NOFX & FRIENDS: Home Street Home: Original Songs from the Shit Musical: CD/LP

An admission that may exclude me from some punk circles: I like musicals. I like Les Misérables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, and Phantom of the Opera, and have seen a number of others in my life. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t own soundtracks or go see them every month, but the mixture of music and acting can really pack an emotional punch. (Yes, I cry during Les Misérables. Fuck you.) There’s a good chance I might be the foremost expert of musicals amongst the Razorcake writers. That being said, it seems fitting that I was the one sent to review a copy of the Fat Mike-penned musical, Home Street Home. Yeah, Green Day did the “punk musical” first, but from what I’ve read and watched and listened to, Home Street Home is much different. There’s talk about cutting, drugs, BDSM, and prostitution. It’s the story of street punks trying to figure out how to make it on the streets. The music is done by a bunch of different people, including members of NOFX, Descendents, Alkaline Trio, Dropkick Murphys, No Use For A Name, and so many more. Obviously, the vocals are done by the cast, with a distinguished mix of women and men whose voices complement one another (and one who sounds like a young Tim from Rancid). Obviously, if I had already seen Home Street Home, I’d probably think a lot differently about these songs. As it stands, these eighteen tracks are what Fat Mike calls “demos” for the musical. There are actually twenty-eight songs in the musical and everything is subject to change over time (until there’s an official “cast” album). So this is what you get for now. A lot of the songs have the typical NOFX sense of humor in the lyrics, but there’s more wit than normal, which is probably due in part to the fact that one of the other people behind the musical is Jeff Marx, who worked on Avenue Q. The music has a wide range of instruments including banjo, piano, ukulele, vibraphone, and the standard rock lineup. It’s catchy and fun, and serves a wide range of styles. After listening to this, I have to admit that I’m surprised. I really didn’t think Fat Mike could pull off something so mature and accessible to so many people beyond the typical NOFX fan. But this is pretty solid stuff that, like any good musical, can pack an emotional punch. I’d definitely check out the musical if it comes to where I live. 

 –kurt (Fat)