Nicotine - School of Liberty (Cover Artwork)


School of Liberty (2003)

Asian Man

While this album has been out in Japan for a while, Asian Man has just now secured the release for the band's North American fans. For those not familiar with Nicotine's music, they can easily be described as the Japanese NOFX. Not only do they share the same instrumentation with NOFX, but Nicotine is damn good.

With School of Liberty, Nicotine has shed some of their ska influences and instead went with a more mature, and melodic pop punk sound. Not only will you hear blaring pop punk anthems, but Nicotine even threw in a song filled with an "oi oi oi" chorus that will surely get the crowd pumped up. That track, "Get the Liberty", along with "Perfect Crime" are highlights of the album, but tracks like "Flash Back" and "Predator" make this album more than worth the eight bucks it'll cost you to buy it directly from Asian Man.

When it's all said and done, School of Liberty is filled with 17 tracks of pure adrenaline that will get just about everyone going.

At times, the lyrics are hard to understand, and at times, they're just plain ridiculous, but for English not being their first language, the guys in Nicotine sound better than most American bands.

The album isn't completely serious though. While a lot of the lyrics are socially conscious, the band shows they know how to have fun with "At the Class Room", which is a direct spoof of Snoop Dogg's "Gz and Hustlas". Also, to cap things off, Nicotine offer up an intense and catchy rendition of Green Day's "Basketcase".

This album is a must have and is a solid progression from the band's first Asian Man release, Samurai Shot. These guys put Hi-Standard to shame. A must have!