Pioneers of all things pop-punk, NOFX are back with another offering of sneering and sarcastic songwriting for the average schmuck. Four years since their last full-length, ‘Self Entitled’, the band are looking to continue their reign at the top of pile with ‘First Ditch Effort’ and do so in some style.
What has become more and more apparent when listening to modern day NOFX is how much more structured and varied their output is. Though the scrappy rawness that saw them become such a household name all those years ago is still running through the core of their output, the songs that make up ‘First Ditch Effort’ show off a band who are more focused than they have ever been.
A now sober Fat Mike sounds crisper and clearer than he has in years, while the band around him have helped to craft a selection of songs that bridge the gap between nonsense and honesty. ‘6 Years On Dope’ possesses the sort of chorus most bands could only dream of penning, ‘I’m A Tranvest-lite’ sticks a massive middle finger up at discrimination and the touching tribute to No Use For A Name’s Tony Sly in the form of ‘I’m So Sorry Tony’ is a real diamond in the rough.
Being so deep in to your career and in no way running out of steam is one thing, but producing music that still sounds relevant, fresh and most importantly fun along the way as well is a completely different kettle. In that respect NOFX are in a league of their own.
‘First Ditch Effort’ is another feather in the hat of a band that look nowhere near ready to call it a day. Thirty-three years into their career and still able to churn out punk rock that puts half of their peers to shame, NOFX have once again proved why they have sat on the punk rock throne for as long as they have.
‘Last Ditch Effort’ by NOFX is released on 7th October on Fat Wreck Chords.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)