Release Date: Oct 7, 2016
Record label: Fat Wreck Chords
Genre(s): Punk, Pop/Rock
First Ditch Effort might be NOFXâ€™s most intellectual album. No doubt, the band has approached their topics with tactical thoughtfulness before- you need look no further than â€œMy Orphan Yearâ€ or â€œLongest Lineâ€ for that- but there are two threads running through First Ditch Effort that not only tie the release together with an artesian cohesion, but they work together to pull the album into a sort of epiphany. NOFX was born at the end of the golden age of punk, became famous during the 90s punk boom, and sustained themselves through the 00s while many compatriots withered away.
Review Summary: So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes, Part IIIt’s been thirty-three years since the formation of NOFX, and Fat Mike and Co. still don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re like the creators of South Park in musical form: never giving a damn who they may offend, and always leaving an impression that they had a little too much fun in the creation process.
First Ditch Effort is NOFX’s first record in four years, technically the longest they’ve ever gone between albums. Except 2014-15 saw the entire band working on the songs and soundtrack to frontman Fat Mike’s punk rock musical Home Street Home, so it’s not like the band took an actual extended break. First Ditch Effort follows logically from the band’s previous two records Self-Entitled and Coaster.
No matter how immature you are, you have to grow up at least a little with the passage of time, if only to keep the electricity from being turned off. NOFX have spent much of their career as the Peter Pans of punk rock, leading an unending parade of thrashy goofiness in their wake for over three decades. But the group's founder and mouthpiece Fat Mike has shown a greater willingness to open up and get personal as time wears on.
13 albums deep and still just as fun. The punk legends’ 13th full-length sees frontman Fat Mike tackle a range of subject matter from wrestling with his newfound sobriety on ‘California Drought’ to “Dying his pubes pink” on ‘I’m A Transvest-lite’.Although much of this is typically tongue-in-cheek, there’s an over-riding theme of the four-piece accepting that they’re not the young band they once were.While some of these songs may not be up to the standard of their world-beating best, it’s clear they’re still having a lot of fun and on the speedy, snotty likes of ‘Six Years On Dope’ and ‘I Don’t Like Me Anymore’ they prove they’ve still got plenty of fire in the tank. .
If you read NOFX's autobiography from earlier this year, The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories, you know that many of the band's most beloved songs sprang from their indulgent and chaotic personal lives. So it's fitting that "Six Years on Dope," one of the most vital-sounding NOFX songs in a decade, sprang from drummer Erik "Smelly" Sandin's struggles with drug addiction. He even takes lead vocals on the track.NOFX remain the kings of bratty California pop punk, but the band have been in somewhat of a holding pattern of late.
??Having spent the majority of their career epitomising punk’s live fast, die young ideology, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that the latest record from Los Angeles’ NOFX is underpinned, not by an anarchic sense of debauchery, but a prevailing maturity and, dare we say it, sobriety. This may come as something of a surprise for those whose idea of punk is still firmly rooted in the '70s and '80s and for whom downing warm ciders and piercing your nose with a safety-pin constitutes a good time, but punk's changed, and seemingly, so have NOFX. That doesn't mean to say First Ditch Effort lacks the familiar charm of its predecessors.
For years, it seemed like time would never catch up with NOFX. The legendary L.A. outfit has always seemed to take joy in living the life of a band that’s lucky enough to play punk rock for a living. That includes the excesses and indulgences that come with it. Early songs like “Drugs Are Good.