The Longest EP is Long on Satisfaction

The world’s biggest D.I.Y.  Punk band, NOFX, is still at it, releasing The Longest EP on August 17th – what could unofficially be considered the follow-up to the recent greatest hits-type release from 2004, The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us!). The album consists of an epic compilation of tracks selected from their numerous EPs and B-Sides, rather than from full-length studio releases.  For NOFX fans, most, if not all, of the songs are familiar, but there is definitely enough meat on this bone to give it a try and if you can get your hands on the collector’s edition vinyl, well, lucky you because it has some really sweet album art and when I tried to pre-order it a week before the album was released, it was already sold out.

For the ‘casual listener’ – if there is even a way to listen to Punk Rock casually – (this seems like it could be an oxymoron…or maybe I am) the songs on this album are most certainly good enough to merit a listen.  I need to make it clear: these songs aren’t half-finished, thoughtless, tossaways – every track is good enough to have gone on any of the band’s full-length releases, but were kept off for one reason or another, such as being saved for an upcoming compilation.  There is absolutely no reason that should keep anyone from checking this album out.

In fact, I would go as far as to say that it contains some of not only my favorite material from NOFX, but also some of their finest pieces of musical work.  Several songs are different versions of the originally released recordings – the acoustic version of “13 Stitches,” is tamed-down, but somehow more nostalgic, there is a newer recording of “S&M Airlines,” with Hefe on Lead Guitar that rocks my shit, and  “Cokie The Clown,” and “Fermented and Flailing,” are from one of the most recent EP releases from 2009, Cokie The Clown, and are two of what I think is some of NOFX’s best song-writing in awhile (and are two of my favorite new songs).

There is a commercial for their 2003 release, “The War On Errorism,” recorded by the band and voiced-over by El Hefe and Fat Mike, that is thoroughly entertaining and, of course, I have to mention Fat Mike’s acoustic performance of “My Orphan Year.”  The first time I heard this song on “Coaster,” it made my eyes well up with tears – seriously.  The performance was also recorded on video in the studio and posted on Youtube.  When I watched it, it did the same thing to me and it still does when I listen to it on, “The Longest EP.”  You can literally hear the hurting in Mike’s voice at the end as he delivers the last line just before his own tears seem to overtake him.  It is truly one of the most heartfelt and meaningful songs I’ve heard.

But that doesn’t stop the fun I had listening to this album.  I found myself listening to it twice trough, back-to-back, with a big fat grin on my face as soon as I got it.  The Longest EP isn’t just a cheap attempt by NOFX to make some money with a greatest hits-type compilation at all.  It’s a bad-ass record that any fan needs to check out.  Honestly, come on?  How many kids who like NOFX have taken enough time and money to collect each of these songs in some way, like purchasing a 7” vinyl pressing of an EP that can’t be played on any modern equipment or searching each one out and downloading it?  The answer is: not many.  This album gives everyone easy access to these tracks and could convert anyone who isn’t a fan, just as easily as any of NOFX’s full-length studio releases.

I give The Longest EP 4 Cokies out of 5.

Here’s the Tracklist:

The Longest Line
Stranded
Remnants
Kill All the White Man
I Wanna Be an Alcoholic
Perverted
My Name Is Bud
Hardcore 84
War on Errorism Commercial
13 Stitches (Acoustic)
Glass War
Jaw Knee Music
Concerns of a GOP Neo-phyte
Golden Boys
You’re Wrong
Everything in Moderation (Especially Moderation)
I’m Going to Hell for This One
I’ve Become a Cliché
Cokie the Clown
Straight Outta Massachusetts
Fermented and Flailing
Codependence Day
My Orphan Year (Acoustic)
S&M Airlines (7” version)
Dueling Retards
On the Rag
A200 Club
Shut Up Already
The Punk Song

By:  Ian O. Fordyce

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