THE LINDA LINDAS SIGN TO EPITAPH RECORDS

THE LINDA LINDAS SIGN TO EPITAPH RECORDS

L.A.-BASED PUNK BAND TO MAKE THEIR NATIONAL TV DEBUT
JUNE 3 ON “JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!”

Epitaph Records is thrilled to announce the signing of The Linda Lindas. The label approached the Los Angeles-based, all-female punk band behind the viral smash hit “Racist, Sexist Boy” several months prior to their now-legendary set at the L.A. Public Library. With their explosive and authentic collision of garage-punk, power-pop, and new wave, The Linda Lindas are an exciting new addition to the Epitaph roster.

“Epitaph offered us full creative control and they’re really supportive of what we want to do as a band,” says Linda Lindas vocalist/guitarist Lucia, age 14. “We’re really happy about signing with them, and we can’t wait to put out more music.”

Founded in 2018, The Linda Lindas also include Lucia’s 10-year-old sister Mila (vocals, drums), their 13-year-old cousin Eloise (vocals, bass), and longtime friend 16-year-old Bela (vocals, guitar). They first played together when former Dum Dum Girls frontwoman Kristin Kontrol invited them to take the stage to play covers for Girlschool LA (a music and ideas festival focused on connecting and empowering women-identified artists, leaders, and voices). After forming their own band and playing DIY gigs around Los Angeles, they were asked to open for punk icon Alice Bag and for seminal riot grrrl band Bikini Kill at one of their 2019 reunion shows at the Hollywood Palladium. In time, the band began writing their own material, including a song featured in the 2020 Netflix documentary The Claudia Kishi Club.

In December 2020, The Linda Lindas released their self-titled, self-released debut EP showcasing their high-energy and heartfelt brand of punk, naming Jawbreaker, The Go-Go’s, and The Alley Cats among their inspirations. Months later, they appeared in a key scene of Amy Poehler’s Moxie!

On May 4, 2021, The Linda Lindas’ set at the Cypress Park branch of the L.A. Public Library was streamed as an AAPI Heritage Month event (the band members are Asian American, Latinx, or both). The highlight of their 40-minute set: a blistering performance of “Racist, Sexist Boy.” In addition to amassing over four million views on Instagram, the clip has earned major praise from the likes of Hayley Williams, Questlove, Flea, and members of Rage Against the Machine and Sonic Youth.

“We knew the song would get a good reaction, but we never imagined this,” says Eloise. “Even though we started the band for fun, now it feels we can actually make a difference with what we’re doing.”

Lucia adds: “People have reached out to us from all over the world — we get a lot of messages from little girls, but we also get messages from grandmothers. We always hope that the music we put out will inspire other young girls, but we also want it to make anyone feel like they can do anything, no matter what age they are.”

Currently, at work on new music, The Linda Lindas will make their national television debut on Thursday, June 3, on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” at 11:35pm/10:35pm CT on ABC.

The Linda Lindas are Eloise (vocals, bass), Mila (vocals, drums), Bela (vocals, guitar), and Lucia (vocals, guitar).

PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Cowan

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE LINDA LINDAS, VISIT:
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

Ska, I got your back!

I have been reading a book for the last month. It’s a good book. It’s well researched and thorough.It’s not just good. It is a great book.

My initial plan was to tell you about that book. I changed my mind.

I woke up this morning and realized that I don’t want to tell you about the book. I do want you to read the book though, so here’s a little story about how I stumbled into a love of Ska.

I grew up in the midwest in the late 70s and early 80s. Life was easy. We loved Night Ranger and Loverboy. It’s what you loved if you didn’t pledge allegiance to Conway Twitty each and every night. We turned the radio on. We turned the radio up.

Maybe I had it easy on my path to Ska, but I grew up in a reasonably diverse household, musically speaking. My dad loved a wide blend of hippy music and acid rock, and my mom was way into Motown. I started to climb a mountain. That mountain’s name was  Rock and Roll.  

