Call for Book Reviewers and Bloggers

Music
cover art

NOFX

Cokie the Clown EP

(Fat Wreck; US: 23 Nov 2009; UK: 30 Nov 2009)

The best thing about NOFX has always been that the band doesn’t take itself too seriously. Even at its most political (“The Decline”), the quartet sounded like it was enjoying itself, smirking and grinning even as the band—and its music—seethed. The thing is, over the past few years, NOFX is still a bunch of goofs, but even the band seems tired of its own jokes. Cokie the Clown provides further evidence of its carefree energy slipping into caricature.


The five songs here were all left off the band’s recent and decent Coaster full-length release and with good reason. The title track is a poor joke about a clown on cocaine, and “Straight Outta Massachusetts” is a tepid buildup to a silly punch line. The best song is the hook-filled “Codependence Day”, but even that doesn’t reach the two-minute mark and rests on juvenile drug references. The one earnest moment here comes with the acoustic version of “My Orphan Year”. The full-band version on Coaster was one of the album’s highlights, offering a rare moment of heartfelt confession from Fat Mike. Here, the acoustic version makes it sound whiny and slight, where the previous take is angry, hurt, and churning.


All in all, Cokie the Clown is another in a growing pile of questionable releases from these guys. It’s great NOFX still doesn’t itself seriously. Maybe the band shouldn’t be so nonchalant about wasting its fans’ time.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


Media
Related Articles
19 Jun 2014
Some bands echoed the Dead Kennedys' anti-Moral Majority messages; others embodied right-wing religion.
28 Oct 2012
NOFX's audience has stuck with the band through thick and thin, and Self Entitled is a great example of why that is. There's nothing innovative waiting to be discovered, but after 30 years of mining the brat-punk vein, NOFX are still more than capable of unearthing plenty of enjoyable gems.
8 Nov 2010
NOFX assembles EPs from a 22-year period into one compilation. Fans will appreciate having all of this material in one place, but this is not a good starting point for the curious.
17 Jun 2009
NOFX return with a strong record after a few years spending too much of their energy bashing Bush. Coaster sounds like the band is having fun again, which is probably better for all involved.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
Win a 15-CD Pack of Brazilian Music CDs from Six Degrees Records! in PopMatters Contests on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.