Review Summary: NOFX are a bunch of liars. This record is very good. And they havn't gotten worse live.
This is NOFX’s 2nd live album, a follow up to their 1995 live record ‘I Heard they Suck Live’, and they do capture the essence of a live show nicely with the mix of songs and comedy. However, people picking up this live album before the other one may be slightly confused at the lack of some of NOFX’s best hits such as ‘Linoleum’, ‘the Brews’ and ‘Bob’, and other staple tracks. This album though, has some other well liked songs as well as rarities and B-sides played live, and no songs cross over with the other album.
The sound quality is perfect, very clear without feeling too overproduced and virtually all the tracks have a different side to them than their studio recorded counterparts. For example, ‘You’re Wrong’ ‘Scavenger Type’
and ‘Whoops I OD’d’
all have been transformed from acoustic to traditional all instrument versions, whereas there is a dub version of ‘March to the beat of Indifferent Drum’
which is also very interesting. To humorous effect the lyrics to tracks are often changed under improvisation, to combine already poignant songs with recent affairs in Iraq, particularly with tracks such as ‘Murder the Government’
and ‘Franco Un-American’
The banter between tracks is often hilarious but occasionally misses the target and when it does, this is the records weakest aspect. Perhaps for some of the jokes you may have needed to be in ‘San Fran’ at the time to ‘get’ them, and if comedy revolving around drugs, alcohol and other slightly dubious topics isn’t for you, then you should perhaps give it a miss; but for the most part a good job is done of transferring the irreverent humour from the stage to the CD.
However, fans of the band should enjoy it, and when the band plays their music the record really soars, particularly the faster tracks; they are truly fantastic. There are excellent renditions of ‘The Longest Line’, ‘Green Corn’
and ‘I’m Telling Tim’
on the disc among others. During one track, fan favourite ‘Lori Meyers’
the band play a few seconds of the intro then stop playing, upsetting the crowd who howl their sadness, before driving back into the song with venom.
The only real disappointment is at the end of the CD, when the band says they will play 'one more song'
, and that it’s ‘really long’, and some sections of the crowd start to cheer, as they know what’s coming. As the first dramatic, forceful beats come out, an ecstatic wave comes out and ‘The Decline’ starts to play. However, only for a minute and a half or so, because then it fades out and the record ends, which is a sad thing, as because it was not listed on the main track listing, but in the artwork when it started playing, I for one, was delighted. Perhaps with a full version of ‘The Decline’ the CD would have deserved a five star rating, but as it is, it ends in a crushing disappointment. On reflection though, its hard not to be slightly amused as you get the feeling the band are teasing you, and they know full well what they’ve done, as El Hefe does during the break during ‘Lori Meyers’; he yells to the disappointed crowd after they stop playing, “It’s too late now, we already got your money! F**k ya’ll!’.
To be honest they deserve it.
(The solution to disappointment at the end of the disc when the Decline fades away is just to hit the play button again, and listen to this great live record one more time, ok?)
The Longest Line