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Your Essential Guide To NOFX – Part 1

From 1988's 'Liberal Animation' to 1996's 'Heavy Petting Zoo'...

Fat Mike might seem like the last person you'd expect to write a concept album for a musical production. Billie Joe Armstrong, he is not. But then the NOFX frontman has always enjoyed messing with people and, in his own words, “breaking things.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that the band have released a punk rock musical concept album that tells a story about survival and love among runaway teenagers living on the streets. It features music and lyrics written by the NOFX frontman as well as collaborations with Frank Turner, Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba and the late No Use For A Name frontman Tony Sly

Now you know about Fat Mike's twisted take on Annie, it's time to take a look back through his band's huge back catalogue and salute one of the most original voices in modern day punk rock...

LIBERAL ANIMATION (1988, Epitaph)
Some bands arrive fully formed on their debut album. Others take time to refine their sound. NOFX definitely fall into the second category. Their first studio album is shitty punk incarnate. The songs are fast and loose, and sound like they're being played by amateurs. Fat Mike was yet to find his snarling, sarcastic singing voice (he sounds like a strangled cat on speed here), and lyrically he's a world away from the sophisticated tongue-in-cheek agitator we've come to know and love. Material like Vegetarian Mumbo Jumbo and On The Rag resign Liberal Animation to the annals of juvenility (even by NOFX standards), but for hardcore fans there's plenty of early NOFX hallmarks to savour. Besides, all bands have to start somewhere, right?
Essential track: Beer Bong

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