REVIEW: NOFX – "Self Entitled"

Well, NOFX has a new record. It is totally a thing. Much like every record since So Long And Thanks For The Shoes, a good portion of this record is forgettable and up it’s own ass. This isn’t to say Self Entitled is without any merit, but the shining moments are pretty fucking limited. I’ve always had a soft spot for this band. NOFX was one of the first punk bands I got into when I was younger, as is the case with many other people. But, nostalgia and sentimentality aside, something about Self Entitled just bothers me.

The record sounds like every other thing they have put out before. While there is not an obligatory ska song, it is very much NOFX by the books. But, you know, I’m not sure what else I expected. Musically, this is pretty 1990s Epitaph/Fat Wreck skate punk, but lyrically it gets kind of weird. The album opens with the casually racist “72 Hookers,” which is really fucking disappointing. Yeah, I get that it is supposed to be a joke, but it really misses the mark.

Even more confusing is “Ronnie And Mags,” mostly because I don’t understand who was clamoring for a song about Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in 2012. The song is just kind of there, and stands out as a weird anachronism. Throw in a few more anti-religion songs and you have most of the album.

Even the good songs are kind of bland. “Secret Society” sounds like a Bad Religion song (if Greg Graffin and Mr. Brett started to dumb down their songwriting). “I’ve Got One Jealous Again, Again” (the follow up to War On Errorism’s “We Got Two Jealous Agains”) is pretty obviously about Fat Mike’s divorce. While that makes it understandably darker, it just seems more like Mike wanting to name drop things rather than use bands and records as a narrative tool. “She Didn’t Lose Her Baby” is generally ok. It’s overall message seems lost when you realize how stoked on drugs Fat Mike is.

Despite being around a half hour in length, this record feels too long. By the time you get to the ninth track, the incredibly overwrought and self referential “My Sycophant Other,” you are ready for it to be over. At least the record sounds good, I guess. We can chalk Self Entitled up as yet another NOFX full length that would be better as an EP.

I know that I can’t expect a NOFX record to hit me the same at 27 as it would have at 16, but I kind of hoped it would still be fun. I don’t know. Is it possible to be disappointed in a record you knew you would hate?

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