Reviews NOFX Self Entitled


Self Entitled

NOFX haven’t mixed it up a whole lot over the years. In twelve albums they’ve remained consistently inconsistent, with a few records that have risen above the rest. Generally, they have a few real standouts on each release, paired with a few stinkers. After skipping Coaster completely, Self Entitled seemed like it was time to check back in to see what the band is doing.

The band mixes it up a little this time around, mostly by putting the worst song on the record first instead of last. “72 Hookers” starts with a mildly amusing concept and runs through its material quickly—far quicker than the 3:36 it takes for the song to play out. While there are several questionable lines, it loses me personally at the background whooping noises. If the record had started with “I Believe in Goddess,” instead, things would be off to a far more energetic pace. It’s classic NOFX, covering religion and punk rock while fast punk rock. A couple more Epitaph-style skate punk jams continue the highlights with both “She Didn’t Lose Her Baby” and “Secret Society,” each of which have a Bad Religion vibe to them. The former is a favorite on the record, taking a character study approach rather than the usual politicking through didactic lyrics. It’s a welcome and unexpected switch for the band (though “The Irrationality of Rationality” took a similar approach) that shows a wider understanding of the world around them and doesn’t rely on their wits or a pulpit.

The main identity of the record comes by an increased 1980s influence. A handful of the songs are more direct, reducing the skate punk guitars and focusing on quick, leading beats paired with big chords and direct lyricism. “My Sycophant Others” and “I Believe in Goddess” are examples. “My Sycophant Others” utilizes repetitive, list-styled lyrics and sneered vocals that are rife with attitude. The lyrics hinge on the dumb side, but I’m going to go on a limb and call that one a 1980s ode too. In a lot of ways, the song feels like the band just learned a new, fun word, and they want to share it. “Cell Out” is probably the odd duck on Self Entitled. Rather than going ragtime or ska, the guitar effects in the song give a new element that breaks up the record’s flow. However, the song falls apart after a first listen as the lyrics just aren’t that interesting or amusing. Meanwhile, Fat Mike slows down and gets personal on the dark-tinged “I’ve Got One Jealous Again, Again,” a divorce song that uses his record collection as metaphor for a crumbling relationship. The personal element works well, even if the song shares a weakness with its counterpart (The War on Errorism’s “We Got Two Jealous Agains”) in that the namedropping can, at times, overshadow the actual point of the song.

Ultimately, Self Entitled is a solid NOFX record. It doesn’t cut a new cloth and it won’t win new fans, but it’s more consistent from start to finish than many of their releases and the tone blends humor, politics, and the personal without either really dominating the tone. The general feel the record pushes is one of loud, fast, angry and, perhaps most importantly, relevant.

7.0 / 10Loren
KFAI - Undead
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7.0 / 10

7.0 / 10

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