Album Reviews

First Ditch Effort
NOFX - First Ditch Effort
6.5
 on
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 09:11
submitted by
Thomas

- by Chris Crane

Ok. NOFX. Yeah.

I'm gonna come right out and say I'm not a huge fan of the first half of this album. There's some dumb shit that makes it hard to get into. It gets better and it grows on you the more you listen, but it was a rough start.

"First Ditch Effort" gets things going with "6 Years on Dope" sung in the key of Mel Yell, but only after an unconvincing and unneeded inclusion of Mike coaxing Melvin to sing it in the first place. It's a slow build to a pretty straightforward song about exactly what it sounds like. Two songs later "Sid and Nancy" presents the revelation that Sid's death was a conspiracy orchestrated by the Reagan administration and carried out by Nancy. At least I think that's what this is about. Let's set aside the fact that this song isn't good and all agree that we don't need to talk about Sid and Nancy anymore. The Sex Pistols weren't that good, and it's not a good story . The best thing about it is Gary Oldman's subsequent acting career.

Four tracks in, "California Drought" gets us back on track with a solid entry about getting clean, only to drop the ball with it's follow-up "Oxy Moronic". This slow march of a protest song against Big Pharma taking control of the recreational drug market is little more than a vehicle for a lot of really forced drug semi-puns like "Adderaltruistic" and "Prozaccusations". We saw "The Other F-Word". We know you're a dad now Mike, but if you don't step up your pun game, nobody's gonna take you seriously as a dad. 6 songs in we're 3 and 3, but the good don't exactly outshine the bad. This feels overly brutal, but knowing what these guys are capable of makes it hard to let them slip. "I don't Like Me Anymore" is where things start to turn around for me and feel like a real NOFX album again.

The good songs on this album are good. "Happy Father's Day" is a tribute to spitefully letting the family name die. "Generation Z" expresses fear for future generations. "I'm So Sorry Tony" is a heart wrenching honest accounting of the difficulty of losing a real friend. "I Don't like Me Anymore" is a sobering acknowledgement of, well, of not liking ones self anymore. "Dead Beat Mom" and "It Ain't Lonely at the Bottom" are both catchy with a tinge of the darkness you'd expect from a NOFX song.

This band has done some amazing things with the inane and brilliant alike, but I'm not feeling this album. I feel like I'm beating this down, but it's not bad. You can easily throw this on repeat and go. No Problem. But I don't think this is one that I'd end up craving like "Punk In Drublic", "The War on Errorism" or even "Pump Up The Valuum". Definitely check it out and soak your ears in it. You might find it hits all the right notes it didn't hit for me.

 

Track listing:

  1. Six Years on Dope
  2. Happy Father’s Day
  3. Sid and Nancy
  4. California Drought
  5. Oxy Moronic
  6. I Don’t Like Me Anymore
  7. I’m A Transvest-lite
  8. Ditch Effort
  9. Dead Beat Mom
  10. Bye Bye Biopsy Girl
  11. It Ain’t Lonely at the Bottom
  12. I’m So Sorry Tony
  13. Generation Z