Reviews NOFX They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!

NOFX

They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!

"Ever done something you regret while drunk like...recorded a live album?" the press sheet states. As NOFX open the CD and Fat Mike announces, "Oh, shit, we have to go to work," the tone is set. Within five minutes, the president has been insulted and you're told that, if you believe in God, you're wrong. There are also a number of intelligible statements muttered by the drunken band members.

By now, you must be wondering, who are these belligerent chaps? Apparently, NOFX is a band from San Francisco. They've released dozens of records since 1983, and five full-lengths since 1995's I Heard They Suck Live. I'm just going to assume from here that you already know them. On November 20, 2007, the band released their second live album, They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live!.

On this go around, the band played a three-night gig at Slims in San Francisco and spliced the results into a tight little package available for home consumption. According to stage banter, the first show was relatively sober, while the latter two grew increasingly sloppy. What results is a twenty-four-track time capsule that Fat Mike and company likely needed to remember what happened on the Slims' stage. There are numerous lost drinks, insulted audience members, political jabs and, yes, even a little music is mixed into the nearly hour-long disc. Throw in an Herb Alpert cover and you've got yourself a good record. If new arrangements are your thing, the band does their "Eight songs in six minutes" shtick, speeding up a couple of slower ones and playing a few of their shortest compilation rarities. The recurring discussions between songs are hilarious and, more or less, segue into the songs appropriately.

It has long been my opinion that NOFX can write some great songs. However, they tend to supplement the great ones with a half-dozen mediocre tracks per album. The mixture of their discography that appears on They've Actually Gotten Worse Live! provides a solid blend of their better songs from over the years, cutting out a lot of the filler that keeps me from following them religiously. They intersperse a few ska and reggae songs to mix up the tempo, which helps the flow of the album without detracting from its energy. Not only is this record essential for NOFX fans but also, if you're looking for a good place to start, buying this plus their earlier live record will essentially serve as a greatest hits package with personality (just don’t expect accuracy). The LP comes with a CD included.

9.0 / 10Loren
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