I will do you a favor and fast forward you a bit through the horrors of later 80s rock radio. It was a lot more bad than good. Let’s leave it at that.

Radio rock aside, I wasn’t really much into music. My older brother was. He was my gateway into other music. It was hit or miss for a while, but when he played Appetite for Destruction for me, I started to come around. When a friend of his was over and played the new Suicidal (How Will I Laugh Tomorrow) I was hooked. I can still feel my hair growing. That’s how metal I was.

New forms of music became my thing. I liked to be on the forward front, all “Have you heard this?” This continued when I went away to college. New Pantera, cool, but “Have you heard the new Voivod?” “Hey what if we listen to Ween?” In that  quest for “new”, I found new. New to me anyway. In 1993 I heard “Don’t Know How To Party” for the first time. The Bosstones had me hooked on a new thing. 

Later that year I was in a music store (Big Don’s Music City) in Joplin, MO. There was a message board near the front. (For the post-internet crowd, physical message boards were a place to connect with like-minded individuals to sell used appliances and find bass players.) That message board had a “take-a-number” sheet on it looking for members to start a Ska band. Influences including: Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Let’s Go Bowling, Toasters. Welp, I had heard the one, Let’s hear more. 

I liked this Ska stuff. It had horns. (was a trombone player once) It was opinionated, but at the same time, friendly. 

About a year later, MU330 rolled through the college town I was living in. I don’t even think they had an opening act. Just them doing a solid hour set. Afterward the sat down to chill and talk to the fans. I remember sitting with Dan and Jason (who was on lead vocals at the time). Jason shook my hand with the kind of handshake where you cover the entire handshake with your other hand, and don’t let go until you know the other person’s hand is fully shook. … if you know what I mean. It’s the handshake of long lost friends; the hug of handshakes. We chatted a bit, Jason, Dan and myself. I asked Dan, “how do you get those guitar sounds? I like it, but everything I try comes out sounding like Black Sabbath.” Dan said, “There’s nothing wrong with that. Keep Trying.” Better words were never said. 

I was in love with Ska. I tried to tell my brother, to share a bit of what he had given to me. He wasn’t into it. I think maybe the first stuff I played for him wasn’t quite aggressive enough. He was still pretty much a metalhead then. … but things change. Something stuck and he was asking me if I knew of more Ska bands, and where I could get more CDs.

I was living in Portland at the time and my brother came to visit. I took him to Ozone Records and he bought every Ska CD they had in the store. If I have my chronology right, later that year, maybe early the next, I went back home to visit. My brother picked me up in Kansas City and we went to Lawrence for a show at The Grenada. Less Than Jake, Skavoovie and the Epitones, and Chris Murray. IT WAS AMAZING. 

Special shout out to Chris. Skavoovie’s keyboard player had decided mid-tour to go back to college (I think that’s the story) So Chris played his opening “Campfire Ska” set, then went backstage, jumped into a suit, and proceeded to rock the full Skavoovie set on the keys. (Many years later Chris played my 20th wedding anniversary party.)

I bought my first Asian Man Records shirt at that show. It was magic. Later that night we went to the record store next to The Grenada. My brother bought me Mepheskapheles “God Bless Satan”, and Spring Heeled Jack (usa) “Static World View”. 

Life was a whirlwind back then. I was young, living in a city. Bands were playing all the time. So many. It was hard to keep up. I saw the Pietasters for the first time then. I was enamoured. Cool jazz guys almost, in wrinkled suits, with a couple of drinks in them. Good times. I bought a CD copy of OoLooLoo. I was blasting it in the apartment and one of my neighbors was all “Pietasters? Fuck Yeah!” She was from DC and totally on board with hometown music hitting the West Coast

A little anecdote here, but while I was living in Portland, my rather concervative grandmother came to visit. She wasn’t happy about a lot of the music I listened to, but she loved The Pietasters. She said it reminded her of big bands from back in the day. 

