NOFX - 'They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!' (Cover Artwork)


'They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!' (2007)

Fat Wreck Chords

Sequels: They're never quite as good as the originals, are they? And for a band as (un)reliable as NOFX, who are as close to the mentally superior as they are to the mentally challenged (sometimes at the same time), and who don't have to release a contract filler (like most live albums), "They Actually Gotten Worse Live!" could seem almost pointless.

Also, most live albums tend to serve as a sort of 'best of,' but with lots of mistakes (if they're honest. If they're not, they re-dub everything), and a crowd soundtrack. So since they've already put one live album out, "They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!" is a really a second 'best of.'

But, this isn't a waste, oh no. Apart from the inane live banter, this is a fine album. A fantastic sound with the levels of guitars, vocals and drums sound good, including a decent amount of crowd in the mix. Their performance, despite claims of being wankered, seems to hit most of the right chords, drums and harmonies.

It serves reminders to you that NOFX can write some bloody great songs, yet so many of them are ignored. "Lori Meyers," "Franco Un-American" or "Murder the Government" all remind you that it isn't just about "Bob."

The band has written enough such songs not to have to repeat any of the ones on their first live album. It could be forgotten that, outside what many consider their hallmark albums, NOFX never really lost their skill in creating deceptively intelligent West Coast pop-punk songs with, sometimes, insightful and great lyrics.

The sad thing about this album is that it could also serve as a reminder of how little NOFX have changed or experimented with their sound; so many of the songs could be from the first album or the last EP. A Bad Religion complex, perhaps?

But the worst, worst, worst, worst thing on the entire album, however, is not the banter. It is that they start to play "The Decline" -- one of the best-ever songs that vaguely resembles punk rock by an American band -- and fade it out after five minutes. They fade it out. The song that proves over everything that NOFX can be genius, and they fucking fade it out.

But it's sort of a fitting closer to another soild live album from a bunch of self-deprecating practical jokesters. And only NOFX would do something like that. Bless ‘em.