Watching bands like NOFX, Bad Religion and Rancid evolve has increasingly become a painful affair. Hell bent on uber-classification, we’ve put Bad Religion at the head of the class as the history professor, NOFX as the class clown, and Rancid nowhere near school, but on the streets representing original punk grit. It has played itself out time and again at each summer festival of the past decade, with the youth of today pumping their fists to Rancid and graciously accepting Bad Religion’s lecture, as long as NOFX comes along shortly thereafter with the punch line.
Is it possible we’ve missed the point entirely?
While there’s no denying Bad Religion’s penchant for social commentary, simply writing NOFX off as the Henny Youngman of punk would be a gross injustice. Granted, Liza asking Louise for a good fisting is still worth only a cheap laugh, but no one can dismiss NOFX’s timing and delivery when it comes to its lyrical mastery and significance.
Such remains true with the band’s upcoming The War on Errorism disc, a decidedly more socio-political effort slated for release on May 6. NOFX made a conscious decision not to release an advance copy of the disc (perhaps to avoid rampant pirating?), but they’ve lavished anxious fans with a teaser EP – Regaining Unconsciousness.
Comprised of four tracks, the EP presents NOFX in a familiar light – entertaining us with the best lyrics and song titles the world has ever witnessed, and baffling us with their ability to stay fresh without straying far from their core.
Want specifics? “Medio-core” takes a not-so-subtle stab at those bands that have bastardized and capitalized off the sound that NOFX arguably pioneered. Do you think these punkabees will be any the wiser when they share a stage with NOFX this summer? Perhaps the number-one reason for snagging this disc is the exclusive “Hardcore 84” track. If you grew up in the ‘80s and paid even the slightest attention to the underground, then you will no doubt quickly identify with this cut. It’s true old school hardcore as only NOFX can deliver it.
One long-awaited twist – the EP and forthcoming LP are being released by Fat Mike’s own Fat Wreck Chords, surprisingly firsts for the group. Buy ‘em or be dumb.