Nothing ever changed for me after that, as it pertains to Ska. I mean, one time I couldn’t get tickets to Less Than Jack and Reel Big Fish because the show was sold out. Life goes on though. I didn’t turn my back because of that. I just found new stuff. I’m like, “Up yours Reel Big Fish! I’ll listen to Thumper instead.”

I suppose I could ramble on more about the bands that bent my ear (Suicide Machines) and all the great shows I saw, but it would all be driving to the same destination. Ska is awesome. There is, not now, never once, a reason to be ashamed. 

I stand In Defense of Ska. But, as they say, the best defense is a good offense. (I think people say that) So to that end, I say, “GO OUT THERE AND BUY THIS MUTHAFUCKING BOOK AND LISTEN TO SKA!”

Cheers!

-Jerry Actually

Sacri-Political – Shove It Up Your Ass!

Sacri-Political sent me a copy of their new single, Shove It Up Your Ass!, and well, fuck yeah. It rocks in an old school way that reminds me of the snottiness of Wasted Youth’s “Fuck Authority”. 

There’s, of course a very compelling reason there’s such an “old school” sound. They’ve been around for a couple minutes. According to the band’s bio:

‘Sacripolitical (1982 – 1993, 2019 – present) is a punk rock band from Marin County, CA. The name Sacripolitical refers to the band members’ attitude toward politics. Just as a person who is sacrilegious is irreverent toward the sacred, Sacripolitical plays songs, like “Peace: Under our Supervision,” “The Nihilist Void,” and “Napalm Baby,” that are politically and philosophically irreverent.’

The track is both irreverent and finger wagging, opening a view into what I think a lot of people have felt during the pandemic. It is kind of the idea that everything is pretty fucked, because everybody (politicians, corporations, racists, zealots) keep fucking everything up. Everything is fucked. It’s your fault, and you can, well, shove it up your ass. 

The music itself is a mid-tempo 3-chord banger. Very straight forward 4-piece punk rock with a little bit of a shuffle to it. It’s not out to pave new roads, but fits nicely in the well worn grooves in the asphalt. 

The B-side, “Gogol’s Nose” is in a little more of a DK vein, but with some horn parts dropped in. At any rate, I dig it. Check it out. Support local music any way you can. 

Stay safe!

Jerry Actually

NOFX RELEASE NEW FULL-LENGTH SINGLE ALBUM

NOFX RELEASE NEW FULL-LENGTH
SINGLE ALBUM
TODAY, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, VIA FAT WRECK CHORDS

“NOFX Los Angeles punk veterans’ latest record tackles everything from drug addiction to mortality.” COS

If you think you’ve heard it all before from the veteran punks, this record begs to differ.” – Kerrang!

“NOFX’s Fat Mike on His Sobriety, Sexuality: ‘I Think I Came Out of the Closet Even More’”SPIN
STREAM: SINGLE ALBUM
(IN FULL ON ALL PLATFORMS  HERE)  

                                                                                               Photo credit: Jonathan Weiner


Fat Wreck Chords and longstanding California punk band NOFX are thrilled to present Single Album, the band’s 14th full-length studio album, out now. As frontman Fat Mike explains, “Single Album was initially supposed to be twice as long, as I wanted to make a perfect double album, and I didn’t accomplish that, so I decided to just make a single album, hence the title.” Alternative Press interviewed Fat Mike in this extensive interview, tackling everything from drug addiction to newfound sobriety. Recently, Consequence of Sound caught up with Fatty to stream their latest opus, as well as post a lengthly track-by-track where Fat Mike breaks down his lyrics, musical arrangements, and more. 

Single Album is available to stream on all platforms, with the physical product on hand via FAT’s Web Store


Check out the music video for “Fuck Euphemism” on YouTube.
Read an extensive Interview with Fat Mike & Spin about the video HERE.
View the music video for “Linewleum” on YouTube .
Watch the music video for “I Love You More Than I Hate Me” on YouTube.

Nearly 40 years in, what else is there to say about NOFX?

And aside from the occasional negative headline, how can one of the pioneers of SoCal punk—a style hardly known for experimentation—surprise anyone these days?

