‘Falling in Love’.

“Everything he picked was from the ’90s, so I took that as it’s okay to mostly do his early stuff too,” says Fat Mike, who channeled ‘90s NOFX for their interpretations. “People who hear it, they all say it sounds like old NOFX.” The band’s climactic take on ‘Substitute’ could’ve fit on ‘Punk in Drublic’, whilst ‘Worse Things Happen at Sea’ simmers with an ominous portent. The jaunty ‘Thatcher Fucked the Kids’ sounds like a companion to NOFX’s ‘Philthy Phil Philanthropist’. ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’ – lilting and bittersweet in Turner’s original – goes balls-out here. “Glory Hallelujah” sounds like a lost track from Fat Mike’s Broadway musical, ‘Home Street Home’.

Turner and his band, The Sleeping Souls, recorded their songs between their rehearsal space and during tour commitments, with Frank tracking his vocals from his bunk on the bus. NOFX recorded at Fat Mike’s Six Floggs studio, with production by the D-Composers (Fat Mike, Johnny Carey, BAZ Bastien, Yotam Ben Horin).

“It’s difficult to describe quite how it feels to hear back a song that you wrote played by NOFX, one of your favourite bands, in a style that is unmistakably theirs,” Turner says. “It tends to make me just laugh in a really elated kind of way. It’s just like, ‘Holy shit, this is ‘Substitute’ done by NOFX! This is fucking insane!’” Fat Mike was similarly psyched. “When Frank picked ‘Falling in Love,’ I was so fucking stoked,” Mike says. “Then I heard it, and I go, ‘Holy shit, he just kicked our ass.’ I was pleased with all of them. I thought he did a really good job – and not such a good job that we couldn’t beat him on a few songs.”

But there are no losers on West Coast Vs. Wessex. The Frank Turner-Fat Mike Mutual Admiration Society has produced 10 hooky re-imaginings of each others’ music. The novelty may pique listeners’ curiosity, but the songs will keep them coming back.

“I have always thought and always maintained, well before we were friends, that Mike is a great, classic songwriter,” Turner says. “And that’s what sets NOFX apart from many of their peers.”

What about him?

“Just for me to be able to stand up in front of the mirror and look at myself and say, ‘You’re doing a fucking split with NOFX’—that is an absolute dream come true for me,” he says, laughing. “I mean, I don’t quite know where my career goes from here.”

Punk in Drublic Festival 2021 European Tour Dates Feat. NOFX and Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls

13 May FRANCE Chemillé, Théâtre Foirail à Chemille
15 May BELGIUM Boom, De Schorre Open Air
16 May GERMANY Berlin, Zitadelle
21 May AUSTRIA Wiesen, Wiesen Open Air
23 May ITALY Milan, Carroponte
4 June GERMANY Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle
5 June GERMANY Hannover, Faust Open Air
10 June FINLAND Turku, Vanha Surrtori 5
12 June NORWAY Oslo, Oslo Spektrum
13 June SWEDEN Malmö, Folkets Park

Frank Turner Website /   https://twitter.com/FrankTurner / http://instagram.com/frankturner / 

http://www.nofxofficialwebsite.com/ // https://twitter.com/fat_wreck // https://www.instagram.com/fatmikedude/

Man, I always have a soft spot for Californian pop/punk, especially when it’s a young band coming on like the 90’s never ended. And that’s where I introduce you to The Bombpops. Founded in 2007 by dual singer/guitarists Jen Razavi and Poli Van Dam, the 4 piece band take the title of their sophomore album ‘Death In Venice Beach’ from Thomas Mann’s celebrated novella about the price of artistic life.

The follow up to 2017’s ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ it sees the band explore dark themes of alcohol addiction, health problems, toxic relationships and suicide all wrapped up in high energy punk pop.

 

But the dark lyrical themes are certainly not the first thing that hits you about The Bombpops. The SoCal sound that inspires the band is prevalent throughout, you could say ‘Death In Venice Beach’ sounds like the lost 90’s soundtrack you need to fill the hole between ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ and ‘Josie and the Pussycats’.

Take latest single ‘Double Arrows Down’. Lyrically inspired by Poli Van Dam’s diabetes seizure and subsequent dice with death, it’s actually a euphoric blast of dual vocal melody and overdriven guitars, with a sugar-buzz pop melody that will inject sunshine into anyone’s dreary day. Sweet vocal melodies The Dollyrots would die for and the sort of catchy choruses Letters To Cleo perfected in their prime.

And so it continues for 30 minutes or so. 12 short, sharp, shocks of punk pop that do not overstay their welcome. Songs that would’ve bombarded the airwaves back in the day and singles that would’ve been vying for attention with the likes of Bowling For Soup and Sum 41 on your TV screens.

 

‘Dearly Departed’ name-checks doomed celebrity couples over high energy pop/punk. Sid & Nancy rub shoulders with JFK & Monroe as Jen & Poli deliver pitch perfect vocal harmonies and dirty guitars in unison. A tight rhythm section and a crisp production courtesy of (among others) NOFX’s Fat Mike only adds to the high quality.

With the likes of ‘Sad To Me’ and ‘Zero Remorse’ they have a knack of delivering a verse that create momentum and builds to what you just know is going to be an anthemic, killer chorus that will stay in your brain long after the song has ended. The girls’ vocals work well together and it is that, along with the top notch songwriting, which lifts this album high above the current competition.

