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Album Review

Twenty years is a long time for any band, let alone one that plays jocular warp-speed anthems with titles like "Party Enema" and "Green Corn." Nevertheless, here it is, NOFX's typically self-deprecating Greatest Songs Ever Written: By Us. Entertaining liner notes trace the combo's history in photos, drawings, Xeroxed show bills, and Fat Mike's own scribbled narration; 26 tracks take you from NOFX's first full-lengths in the 1980s through their somewhat surprising, yet still snarky political awakening with 2003's War on Errorism. ("Franco-Unamerican" rhymes "Michael Moore" and "Awful Truth" with "Public Enemy" and "Regan Youth.") As the entire release is an admission of their age, it's no surprise that Greatest Songs Ever's lone new song grapples with the relevancy of playing punk music to quitting drinking and getting old. But the comp also proves the consistency of Fat Mike's songwriting, with highlights including "Linoleum," "What's the Matter With Kids Today," "Thank God It's Monday," and "It's My Job to Keep Punk Rock Elite." While the nonchronological set order is a little trying, and there's nothing from the band's earliest 7"s, Greatest Songs Ever Written: By Us is still a fun look back at NOFX's colorful career, and a validation of their veteran status. That has to count for something in the Warped Tour parents' tent.

Biography

Formed: 1983 in Berkeley, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in Berkeley, California, in 1983 and relocating to Los Angeles not long afterwards, NOFX steered clear of major labels and commercial exposure over the course of their career, recording an impressive number of full-length albums plus an assortment of EPs and singles. The band started out as a trio comprised of vocalist/bassist Fat Mike (Mike Burkett), guitarist Eric Melvin, and drummer Erik Sandin (aka Erik Ghint/Erik Shun). Sandin quit in 1985, and his place was taken by Scott Sellers; that...
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The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us), NOFX
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