The answers lie on Single Album (Fat Wreck Chords, Feb. 26), NOFX’s 14th full-length studio album. There’s the nearly six-minute post-hardcore opener (“The Big Drag”). The meta sendoff for the band’s best-known song (“Linewleum”). The reggae-inflected song about a mass shooting (“Fish in a Gun Barrel”). Even a piano ballad (“Your Last Resort”).

It is, as frontman and bassist Fat Mike repeatedly describes, “a dark album.” That wasn’t the original intent. By early 2020, NOFX—which includes guitarist El Hefe, guitarist Eric Melvin, and drummer Smelly—had written and recorded enough songs for a planned double album to be released that fall. Like so much about 2020, those plans changed.

“When you write a double album, you write differently,” Mike says. “I was writing really different songs, and some fun songs, but you have to make a double album interesting enough to listen to the whole way. I wanted to make a perfect double album, and I didn’t accomplish that. So I decided to just make a single album, hence the title.”

Recorded at Motor Studios in San Francisco with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore (Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Teenage Bottlerocket), Single Album pares down the roughly 23 songs NOFX tracked. “I just kept adding songs,” Mike says. “I was maybe a little out of my mind.”

How so? “I was pretty high on drugs that year,” he adds. While fans may wonder what else is new, Single Album casts the frontman’s habits in a surprisingly harsh light. While “Grieve Soto” eulogizes beloved Adolescents founder Steve Soto, it takes a meta turn when Eric Melvin warns Mike to be “cautious, more respectful, less obnoxious.”“Birmingham” has what people in recovery call “a moment of clarity,” when he realized he was an addict.

“That was a clarity moment in my life when I was by myself, and the sun’s coming up, and I’m scraping cocaine off the floor, like, ‘Eww, gross. I shouldn’t be doing this,’” Mike says. “So what did I do? I ordered more.” After being hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer—a terrifying experience that caused him to vomit blood—Mike entered rehab in fall 2020. He promptly wrote another new album while there and has been sober since.

Unsurprisingly, Single Album represents his most personal work to date. Heartbreak permeates “I Love You More Than I Hate Me” and “Your Last Resort.” “Fuck Euphemism” dives into Mike’s sexuality for a “pronoun bar fight.” “Doors and Fours” is a grim look into the early ’80s LA punk scene, when dozens of people—many of them Mike’s friends—overdosed on a prescription drug combo. “The Big Drag” is a personal vow to make the most of life, even when it undeniably sucks. “It’s one of my favorite NOFX songs ever. I don’t get sick of listening to that song,” Mike says of “The Big Drag.” “No measure is the same length. Every time a new chord change happens, there’s a different rhythm to the guitar. The bass never stays on one note. You’re not sure when the chords are going to change because they always change at a different point.”

In other words, it’s unpredictable—just like NOFX. Turns out there is a lot to say about them, even after all this time.

Fat Wreck Chords will release Single Album on Feb. 26, 2021.
Single Album track-listing

1. The Big Drag

2. I Love You More Than I Hate Me

3. Fuck Euphemism

4. Fish in a Gun Barrel

5. Birmingham

6. Linewleum

7. My Bro Cancervive Cancer

8. Grieve Soto

9. Doors and Fours

10. Your Last Resort

Sex Cuts – cop bait

No time to mince words. We’re all starving for entertainment during the pandemic. So unjam your earholes and stuff some rock and roll into ‘em. 

Now listening to “Cop Bait” by Sex Cuts, a lo-fi rager from Gothenburg Sweden’s Sex Cuts. This collection of six tracks of Apocolyptica will blast new and/or additional holes in your head.

Very garage, anti-music vibe going on. I dig the dissonance. Feels a bit like old Sonic Youth meets Rollins Band. It’s a raw release. Straight to cassette, which is cool I suppose for easy and cost effective media production. Thankfully there’s digital copies, because my cassette deck is fucked and I’d never hear it otherwise.