The bouncy bass intro and the offset guitar riff in ‘Notre Dame’ will bring to mind The Offspring, ‘In The Doghouse’ comes on like The Creepshow at their most commercial and the raw tale of isolation and heartbreak that is ’13 Stories Down’ sounds like a female-fronted NOFX. Elsewhere you’ll swear you’ve heard the likes of ‘Radio Silence’ and ‘House On Fire’ before. And that my friends, is the knack of a catchy melody put to very good use.

 

There are lots of comparisons that can be made to lots of cool bands when listening to ‘Death In Venice Beach’ and that’s not a bad thing. The Bombpops wear their influences proudly on their sleeves and have their own imitable style and their own way of exorcising their own personal demons with a set of strong, bouncy tunes.

To be honest, you could imagine any of the 12 songs on offer to be featured on MTV, with the band playing next to a swimming pool or a frat house in California, surrounded by teens with nothing more on their mind than pulling the hottest cheerleader and downing a four pack. And while in these troubled times those sort of antics may seem as distant a memory as the 90’s actually are, it’s still the great escape some of us need right now.

Buy ‘Death In Venice Beach’ Here

Facebook

Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

What with lockdown entering its gazillionth week we scour the net for new tunes to brighten your day but I think we’ve reached the point where a little darkness might be the order of the day rather than sunshine and roses. so here’s NOFX to lighten the mood. Welcome to the darkness kids

Enough darkness how about some boot boy Rock and Roll courtesy of the new one from Faz Waltz?  OK, Here goes your wish is my command and up this week on RPM we review the brand new album from Faz Waltz.

Finally, we love Johny Skullknuckles round ere so when we see he has a video to accompany the song he wrote and recorded on less than 24 hours it would be rude of us not to show it.  So here goes. ‘This City’

Cokie the Clown Limited Edition Throbblehead
Limited to 1000 hand-numbered figures
SHIPPING EARLY DECEMBER
 
**Not guaranteed for delivery by Christmas, although most US customers should be OK***
NOTE: For customers outside of the US, your order will take an average of 4-5 weeks to reach you via economy shipping, which does not have tracking. If tracking is needed, you can upgrade to priority shipping at an additional cost but must email us for details.

Cokie the Clown, Fat Mike’s alter ego, has now been elevated to Throbblehead status.  This figure is limited to just 1000 hand-numbered units, stands at 7″ tall, and is made of a high-quality polyresin.

Re-creating the cover art from Cokie’s first full-length album “You’re Welcome,” this Throbblehead comes complete with noose, squirting flower, and clown shoes.

“Punk rock was never just music to me, it was my life,” says Cokie. “My parents were just relatives, my family was always NOFX.”

We’re going to start this week’s Rainy Days and Mondays with BadCop/BadCop and a track taken from their second album ‘Warriors’

Facebook

 

Keeping it Fat Wreck Chords with a brand new album in the bag Mean Jeans are here to tell you that ‘Steve Dont Party No More’

Finally Fat Wrecks Favourite sons NOFX with an olden but golden ‘Six Years On Dope’

Fat Mike NOFX.  Yeah, right now you sit up and pay attention well come a little closer because this is not NOFX it doesn’t sound like NOFX even if Fat Mike is Cokie The Clown. This is dark in a very late night and I shouldn’t drink whiskey and do blow kinda way’ oh, and listen to Tom Waits. More like E from Eels than NOFX and that’s a good thing.  Sure he could have clowned around and down a dumb punk record and made a mint off the back of it but he hasn’t he’s gone for the piano and miserable vocal angle.

 

‘Bathtub’ is almost three minutes of one sad voice and a sparse piano and to be fair ‘Fair Leather Friends’ is more of the same if not a little more uptempo (steady on punk rocker not that uptempo) and it has a cello and some hi-hat and snare and if you must know its endearing and really fuckin’ good.  Why wouldn’t it be?

If you think E and Tom Waits you won’t be far off the mood of the record it has been said it’s not a happy record (they got that right) but it is a very good record.  It shows Fat Mike has hidden depths and can indeed turn his hand to writing some great dark melancholy music there are some great arrangments like ‘Swing And A Miss’ and he looks inside the dark corners of his mind to dig up songs like ‘Down With The Ship’ and the grande Harpsichord led ‘Negative Reel’  the album has ten tracks, the album also features a who’s who of A-list talent that assisted him throughout the recording sessions. Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails) produced ‘You’re Welcome’;  Travis Barker played drums and Dizzy Reed of Guns N’ Roses contributed keyboards! Baz (a French musician), who Fat Mike collaborated heavily with on the album has to take some credit for what is a really impressive record but for being so different from what I was expecting.  The pop melodies that make up ‘That Time I Killed My Mom’ well I did say it was dark!.  its all wrapped up in a really fine piece of Cover art painted by the talented Natalia Fabia.

‘Fuck You All’ is like Fat Mike doing his best Cranford Nix and it builds to the most upbeat song on the record (musically that is I can’t mislead you into thinking ‘Fuck You All’ is upbeat).

So Fat Mike exposes his soul and releases an absolute winner. Ten tracks, dark, simple (ish), excellent!  My final words have to be – buy it, just for the autobiographical ‘Punk Rock Saved My Life’ epic!  If you want to hear NOFX then go do so this most certainly isn’t and I’m good with that because this is the business.

 

Buy You’re Welcome Here

Author: Dom Daley