Wolves in Wolves' Clothing



by Kif USER (11 Reviews)
April 18th, 2006 | 42 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

I felt it neccesary for me to write this after the previous review. I am not saying anything bad about it, but I had this urge to display my disapproval and disappointment of this legendary band's latest effort. Like most NOFX albums, the 3 year gap was filled with extensive touring, random recordings for projects like Rock Against Bush and their famous 7" Of The Month Club. So, like all these breaks, I expected something to come out of it. I was impressed with The War On Errorism, an album criticised by a lot of fans of the band. I'll admit it was the first NOFX album I ever owned, and it single-handedly got me grabbing anything recorded by the band. And it was this that made me see them as a bunch of middle-aged men who still knew how to have fun and rock out. Wolves In Wolves' Clothing was one of my most hyped albums for this year. After hearing it would be 40 minutes long with 18 songs, I was praying for another SLATFATS, my undoubted favourite NOFX album. I was hoping for more of those fast anthems I had grown to love, some witty lyrics Fat Mike strings along so effortlessly and maybe some classics from the 7" Club. I got one wish, I guess.

If anything this album feels rushed. You can't fault the band for that, having written and recorded about 40 songs in 2 years, as well as touring wildly during 2005 and Mike's obvious involvement with Fat Wreck Chords and Punkvoter. They picked some of their best songs from the 7" Club for the Never Trust A Hippy EP, and yet sadly that hasn't transgressed to the LP. "I Killed A Man", "You Will Lose Faith" and "Benny Got Blowed Up" all feel somewhat out of place on this album, and are some of the weaker tracks from the prestigious susbscription club from 2005. However, "Leaving Jesusland", "Getting High On The Down Low" and "Cool and Unusual Punishment", the other 3 from the 7" Club, display the pop-punk style NOFX are known for. Included are some very fun and upbeat little licks accompanied by a simple fill and infectious rhythms that bring out the chorus'. It's weird talking about that when discussing this album though, since for the mostpart it is quite slow-paced, especially near the second half of the album.

Where songs like "USA-holes" and "Seeing Double At The Triple Rock" are both very reminiscent of NOFX's upfront and hastey pop-punk, it's followed by much slower songs. It's quite disappointing really, and completely kills any feeling of NOFX during the album for me. And where the album slows down with songs like "We March to the Beat of Indifferent Drum", it completely loses touch of the band's familiar style later on during songs like "Wolves in Wolves' Clothing", a near 2-minute track I can only picture being part of an 80's soap drama montage as soon as a main caster dies. It teases in the same way "60%" does, beginning out very slow and out of touch of the band's standard they have set for themselves. However, both aforementioned songs build up into their normal harsh and gritty sound. I think it is too little too late though, and again, the almost random way this album was put together loses it's momentum very quickly. I don't know, it just feels like NOFX have made an album purely because they think they have to. Gimmicks such as "Cantado en Espanol", another slower song sung in (Duh) Spanish, and "One Celled Creature", one of the grittiest songs on the album sung by El Hefe and Mike together. As an album it is all over the place, setting no tone and general mood throughout.

I hate writing this about the band, since I have been listening to this band for 3 years now. I mean, this is the same band that wrote "The Decline", and it's disappointing that this is what it has led up to. One of the major downpoints of this album is track times. The shortest song being a mere 34 seconds, the longest (Legit) song being 2:54, and everything inbetween is sort of a gamble. A lot of these songs would sound completely awesome if they had been built on more, but like I said before, it feels unfinished. I don't know if that's what Fat and co. were going for, but for me, it doesn't feel right. A lot of songs just simply go Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, End. It can go as quickly as a minute an a half, but that general structure is evident on this album a lot. The album itself ends with probably the worst hidden track in the world. A shame really, since it is such a great idea on paper. Acoustic extracts from all the songs on the album? Surely if any band can pull it off, it's NOFX? Right...? Sadly this just sounds very bad, and doesn't do anything to improve on the album. It rather just tacks on 10 minutes' worth of obvious acoustic demos with no effort to make them sound better. With the source recordings I'd assume it would be hard to make them sound listenable, but if they do sound as bad as some of these do, why not just leave it off the album? It doesn't help that half of them cut out about half-way between cuts. I wouldn't count this as a hidden track really, but it's on there no less.