Cheers to Sex Cuts for a banger of an EP. Check them out at their Bandcamp site. Buy some shit. Support independent music!

Tracks:
1. Designer Thoughts 03:10
2. 1994:137 03:17
3. The Politics of Sinking 02:35
4. Chaos Rites 04:15
5. Cultural Sale 03:52
6. 52 Hertz 01:40

THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES SIGN WITH HELLCAT RECORDS SHARE “THE FINAL PARADE”

FEATURING MEMBERS OF
RANCID, THE INTERRUPTERS, FISHBONE,
THE PIETASTERS, THE SPECIALS AND MORE

Hellcat Records is pleased to welcome the progenitors of ska, The Mighty Mighty BossToneS to the family.

Today, the band shares their new track “The Final Parade.” The track heralds the ups and downs of the band’s journey, the history of ska, and features vocal cameos and guest appearances from many ska-punk luminaries. At nearly 8-mintues, the track has been referred as “The Ska Summit” by Tim Armstrong, who co-produced the track with fellow Grammy award winner Ted Hutt. “It’s a love letter to Ska music and the people that make Ska music and it’s a whole lot of fun,” says vocalist Dicky Barrett.

The features on the track include Tim Armstrong (Rancid), Aimee Interrupter & The Interrupters, Stranger Cole, Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers), Jay Navarro (Suicide Machines), Chris DeMakes, Pete Wesilewski, Roger Lima (Less Than Jake), Jimmy G (Murphy’s Law), Toby Morse, Rusty Pistachio (H2O), John Feldman (Goldfinger), Laila Khan (Sonic Boom Six), Robert Hingley (Toasters), Dan Vitale (Bim Skala Bim), Dave McWane (Big D and The Kids Table), Sirae Richardson, Erin Mackenzie, Brie McWane (The Doped Up Dollys), Jesse Wagner (Aggrolites), Karina Denike (The Dance Hall Crashers), Christian Jaccobs (The Aquabats), Jon Pebsworth (Buck O Nine), Peter Porker (The Porkers), Steve Jackson (The Pietasters), Felipe Galvan (Los Skanarles), Jet Baker (Buster Shuffle), Fumio Ito (Kemuri), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka  (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy), and Roddy Radiation (The Specials).

CHECK OUT “THE FINAL PARADE” NOW
WATCH | LISTEN

Since their formation in 1983, the BossToneS have been credited as one of the forefathers of ska punk and the creators of its subgenre, ska-core. With a career spanning over 30-years Boston’s best dressed band has built and continued to build a devoted following with their unique brass-infused brand of punk rock. To date they have released ten studio records; Devil’s Night Out (1989), More Noise and Other Disturbances (1992), Don’t Know How to Party (1993), Question the Answers (1994), Let’s Face It (1997), Pay Attention (2000), A Jackknife to a Swan (2002), Pin Points and Gin Joints (2009), The Magic of Youth (2011), and While We’re at It (2018).

The Mighty Mighty BossToneS are vocalist Dicky Barrett, bassist Joe Gittleman, saxophonists Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton and Leon Silva, Bosstone Ben Carr, drummer Joe Sirois, guitarists Nate Albert and Lawrence Katz, keyboardist John Goetchius, and trombonist Chris Rhodes.

CREDIT: YOYO YOSEF

For More Information on The Mighty Mighty BossToneS, visit:
WEBSITE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

Bad Religion Share Emancipation of the Mind

Preeminent Los Angeles band Bad Religion have just released “Emancipation Of The Mind,” an outtake from the band’s critically acclaimed 2019 album Age Of Unreason. The track’s upbeat messaging calls for reason and open-mindedness as a new administration is welcomed into the White House today. Bad Religion have always advocated for humanism, reason, and individualism, which has never been more essential.

“I think the song really is a celebration of enlightenment values that can be cultivated through enthusiastic learning and open-mindedness,” says co-songwriter and vocalist Greg Graffin. “So often we’re told what to think. But learning how to think (as opposed to learning what to think) is a true feeling of emancipation from the constraints of indoctrination that are so commonplace in our society.”

