A wave of increased interest in punk music in the ’90s coincided with the mainstream success of an American punk band from Los Angeles, California, known as NOFX. The band was formed in 1983 and is named after a Boston punk band called Negative FX. The band’s first release was a self-titled EP which was released in 1985 through Mystic Records. The band’s original three members include Eric Melvin, Mike Burkett (Fat Mike), and Eric Sandin, who was the drummer.
NOFX is known to be against the rat race of mainstream culture and even went to the point of turning down interviews, promo events, and any other popular activities. The band’s debut studio album, Liberal Animation, was released in 1988 and is known for its mockery of animal rights and vegetarianism. Punk in Drublic, the band’s fifth studio album, which was at the root of the punk revolution, saw the band’s popularity surge across the US. The 1994 album attained gold status six years after its release and peaked at position 12 on the Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart.
The album contained hit songs such as “Leave It Alone” and “KROQ,” with the band disclosing that they never sent the video of the track “Leave It Alone” to MTV since they never wanted to be associated with the punk wave of that era. The band’s first live album, I Heard They Suck Live, was released in 1995 and was followed by another album named Heavy Petting Zoo, released in 1996.
Although they have continued to shun popular music broadcast channels such as MTV and VH1, the band has also attracted lots of controversies, most notably in 2018 when their show was canceled for making insensitive remarks regarding the 2017 Las Vegas Shooting. The band’s style of music is primarily punk rock, with most of their songs talking about racism, xenophobia, left-wing politics, drugs, inequality, and sexism.
The band’s music is primarily influenced by other famous hardcore punk bands such as The Misfits, The Germs, Suicidal Tendencies, and Bad Religion. We have gone through some of the band’s best songs and came up with the top 10. Here are the top 10 best NOFX songs.
# 10 – Franco Un-American
At 10th position is a track whose message was about people who are ignorant of what is happening around them and society in general. In the song, Fat Mike says that people only care about themselves and do not care about the environmental and social problems happening.
# 9 – 72 Hookers
“72 Hookers” is the lead single from the band’s 2012 album, Self Entitled. The song is inspired by the notion that suicide bombers believe that 72 virgins await them in heaven after their death. Fat Mike advises the suicide bombers to get engage with women more when they are alive to reduce their terrorism motives.
# 8 – The Brews
Even after getting their album Punk in Drublic and losing it many times, I always find a way of getting it back to my shelf. I love this jam because it made my days way back, and I really enjoyed listening to this particular song. “The Brews” is the eighth record from the 1995 album. No matter what mood or state you are in, you will definitely enjoy this song.
# 7 – Dinosaurs Will Die
In this song, the band calls out record labels that produce lousy music because it sells. In the song, the band explains that music should be made from pure devotion and love and not for sales. “Dinosaurs Will Die” is the fourth track from the band’s eighth studio album, Pump Up the Valuum.
# 6 – Don’t Call Me White
“Don’t Call Me White” was released as a single in 1994 and is one of the most popular NOFX songs. The song is basically about racism and how everybody assumes their music is only for white people. Fat Mike’s brilliant lyrics in the song, such as, “The soap shoved in your mouth to cleanse the mind,” make the song just as relevant 17 years later.
# 5 – Separation of Church and Skate
The first time listening to this song, I was totally blown out by how unique, and technically astute the band’s music was compared to other mainstream music that I was used to. What I love most about this song is the outro riff that is too amazing. “Separation of Church and Skate” is the first track from their 2003 album The War on Terrorism.
# 4 – My Orphan Year
It’s incredible to know that this band can create some emotional songs. “My Orphan Year” is the fourth track from the band’s 2009 album Coaster. In the song, Fat Mike talks about the pain of losing both his parents in 2006.
# 3 – Linewleum
“Linewleum” is a single from the band’s 2021 album Single Album which came out via Fat Wreck Chords. The song is quite similar to the 1994 track, “Linoleum,” and the lyrics talk about how the track “Linoleum” became such a hit despite it not having a chorus and not being released as a single. The Fat Mike lyrics also see him reflecting on the meaning of being an old rocker as his daughter reads his memoir.
# 2 – The Decline
Down to number two in our list of the best NOFX songs of all time is a perfect song with perfect lyrics. The 1999 song, which comes from the album with the same name, talks about many problems in our society. Some lines such as “Don’t pull the trigger squeeze” are relatable even in the current world where we are torn apart by constant killings that powerful people in society fuel. The best thing about this song is that you can divide it into more than five different parts and get decent songs from it.
# 1 – Linoleum
If you need to listen to some loud and fast music, you need to listen to the band’s Punk in Drublic album. “Linoleum” is the first track from the album and plays for slightly over two minutes. The track contains some of the best guitar tunes you will ever hear in punk music. “Linoleum” is, without a doubt, the best song that the band has ever written.
Top 10 NOFX Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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