The War on Errorism, NOFX’s first studio album since 2000s Pump Up the Valuum.(45 of 46 Songs… was not a new album, rather B-sides and rarities) This album shows once again that NOFX is one of the greatest punk bands ever. In the three years since Pump Up the Valuum, Fat Mike and crew haven’t lost a step. They’ve also taken their first journey into CD-ROM, which so many other bands have done in the past several years. The enhanced version of the CD contains an introduction by Fat Mike himself, as well as a trailer for the documentary, “Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election,” which explores how the election was allegedly stolen by George Bush. There is also a special presentation called “Idiot Son Of An Asshole,” which I have yet to watch. The album art itself is a shot directly at Bush. It’s an American flag with the NOFX band logo, and a cartoon drawing of Bush with a clown face painted on. Upon opening the CD, there is also a cartoon drawing of Bush in a clown suit holding a bouquet of balloons with the caption “Somewhere in Texas, there is a village without its idiot.”
The album starts off with The Separation of Church and Skate, which also happens to be one of my favorite songs on the album. It begins with a Father asking his kids what they want to do today. “Do you want to go to the matinee,” he asks. “No,” the kids reply. “Do you want to go to the amusement park,” he asks them. Again, they answer no. Finally, “Do you want to go to the punk rock show?” Cheers all around from the kids as they pick the obvious best option. What follows is pure old school NOFX(see: Ribbed) . The song is about the mainstream success of punk rock music as of late. Sample verse:“When did punk rock become so safe,” the Mike questions as he implies that maybe they should put pads, helmets, head gear, and mouth pieces on the kids. “I want conflict, I want dissent. I want the scene to represent our hatred of authority, our fight against complacency. Stop singing songs about girls and love, you killed the owl and freed the dove. Confrontation and politics replaced with harmonies and shticks. When did punk rock become so tame, these fucking bands all sound the same? We want our fights, we want our thugs, we want our burns, we want our drugs. Where is the violent apathy, these fuckin’ records are rated G.” The ironic thing about this song being my favorite, is the fact that the very bands they’re singing about are some of my favorites. Go figure.
My second favorite song would have to be Mattersville. The song originally appeared on the Fat Music Volume 6 compilation and I enjoyed it then. It’s a slower, somewhat Ska-sounding song, which usually isn’t my thing.(funny they said they didn’t play Ska anymore) However, this song is really good. The song is a look into the future in the life of an aging punk. Mattersville is “a neighborhood for punks over the hill.” Mike sings about playing bridge and shuffleboard along with his fellow aging punks, as well as lawn bowling. Sample verse: “We got a blackboard with some rules and laws. Hefe’s got an 18 car garage. Most of the cars are smashed and so is Spike, twice a week on Karaoke night. Eric Melvin lives next door to me. Lime and the Locknecks head security. At the end of my cul de sac, Davey Havok’s house is painted black.” Yes, I can see it now. A retirement community for punk rockers.
Another good song is the punk love song, We Got 2 Jealous Agains. Don’t let the love part fool you though, cuz this ain’t no slow song. The song sings about looking into a girls record collection and finding all of the same records that he owns himself. Combining the two collections gives them two of each record, hence the title, We Got 2 Jealous Agains. Sample verse: “I knew you were for me when I saw the first Vandals EP. I found SNFU and cool I owned that record too. Seems we both had Social Unrest and sung she’s a pervert nurse. We both had the first pressing of How Could Hell Be Any Worse. So now we got two Earth AD’s and we got Two Killing Jokes. We got two Adolescents, two Peni’s and two The Crews. We got two Someone Got Their Head Kicked Ins. We got two Declines, two Damaged, and two Jealous Agains. I knew you were the one.”
Other standout songs are Medio-core, a song about the lack of creativity in music today, and Re-gaining Unconsciousness, which explores quite a few government issues and forcing people to conform to their deMOCKracy. For the most part, I enjoy just about every song on the album. There’s a bit more ska than I prefer personally, but it doesn’t take anything away from the greatness of this album. The band is taking a more political stance with some of their songs,(Franco Un-American, Idiots Are Taking Over) but there’s still the classic NOFX humor tossed in as well.(She’s Nubs, Whoops I OD’d) While this may not be an instant punk rock classic, I do see it getting plenty of play time in my own CD player.