GENRE | SELF-INFLICTED DYSTOPIA
VERDICT | REFRESHING
LABEL | FAT WRECK CHORDS
RELEASE | 9.11.12
The punk Rolling Stones return with an album that proves to be a subtle departure from their norm. While the fast bass pedals and snare pops are prevalent alongside the buzzy guitars they’re known, there is a distinctly apathetic tone to set it apart.
The album title sums it up, as these songs largely become introspective when performed by lead singer, Fat Mike, and his famously turbulent times. While this doesn’t necessarily provide us with chant-worthy, raucous sing-alongs like the time-honored “Linoleum” (which doesn’t need to always be played live, anyway), it’s a very satisfying chapter in their catalog.
There are fewer El Hefé solos and double guitar bits than are typically in a NOFX album, giving it a stripped down vibe that reflects the lyrical transparency. On Track 2, “I Believe in Goddess,” the anti-utopian ideals are pressed; “Cell Out” provides a muffled, antagonistic bass line, creating an abrasive experience with a grudging, punk turd.
On “My Sycophant Others” Mike straightforwardly rejects all the hand-jobbin’ from folks, so I’ll leave with this advice for NOFX: Keep lyrics sincere and thought-provoking more often.
Give up the clown act
(although I do enjoy Cokie).