Staff Picks: NOFX – ‘First Ditch Effort’.

NOFX – Los Angeles, California, USA.


Mike has been a busy-punker in recent years, releasing new music with cover super-group Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, writing a (s)hit musical and coming out as a transvestite.

Some wondered if the day would ever arrive when we’d get to hear a new album from the So-Cal legends NOFX. That time is now here but that’s not the only the surprise we’ve seen from the band, as this year sees ‘Fat’ Mike Burkett going sober, the out spoken drug user (not abuser) and world class alcoholic has worn out the soles of his party boots.

This album reflects the transition between the life changing decisions.

First Ditch Effort shows the otherwise open book and brutally honest frontman that has brought us anthems touching on issues of the former idiot son of an asshole Bush Jr to being a neglected son himself, but it seems that’s only the surface as here he brings us in for a look beneath it, by following up the personal battles that we read (or you should’ve by now) in The Hepatitis Bath Tub, released earlier this year.

The first single released, ‘Six Years On Dope’ opens with the crucial element to any NOFX tune; the “Mel Yel” and is a brief history of a drug induced life time in a song that in its own respects is a instant classic.

The second single being ‘Oxy-Moronic’, is based on Mike’s drug rehabilitation, be it over the counter solutions to street pharmaceuticals and the revelation that they’re the same thing only encased in fancy packaging.

The rest of the album follows this brutally honest line but still feels, although differing, like the album we’ve been waiting for.

First Ditch Effort is a perfect example of how the band have matured this past decade, progressively slowing down and investing more thought in composition yet maintaining the tongue in cheek etiquette we’ve come to expect from the politically charged clowns of Punk.

(Editor’s Note: It may be differing and there are bound to be those critical fans but if Punk-Rock is the cathartic release that it charges forward as, then I personally don’t see a problem. – MS.)

First Ditch Effort (the 13th album of the NOFX catalogue) was released October 7th through their own label Fat Wreck Chords and is an ideal album to see us into the winter blues.

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Jay Graves

From Swindon in the South-West of England. Vocalist and Guitarist for Folk-Punk, Mick O'Toole.

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