LISTEN TO “EMANCIPATION OF THE MIND”

ABOUT BAD RELIGION
Bad Religion,
formed in 1980 in the suburbs of Los Angeles, has become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. Bad Religion has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen.

The band’s critically acclaimed 17th studio album Age of Unreason offers a fiery and intensely relevant musical response to the times, with songs that address a myriad of socio-political maladies, including conspiracy theories, racist rallies, Trump’s election, the erosion of the middle class, alternative facts and more. There is a stylistic consistency to the band’s iconic and influential sound – hard fast beats, big hooks and rousing choruses, yet each new song remains distinctive, utilizing composition, melody and lyrics to deliver a unique narrative consistent with the band’s longstanding humanist worldview.

BAD RELIGION BY ALICE BAXLEY

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BAD RELIGION, VISIT:
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Descendents Share New Track – That’s the Breaks

DESCENDENTS
SHARE NEW TRACK

“THAT’S THE BREAKS”

Today, legendary punk band Descendents share their new track “That’s The Breaks.” The track follows the politically-charged two-song single Suffrage, released ahead of the 2020 general election encouraging voting to take down the Trump administration. In triumph, “That’s The Breaks” serves as a farewell to 45 ahead of the upcoming inauguration.

“Loser.  Big time loser.  Delusional loser. SORE loser.  The time has come.  The time is now.  Just go, go, GO.  I don’t care how. Donald J. Trump, will you please go now!,” adds vocalist Milo Aukerman. “What’s it gonna take?  A gazillion dollars? (Oh wait, you already grifted that from supporters)… A get out of jail free card? (Only if our judicial system totally fails us)… A wooden stake through the heart?  Whatever we can do to make you go away, we need to do it.  And I don’t mean just leave the White House, I mean crawl back into your hole of hate and live out the rest of your life as a nobody.  A loser.  Because that’s what you are.  Worst. President. Ever.”

LISTEN TO “THAT’S THE BREAKS”

Formed in 1978 Descendents are Milo Aukerman (vocals), Stephen Egerton (guitar), Karl Alvarez (bass), and Bill Stevenson (drums). They have released seven studio albums, Milo Goes to College (1982), I Don’t Want to Grow Up (1985), Enjoy! (1986), All (1987), Everything Sucks (1996), Cool to Be You (2004), and Hypercaffium Spazzinate (2016).

DESCENDENTS BY KEVIN SCANLON

For more information on Descendents, visit:
WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

NOFX Announce New Album

INFLUENTIAL PUNK BAND NOFX ANNOUNCE NEW FULL-LENGTH,
SINGLE ALBUM 

WATCH: AVENGED SEVENFOLD, AND MORE, IN NOFX’S NEW VIDEO FOR THEIR FIRST SINGLE, “LINEWLEUM”

SINGLE ALBUM, PRODUCED BY BILL STEVENSON & JASON LIVERMORE
(BLASTING ROOM), IN STORES AND ONLINE VIA FAT WRECK CHORDS ON
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26 WITH PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE NOW

                                                                                               Photo credit: Jonathan Weiner


Fat Wreck Chords and longstanding California punk band NOFX are excited to announce Single Album, the band’s 14th full-length album, due out on Friday, February 26 (pre-order).  Boasting 12 new tracks and recorded at Motor Studios in San Francisco with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore (Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Teenage Bottlerocket), Single Album is their most personal album to date. Check out the new video for the lead single “Linewleum,” and get the nitty gritty from the fat one himself:

“I have no idea why “Linoleum” is THE NOFX song that is covered by so many bands while other NOFX songs get hardly any attention. “Linoleum” wasn’t a single, it had no video, it got no radio play, and most importantly, it didn’t even have a chorus!!! All popular songs have choruses! WTF! So, One night I stayed up till 4:00 am checking out all the different versions on YouTube. Watching hundreds of bands from over 28 countries (mostly Indonesia) doing “Linoleum” was a humbling experience for me. So I decided to write a song that was a shout out to all those people that learned those four chords and remembered the non-rhyming lyrics. Then I asked the biggest of all the bands (Avenged Sevenfold) to play some leads on the song. Then M Shadows suggested we do a video together. Then I figured I should put all of the bands in the video. Well, I couldn’t fit all the bands, but I picked a bunch of cool ones! A song about not playing a song that’s not a hit song with a video about other bands covering the song! This is why I love punk rock writing punk songs. Rules out the door!”

