With the 2004 election looming and the ever-so-popular George W. Bush up for re-election, NOFX, along with many other bands, took a much more political stance. This was rather evident on 2003’s The War on Errorism. NOFX has always been political, but never to the extent WoE was. Complete with a clown caricature of the 43rd president on the album cover and CD, the band was more or less screaming, “F
uck you" to President Bush. However, this new approach wasn’t well received with NOFX’s older fans.
Fast forward 3 years to 2006. Bush won the election and barring a Nixon-esque scandal, will be leading the country for two more years. However, NOFX remains as political as ever. Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing maintains the political theme of WoE. Thankfully, not all the songs are political, but quite a bit are.
A problem that plagues this album is inconsistency. Fat Mike will write a great set of lyrics, but the song behind the vocals will be boring. An example of this is 60%
. It’s about drug addiction and fake pop stars, and contains probably my favorite single lyrical line on the album.
Originally Posted by 60%
And you don't care about the children
You don't even know them
All you know is their money
However, 60%’s music is slow and dull. Later into the song it picks up its pace, but at that point the song has already lost my interest.
Then there’s the songs like You Will Lose Faith
. This song possesses one of the best riffs on the album after the lyric “Where is your God now?" but the lyrics are overly preachy and annoying, which is a shame because instrumentally the song is one of the strongest.
Then you have the songs that have almost nothing going for them. The Marxist Brothers
features upstrokes of guitar chords that ultimately sound flat and uninteresting due to the complete lack of a bassline. The song’s lyrics about a modern-day commie weren’t really amusing to me.
Most of the songs on Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing seem to be lacking something that prevents them from being fully enjoyable. However, when it all comes together on certain tracks, the songs are superb. An example of this is the lead single (or the closest thing NOFX will ever have to a lead single) Seeing Double at the Triple Rock
is a definite highlight. Seeing Double uses a catchy, energetic riff to pull you in. The lyrics compare a drinking habit to worship and a bar in Minnesota to a church. This is pretty much NOFX having fun, and that’s where they’re at their best.
Another example of NOFX just having fun with a song and it turning out excellent is Cool and Unusual Punishment
. This song is about Japanese porn (Edit: I have been owned by Fat Pete). It features an Oriental riff that sounds comical placed with the rest of the song. Overall a fairly enjoyable song.
Not all of NOFX’s political songs are terrible, though. In fact, my favorite song on the album is The Man I Killed
. It has a folk-type feel as Fat Mike tells his story about assassinating the president. Very fast-paced and enjoyable, although it’s only slightly over a minute in length.
, while having some of the most ridiculous lyrics on the album, is still one of the best songs here. Fat Mike stereotypes the entire mid-section of the United States as uneducated, god-fearing morons. However if you can look past the idiotic lyrics, Leaving Jesusland flows better than pretty much every other song on the album.
I feel that this album could have turned out so much better than it did, as the songs in which NOFX put it all together were top-notch. However, if they continue on path they’ve been on since Pump Up The Valuum, I’m not sure if I’ll be looking forward to the next NOFX release.