NOFX’s Top Five Albums
Caroline Fisher | Posted on November 12, 2019
I Counted Down My Favorite Nofx Albums
I’m going to have to start this one off by stating the obvious- NOFX is one of, if not my favorite band of all time. I began listening to them when I was about thirteen and got hooked pretty quick. Their fun and facetious lyrics and anti-everything attitude fit effortlessly like a puzzle piece into the soundtrack of my early teenage years. But as the years went on, with eyeliner diminished and blue hair dye faded, I’ve realized that they’re one of the few classic punk bands that I keep in the rotation, while old favorites have just sort of fallen off. Maturing (slightly) throughout my life, I’ve developed a different kind of appreciation for their music, lyrics, and energy. As a kid, I wasn’t able to fully grasp the politically fueled concepts they discuss in their songs, let alone possess any sort of refined opinion on them. Hearing them talk openly and passionately about political and social issues was often the first time I had ever been exposed to those topics. I know my Mom probably wasn’t thrilled about me prancing around in a NOFX shirt with Jesus holding a bottle of booze on it when I was thirteen, but I mean it when I say that I’m grateful they influenced me growing up (so sorry, I’m not sorry.) They made me more aware of topics like politics and social issues, and as odd as it sounds, they really acted as the foundation for my knowledge of those sorts of things. With all of that being said, I’ve decided to talk about what my five favorite NOFX albums are and why, because I really just want an excuse to pull that shirt out again.
#5 Coaster (2009): This 2009 album is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated NOFX albums of all time. They pretty much never play any songs from this one live and they haven’t even made the best of’s. Regardless, I really like this album’s diversity, both musically and conceptually. It has a good mix of darker tracks like “My Orphan Year” which pulls at your heartstrings and it has lighthearted and funny songs like “The Agony of Victory” that makes you want to get up and dance. This one’s got some of my old favorites on it, so I might be biased, but I think it takes the cake in terms of catchy melodies and hooks.
#4 Pump Up the Valuum (2000): This is one of the most fun and characteristic NOFX albums out there. Released in 2000 when the band was in their prime, it’s surprising that more hits didn’t come off of this one. The album has silver lining choruses embedded into crude verses and it doesn’t really get more NOFX than that. Commentary on the punk music scene (like in “Dinosaurs Will Die”) and even some metacommentary on their own antics and roles in the band (“Theme from a NOFX Album”) create a really interesting and unique relationship between the band and it’s listeners, which I think is pretty cool.
#3 Punk in Drublic (1994): A classic. This 1994 album is the first NOFX album I ever owned, and it’s always been a fan-favorite. It’s packed with hits that you can count on hearing at their shows, and all of the songs are short and catchy. I think this album really carved a path out for NOFX, as it demonstrates their humor and inclusivity (with songs like “Punk Guy” and “Happy Guy”) and their more political side (in “Perfect Government” and “Dying Degree”) along with their ability to do both at the same time (with “Don’t Call Me White”). The albums got a little bit of everything, and is a great one to start with if you’re looking to get a taste of their discography.
#2 Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing (2006): This guy narrowly surpasses Punk In Drublic for me (let’s call it a tie), because I like the two albums equally but they’re on opposite spectrums concept-wise. The 2006 album is altogether some of NOFX’s darker work, and leans on the more political side as well. A lot of dark humor is used throughout this album (like in “Benny Got Blowed Up”), and it’s definitely not for everybody. I like this album because I think it showcases a more serious and sophisticated side of NOFX, and that’s pretty rare. The sound itself is a little on the eerie side, which is another factor that I think makes this album stand out as unique.
#1 The War on Errorism (2003): What we’ve all been waiting for- number one: The War On Errorism. This is a killer album. The amount of hooks going on is crazy, which has made it’s songs prime setlist candidates since it came out in 2003. Soundwise, it’s pretty textbook NOFX. It’s got a healthy balance of serious and darker songs (like “Whoops, I OD’d” or “The Irrationality of Rationality”), and fun, lighthearted anthems (like “Anarchy Camp”). What I love most about this one is that it’s chock-full of genuine political and social commentary, but it’s done in a fun way. Which, in my opinion, is really what NOFX is all about.
NOFX – The Quitter (Live ’09)
From “Coaster” (2009)
NOFX – Dinosaurs Will Die (Live @ Summersonic ’02)
From “Pump Up the Valuum” (2000)
NOFX – Linoleum (Live at Resurrection Fest 2014)
From “Punk in Drublic” (1994)
NOFX- Seeing Double at The Triple Rock (live)
From “Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing” (2006)
NOFX- The Separation of Church and Skate (live)
From “The War on Errorism” (2003)