I must say I was wary of buying this album, as I own almost every album that NOFX made with El Hefe on guitar, and I had my suspicions that this album (made in 1991, before the arrival of El Hefe) would be inferior to their later works. Upon listening, I thoroughly kicked myself for ever thinking that a NOFX album could be bad.
Okay, so I am a huge NOFX fan, and so you could accuse me of being biased, but I genuinely think that this album can stand its ground next to most of their newer albums. It shows the origins of their sound, and how they developed it, not to mention the humorous lyrics which are now a staple part of NOFX's songs.
So, here we go, track by track:
#1: GREEN CORN
Straight from the start you hear that typical NOFX sound put to good effect with speedy drumming and riffs and Fat Mike's distinctive nasal-yet-tuneful vocals. Not the best song on the album, but shows their talent for writing killer album-openers, this time with a absolutely mental wailing solo.
#2: THE MORON BROTHERS
A song about two dumb thugs, strangely catchy, with a nice breakdown of "do-do-do's" in the middle, and the anthemic chorus really adds to the effect. One of the better songs on the album.
The albums first really big stand-out track (ok, so I heard it before I bought the album!), which caught my listening mainly due to the lightning fast bass intro. A joyous ode to hating showers and generally being a grubby bastard. The riffs are reminiscent of "The Death Of John Smith" from "The Longest Line" EP, but that EP does show how much Fat Mike's voice has improved since this album. Overall a very good song, and very memorable.
#4: FOOD, SEX, AND EWE
The first ska number on the album, and not a bad one, just not very memorable. Resist the initial urge to skip, and you'll find a reasonably good song.
#5: JUST THE FLU
After the release of "The War On Errorism" Fat Mike apparently got a lot of stick from people who thought NOFX shouldn't try to be political since they never had been before. Well these detractors should take a look at this song. Although not directly decrying any particular government, this song is a cautionary tale of the dangers of nuclear war and how it will eventually kill us all if it goes ahead. Sadly this is still a danger we face today, it seems NOFX can see into the future...
#6: EL LAY
A royal piss-taking of trumped up trendies from Los Angeles, this song is short and to the point, with a similar effect to short songs like "Murder The Government" and "Monosyllabic Girl". Another memorable and fantastic song.
#7: NEW BOOBS
This a close contender for best song on the album. Kicking in with a great intro featuring a traditional NOFX spazzout riff, this song continues the theme of ripping it out of rich americans which started in "El Lay", with Fat Mike moaning "My boobs are not as big as i want them to be, i want 36D". Not only is this a catchy and hilarious song, it also contains a sort of album interlude at the end, which is equally funny, but i wont spoil it for you.
#8: CHEESE / WHERE'S MY SLICE"
Two songs in one" Sounds good to me! "Cheese" is a short but pretty good song which serves as an intro to "Where's My Slice"" an anthemic rant at greedy bastards everywhere, and another contender for best song.
#9: TOGETHER ON THE SAND
It seems El Hefe was not the only NOFX guitarist who was capable of taking lead vocals on a funny song (see "Johnny Appleseed"), as Izzy Drew Lynn, the lead guitarist on this album wrote and performed this song on his own. Although it sounds as un-NOFX as is imaginable, this is hilarious, and sounds like a hula-girl hawaii sorta song. Excellent!
Another political song, written during the Cold War, and not a bad song either. Pretty standard.
#11: BRAIN CONSTIPATION
Somehow this song sounds really happy, despite the depressing lyrics, and is another album highlight, although not the best. Kinda reminds me of "August 8th" (from "Heavy Petting Zoo") but heavier.
A song about the dangers of casual sex and AIDS etc. with the usual NOFX humorous twist. Good song, but again not the best.
#13: I DON'T WANT YOU AROUND
Possibly the best ska song NOFX have ever done; its catchy, its got brass, its got stupifyingly fast bass, and the signature ska chords. The rhythm is kinda offbeat, but it adds to the quirky effect of the song. Another contender for best song of the album, and one of the catchiest to boot.
#14: THE MALACHAI CRUNCH
What the title means, I'll never know, but this song is edgy, fast, powerful, and condemns gangs who beat up people for fun. Again, one of the best songs on the album, and a great ending track, with a great bridge section too.
Overall, this isn't NOFX's best album (I'd say either "Punk In Drublic," "Heavy Petting Zoo," or "So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes"), but nevertheless, it is incredibly good, and not too long either. If you are new to NOFX, I would suggest starting off with a newer album, or the greatest hits, and working backwards, but nevertheless, this is a great album in it's own right.
BEST SONGS: Showerdays, El Lay, New Boobs, Where's My Slice, Together On The Sand, Brain Constipation, I Don't Want You Around, The Malachai Crunch.
THE VERDICT: 4/5