“Single Album” marks the first full-length NOFX album in nearly five years, which is the longest span between releases in the bands’ lengthy career.
NOFX has always walked on the edge of the abyss with their songs with tracks about addiction, corrupt politicians, the underbelly of society, bondage, sex, drugs, etc…”Single Album” might just stand out as the darkest, most bleak release from them to date. The opening track “The Big Drag” sets the tone for the album with a slow moving, driving track about death and the finite numbers of days that we have left in our lives. The follow-up song “I Love You More Than I Hate Me” deals with the lack of love and intimacy in a relationship but in the NOFX kind of way, you know, being about bondage. The video for the song follows all four members of the band as they commit suicide in different ways at a house party…and nobody cares.
Other songs on the album deal with the topics of terminal cancer, gun violence, political correctness and personal losses but “Single Album” isn’t without it’s moments of the band taking the piss out of things. “Linewleum” is a reinterpretation of their classic song “Linoleum” in which they talk about taking the song out to pasture because many great bands have covered it in too many shitty ways. They made not one, but two videos for the song as a tribute to some of the bands that have covered the original over the years. The videos contain clips of dozens of local and nationally known bands including Tony Sly, Goldfinger, Avenged Sevenfold, the Interrupters, Masked Intruder and Streetlight Manifesto among many others playing the song.
“Grieve Soto” is another bright spot among the darkness on the album. The song is a classic NOFX punk rock song that pays tribute to Fat Mike and the band’s friends in the scene who are no longer with us. There’s also a call out from Eric Melvin to Fat Mike telling him to ignore the hate and don’t let it ruin what you’ve accomplished. It also makes the statement that punk rock is supposed to be offensive and not safe and squeaky clean. If it’s not offending someone, then it’s not punk rock and it’s missing the point.
Even though this album treads upon dark territory, it’s not all doom and gloom and, in my opinion, it’s one of the best NOFX albums in years. There are some classic NOFX punk songs as well as a variety of other genres that mix things up. As they always have, they dabble in some reggae, grunge, rock and anything that fits the moment.
The band has gotten a lot of flak over the years for some comments and events and have been blacklisted across the country but I’ve been a fan of the band for a few decades now and I know where they stand and I think that they need to get louder and rowdier because the punk rock scene still needs them.
Bottom Line: A dark album, even for NOFX but one of their best and most poignant in years.
Notable Tracks: Fish In A Gun Barrel, I Love You More Than I Hate Me, Grieve Soto, My Bro Cancervive Cancer, Linewleum