Review Summary: After a few listens then a few more its easy to see that this is a very good album, although it doesn't strike you as so the first couple of times round, it just seems reasonably good at first.
NOFX’s latest effort cannot be ranked along with their best, but it sure as hell isn’t as bad as everyone says. In-fact, out of the 18 tracks, only two disappoint; ‘Cantado en Espanol’
(unsurprisingly sung in Spanish by El Hefe, and amusingly the title translates to ‘Singing in Spanish’), and ‘March to the Beat of Indifferent Drum’
. The rest of the album is good, occasionally reaching the top of the NOFX spectrum, and always amusing, listenable, or meaningful.
The best songs on the album are the ones that are both short and fast, ‘The Man I Killed’
, ‘A Hundred Times ***eder’
are good examples of this. My personal favourite song on the album is ‘Leaving Jesusland’
which, whilst slightly longer, has a stop-go beat, and a different type of tune to the rest of the album. This is reminiscent of the sort of song that NOFX fans from back in the Punk in Drublic days should appreciate, bringing to mind Linoleum and Lori Meyers.
‘The Marxist Brothers’
is an amusing diatribe, a song that grows on you, to do with a young communist, albeit one who is really just flirting with it, and the communism is a façade, an outlet for him. An interesting error in this song is when Fat Mike sings “Today’s empires are tomorrows ashes”, which is meant to be “Today’s Empire’s Tomorrows Ashes”, the title of a Propagandi album. (In return, some referred to this album as “Wolves are Wolves Clothing”). ‘Cool and Unusual Punishment’
is another song on the album that has an interesting and fun style to it, with a swaggering oriental guitar riff, it is not near NOFX’s best, but it sure is interesting. The title track, ‘Wolves in Wolves Clothing’
is nothing special, just your typical three star song, for NOFX fans good, but nothing brilliant. In contrast, ‘Benny Got Blowed Up’
is much more of a fast paced sing a long song, which doesn’t have too much substance to it, but is fun whilst it lasts, as is ‘Seeing Double at the Triple Rock’
, which is a good, solid song, and also quite catchy. ‘USA-holes’
is lyrically excellent, but musically less good, although still one of the better songs on the album. One Celled Creature
is a song about Propaghandi's frontman, in response to a song criticising NOFX that Propaghandi produced recently. However, whilst it is biting, it is in jest, because the bands remain good friends.
With songs like ‘Getting High on the Down Low’
, ‘Instant Crassic’
and ‘You Will Lose Faith’
, all good songs, because of the tune, the jaunty humour and the message respectively, you know it’s NOFX, but the problem is that at times they seem to be a little on autopilot. Don’t get me wrong, NOFX on auto pilot is still good, but just not as good as you could imagine. Most of the stuff on here is fun, very listenable but some of it is a little forgettable.
is an acoustic song, and it has a sad tone, but a good song, closer to the excellent ‘You’re Wrong’ than the misstep that was ‘Whoops I OD’d’. The intro and outro of the album; ‘60 %’
and ‘60% (reprise)’
are similar, they both start slow and then move into faster, more traditional NOFX territory, and they give the listener more information about the band, and their feelings, and for NOFX fans this could be interesting. Lyrically, the album is reasonably strong, “no longer svelte / they gotta punch new holes in their bible belt” and “we get what we f***ing deserve / bringing raised fists to a knife fight” (from ‘Leaving Jesusland’ and ‘A Hundred Times f***der’) are examples of this.
Summing up this album is nor hard; it is good, there’s no doubt about that, but it touches brilliance less often than other albums by the band, although, its better than 60% of what you could pick up in the record store today. Actually, that's a lie; its at least 85% better.
The best tracks are
A Hundred Times ***der
The Man I Killed
although the song ‘Seeing Double at the Triple Rock’
is very catchy, and will probably be a mainstay of their future live shows.