Review Summary: Turning ridiculousness into happiness since 1988.
NOFX is just one of those bands who play to have fun. They do what they like, sing what they like and generally just release whatever floats their boat. With Liberal Animation
being their first album, they set out to let a much wider audience know who they are and they achieve this with entertaining results.
This album is the first snapshot into the band's opinions on subjects such as vegetarians being hypocritical and complaining a lot, America's 'Free Speech' policy being a "Farce in American Politics" and the promotion of alcoholic substances. This album aimed to expose some of the problems in society and try and get the people of that era thinking "Maybe we should try and improve ourselves..." and it achieves this quite nicely.
At this time, NOFX hadn't quite yet come off their metal binge and this sound is prominent throughout the entire record, but this in no way hinders the record. In fact, it makes songs like Truck Stop Blues sound so great. The song starts off with an acoustic guitar played by Eric Melvin, and after a short instrumentation period, Micheal 'Fat Mike' Burkett kicks off his seemingly raspy vocals and sings for a short while until the acoustic stuff stops and the rhythym and bass (Eric Melvin and Steve Kidwilder respectively) bring this sad song to life with a few solos. The beer-stained classic Sloppy English also shows some rhythmic promise, while maintaining the same descending/ascending bass and some slightly emphasized riffs here and there, it still manages to sound quite elegant.
This old boat does bear its fair share of holes, and that becomes very clear when Fat Mike starts to sing the very first notes in Shut Up Already. This song starts up with a pulsing bass and some shards of rhythym here and there and about a minute into it, Fat Mike hits you with the words "Shut up!" Admittedly his voice is a little hard to listen to in this paticular track, making you want to skip the track completely and takes some getting used to, but the melody in the background keeps it from hitting rock bottom, thankfully. The other issue is laced within the lyrical structure of the album throughout, most prominently "I Live In A Cake". Simple beat, simple vocals, simple lyrics and overall a very mundane track which serves as the anchor to the albums replay value but doesn't neccesarily sink the boat.
This album is riddled with its ups and downs, but it's clear to see that NOFX's debut album doesn't disappoint at all. Jam packed with opinions, slander and that depressed guy at the truck stop waiting for his coffee, this record will be sure to put a smile on ones face and live in the CD player a little while...