I don't know where to begin when describing this album. What could've been one of the fastest pop-punk albums of the year from one of the oldest pop-punk bands has quickly turned out to be a mess of sloppy production, rushed writing and everything else that could've gone wrong. One thing I can be certain on is this is NOFX's worst effort in a very long time. At times it feels like it's picking up, and some of the songs are pure NOFX. They are fast and great fun to listen to, and filled to the brim with anthemic lyrics and memorable melodies. This tone is ruined however by the lack of consistant material to listen to and a shuffled playlist. If you are reading this and wondering whether NOFX are a band you should look into, please do yourself a favour and check out some of their earlier stuff first. Wolves In Wolves' Clothing is really for the die-hards, offering a select few tracks of brilliance from the band, and then filler. It's a shame too, since a lot of these tracks showed potential to become something better, especially the very short and sweet ones.

What can I say? Letdown of the year? Far from a stretch to me.

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user ratings (579)
other reviews of this album
pogostick1 (4)
After a few listens then a few more its easy to see that this is a very good album, although it does...

descendents1 (2)
There are great songs on “Wolves” that would make for a sensational EP. The problems are that no...

TurnTheOtherWay (2.5)

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A good album with only a few somewhat weak tracks....

Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
April 18th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

My new favorite NOFX song is "You're Wrong".

Sweet review, bro.

April 18th 2006


Good review, you did a great job at justifying your two out five rating. I've always enjoyed older Nofx, but after Punk in Drublic things rapidly went down hill.

April 18th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

to be honest, i've liked everything NOFX has done, so i might be a bit biased. however, i really enjoyed the surfer and fuck the kids eps, and your descriptions of this album sorta tell me that it could be similar, (with better production), so im gonna gamble and go buy it...

The Final Paradise
April 18th 2006


It's pretty good. Not the best of reviews though.

The Sludge
April 18th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I'm gonna agree with spoon above, after hearing what you said, i will hesitate a little, but eventually buy it. NOFX to me cant really go wrong to me though.

April 18th 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

I'd recommend Never Trust A Hippy EP if you are eager for new material. It might be 12 tracks shorter, but I found each song on that very fun to listen to, and up to the standard NOFX set for themselves. But if you feel the need to buy this album, it's your decision. Like I said, it has it's upsides

April 18th 2006


I used to like this band back in the day, they've went downhill it seems. Good review, very fair.

April 18th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, made me hesitate slightly, but who am I kidding, im a sucker for NOFX since the day I first listened to them. I'll give it a spin.

April 18th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I liked this cd a lot, but I feel that anything made after 2000 by NOFX will forever be in the shadow of their older stuff.

April 18th 2006


pretty good review, although I highly disagree with it. This album sounds very much like SLATFATS, and if you cant see that, its pretty obvious that you are tonedeaf.

Edit: If you think that WIWC and 60% are slow, its pretty obvious you havent listened to the track the whole way through.This Message Edited On 04.18.06

April 18th 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

1) Why would you think I'm tonedeaf because I have a different opinion than yours?

2) I've listened to both songs fully, and I even mentioned that they both pick up but it's too late.

April 18th 2006


All NOFX records have been given bad reviews over the years. I think I'll give it a go, even though the two songs from this album that were on the 'never trust a hippy ep' were the worst songs on the epThis Message Edited On 04.18.06

April 18th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

^you gave it a 5 though, but said you haven't heard it yet. :confused:

April 19th 2006


Very nice and fair review.

I can see that the "Pump Up.." and "So long and.." era of NOFX is still going to be my favourite.

April 20th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with pretty much everything you said. The album has its moments, but eh.

April 20th 2006


Hello, I just stumbled upon this while randomly searching for reviews of this album out of curiosity and felt like sounding off about the new record...

no offense to the reviewer, but for someone who admits to only being a fan for 3 years he/she sure acts like this album is going to disappoint long-time fans without the luxury of actually being one. I have been listening to NOFX easily for over 15 years and while they have certainly seen their fair share of ups and downs I really feel that lately they have been putting out high-quality music.

