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NOFX | Pump up the Valuum | review | punk | Lollipop


Pump up the Valuum (Epitaph)
by Scott Hefflon

To say that NOFX fuckin' rules is to state the obvious. They were king shits in '94 when punk broke into the mainstream, and they'd already released some great records and 7"s, and just cuz they finally started making an ungodly amount of money, they never pussied out like almost everyone else. In fact, it just made them angrier. It gave them yet another topic to rage against. And now, many years later, as most bands from that time period have really lost whatever edge they had, NOFX is going stronger than ever.

The Decline EP on Fat earlier this year was a brilliant 18-minute song/record/medley, and was a good teaser to this 14-song fist-fuck. Pump Up the Valium has no horns, no ska bridges, and few to no passionate swells that sometimes kick in to make ya realize NOFX can write really beautiful stuff (play the fade-out on The Decline and be amazed at how they can take a simple phrasing and milk it for so long and make it work. It's a hummer that could and should replace "By Mennen" or "Did Somebody say McDonalds?" as the insidious jingle looping through yer head while trying to fall asleep). Pump Up the Valium is mostly manic riffing, rampaging drums, signature sneers, layered whoas, and the new "half-volume, kinda in the distance" vocal, but on the rare "slow song" here - like "My Vagina," the first-person story of a sex change - they still keep ya riveted. And from the opener (the sarcastic "And Now for Something Completely Similar" which compares this opener with "Linoleum" and "Shadows of Defeat") to the closer, "Theme From a NOFX Album" (a take-off on a traditional Irish narrative thing, I think), NOFX show they still have what it takes by the warehouse-full. My favorite song at the moment is the role-reversal of "What's the Matter with Parent's Today?," but I'm sure I'll memorize them all as I listen to this over and over and over again, like I have every other NOFX record. Recommended for anyone with a pulse.
(2798 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026)




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