For Fans Of
30 years is a long time for a punk band to stay punk, and while there have been a few "what were they thinking?" moments in NOFX‘s career, the group have maintained a consistent attitude both musically and lyrically. One thing that is clear on ‘Self Entitled‘, however, is that the band have finally reached middle age.
Luckily, this hasn’t diminished their ability to rock out, or to pen sharp, socially aware songs with above average instrumental skill. ‘72 Hookers‘ opens the album with a bold lyrical attack on suicide bombers and their questionable motives, coupled with lightning fast riffs that are ubiquitous with the classic NOFX sound.
Religion is a common theme throughout the album, with closing track ‘Xmas Has Been X’ed‘ criticising just about every belief system known to man. But, the humour that was once rife in their sound has turned to cold, bitter cynicism. This is not surprising given that ‘Self Entitled‘ is their first album since frontman Fat Mike‘s divorce in 2010, an issue blatantly addressed on penultimate track ‘I’ve Got One Jealous Again, Again‘.
The result of this event is a cohesive NOFX album, but with the fun sucked out of it. The group have well and truly lost their youthful demeanour, replacing it with a frankness that inevitably comes with age and experience.
Sonically the album is simple and direct, sounding like an 80s punk record with the precision of 21st century production. At this stage in their career, NOFX are able to view their body of work retrospectively, and condense all of the good bits into a well-rounded, thoughtful album.
Besides being influenced by themselves, there are references to other eminent punk rock bands such as Bad Religion, and the intro to ‘I, Fatty‘ is a transparent throwback to 70s British punk.
Musically, ‘Self Entitled’ holds it’s own alongside classic NOFX albums like ‘Punk in Drublic’, but with a lyrical wisdom that shows a middle-aged bitterness, resulting in a record that is more serious than one would expect from this band.
1. 72 Hookers
2. I Believe in Goddess
3. Ronnie & Mags
4. She Didn’t Lose Her Baby
5. Secret Society
6. I, Fatty
7. Cell Out
8. Down with the Ship
9. My Sycophant Others
10. This Machine is 4
11. I’ve Got One Jealous Again, Again
12. Xmas Has Been X’ed