News Flash: NOFX New LP Lashes Out At Music Industry

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

at anyone.

This time out, some of their best barbs are reserved for the music world

itself.

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

Kill.

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.

PST]