Album Reviews

West Coast vs Wessex
NOFX / Frank Turner West Coast vs Wessex Punk Rock Theory
Saturday, August 8, 2020 - 08:00
submitted by

After having been friends for years, Fat Mike and Frank Turner have now taken the next step in their bromance and covered five of each other’s songs.

First up is NOFX who kick things off with their ska-ish punk takes on ‘Substitute’ and ‘Thatcher Fucked The Kids’ before speeding up ‘Ballad of Me and my Friends’. And while it must be a blast for Turner to hear some of his heroes take on his songs, these covers aren’t exactly the most imaginative ones out there. It’s like NOFX took some of their more formulaic parts and then slapped Turner’s lyrics over them. And when they do try something a bit more elaborate on ‘Glory Hallelujah’ by adding piano, organ, extra vocals and other assorted bells and whistles, the result is well, less interesting.

Luckily Frank Turner’s half completely saves this release. He starts off his half by turning ‘Scavenger Type’ into a raucous folk punk tune before getting a bit more adventurous with ‘Bob,’ which becomes a slowly shuffling country song in Turner’s more than capable hands. ‘Eat The Meek’ is completely unrecognizable with dance-able drums and bass line while the shimmering guitars turn the whole thing into something that simply put, is better than the original. Next up is ‘Perfect Government,’ which is transformed into a folky pop song where Turner makes the song’s already strong melody shine even more. Which brings us to closer ‘Falling In Love,’ where Turner pulls another complete 180 on the original, making it entirely his own with a darkly melancholic take that comes with understated vocals and ambient sounds.

If this was a real fight, Frank Turner would win this one with a knockout in the first round.


Track listing:

  1. Substitute
  2. Worse Things Happen At Sea
  3. Thatcher Fucked The Kids
  4. Ballad Of Me And My Friends
  5. Glory Hallelujah
  6. Scavenger Type
  7. Bob
  8. Eat The Meek
  9. Perfect Government
  10. Falling In Love
Tom Dumarey
Tom Dumarey

Lacking the talent to actually play in a band, Tom decided he would write about bands instead. Turns out his writing skills are mediocre at best as well.