Following the release of their book, The Hepititus Bathtub, NoFX have hit us with album 13, a more personal effort following some of the topics raised in their biography. Typically, at this point in a band’s lifetime the music tends to mellow out and lose its edge, but First Ditch Effort is far from this.
The album kicks straight in with the humour and short, thrashy punk numbers Six Years On Dope and Happy Father’s Day, by hih point if you aren’t feeling the buz, then NOFX aren’t the band for you. The 35 minute journey packs a little more punch than previous releases, but retains your familiar lyrical comedy, perfectly portrayed in the latest single Oxy Moronic (which followed from a slew of words invented by Fat Mike) and catchy-brain-rapers such as I Don’t Like Me Any more and that goddamn ending to Generation Z. I don’t know why that one is so infectious.
There is little in the way of messing around for the majority of First Ditch Effort, with many songs firing straight in and out with punk rock energy fuelled doses, but there are the less enthralling moments that don’t quite hit the spot and feel like more of a filler. Not that these have much of an impact on the overall album, they still exist and could be a skipper when appearing on a shuffled playlist.
First Ditch Effort through and through is a solid NOFX release, offering little in the way of surprise, but differentiating itself enough to satisfy any fan. 30 years on, this band has still very much got it, and I sure as hell hope they don’t go away any time soon. But for anyone new to the band, this may not be that significant release that you will want to introduce yourself with.
Jake Hancke, 10/11/2016
First Ditch Effort is available now from, like, everywhere.