NOFX - The Longest EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Longest EP (2010)

Fat Wreck Chords

Coupled with The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us) and 45 or 46 Songs That Weren't Good Enough to Go on Our Other Records, NOFX's new compilation The Longest EP should form a trilogy of the band's most essential recordings. Full-lengths, rarities and, now, extended plays have been summarized for future punk rockers. Instead, it's an interminable mess. At 30 tracks, The Longest EP certainly lives up to its name, but it dredges too many less-than-stellar tracks from the band's history.

Let's get this out of the way now. Without "The Decline," any EP comp for NOFX is going to be incomplete. Yeah, it would also make The Decline a redundant album, and it would suck up a lot of space on a disc, but the fact remains that NOFX's best EP is unrepresented, however unreasonable I may be in claiming as such.

Not to get all blasphemous, but The Longest Line EP, which opens this disc and is beloved by many a punk, isn't actually that good. It's slower and less intricate than NOFX's later work, and it's sloppier to boot. Yeah, it's a seminal release, but that doesn't make "Kill All the White Man" any better. As the tracklisting continues, more malaise sets in.

The liner notes endorse my viewpoint. Frontman Fat Mike openly admits that songs like "S&M Airlines" and "The Punk Song" suck in the CD booklet. Even catchy numbers like "Straight Outta Massachusetts" and "Jaw Knee Music" get ripped on, which begs the question, why would NOFX self-release this anyway?

Browsing through the reviews section, I can see that some of these EPs are beloved, but I can't stop thinking about how NOFX has taken the exact same ideas--the basslines, the guitar leads, the lyrics about getting all drugged up on drugs--and done them better on releases like Punk in Drublic and So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes. Oh, and The Decline. I like NOFX, but man have they put out a ton of shit.