NoFX – [Album]

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

By now, it must be common knowledge that NoFX is one of the best EP-producing bands in modern rock – if not the best. Since the band first came together in 1983, NoFX has kept up a long tradition of releasing EPs, and has seemed to relish specifically in the 7-inch vinyl format; in twenty-seven years, the band has released no less then thirteen EPs as well as a multitude of 7” singles. That dedication would be sort of cool in its' own right, but some of that output has proven to be keystone work to the band's development as well – every time NoFX has elected to alter its' sound, the band has seemed preface the full turn with an EP to let fans in on what's coming. That sort of telegraphed play was in place when NoFX introduced Aaron “El Hefe” Abeyta with The Longest Line EP, when the band kicked its' sound from 'fast' to 'hyper-speed' with So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes, it was prefaced with the Fuck The Kids EP and Regaining Unconsciousness marvelously foretold the political satire and commentary of The War On Errorism. While the sounds on each release have always been different, the result of such releases has always been the same: in addition to driving excitement up for the forthcoming long-player, the EPs give fans an inkling of what they can expect and how the band is changing. For those reasons, the announcement of a new NoFX EP has become a special event.

So how does one qualify a collection of those events into one, as happens on The Longest EP?

Collecting some of the best and most baiting moments from the Regaining Unconsciousness, Bottles To The Ground and 13 Stitches EPs together as well as some outtakes from the Fuck The Kids EP and the War On Errorism in addition to presenting the Cokie The Clown, Never Trust A Hippie and The P.M.R.C. Can Suck On This EPs in their entirety, The Longest EP does a fairly good job of illustrating the different directions that the band has taken between 1987 and 2009 and could almost be called the counterpart to Disc Two of 45 or 46 Songs That Weren't Good Enough To Go On Our Other Records (which collected the Surfer and Fuck The Kids EPs). That aspect of the release is handy, and it is a gratifying listen for fans who either don't own a turntable or haven't been able to delve too deeply into the back catalogue to check out these releases before, but The Longest EP also makes the utilitarian nature of its' release apparent by lacking a rhyme or reason to its' run-time. Longtime fans will question, for example, why the set opens with The Longest Line and runs in close to chronological order from there, but suddenly back-pedals in the end and closes with The P.M.R.C. Can Suck On This. That end will throw listeners off, leave them guessing in regards to what could possibly be coming next and really drives the idea of The Longest EP being a strictly utilitarian release.

That sort of utilitarian vibe combined with the news that, with the release of The Longest EP, all of the vinyl that the album collects will be going out of print makes it a little bittersweet. As previously stated, NoFX' EPs have become special events and, while the economy of The Longest EP is fantastic, to hear that the EPs are being replaced with this compilation will make some fans' hearts a little heavy, not because the songs sound any worse, but because the spinning black discs will be no more.



The Longest EP
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon, or directly from Fat Wreck here .

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