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Review: NOFX - The War on Errorism

By Michael - 07-13-03

Between programming my next crappy game and diddling around in Photoshop, I've neglected my website - So once again, I'll stop long enough to write a sloppy, half-hearted review full of grammatical errors and attempts at self-depreciative humor. You know, just so I can say I did something during the month of July.

Today, I review NOFX's latest album, "The War on Errorism". 

First things first: This is an enhanced CD. If you run it on a computer, a spiffy little program pops up where you can play videos for "Franco Un-American" and "Idiot Son of an Asshole" (A song about George W. Bush), along with a trailer for the movie "Un-Precedented" (A documentary about the rigging of the 2000 presidential election). In case you hadn't noticed the cover art, Bush is one of this album's main topics. Also, most of this album is political in nature - approaching grim subjects such as homelessness, ignorance, and American apathy (Pfft. Whatever). Let's get to the songs:

1. The Separation of Church and Skate - I've gotta tell ya: this is a great tune to start an album out with. Fat Mike and Eric Melvin seamlessly swap angry vocal lines during the chorus. This is my favorite song from this particular album. 

One of the main themes of this tune is "When did punk rock become so safe?" Well, somebody may have forgotten about the time-honored punk tradition of getting jumped by 15-year-old skinheads, which cannot be accurately described as safe. Maybe they're just used to it after all these years. I'm sure you build up a skinhead immunity after a while.

2. The Irrationality of Rationality - Wow. Talk about negative.

3. Franco Un-American - I didn't really like this song until I saw the video from the cd. The pictures made me like it better. It has a very 80's "pop" feel, with keyboardish sounds during the intro. It's not the most "hardcore" tune in the world, but you'll catch yourself nodding your head to it. This is one of the more political songs on the album.

4. Idiots Are Taking Over - Another political track. The title is all you need to know. It's funny because it's true! This song contains some of my favorite lyrics from the entire CD. A quick sample:

Someone flopped a steamer in the gene pool
Now angry mob mentality is no longer the exception, it's the rule
And I'm starting to feel a lot like Charlton Heston, stranded on a primate planet
Apes and orangutans that ran it to the ground, were generals and the armies who obeyed them

Good stuff. I concur with the Planet of the Apes analogy, since I live in a small hick town, and I've been to the Wal-Mart after 8:00 PM (Wal-Mart after 8:00 is also referred to as "Night of the Living Dead").

5. She's Nubs - A catchy, energetic ditty. If I am correct, it's about a girl with no arms or legs who goes to see punk rock shows. This is my second favorite song from this CD.

6. Mattersville - About a home for over-the-hill punks. I'm sorry. Next track...

7. Decom-posuer - Guitar intro's great on this one. There are some excellent plays on words as well. It's not a horrible song, but I tend to skip it when it comes on.

8. Medio-core - Great play on words. The tune in itself is mediocre, but that's the intent. Pay attention to the lyrics. There's a lot of humor in there. This isn't my favorite song on the CD by a long shot, but I can dig it.

9. Anarchy Camp - I assume that's El Hefe playing saxophone (Correction: That's Jason Freese. I guess it helps if I look at the credits). "Anarchy Camp" is a little too "ska" for me. Reminds me of a tune by the 80's band "Madness". And is that an organ or guitar? It's all, "doo wik wik wik wik wik".

10. American Errorist - I like the weird muted intro. I chose three songs from this CD to put on a mix CD for the car. This song is the third. So, I guess this is my third favorite song from this CD.

11. We Got Two Jealous Agains - I like the offbeat riff after the "I knew you were the one" vocal line. As for the lyrics, basically it sounds like his girlfriend has the same records as he does. OK.

12. 13 Stitches - A (dare I say) charming, nostalgic song about memories of going to old hardcore shows. It sounds like it was recorded on a mono cassette deck (which was probably the point). Hefe's playing trumpet on this one.

13. Re-gaining Unconsciousness - Yet another political tune. If I attempted to describe the track's message and lyrics using my limited intellect, I would most likely lose something in the translation. So I'll just say, "Dude! Those focking guitars were awesome!"

14. Whoops, I OD'd - I could be wrong, but it sounds like a solo performance by Fat Mike strumming bass like an acoustic guitar. There may be a serious side to this song, but I laughed my ass off the first time I heard it. Most of this tune is sung in staggered, broken sentence fragments, like he actually OD'd. 

Conclusion: Musically, this is not my favorite NOFX CD. Sorry, it's just not. If you want truly awe-inspiring tunes, I'd recommend "Ribbed" or "Punk In Drublic". 

Also, Errorism's large amount of political content may frighten away the casual punk fan - but the point of this album is to wake people up. So this is what you do: Try to become more informed. Get your news from international sources. Ask questions. Vote. Get into an online political flamewar and call somebody a "conservative commie nazi". It's fun!

My score: 2.5 out of 5 if I compare it to "Ribbed".






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