Watch the music video for “Linewleum” on YouTube HERE
and stream the track on all platforms HERE

Nearly 40 years in, what else is there to say about NOFX?

And aside from the occasional negative headline, how can one of the pioneers of SoCal punk—a style hardly known for experimentation—surprise anyone these days?

The answers lie on Single Album (Fat Wreck Chords, Feb. 26), NOFX’s 14th full-length studio album. There’s the nearly six-minute post-hardcore opener (“The Big Drag”). The meta sendoff for the band’s best-known song (“Linewleum”). The reggae-inflected song about a mass shooting (“Fish in a Gun Barrel”). Even a piano ballad (“Your Last Resort”).

It is, as frontman and bassist Fat Mike repeatedly describes, “a dark album.” That wasn’t the original intent. By early 2020, NOFX—which includes guitarist El Hefe, guitarist Eric Melvin, and drummer Smelly—had written and recorded enough songs for a planned double album to be released that fall. Like so much about 2020, those plans changed.

“When you write a double album, you write differently,” Mike says. “I was writing really different songs, and some fun songs, but you have to make a double album interesting enough to listen to the whole way. I wanted to make a perfect double album, and I didn’t accomplish that. So I decided to just make a single album, hence the title.”

Recorded at Motor Studios in San Francisco with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore (Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Teenage Bottlerocket), Single Album pares down the roughly 23 songs NOFX tracked. “I just kept adding songs,” Mike says. “I was maybe a little out of my mind.”

How so? “I was pretty high on drugs that year,” he adds. While fans may wonder what else is new, Single Album casts the frontman’s habits in a surprisingly harsh light. While “Grieve Soto” eulogizes beloved Adolescents founder Steve Soto, it takes a meta turn when Eric Melvin warns Mike to be “cautious, more respectful, less obnoxious.”“Birmingham” has what people in recovery call “a moment of clarity,” when he realized he was an addict.

“That was a clarity moment in my life when I was by myself, and the sun’s coming up, and I’m scraping cocaine off the floor, like, ‘Eww, gross. I shouldn’t be doing this,’” Mike says. “So what did I do? I ordered more.” After being hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer—a terrifying experience that caused him to vomit blood—Mike entered rehab in fall 2020. He promptly wrote another new album while there and has been sober since.

Unsurprisingly, Single Album represents his most personal work to date. Heartbreak permeates “I Love You More Than I Hate Me” and “Your Last Resort.” “Fuck Euphemism” dives into Mike’s sexuality for a “pronoun bar fight.” “Doors and Fours” is a grim look into the early ’80s LA punk scene, when dozens of people—many of them Mike’s friends—overdosed on a prescription drug combo. “The Big Drag” is a personal vow to make the most of life, even when it undeniably sucks. “It’s one of my favorite NOFX songs ever. I don’t get sick of listening to that song,” Mike says of “The Big Drag.” “No measure is the same length. Every time a new chord change happens, there’s a different rhythm to the guitar. The bass never stays on one note. You’re not sure when the chords are going to change because they always change at a different point.”

In other words, it’s unpredictable—just like NOFX. Turns out there is a lot to say about them, even after all this time.

Fat Wreck Chords will release Single Album on Feb. 26, 2021.
Single Album track-listing

1. The Big Drag
2. I Love You More Than I Hate Me
3. Fuck Euphemism
4. Fish in a Gun Barrel
5. Birmingham
6. Linewleum
7. My Bro Cancervive Cancer
8. Grieve Soto
9. Doors and Fours
10. Your Last Resort