Review Summary: Lasting over an hour and filled to the brim with songs from several different EPs the punk rock act has previously released, they're not kiddin'.
An extended play (EP) is defined as 'a musical recording which contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as a full album or LP'. NOFX might not have gotten the memo in regards to what an EP is, but they sure do know how to release a compilation album, especially one that spans their entire career, from before even their first studio album was released. The interesting thing is that all of the songs were previously released on many different EPs that the band has put out, so to quite a few casual listeners (and fans alike), these songs are being heard for the first time. This makes The Longest EP a great way to ease yourself into the abrasive punk rock that is NOFX.
The first few songs are taken straight off of The Longest Line EP, who's title is referenced by this collection. Fast paced and bass heavy, 'The Death of John Smith' is a great way to kick off the 30 track album that is The Longest EP. Track five, 'Kill All the White Man' is sung by guitarist El Hefe rather than lead vocalist and bassist Fat Mike. It's got a reggae vibe that eventually cascades into typical NOFX, with fast paced power chords and nasally singing bringing the song to a close. El Hefe also provides commentary on the tenth track, 'War on Errorism Commercial' which not only acts as an advertisement for their album The War on Errorism, but it serves as a great introduction to the next few songs, taken from the War on Errorism Sessions EP.
The acoustic version of '13 Stitches' is one of Fat Mike's best vocal performances on the album, and both 'Glass War' and 'Jaw Knee Music' are hard and heavy tunes accentuated by the fantastic drumming of Erik Sandin. This compilation also includes their newest EP, Cokie the Clown, in it's entirety. 'Cokie the Clown' has some really nice guitar work courtesy of Eric Melvin (who also provides lead vocals on 'Hardcore 84'), and the acoustic version of 'My Orphan Year' is one of the best songs ever sung by Fat Mike. The last few tracks of the album are taken from The P.M.R.C. Can Suck on This and are your typical 80's hardcore fare, but it just feels right ending the album with the oldest songs NOFX decided to include on it.
All in all, The Longest EP is a heaping 30 track, hour long, compilation album that spans the punk rock outfit's entire career, from their humble hardcore beginnings to their wacky clown antics and then some. It's a great way to get into the band if you're a newcomer, and it's a great way to get some rare songs if you're a diehard fan. Most of the songs were completely remastered, and the booklet included has some interesting liner notes regarding each of the EPs and how they came about. It's a must-have for any fan of NOFX or punk rock in general.
The Death of John Smith
13 Stitches (Acoustic)
My Orphan Year (Acoustic)
Golden Boys (previously by Vagina Dentata)