April 20th 2006


It's somewhat funny, the reviewer claims that "The War On Errorism" was so good that it got him/her to check out NOFX's extensive back catalogue, but then calls this album "poor". In my humble opinion, "Wolves..." builds upon the band's progression they established with "War..." and out does it in just about every fashion. Don't get me wrong, I liked "War on Errorism", but I REALLY LOVE "Wolves...".

Also, I find it funny that the reviewer finds "SLATFATS" to be their best record. I enjoyed that record, but is a life-long NOFX fan going to put stock in someone who is the owner of such an opinion...?? "SLATFATS" better than "Punk In Drublic" or "White Trash..."...?? Sorry, but I can't get behind that. As a matter of fact, I would say (with a possible touch of uncertainty) that "Wolves..." is their best record after the previously mentioned "Punk in Drublic" and "White Trash...".

April 20th 2006


The songs are "very slow"...?? NOFX has been a band for over 20 years, are they supposed to churn out high-tempo songs over and over and over and over again to the point that no one cares anymore...?? Further, while a majority of their songs are fast in tempo, NOFX has never been a stranger to slower songs. Aren't "Dad's Bad News", "Eat The Meek", "Quart In A Session" off of SLATFATS, their "best" record slower in tempo...?? (not to mention god knows how many other slow songs like "Longest Line", "Vanilla Sex", etc...).

Besides tempo, song lengths are criticized in your review...?!?!

- "The shortest song being a mere 34 seconds, the longest (Legit) song being 2:54, and everything inbetween is sort of a gamble"

The above quote could be cut and pasted into a review of just about, if not every NOFX record, so why is it an issue on this one...?!?!

Again, to quote the review:

- "This tone is ruined however by the lack of consistent material to listen to and a shuffled playlist."

Shuffled playlist...?!?! You are reviewing a record which is to be meant to be listened to as a whole, why are you reviewing it in the context of a "shuffled playlist"...?? As a whole piece "Wolves..." is wonderful. It flows effortlessly, songs lead into and bleed into each other with complete ease and consistency. This record, unlike too many other records out there feels like a complete piece, not a compilation of thrown together songs. Let's give credit where credit is due, please...!!

Yes I understand, art is objective. Everyone is not going to react the same way to the same record. I am not saying that your opinion is wrong, but I do believe that long-time NOFX fans will grade this record much higher than "poor".

Thank you for your time...joe

Zesty Mordant
April 20th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

3 years he/she sure acts like this album is going to disappoint long-time fans without the luxury of actually being one.

That's one of the stupidest statements I've heard. He can't criticize NOFX because he hasn't been listening to them long enough? Bull.

Shuffled playlist...?!?! You are reviewing a record which is to be meant to be listened to as a whole, why are you reviewing it in the context of a "shuffled playlist"...?? As a whole piece "Wolves..." is wonderful.

He meant it sounded like a shuffled playlist. And cds these days aren't often indended to be listen to as a whole anyways.

Yes I understand, art is objective.

You mean subjective right?

The review is fine. If anything you are being just as guilty of exactly of what you're criticizing the album for: its perceived objectiveness.

April 20th 2006


Tillzilla, you make some excellent points. While I too believe that SLATFATS is my favorite album, It does have its fair share of slow to midpaced songs on it, which would make me question why the reviewer would dislike the slower songs on WIWC. They are easily some of the best slower songs that NOFX has written.

I do disagree with you about having to be a long-time fan. Ive only been listening to NOFX for 5 or 6 years, but Ive gone through their entire back catalogue and Ive found tracks that Ive loved from all of them, including Liberal Animation.

You made a good point with the track lengths, as most NOFX fans will tell you, their shortest songs are some of their best. Its unnecessary to drag a song on for three or four minutes, especially in punk, which even I will admit can drag a bit when the songs are too long.

Overall, you made some excellent points.

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