Review Summary: "All the way from Palm Springs, just out of detox, show him a warm welcome, let's hear some applause!"2 of 2 thought this review was well written
NOFX has never been one of those bands that music critics ever say "those guys are amazing" to. But, there's one or two releases that you can definitely say "I was really into that last summer" to. NOFX's Cokie the Clown EP
is one of those that you can say that to.
Following the release of the poppy Coaster
album in 2009, the band recorded the Cokie the Clown EP
, a nice little release that promoted one of Fat Mike's most controversial gimmicks. Since the band's very first demo in 1983, NOFX has definitely softened up, but, really, that happens to every band. I remember listening to my very first NOFX song, "Six Pack Girls", and thinking "these guys are HARDCORE!!!!" (they weren't that hardcore, but that was back before I knew anything about music). Now, when I listen to their latest releases, I think "punk-ish". That's certainly fine with me, but I just don't feel what I felt when I listened to them in their golden years (White Trash...
/Punk In Drublic
era). It feels more like blink-182's Cheshire Cat
The EP begins with "Cokie the Clown". Now, from what I said above, this has just passed the pop punk line. It's quite a raw track, and rhythm guitarist Eric Melvin takes on some vocal duties with his infamous "mel yell". The entire song seems reminiscent of one of their absolute classics, "Linoleum". The lyrics are quite comedic, and the all the instruments play perfectly on the track.
"Straight Outta Massachusetts", a monologue about a five year old child moving to Massachusetts, is without a doubt the most poppy song on the EP, while "Fermented and Flailing" and "Codependence Day" are more punky. However, the final song, "My Orphan Year (Acoustic)", is a slow, emotional, acoustic version of a song on the band's "Coaster" album.
As a whole, the EP can be listened to for about a few months before you get tired of it. Most of it is well written and composed, especially the twist at the end of "Straight Outta Massachusetts":
I moved to Massachusetts,
When I was five years old!
The lyrics to the first two tracks are more comedic, while the last three are more serious.
Unlike a lot of their other releases, Aaron "El Hefe" Abeyta never plays any recognizable riffs on the EP (except on the final chorus of "Straight Outta Massachusetts", which only lasts about ten seconds). However, his and Eric Melvin's guitars provide standard punk positions, merely playing chords with the obscure riff here or there. As usual, Fat Mike's bass is completely passive and almost inaudible, but his vocals are well suited to the song. Erik "Smelly" Sandin's drums are also quite passive, but provide reasonably good support for the vocals and guitar.
Undoubtedly one of their finest releases, NOFX are a fire that refuses to be extinguish. All in their 40s at the time of the release of the Cokie the Clown EP
, they are still maintaining their politically satirical punk antics, and still blasting out wonderful songs. This EP is a must own for any punk fan, who will enjoy it greatly, while it is definitely a good choice that will last you a nice few months.