NOFX – First Ditch Effort

If there’s one subject matter NOFX have never been shy about discussing, both in songs and interviews, it’s drugs, but even for a band so open about their use and abuse, new album ‘First Ditch Effort’ is confessional in a way that only Papal death beds are made for. The album is in many ways a companion to April’s excellent autobiography, ‘The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories’, a simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking read which opened more old wounds than Operation Yewtree, and clearly took balls the size of Pavarotti to pen, but that’s not to say it is morose or self-pitying. On the contrary, ‘First Ditch Effort’ is one of the most upbeat, cheerful and human albums NOFX have ever made, taking the book’s humour, honesty and newfound appreciation for life as ground zero. From the Mel-yell glory of ‘Six Years on Dope’ through to ‘The Decline Part 2’-esque ‘Generation Z’, the album features not only some of the best performances of the band’s career, but undoubtedly also some of their sweetest melodies. ‘Dead Beat Mom’ in particular features the kind of lush harmonising that used to take Brian Wilson 10 sheets of acid to create, while a Tony Sly tribute tucked towards the end comes close to packing the emotional, melodic punch of No Use For A Name’s entire back catalogue in just three minutes. Considering this is the band that once wrote a song about only ever giving 60%, it’s terrifying to think what NOFX could produce with 100%.

NOFX - First Ditch

Categories: Album Reviews, Reviews


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