NOFX has a new album: First Ditch Effort but in fact it is their thirteenth full-length album and it is by far their most open and revealing album to date. After more than three decades the band has absolutely nothing to prove and it’s no surprise they’re standing taller in the punk rock circuit than ever before. As far as the overall sound, it’s classic NOFX all-the-way and although there are some lighter topic songs in the mix, a good portion of the the lyrics are very personal and journalistically honest. Say what you will about Fat Mike but the guy is real and he lays out his vulnerabilities and imperfections for the world to see on this one, you’ve got to respect him for that.
When the song “6 Years on Dope” came out a couple months back, I knew that this was going to be a groundbreaking album. With topics ranging from addiction to cross-dressing to Mike opening up about his lack of relationship with his father, I’d say you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t give this album a listen. Purchase HERE
The lyrics to “Happy Father’s Day” are awkwardly powerful, short and (not) sweet but brutally honest; here are the words to the song: “Fuck you Paul Burkett, I’m glad that you are dead, you weren’t a father or a parent, more an acquaintance than a friend, I changed my name to make to sure that your surname won’t live on, when I’m dead our family history will be gone.” Fat Mike has expressed his anger towards his absent father in songs in the past but never so blatant.
Other stand-out lyrics come from the song “I’m a Transvest-lite” which speak of Fat Mike’s decision to come out of the (women’s) closet and let the world know he enjoys wearing ladies’ clothes: “it was a taboo I knew I wouldn’t pursue, I didn’t have the self-esteem, I gotta confess that I like to cross-dress and been doing it since I was thirteen, it’s hard to tell bros that you wear women’s clothes even in the open-minded punk scene, you’ll probably get hurt in heals and a skirt when your in the middle of a circle pit, so I’d only wear panties under boxers to keep it all a secret, now I’m telling everyone cause it’s fun and I don’t give a shit.” And we don’t give a shit either Mike, we think no different of you.
It took a lot of guts to write this album and you are respected for it, NOFX has always been a fun band and they still are, but sometimes hidden inside the punk-rock sheath there’s a sharp object that will prick at your heart, First Ditch Effort has done just that!
Note: The pic of Mike and me is a selfie he took with my camera at Amnesia Rockfest in 2014. I ran into NOFX again this year but didn’t really have much time to chill. I wanted to remind Fat Mike that he still owes me an interview! However, my colleague at Dying Scene Jay Stone was lucky enough to get in Mike’s ear on the phone a few days ago. Check out the interview HERE.
Here’s the latest video from NOFX: “Oxy Moronic” a song that exposes the prescription drug industry for what it truly is, a drug dealer.