Review Summary: One of NOFX's most overlooked albums. The perfect mix of punk and ska.
In 1997, three years after the fan favorite Punk in Drublic
, NOFX released the often overlooked So Long and Thanks for all The Shoes
. It’s one of their most likeable albums, containing 16 songs packed with ska influences and their usual brand of humor.
The album gets off to a nice start with the aggressive opener ‘It’s My Job To Keep Punk Rock Elite’. The song takes a stab at “sell outs“ and has lines like "Music ain't your fucking industry". Other songs are extremely short but catchy such as ‘Murder The Government’ or ‘Monosyllabic Girl’. The band also show off their more creative side on songs like ‘Flossing A Dead Horse’, which is an upbeat ska instrumental, or on the ninth track where Mike sings in French alongside catchy horns. As usual, the lyrics in some songs are satirical and just downright hilarious making it a really fun record.
Most of the tracks are short and fast paced, but some are longer and are brought to life with trumpets and some surprisingly good vocals by Fat Mike. He’s never been the most impressive singer, but ‘Eat The Meek’ contains what could be the best vocal performance in his entire career. Not only is it the best song on the album, but it’s one of the most enjoyable ska songs I’ve ever heard.
It’s really hard not to enjoy So Long and Thanks for all the Shoes
. It’s not their first album to mix in ska influences, but it’s the first one to do so flawlessly. Most the songs also have a more lighthearted feel to them than usual , making it a harmless little record. The album is the perfect mixture of punk and ska and it’s sure to please any fans of NOFX or those who fancy themselves some upbeat horns.