NOFX brazenly set out to write a double album earlier this decade. They were advised to just release one, which became Single Album, released in February 2021. Flash forward a shade under two years, and here we are with Double Album. This has the band as they’ve always been: crass, fast, thoughtful, funny, and catchy.
Every NOFX album is relatively similar. People know what to expect with each new release. Their sound is easy to recognize, and they don’t venture too far from their foundation. There is a commonplace and comforting feeling while listening to their music. This new batch of songs, while staying true to character, seemed a little phoned in during the first couple of listens. As the plays increased, all of their nuances became more focused and the enjoyability factor dramatically increased. Most songs became a sing-along as I grew more familiar with them.
The musicianship is top-notch. NOFX have always been underrated musicians, but these four musicians shred at their respective instruments, with Fat Mike and Smelly driving a technical and tight ship (one of the best punk rock rhythm sections). I’m always a sucker for their faster songs, but they shuffle through tempos at the drop of a hat.
Fat Mike’s confessional lyrics are just compelling and have me hanging on every word. “Fuck Day Six” is chilling (though the ending was a little bit of a disappointment), “My Favorite Enemy” is relatable, and “Three Against Me” (played much differently than on Home Street Home) should strike a chord to anyone that fought with or were tortured by their siblings while growing up. There is plenty of humor, even if “Is it Too Soon if Time is Relative?” a song poking fun at Stephen Hawking, sounds outdated. “Alcopollack” and “Don’t Count on Me” are my two favorites.
NOFX will always hold a special place in my heart. This album isn’t quite up to par with all of their previous releases (this sentence may not age well) but still brings me plenty of joy and entertainment. Double Album is more of a grower with some classic moments. This album won’t win many new fans (most people have already decided their fandom or hatred); old fans may brush it off as not being their old stuff, but it’s more than worthy of at least 27 minutes of your time (though multiple listens highly recommended).