Punk in Drublic was one of the most crucial records, not only for NOFX's career, but also for the EpiFat years and for being one of those albums (even though it was released on Epitaph) that have that "Fat Wreck sound." And the band achieved the ultimate punk—rock dream with this record. They stuck to their principles and the album went gold after selling over five hundred thousand copies in the United States alone without the help of a major label or MTV and it made it made to the top 20 records on the Billboard charts. Not many bands have done that since and NOFX is still the most successful band that has never been on a major label. Pretty impressive, no? And keep in mind this was when the Internet had nowhere near the popularity it has today.
Clearly the fans see this album as a classic and some of NOFX's best work. I think it is also fair to say that the band believes that to a certain extent as well because they recently announced that they'd be playing Punk in Drublic all the way through at certain shows and if you go see them play shows where they don't do that, the band plays a fair amount of songs from this record. Even the last time I saw them live they played "Linoleum," "Leave it Alone" and "Lori Meyers;" all three of which are classic and phenomenal NOFX songs.
What makes this album great though, is that this was a time where NOFX's songs were a lot more musically complex. Take the song "Perfect Government" for example, there's an awesome guitar solo in the introduction of that song along with very different rhythms and great lyrics like "It's all about the money/ Political power is taken/Protecting the rich, denying the poor." They did it while not being afraid to venture out into other genres like ska/reggae with the song "Reeko" and slow/soft rock with the song "My Heart Is Yearning." They addressed politics with song "Perfect Government," religion with the song "The Brews," and race with the song "Don't Call Me White." And then there some pure kick—ass punk rock tunes like "Linoleum," "Leave it Alone," "Punk Rock Guy (Cause He Does Punk Things)" and "The Cause." with their notorious twisted sense of humor.
NOFX today still have not been on a major label and they have pretty much kept their sound. Granted, I think it's hard to achieve the success the band had with Punk in Drublic, but its arguable that even ten years later when they released The War On Errorism that were still on a hot streak from the Punk in Drublic years. Their songs were still rockin', well put together and funny at times. But fast forward to when the band released Coaster, the songs were getting progressively less detailed and complex. The quality just wasn't there. And the same goes for 2012's Self Entitled. This was not a terrible album, but there were a lot less great songs on it than Punk in Drublic, The War On Errorism or White Trash, Two Heebs, and a Bean. But I haven't lost hope. NOFX is a massively talented band and shouldn't have a problem with writing a new album in the future that will live up to the band's better albums.
What makes a great art piece in any medium is not only the high quality of the work, but also the story behind it. The fact that Punk in Drublic was able to get the success it did without a major label shows that bands just need to write a great album and then let the fans do the rest. Sure, this album's sound and lyrical content is very influential to a lot of punk bands, but it is also a very important example that the punk rock ethos can work if you just stick to the main principles.
Now hop in the DeLorean! Crunch it to 88mph! And lets travel back to 1994 and see NOFX play "Linoleum" live!