News Flash: NOFX New LP Lashes Out at Music Industry

Nov-05-1997 SonicNet

Hand it to punk-rock smart-asses NOFX to leave no sacred cow unslaughtered.

Next week sees the release of the Hollywood four-piece's So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes (Epitaph), their eighth album in nine years -- and, as has become standard routine for the NOFX, they let the arrows fly, everywhere and at anyone.

This time out, some of their best barbs are reserved for the music worlditself.

Having long shunned standard industry practices -- they don't make videos, court radio airplay or do interviews -- NOFX sums up their hermitic stance best in the superbly titled It's My Job To Keep Punk Rock Elite. "You'll never understand it / Try to buy and brand it... This music ain't your fuckin' industry," singer Fat Mike spits at the major labels that would wine and dine the band.

Having suitably railed at the corporate music world, Mike and the boys take still more vitriolic turns with indie punk.

Never a band to pull punches, this is where NOFX names names. "I'm Telling Tim" lambastes the childish ethic that pervades Tim Yohannon's punk zine Maximum RocknRoll: to wit, "You better watch out, you better not cry, you better put out records D.I.Y." In Kill Rock Stars Mike defends his compadres against charges of sexism while taking a swing at Kathleen Hanna and Bikini Kill.

Of course, it wouldn't be a NOFX record if there wasn't a fair dose of humor and sarcasm coursing through the disc. Monosyllabic Girl and All Outta Angst should prompt a few chuckles, while Eat The Meek plays like across between Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal and the Dead Kennedys' Kill the Poor.

That said, So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes does at times flash a serious side. Even as Mike decries the state of music in The Desperation's Gone, he proves that such is not the case with the desolate Quart In Session, in which he confesses "Soberness might be what I need, but it's certainly not how I wanna be."

Although So Long lacks the musical intricacy of last year's Heavy Petting Zoo, the album should nonetheless please those who've come to love NOFX's mix of hyper-kinetic punk rhythms, oddly keyed harmonies and the occasional blast of brass.

Fans of the album, however, are apparently about as welcome as radio, press and MTV. In fact NOFX supporters are directed to keep their thoughts to themselves. "If you want to write to NOFX," reads the album -- "Don't." --

Chris Nelson [Wed. Nov 5, 1997, 9:00 a.m. PST]