Review By Lana Hall
NOFX are like that top quality hoodie you bought many, many years ago. Twenty nine years ago actually. Familiar and dependable, the years and washes haven’t changed it much at all and it’s easy to put on again and again. Self Entitled is the twelfth studio album from NOFX and it brings more of the classic NOFX sound – another album of short, fast, funny, sometimes political and sometimes personal songs. These themes have served the band well and continue to do so.
Musically, the songs on Self Entitled feel more pressured than other albums, particularly the tempos of ‘I believe in Goddess’ , ‘Ronnie and Mags’ and ‘Cell Out’ where riffs are super fast and words shout over each other to be heard. Remaining true to punk rock, there are no guitar solos or technical displays of prowess, just good solid chord progressions at a pace that crams eleven songs inside thirty minutes.
Fat Mike is a master of lyrical satire, demonstrated on Self Entitled through tracks such as album opener ’72 Hookers’. The song is based on a true story of four would-be terrorists who were caught before completing their suicide mission. When questioned, they revealed their prime motive for their willingness to die was the promise of 72 virgins (do I need to mention these were teenage boys?). The title refers to Fat Mike’s solution to such a motivation and by extrapolation, the solution to end all wars. The humourous presentation of alternative viewpoints with a serious message lurking behind the speedy riffs is classic NOFX and it makes this track one of the best on the album. Other lyrical highlights are found in the clever phrasing “I choose to walk on the less beaten sociopath” in ‘Down with the Ship’ and the self defining final line on ‘I believe in Goddess’ – “I want a life peculiar and I want it severe”. Although NOFX albums often display social comment through a light hearted approach, there is less of this on Self Entitled. A bleak reality is portrayed in ‘She didn’t lose her baby’ and a cynical take on society in ‘This Machine is 4’.
Self Entitled makes you think and it will make you smile a few times too. Another excellent instalment from a band that are grandmasters of their genre.