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July 14, 2024

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So Long and Thanks For All The Shoes (Epitaph Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The crown kings of punk rock and D.I.Y. ethics are back with another bash and crash explosion of political punk, dealing with issues ranging from other bands to the current state of our society. Sixteen tracks, and a hidden track compile the new CD out now on Epitaph Records.

"It's My Job To Keep Punk Rock Elite" kicks off the CD with some fast and furious punk rock. If you thought their last album was soft and that they were turning into another pop-punk band, then this song will kick you in the head until you bleed. Hard hitting drums, screaming guitars, and of course, Mike's fat bass lines fill your ears with ear candy sure to make you think about how society is. Rock out to the song, then pay attention to the lyrics. This time around NOFX takes stabs at society in every shape and form. "Murder The Government" starts off soft, but then kicks off into some punk sure to please. The bass lines are always the center of attention, and the lyrics always let you know what's on their mind. In this quick forty-five seconds they blast the government, the KKK, and the NRA. "Monosyllabic Girl" is a song that would have fit perfectly on "Heavy Petting Zoo". The song is fast and powerful, but has a pop root stuck in it. On "180 Degrees" they take a turn from punk rock to try out some ska. Mixing in some ska in the beginning, they set you up for a fall. Quickly breaking out of the ska beats, they give you something to slam too. Once again, Mike beats on his bass like it was an elitist punk rocker who thinks he's so cool. The drums keep the beat, while keeping the music rough and tough. And the guitar screams along, going from one note to the other with ease. "All Outta Angst" is a nice ska ditty, sure to get you dancing and laughing. It's a stab at everyone who keeps asking the band why they're so angry. On this song you see the lighter side of the band. With lyrics like "So I'm off to Pakistan/learn the laws of Islam/fundamentalism, forget that rock-n-roll/no cigarette, no drink, in fact/it's difficult to think about getting laid/when you don't even get to see her face/I'm not insane," you know the band has a sense of humor, instead of their usually angst-filled bashes on everyday society. "I'm Telling Tim" is a fast, short punk song filled with muscle. Watch out, because when this song hits you'll be banging and bashing around into everything in sight. The song makes fun of everyone who believes your a sell-out unless your 100% D.I.Y. But once question, who the fuck is Tim? "Kill Rock Stars" is a full on head explosion bashing Olympia, Washington's Bikini Kill. Mike's take on the riot grrl scene isn't a pleasant one. I personally think this personal stab was cheap and uncalled for, but you gotta give the band respect for speaking their minds. That's a valuable commodity in today's market. Besides, they don't give a fuck what you or I think. That's why they're so outspoken. You always know what's on their mind. "The Depression's Gone" starts out with soft guitar, and then soft bass enters into the mix. A calm and relaxing environment seems to be coming up, before they rip the air apart. Mike's bass lines are powerful enough to break anyone's neck in a pit, while the guitar is loud and ferocious, sending terror into the eyes of it's opponents. And the drums, they can turn noise into loud noise! Explosive drum beats pound all the way into your head, and all you can hear is the beat-beat in your head until you jump around and get into the music. "Falling In Love" starts off weird, with some faint talking through samples, and then blasts in to the punk rock you've grown to love. Once again these guys play their hearts out to make powerful punk rock that fills the air with ideas and freedoms, giving you a chance to think freely. Because, these guys sure do!

If you want an all out assault of heavy bass led punk rock with lyrics that are takes on everyday life, than this is the CD for you. NOFX does it again, producing another quality disc. I'll give it a B+.

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