Album Review: NOFX – “The Longest EP”

Album Review: NOFX – “The Longest EP”

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“The Longest EP” is for fans of NOFX. Outsiders just wouldn’t get it. Plus, if you’re into punk and don’t already know NOFX, you seriously better wake up and smell the Valuum (lame joke, sorry).

It’s been referred to as the sequel to 2002’s “45 or 46 Songs That Weren’t Good Enough to Go on Our Other Records”, and all other NOFX EPs are going out of print on release of this album.

The artwork itself is a gift from the piss soaked Gods. It features a person or item from every one of the band’s previous releases, including Nubs, Timmy the Turtle, the nurse from “Pump Up The Vallum” and the George Bush clown. It was created by the genius behind the “Longest Line” EP artwork.

On the CD you will find tracks from 7 EPs, 2 Compilations and 1 split album, as well as a bonus track and 2 previously unreleased songs. So most fans will know what to expect, and what the stand out tracks are before giving the album a spin.

The title track to The Longest Line, and the reason for this album’s title, deserves a mention. The EP was a milestone for NOFX, being their first release on Fat Wreck Chords (May, ’92) and marked the first appearance of their infamous guitarist, El Hefe. The song of the same name is one of their most popular tracks, and quite rightly too. It’s catchy-ness will stay stuck in your head after one listen, and you wont be able to resist singing along to that chorus.

One of the previously unreleased tracks is ‘I Wanna Be An Alcoholic’. It has everything you’d expect to hear from NOFX- snarling vocals, lyrics about drinking heavily and losing control of your bodily functions, and a wicked guitar riff. Hell knows why it didn’t make it onto an album, cos it’s some of the best 31 seconds of noise your ears will ever make use of. They did, however, make a video for it, which is also well worth checking out, and the only way (other than this album, of course) that you’ll hear the song.

‘Perverted’, the other unreleased track, has one helluva riff to it, and at just over a minute long would go down perfectly at live shows. They must have had some amazing material at hand when they discarded this one. Let’s thank God (aka Fat Mike) that it’s been presented to us on this fine offering instead.

‘Jaw Knee Music’ was written for ’04’s Rock Against Bush (Vol. 1) Compilation, part of a project set up by the bands main-man, and involving many important bands from the punk scene. This track has the typical serious political sound they adopted for a few albums, post 2003. The band was particularly popular at this time, so pretty much everyone knows what this song is going to sound like. The word typical isn’t usually positive in reviews, but with NOFX it most certainly is, as their sound is so good, you wouldn’t want them any other way.

All the tracks from 2009’s Cokie The Clown EP are on this CD, with ‘Co-Dependence Day’ also on the Warped Tour 2009 Compilation. All the tracks were written at the same time as the Coaster album, which is obvious from the style of the tracks. Whilst still having the gruffness created by Fat Mike’s vocals, and the distorted guitars, they have a somewhat polished finish to them, which couldn’t be said about their earlier material. There’s also a very personal element to ‘My Orphan Year’, which isn’t usually present in the traditional fun, silly NOFX style. The acoustic version is even more melancholic than the original, showing a darker, sensitive side to Fat Mike not seen before. They still manage to pull off the mature and emotional styles just as easily as the old-school childish tunes they’re so famous for.

There’s also a couple of tracks from ‘Regaining Unconsciousness and 13 Stitches, four tracks from Never Trust A Hippy, including ‘Golden Boys’ and ‘I’m Going To Hell For This One’, and all but one track from 1987’s The P.M.R.C Can Suck On This, and so much more. So pretty much a little slice from every part of their long career.

What can be said is that it’s worth every penny. For the hermits out there that aren’t already huge fans of the band, it’s a great place to start getting to know Fat Mike and Co. It’s not like you’ll be able to get hold of the other EPs anywhere else soon, so it might be your only hope! 45 or 46 Songs… and The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us) are also great for building up your collection without buying every album, EP, Comp. and split.

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