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Coaster

NOFX

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Album Review

After 25 years in the game, NOFX are still going and are still as bratty as ever, sneering as they tackle their favorite subjects: drinking ("The Quitter," "I Am an Alcoholic," "First Call"), anti-religion ("Best God in Show," "Blasphemy [The Victimless Crime]"), and anti-patriotism ("We Called It America," "Suits and Ladders"). Nothing new there, but along with well-trodden themes of partying, agnosticism, and clever observations about their scene, there's a big departure this time around that comes in the form of "My Orphan Year." Fat Mike is at his most confessional in a rare, sincere, Barbara Walters moment, wherein he opens up his journal to the dark days with remorseful lyrics about the death of his parents. He reveals himself as a true sad-faced clown tormented by inner demons more than a few times on Coaster, admitting, "I didn't try pot 'til I was 21 but now I'm overcompensating" and "My friends are telling me that I need to find a clinic, but I won't, cuz I'm a drug-addicted alcoholic." Life as a pill-popping punk rocker might be taking its toll with age, but when the mood is light, Mike and the group are as funny as ever. Prior to a song about the breakup of Iron Maiden ("Bruce, Eddie, and Paul"), complete with dueling guitar harmonies and a pretty bad Bruce Dickinson impersonation, there's an autobiographical account (probably) of first meeting and talking about Jennifer Tilly with either Tegan or Sara (Mike couldn't tell) of Tegan and Sara, before spooking her severely with talk of drugs and sex ("Creeping Out Sara"). As a whole, it's not one of their best records, considering the size of their discography, but it's not a bad little record. Fans will like it since the band is still shining as a tight unit and hasn't lost a step musically, but at the same time, if shoppers are also considering Backstage Pass, the NOFX tour documentary DVD released around the same time, that packs more bang for the buck in the extras alone.

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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Coaster, NOFX
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