Year 4, Day 28: NOFX – Coaster
- We Called It America
- The Quitter
- First Call
- My Orphan Year
- Blasphemy (The Victimless Crime)
- Creeping Out Sara
- Eddie, Bruce, and Paul
- Best God in Show
- Suits and Ladders
- The Agony of Victory
- I Am an Alcoholic
- One Million Coasters
About the Album
Coaster is the eleventh album studio album from Americn punk band, NOFX. The album was recorded from November 2008 to February 2009, and released on April 28th 2009 through Fat Wreck Chords. The album peaked at number 36 on the Billboard 200.
Thoughts on the Album
My dad once said that the music I listened to was just “noise, but noise with a message”. For which I always replied back, speak for yourself. That said, after 25 years of making noise*, NOFX‘s Coaster is a solid album that doesn’t stray far from the band’s classic hardcore punk sound. If the music on my iPhone was a party (it is regardless of analogy), this album would the drunk friend passed out.
(*The album is essentially the band’s 25th anniversary album, but they’ve been around for 33 years.)
This album is like a Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds’ fist to the face, in that there is a lot of force and power behind it. But it’s a typical NOFX album that explains itself in it’s own drunken way. Especially with a name like Coaster. The album is a complete and enjoyable album… albeit unremarkable in any way. It’s not groudnbreaking by any means, it’s just another album in the long list that is the NOFX discography. And that’s okay too. The tracks are catchy, but not so catchy where they are essentially bubbly bubble gum pop. The production is clear and crisp, but not exactly clean.
The album opens with lines from the movie, Glengarry Glen Ross…
The leads are weak? Fucking leads are weak? YOU’RE WEAK.
… before driving right into the album opener, the political We Called It America. A scotching criticism on the decline of the middle class, We Called It America is a face-paced and in-your-face opener that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Fat Mike‘s mumbly and rambling melody juxtaposes nicely over the frantic guitar work (as well as the frantic pace set by the rest of the band).
The lyrics from some of the tracks are slightly juvenile or sophomoric. But that’s alright, not every song needs Shakespearean storytelling to get the point across. A standout of this is, Creeping Out Sara. The track about how Fat Mike once had a drunken encounter with one of the lesbian sisters of Canadian duo Tegan & Sara. The song plays out exactly how you think it does… or at least how you think it would if you were hammered out of you mind and couldn’t recall if the chick you just met was a lesbian was named Sara (or was it Tegan?).
The track My Orphan Year might be one of the band’s more serious (and personal) tunes from the album. A vulnerable tune in which Fat Mike opens up about the the death of his parents. One part oft he tune is neglect, the other part is respect. Musically speaking, it’s the band’s crowning achievement to day. The track stands as a keystone of the album with tracks The Best God in Show, We Called It America, and Suits and Ladders.
There is only so much land left to stomp down before you want to love new classics and returning to enjoy the old classics. Will Coaster change the course of music/music history, probably not. But it makes you think for a band not named Metallica or U2 that’s been around for over 30+ years and still be both vital and successful is impressive. If you can’t appreciate 25+ years of dedication (and honesty and consistency) to one’s craft, well the joke’s on you. Besides if by album number eleven you aren’t convinced to listen to NOFX, then probably nothing will convince you. Coaster is an enjoyable, fun to listen to album that holds its own in a crowd scene that is (mainstream) California punk.