Hand it to punk-rock smart-asses NOFX to leave no sacred cow unslaughtered.
Next week sees the release of the Hollywood four-piece's So Long and Thanks for All
the Shoes (Epitaph), their eighth album in nine years -- and, as has
become standard routine for the NOFX, they let the arrows fly, everywhere and
This time out, some of their best barbs are reserved for the music world
Having long shunned standard industry practices -- they don't make
videos, court radio airplay or do interviews -- NOFX
sums up their hermitic stance best in the superbly titled "It's My Job to
Keep Punk Rock Elite." "You'll never understand it/ Try to buy and brand
it... This ain't your fuckin' industry," singer Fat Mike spits at the
major labels that would wine and dine the band.
Having suitably railed at the corporate music world, Mike and the boys take
still more vitriolic turns with indie punk.
Never a band to pull punches, this is where NOFX names names. "I'm Telling
Tim" lambastes the childish ethic that pervades Tim Yohannon's punk zine
Maximumrockandroll: to wit, "You better watch out, you better not cry, you
better put out records D.I.Y." In "Kill Rock Stars" Mike defends his compadres
against charges of sexism while taking a swing at Kathleen Hanna and Bikini
Of course, it wouldn't be a NOFX record if there wasn't a fair dose of humor
and sarcasm coursing through the disc. "Monosyllabic Girl" and "All Outta
Angst" should prompt a few chuckles, while "Eat the Meek" plays like a
cross between Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal and the Dead
Kennedy's "Kill the Poor."
That said, So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes does at times flash
a serious side. Even as Mike decries the state of music in "The Desperation's
Gone," he proves that such is not the case with the desolate "Quart In Session,"
in which he confesses "Soberness might be what I need, but it's certainly not
how I wanna be."
Although So Long lacks the musical intricacy of last year's Heavy
Petting Zoo, the album should nonetheless please those who've come to
love NOFX's mix of hyper-kinetic punk rhythms, oddly keyed harmonies and
the occasional blast of brass.
Fans of the album, however, are apparently about as welcome as radio, press
and MTV. In fact NOFX supporters are directed to keep their thoughts to
themselves. "If you want to write to NOFX," reads the album -- "Don't." --
Chris Nelson [Wed., Nov. 5, 1997, 9:00 a.m.