NoFX

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Ribbed

NoFX - Ribbed ©1990 Epitaph
1. Green Corn
2. The Moron Brothers
3. Showerdays
4. Food, Sex & Ewe
5. Just The Flu
6. El Lay
7. New Boobs
8. Cheese/where's My Slice
9. Together On The Sand
10. Nowhere
11. Brain Constipation
12. Gonoherpasyphlaids
13. I Don't Want You Around
14. The Malachi Crunch

By the time Ribbed and its socially conscious cover hit the shelves in 1990, NoFX had come quite a ways in their transformation from a rather wretched and extremely underdeveloped act on Mystic Records to a tongue-in-cheek, musically accomplished skatepunk anthem band. While the band was still on the cusp of their best career material on succeeding albums, Ribbed contains more than its fair share of amusing and catchy tunes. A lot of the lyrical material relies heavily on sarcasm, snotty and silly perspectives and some gross humor. Fat Mike's delivery is typically flat and nasally in the finest tradition (and of course, his style has been emulated beyond count for the past decade) while the band displays a wide variety of approaches. The riffing is often very metallic between the twin guitars while other influences such as ska sneak in to break up the monotony. Some of the catchier and more amusing tracks are "Food, Sex & Ewe", the topical "New Boobs" with the doo-wop breakdown at the end, the speedy frenzy of "The Malachai Crunch", the dismissive "I Don't Want You Around" and the charged anthem about personal responsibility of "Cheese/Where's My Slice?".

While NoFX's best moments were still yet to come, Ribbed is an album that showed the band was ready to begin the 90s with a vengeance. There are more than enough fun songs on this record to justify having it around, particularly if you are a fan of the skate or melodic poppunk scene.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2002

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White Trash, Two Heebs & A Bean

NoFX - White Trash, Two Heebs & A Bean ©1992 Epitaph
1. Soul Doubt
2. Stickin In My Eye
3. Bob
4. You're Bleeding
5. Straight Edge
6. Lisa And Louise
7. The Bag
8. Please Play This Song On The Radio
9. Warm
10. Wanna Be Your Baby
11. Johnny Appleseed
12. She's Gone
13. Buggley Eyes

The long running NoFX has been one of the more defining punk bands of the 90s, helping shape and create a template for many of the other young bands wanting to play a poppunk style complete with standard issue snotty vocals and über-catchy tunes. NoFX had been around for several years by the time the poppunk thing started to receive a little more mainstream attention and had grown considerably since their early days on Mystic Records. Having gone through several lineup changes may have helped this band because once 1992 hit, this band was certainly peaking with their creativity. All this went towards making White Trash, Two Heebs & a Bean one of the best and most thoroughly enjoyable snot/brat/kidpunk records of them all.

The boys in NoFX weren't any stranger to tackling whatever subject came along, although their lyrical stance tended to be more towards minor social issues rather than weighty political topics. The songs are all given a energetic, romping feel to them and feature some excellent guitar playing from El Hefe (who also contributes vocals here and there as well as trumpet) and Eric Melvin. The nearly-metallized riffing propels this release along very nicely. Fat Mike's vocals are easily some of the most recognizable and possibly some of the most imitated in punk. There is ample amount of snotty attitude and just enough ability to handle melody to make this album work. The band doesn't just remain content to rehash a songwriting formula over and over for White Trash; rather, stylistic variations abound aplenty here. The cover of Minor Threat's "Straight Edge" is given a lounge, loose big band feel with Louie Armstrong styled vocals. "Buggley Eyes", the goofy album closer, also has a bit of a oldtime music feel (perhaps Al Jolson?) while "Johnny Appleseed" is a neo-ska skeetshoot with Cheech Marin sounding vocals from El Hefe. But aside from those tracks, the majority of this record is chock full of anthemic, extremely memorable numbers that are still timeless to my ears: "Soul Doubt", "Bleeding", "She's Gone", the hilarious "Please Play This Song On the Radio" and "You're Bleeding" all are excellent songs that still get me pumped up when I hear them.

NoFX may have repeated themselves a bit after this album's release, but it still stands as one of the best melodic punk records of its time. The album helps define what I have eventually come to call "kidpunk", but does it in a way that overcomes the shortcomings of less creative and less interesting mimicing bands that have popped up over the past decade. If nothing else, history set aside, this is simply just a great album that deserves a ton of accolades and respect.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/2001

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Punk in Drublic

NoFX - Punk in Drublic ©1994 Epitaph
1. Linoleum
2. Leave It Alone
3. Dig
4. The Cause
5. Don't Call Me White
6. My Heart Is Yearning
7. Perfect Government
8. The Brews
9. The Quass
10. Dying Degree
11. Fleas
12. Lori Meyers
13. Jeff Wears Birkenstocks
14. Punk Guy
15. Happy Guy
16. Reeko
17. Scavenger Type

If you ask me (and you actually did, just very subliminally), NoFX had their creative climax with Ribbed and White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean. Yes, pop punk, the very type they helped develop, exploded in 1994 and yes, Punk in Drublic is NoFX's best selling album to date. But for me the band began treading creative waters after White Trash and never sounded quite as hungry and creatively unsatisfied as they were before 1994. The band had obviously come a long ways since their early, messy start in the early to mid 80s, but to me they put themselves a bit into cruise control after success knocked on their doors. Now, I'm not suggesting they sold out or watered down their music. Rather, what I hear on Punk on Drublic is the band painting themselves into a musical corner all while being content to rest on their laurels a bit.

To this day, I can pick songs off the band's two preceding albums and note how good they still are. Upon listening to Punk in Drublic I am reminded that I never did warm up much to this album when it came out and for the most part the songs whiz by without really providing any impact one way or another. THe band was definitely repeating itself and using a formula to come up with new songs. Sure, there's amusing diversions ("My Heart Is Yearning" is amusing and even a tad disturbing) but it's hard to pick out standout songs...simply because there really aren't any. Rather than being a true standout of its time period, it sounds more like a time capsule of what every punk band was trying to play at the time. If it wasn't for the fact that most punk fans are keenly aware of how Fat Mike's vocals sound, this album could be a release from just about any other pop punk band of the era.

Despite chart success, I find this album to be a fairly nondescript, unengaging relic of its era.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date:

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