NOFX: First Ditch Effort: CD

Fans tend to shrug off longevity these days. Now that punk’s truly aged, the list of bands to hit the thirty-year mark has grown exponentially. NOFX have hit that milestone, but let’s not forget we’re working with a practically original lineup here. That’s no easy feat. Really. The members of the three-decade club that have that many original members are few and far between. These guys deserve some major praise. I suppose if you use the argument that they’ve received plenty, that would be a fair point. But you’d be overlooking how the sheer musicianship behind these new songs (and all of them, for that matter). Naysayers play the “punk” card well—you know, they’re a shitty band playing trivially simplistic songs. They’re not, and they never have been. Saying NOFX can’t play their instruments would be a laughable offence. First Ditch Effort is a NOFX record through and through. Maybe not as many ripping solos and time changes as Ribbed or The Longest Line, but not significantly far off either. It’s a healthy dose of classic NOFX, a band that never takes themselves too seriously. The new record has a couple slabs from recent singles (“Sid & Nancy,” “Six Years on Dope”) and a nice homage to Tony Sly. Longtime fans won’t be disappointed. –Steve Adamyk (Fat, Fatwreck.com)